Gray’s were tasked with supporting Derry City and Strabane Region Learning City’s Lifelong Learning Festival 2022. The campaign spanned for a period of seven months, with support commencing in September 2021 and ending in May 2022. As with the majority of marketing campaigns, the main objective here was to raise awareness of lifelong learning and highlight the fact that it’s never too late to learn new skills.

Gray’s provided support for this campaign in a range of areas, including social media content creation, launch event assistance, digital ads, PR support, signage, outdoor advertising, local engagement, influencer marketing, website development, event management, design support and broadcast.


The Lifelong Learning Festival 2022 was the first of its kind in the North West area, with both in-person and virtual events part of the offering. Gray’s was tasked with ensuring that a hybrid approach was incorporated through the festival, following the success of the virtual-only festival in 2019. Similarly, it was crucial to ensure that all levels of learning abilities and interests were catered for when marketing the event, as well as safeguarding learning opportunities for all throughout the festival.


From the outset, Gray’s identified that inclusivity was the core focus of the festival. Local community groups, organisations and businesses were engaged with to determine the various learning opportunities to target people of all ages, abilities and interests.

When learning opportunities for the festival had been identified, a multi-faceted marketing campaign was created with the aim of targeting the general public. To begin with, a Facebook page was created, alongside a social strategy incorporating digital ads to target those aged 18-55 with various interests. This campaign incorporated influencer marketing, utilising the online presence of influencers focusing on health benefits and cooking skills.

A website refresh was also included within the campaign to align with the Learning City branding. This refresh incorporated new designs and functionalities to make navigation through the website much more accessible for visitors.

Offline, a 10-week-long outdoor campaign was created, featuring the imagery of learners across the city and region. The placements included billboards and bus stops within various areas of high footfall. As part of this campaign, Gray’s also liaised with the local North West Regional College to secure placement within their city buildings.

Similarly, with inclusivity being a key priority, printed festival leaflets with details of the festival’s events and learning opportunities were distributed across the city and wider region across the course of the week.

In the lead up to the festival, working alongside our communications team, various press releases were circulated throughout the duration of Gray’s support, which highlighted new Learning City Network members and showcased the learning hubs and festival itself. Media placement was secured in both national and local press.

As part of our remit to promote the festival, Gray’s was tasked with holding two in-person learning hubs, offering the public two days of bitesize learning opportunities which over 15 businesses became involved in. These learning hubs were located in Strabane as well as Foyleside, the North West’s largest shopping centre, in Derry City for high footfall.


  • Over 100 events were held as part of the Lifelong Learning Festival 2022 (A 66% increase from 2019)
  • Over 50 businesses, organisations and community groups held events
  • Website traffic resulted in 87% new visitors in the lead up to and during the festival
  • Derry City and Strabane Region Learning City’s Facebook following grew by 643, with a reach of over 404,000.

An AVE of £31,891 was secured alongside a total readership of 2,678,155. In addition, a week-long feature series on BBC Foyle Radio during the week of the festival attracted extensive engagement and increased publicity in the Council region immeasurably.

Related Projects

Let’s work together

Get in touch