May: This month we meet…

This month we focus on the Aboyne Highland Games, which are organised by the Games committee headed up by Secretary, Morag McBeath. Established in 1867, the Games attract thousands of visitors from far and wide to the Aboyne green on the first Sunday of August every year, where an array of spectacles from livestock and fun fairs to pipe bands, athletes and Highland dancers entertain the crowds.  

  • Tell us about your PR and marketing strategy? 

With a focus on local and national media including newspapers, TV, radio and social media platforms, as well as some other niche outlets such as Highland Dancing and Pipe Bands publications, we raise the profile of the Games from around April up until the event in August, to ensure a strong turnout on the day. Last year’s event saw almost 12,000 visitors so we know we’re reaching people! 

  • Why do you invest in PR and marketing? 

While the Games carry huge historic significance and enjoy a large following of faithful supporters comprising locals and some international visitors, we know that a considerable proportion of the footfall each year is there spontaneously – and they’re not a market we can afford to ignore. The more visible we are, particularly in local media, the more we can be at the forefront of people’s minds when they consider how they might want to spend a day or a weekend in Deeside, or Aberdeenshire, or indeed Scotland, depending on where they’ve come from. In addition to highlighting the event itself, our PR and marketing strategy enables us to highlight and celebrate some of the local stories associated with the Games – local dancers, athletes or international connections. 

  • What are the key benefits? What has worked well?  

Instinct Marketing has secured a strong foundation of media coverage over the years thanks to their creative approach and network of connections, and each year we build on the success of the previous year, seeking to maintain the profile of the Highland Games, particularly in the run up to August. Drawing on a mix of topics from local anniversaries and international links to visiting performers, we target a variety of outlets and really try to celebrate the history, heritage and rich traditions of the Games, while telling the story of the event as it is today. 

  • Where are your marketing efforts currently focused? 

We’ve already issued the first press release announcing the date of this year’s Games, and the annual Games dinner, and we’re now into the next phase of publicity, which will highlight the launch of online tickets and registration for events. 

  • Where will you be focusing your marketing efforts in the next few months? 

In the coming months, we’ll be compiling our event programme, and in partnership with Instinct we’ll select any performers and events that warrant specific PR activity. Each September we also make a charitable donation to local charities, announced at a Picnic and Pimms afternoon, giving us another opportunity to highlight the benefit of the Games for the wider community. Instinct will also be liaising regularly with the Press & Journal on our behalf, to ensure the Games feature in all the relevant weekend and events supplements. On the day itself, Instinct often helps with photography and any media liaison. It’s a real team effort – and a huge feeling of satisfaction when we pull it off without a hitch every year! 

Watch your tone

A critical aspect of your brand identity and powerful marketing tool for your business, ‘tone of voice’ is the way your brand speaks to your audience and conveys your personality, values and messages. A clear and consistent tone of voice will help you differentiate yourself from competitors by being memorable, creating an emotional connection with your audience and ultimately helping to build trust and loyalty in your customers. 

Follow these steps to build tone of voice into your marketing strategy: 

  1. Define your brand’s tone of voice: Figure out your brand’s personality, values and target audience, then choose words and language that align with these. For example, a luxury fashion brand might use a sophisticated or indulgent tone of voice, while a casual restaurant might opt for a friendly and conversational sound. 
  1. Be consistent: Once defined, it’s important to use your brand’s tone of voice consistently across all channels, from website copy and social media posts to email marketing and adverts. Consistency helps create a cohesive brand experience and makes it easier for customers to recognise and remember your brand. 
  1. Also be adaptable: While consistency is important, you should adapt your tone of voice for different audiences and contexts. You might use a formal and professional tone when communicating with business partners, but aim for a more casual or chatty stye while interacting with customers on social media. 
  1. Evoke emotions: Tone of voice can be a powerful tool for evoking emotions in your audience. By choosing words that resonate with your target audience, you can create an emotional connection and help them feel a stronger attachment to your brand. If your brand is passionate about sustainability, you might use an uplifting and hopeful tone of voice to encourage people to make environmentally friendly choices. 
  1. Convey personality: Tone of voice should also be used to convey your brand’s personality and values – a brand that’s fun and playful might use a lighthearted and humorous tone of voice – think Innocent Drinks – while a more serious brand might use a more professional, straightforward tone. By aligning your tone of voice with your brand personality, you can help customers understand and connect with your brand on a deeper level. 


Need help nailing your tone of voice? We’d love to help. Get in touch on 01330 826508 or