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A new narrative for Leuven’s heritage jewel

For Leuven’s most beautiful spot, we created a new narrative that brought the various stakeholders closer together.


Park Abbey Heritage Site, City of Leuven

Multi-stakeholder management
Strategic positioning
Marketing plan

Rich history in the spotlight

Park Abbey is a beautifully preserved heritage site dating back to the 12th century, on the outskirts of Leuven. For the past several years, it has once again been bustling with activity. The city and its partners launched an ambitious restoration programme, with all those involved making a contribution that brought the site’s rich history to life. But how could we make this beautiful place better known? In achieving that, how do we maintain the fragile balance between the drive for development and the site’s capacity? And how can the site as a whole develop an identity that perfectly fits each partner?

“In a complex context of diverse stakeholders, Shaved Monkey succeeded in unravelling our challenging request and taking our joint positioning to the next level. They did that with respect for both the DNA of our beautiful abbey site and the diverse perspectives of the various partners."

Steven Dusoleil
Communications Director, City of Leuven

Long- and short-term communication

Following a public tender, Shaved Monkey was given the honour of helping tell the story of Park Abbey. On the one hand, there was a need to work on a long-term vision; on the other hand, the need for immediate external communication. In particular, a major exhibition was planned for the 900th anniversary of the Norbertine order, and the abbey’s main historic rooms were reopened to the public after restoration.

Successful campaign launched

For this first vital communication opportunity, we created an attractive campaign image, an inspiring slogan, a fresh social media campaign and numerous promotional items such as posters and banners – all within tight deadlines. Not only was the campaign a great success (we doubled our KPI), it also clearly demonstrated to us the differences and tensions between the partners.

Onward to a long-term vision

We knew a well-founded base was needed if we were to move further forward. To define that foundation, we engaged an expert in the field of heritage – a co-creative reflex that we apply to every project. Their expertise and in-depth interviews with the partners uncovered the common ground that we brought together to create a solid foundation.

"Shaved Monkey came up with smart insights and fresh ideas during this process, so that together we could take a big step in further developing the appeal of Park Abbey.”

Steven Dusoleil
Communications Director, City of Leuven

Support story and communication strategy

During a number of workshops, we built on the insights from the previous phase. This allowed us to arrive at a supported story and communication strategy for Park Abbey. We outlined this in a strategic document that gives everyone the tools they need to communicate coherently and effectively about Park Abbey, its partners and its trove of treasures.

Basis for further cooperation

The strategic document and our collaboration are not only the basis for communication by Park Abbey (we also realised a second campaign celebrating 10 years of restoration), but they have also become the common thread around which various collaborations on the site are shaped.

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