Launched in 2015 by radio producer and presenter Jay Hynd as an independent media platform for Liverpool, it’s grown a local, national and international reach online and via social media.
A two-man team, led by Jay himself, has expanded to almost 20 and alongside what’s on and features content, it has become a sought-after video production company.
The aim, from day one, was to present a positive view of the city and Jay says that’s still central to everything they do.
“It’s always been important to me and the whole team to highlight the best of Liverpool, whether that’s the businesses here, the incredible events we put on or the people that call it home,” he added. “The bulk of our content is just showing Liverpool for what it is; we don’t have to make it look good because it is good.
“When we first started, it was still really early days for online sites and social media and a lot of the platforms you see now, influencers and vloggers, just didn’t exist.
“We were covering events like the Three Queens on the Mersey and Sound City at the docks, and lots of people might not have know they were happening because they didn’t get to see them. They might get a glimpse on the local TV news, but we were the first to actually create professional video and put it out there.”
With the eyes of the world on the city as it hosted Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine in May, The Guide Liverpool became the voice of the host city, with unrivalled daily coverage from locations around the city centre, backstage interviews and reactions from local and international fans. The platform had over 11 million video views and reached 15 million people during Eurovision 2023.
“It’s the most ambitious thing we’ve ever done,” said Jay. “Obviously we’ve covered large scale events before, like the Giants and LFC’s victory parades, but Eurovision was an opportunity to do something on a scale we’ve never done before.
“We brought in extra team members and made sure we were at the centre of everything that was going on, capturing the amazing atmosphere in those two weeks ahead of the final, and I’m really proud of what we produced.”
While global audience events like the Grand National Festival have become an annual feature for The Guide, partnering with The Jockey Club for live raceday coverage, Jay says they don’t shy away from more serious issues.
“If something is really important or if it touches the whole city, like the killing of Olivia Pratt Korbel, then of course we whole-heartedly get behind it. We’re a big platform and you’ve got to be responsible with that number of followers and realise that sometimes you can do good.”
Eight years on from setting up The Guide, he admits it’s grown into a business he could never have anticipated. Beyond the day-to-day content that followers see, its video production company works with a diverse range of high-profile companies across the North West and UK from Liverpool ONE, M&S Bank Arena to the NHS, HMS Prisons, Cammel Laird and LFC.
“It’s completely different to what I thought it would be when we started, but the essence of it is still there – it’s still a what’s on platform that shouts about all of the great things happening in Liverpool. Whether that’s an event, a new bar opening or a really uplifting story from the city.
“To work at The Guide you’ve got to really be passionate about Liverpool, whether you’re from here or from out of town. For me personally it’s taught me so much more that I didn’t know about my home city and made me realise even more, how much I adore it.”