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Manchester Digital: Digital Futures

How do you get 250 businesses engaged in a campaign to encourage more young people to consider a role in the UK’s thriving tech sector? Here’s how…

Independent trade association for digital and technology businesses across the North West, Manchester Digital, approached Refresh at the start of 2019 to devise a campaign to raise awareness of its GMCA funded ‘Digital Futures’ campaign – aimed at getting more young people across the region interested in a digital career through engagement with local businesses.


businesses signed up


social media engagements


pieces of press coverage

With an ambitious KPI of getting 250 Greater Manchester businesses involved, Refresh created a campaign that combined strong social media engagement and business community outreach, supported by top tier press coverage. Refresh generated a pledge-based community campaign inviting businesses to sign up online and become ‘Digital Futures Ambassadors’.

Narrative around the campaign played on the North West’s current digital skills shortage, with businesses invited to take the future into their own hands and strengthen the digital pipeline. The campaign was promoted with strong press coverage, three ‘social media takeovers’ and business outreach, ensuring that all relevant communications channels were optimised.

The 12-month campaign has recently come to an end and the results are in:

  • 250 businesses pledged to become ambassadors including The Co-op digital, Onthebeach.co.uk, PWC and Brother UK
  • 1200+ engagements for social media takeovers
  • 40 pieces of press coverage in all key regional publications including Manchester Evening News, Business Live, The Business Desk, About Manchester, Business Cloud, North West Business Insider, FE News and Education Technology
  • 23 backlinks to the Manchester Digital website

This was a real passion project for us as an agency – a campaign that the team really enjoyed working on.

Services provided include:

  • Strategy and planning
  • Creative campaign ideation
  • Copywriting
  • Press office
  • Community management
  • Social media
  • Measurement and evaluation
  • Digital PR
Refresh works tirelessly to not only raise awareness of Manchester Digital in the North West, but also on a national scale through coverage in highly-regarded publications within our key vertical sectors. The Refresh team has demonstrated time after time that they are fully invested in all that we do, regularly offering help and guidance outside of their core duties. This is always reflected in the quality of the content they produce for us. The approachable, attentive nature of the agency ensures any queries are efficiently adhered to, and the personal yet professional relationship we share means that all successes are shared and celebrated together - long may this continue! Michael Palmer, Digital Marketing Manager, Manchester Digital

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