Insiders Dunedin website relaunch

St Clair artist Justin Summerton hangs his work Whareakeake at the Dunedin Community Gallery for tonight's Insiders Dunedin relaunch. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
St Clair artist Justin Summerton hangs his work Whareakeake at the Dunedin Community Gallery for tonight's Insiders Dunedin relaunch. Photo by Gregor Richardson.

Insiders Dunedin is being relaunched tonight in an effort to rejuvenate its use by the city's population, for the promotion of Dunedin as a whole.

Initially launched in 2010, the Insiders Dunedin website was part of the $500,000 Brand Dunedin campaign spearheaded by the Dunedin City Council and used by seven ''brand partner'' organisations, including Tourism Dunedin.

It encouraged the city's residents to share their stories, photographs, videos, blogs and other information about Dunedin on a website, to promote the city to visitors.

But after initially gaining recognition, the website fell flat.

Tourism Dunedin digital marketing manager Josh Jenkins hoped the relaunch would prompt people to again become involved in the website, which was attracting a growing number of internet users.

Competitions would provide an incentive for people to participate, he said.

Quotes, travel tips, photographs and other content put on the website by residents was featured in marketing - showing on billboards, in brochures, on radio and television advertising and within campaigns for major Dunedin events, including iD Dunedin Fashion Week.

The website provided ''real'' testimonials and advice to visitors, Mr Jenkins said.

It was also an avenue for Dunedin artists, photographers and others to promote local material, he said.

About 100 people were expected at the Dunedin Community Gallery in Princes St for the 5.30pm relaunch.

Those present will be invited to taste and suggest a name for a new Dunedin cocktail, and watch the latest short films about Dunedin identities and locations.

Representatives from the city council, University of Otago, Chamber of Commerce Otago branch and Otago Polytechnic are among those invited.

The gallery exhibition, also comprising Dunedin fashion and art, will be open to the public from 10am to 4pm from Thursday to Sunday this week.

A real testimonial

Many people in Dunedin (your 'average Joe' not those special invited re-launch night guests) feel excluded from projects such as this where it seems to always be the same clique invited. One also wonders how/who invited the Art/Fashion exhibitors, was the process open to all? It was also clear that many entries on to the original website were from stakeholder businesses doing self-promotion rather than genuine resident testimonials, this was a put off. Best of luck for the re-launch; however, it may have been better to try a new initiative rather than try to relight a fire that has fizzled out. 

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