Strong stories for Aberdeen City and Shire – grounded in local people’s passion for the place

New destination management organisation Visit Aberdeenshire brought us in to work with stakeholders to create a place narrative that would capture what is special and different about the place, and a toolkit that would inspire locals to take a strong shared message to market.

Our place narrative work began with four 2-hour sense-of-place workshops in different venues across Aberdeenshire. We had around 100 participants and gathered masses of creative input that meant we could produce strong stories for the destination grounded in local people’s passion for the place – as well as being informed by our external perspective and research.


Reflecting the diversity of city and shire we produced a series of Shared Stories™ – our approach to capturing the essence of places. There’s a story for the entire area, three stories based on locations and six thematic stories based on the particular strengths of the tourism offer. We also compiled a “wordbank” of evocative phrases and powerful  individual words which could be picked up and used in marketing communications.


Our work was brought together in the Shared Story Toolkit, an excellent resource for businesses. It was also used to brief photographers and film makers as VisitAberdeenshire developed their image library. It’s being used for destination marketing of course. And lately we’ve noticed that some of the words and phrases are being used on the walls of Aberdeen Airport – an easy, practical way to use the Shared Story to welcome people to the place.

(Images courtesy of VisitAberdeenshire)

"True Majesty. True North. True Scotland. There’s something about the scale of this place between the mountains and the sea …"
From the Aberdeenshire Shared Story