#WMGeneration – a Hashtag Revolution

A critical factor in the West Midlands Channel 4 bid – and a major resource for the building of a vibrant Creative Screen Sector – has been a humble hashtag.

#WMGeneration was created as a mechanism to support the regional bid for the headquarters and a creative hub of the UK broadcaster.

A taste of the contributions to the #WMGeneration tag

Ozzy Osbourne @OzzyOsbourne
Hey @Channel4 move to Birmingham

Joanna Birch @BCUjoB
Channel 4 led the change. Imagine a city that can support infinite opportunities.
This example also has multiple lines.

Graeme Brown @graeme_brown 🔥 🔥 🔥 “If Channel 4 moves to Birmingham, it will be living amid its target audience” 🔥 🔥 🔥

Debs @grid_spy
I've said it before and I shall say it again, @Channel4 need to come to Birmingham. The most diverse, connected, creative city that fits their target audience.

Bobby Friction @bobbyfriction
The future of this country is in the highways & bustling byways of the West Mids! Do the right thing Channel 4.

Prof Asif Ahmed @ProfAsifAhmed
#Channel4 is a champion from its inception for fair representation in #diversity & #culture. #Birmingham is #multicultural, #multiethnic & full of #digital dreamers & local talent - a natural home for @Channel4. Our youthful city will energies you.

It has played a key role in the campaign, acting as a cohesive regional voice for a wide range of cultural and creative individuals, businesses and institutions.

The hashtag has been adopted by major names in the media and entertainment industries, politicians and organisations.

But it is the ability of the hashtag to unite a wide diversity of regional voices that has been most significant. The popularity of the hashtag led to it trending on Twitter during the key Summer months of the campaign.

The initial focus was strongly based on driving a singular message about winning the Channel 4 bid but was based on values, which the campaign spelled out in two phrases:

  • Young, Digital, Diverse

  • and Innovate, Create, Generate

Those values demonstrate the potential of #WMGeneration to reach beyond the campaign.

Importantly, the hashtag started out explicitly as a region-wide resource, being used for all the regional actual and prospective bids and before the C4 shortlist was narrowed to just Birmingham.

Organisations across the region, including the West Midlands Screen Bureau are already using it as a means of bringing together activities into a cohesive drive for the creative sector.