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City Guide for Students / Newcastle University

Updated: May 14, 2020

An innovative first for Newcastle University, I wrote this city guide as a love letter to my home town. It was quite a departure from the University's usual corporate tone...and it went down a storm.

A tactical move

Remember Geordie Shore? The TV show about cheap trebles and casual sex in Newcastle? Great TV but a terrible advert for my home town.

At the University, it caused real challenges. We'd worked hard to counter student drinking culture. And yet still met lots of worried parents, fearing the worst if their child chose to study here.

As lead writer of Newcastle University's student recruitment materials at the time, I devised this little guide to counter that perception of the city as a hard drinking, heavy petting kinda town.

Working with a panel of students to find out their favourite places, I wrote this guide as a love letter to my beloved Newcastle. This beautiful city-of-bridges - with its world-class culture, sporting success and picture-perfect countryside - deserves to be known for so much more than its legendary nightlife.

Tone of voice

Another reason for writing this guide was to reflect one of our marketing messages - the warm Geordie welcome - in our tone of voice. I wrote this guide in a youthful and journalistic style. It was quite a departure for the usual corporate tone.

The publications team also worked with a design agency to devise a new visual approach, which was widely emulated across the whole university.


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