Client: The City of Dundee
PR Team: Dundee City Council in-house team
Timescale: May 1998 and ongoing
Budget: pounds 25,000
With life scientists predicting that new product development in the
biotechnology industry is set to trigger a multi-billion pound market
over the coming the decades, the city of Dundee looks poised to grab
more than its fair share of the action. The Wellcome Trust Medical
Research Centre opened earlier this year, and as a number of leading
lights in the biotechnology research field work in Dundee’s universities
and hospitals, biotechnology is an important industry for the city.
Dundee City Council has joined forces with a number of institutions
including the universities of Abertay and Dundee, local businesses,
research organisations and hospitals in an unprecedented move to promote
the city as a centre of excellence in biotechnology. The campaign is
partly funded by the European Development Fund.
To build on Dundee’s growing reputation as a centre of the biotechnology
industry. To attract talent and investment in the industry in
BioDundee is specifically aimed at an international audience, including
research institutes, venture capitalists, charities and trust funds.
Devising a campaign with such broad appeal is no easy task.
The answer for BioDundee was to give the campaign a strong human element
by focusing on the personal and professional attributes of the city’s
leading scientists. This provided a lively and broad-based platform for
getting campaign messages across and for detailing the work being done
in the city - as diverse as cancer research and fruit genetics.
The campaign, designed and co-ordinated by the council, involves
seminars, events and publications, as well as an ongoing media relations
campaign over the next two years.
Nearly 10,000 of the leaflets published by the council were distributed
to targeted audiences in the UK, Europe and North America, to encourage
people to ask for more information.
The recently-launched web site is also being used to invite feedback on
While predominantly targeting an international audience, an offshoot
campaign has also been developed to let Dundonians know what’s going on
in their city, and inspire pride in the work being done.
The campaign has generated interest across the world, with journalists
from countries as diverse as Japan and Germany visiting the city to find
out what’s going on. Extensive pieces have appeared in the Scotsman on
Sunday and the Sunday Times Scotland, focusing on specific scientists
working in the cancer research field in Dundee, as well as in specialist
trade and scientific media across Europe.
The BioDundee stand has featured at several exhibitions across the
world, including Bio ’98 in New York-the biggest exhibition of its kind
in the world.
Several hundred inquiries for further information have been received so
far, but with much of the activity still to come, full evaluation is not
This campaign is an ambitious undertaking for Dundee City Council, but
long-term planning seems to be paying off.
By highlighting the personalities and determination of the city’s
leading scientists, they managed to send out a very strong message to
all audiences, and position Dundee as a true centre of excellence.