As 2010 draws to a close we’d just like to take the opportunity to wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2011
We’re sure it’s going to be an exciting one – we hope it is for you too
From all at team matm
As 2010 draws to a close we’d just like to take the opportunity to wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2011
We’re sure it’s going to be an exciting one – we hope it is for you too
From all at team matm
Bad things often have the habit of biting the corporate behind just when you least want or expect them to. Christmas is not a good time to leave 40,000 people without water, as Northern Ireland Water is finding out.
As if the practicalities of mending hundreds of pipe burst during freezing weather is not enough, the company seems to be compounding its problems with poor public relations. Nothing new there then! Only days before, BAA had to make grovelling apologies for poor communication with pretty much everyone over the problems causes by snow and ice at UK airports.
A Northern Ireland MP went on the BBC to say he could understand that very bad weather can cause big problems with water supply. What he could not excuse was the failure by Northern Ireland Water to communicate properly with its customers to explain what was happening, why and how they could get help.
He said information was poor and the website, in particular, was “no better than a kindergarten’s”. What is telling about the website is that there is no trace on it of an apology to customers – or an explanation as to why the problems have occured. There is factual information, such as lists of where people can go to get water out of a bowser, but not much else. It may be we have missed the relevant pages, but that is telling in itself.
There are a number of things, from a PR point of view, that go down well during such a crisis:
Place your bets now on this being seen as a PR disaster as much as an operational one, when the dust settles and the water starts to flow again.
In today’s highly competitive environment, customers are more likely to want to want to do business with an award-winning organisation, says Jamie Doran, PR Executive at matm in Jackfield near Telford, in Shropshire.
We’ve had a number of awards successes for our clients in 2010, so we thought it might be useful to share some ideas on the subject.
Why enter for an award? Well, we all like a winner
Preparing your award entry
….and to plan your acceptance speech!
Making a marketing impact in a cluttered and fast-moving world can be a bit of a challenge.
Which got us here at matm thinking, how many adverts are we exposed to every day?
It appears from a huge amount of in-depth research – well okay, about 10 minutes on Google – that the answer is not clear.
In 2007, the New York Times quotes 5,000 (up from 2,000 in 1977). Then again, that is for the USA where they would tattoo an advertisement on the inside of your eyelids if you let them.
Another textbook figure that pops up a lot is 3,000. A blog has even been created solely to explore the phenomenon.
In Australia, one intrepid blogger, Matt Granfield, set out to actually count how many adverts he saw in 24 hours – that IS dedication for you. He got to 91 in the first hour and concluded it wasn’t looking good for the 3,000 figure.
Some experts break the figures down a little. A recent study, again in the USA, found that 34% of all ads targeting children or teens were for sweets and snacks – and that tweens were the most heavily targeted, seeing more than 20 food ads a day.
And at the conservative end of the scale, some put the total number of ads viewed at 300.
Okay. Whatever the case, we get to see a lot of adverts – and more now than we used to.
That’s why it is so important to make your message stand out from the crowd.
We recently helped Douglas Macmillan Hospice in Stoke on Trent do this by designing a promotional money collecting box for them. When every penny generously donated really counts, it’s important to get things right.
So here’s our top tips for designing promotional material:
We hope that when you see a Douglas Macmillan Hospice collecting box, you’ll put a few coins in. It’s one of the hundreds – or is it thousands? – of ‘adverts’ you will see in a day that is really worth succumbing to.
Here at matm we were proud to sponsor the recent Ironbridge Christmas Market in Ironbridge, Shropshire. We supported the event by designing the Gorge Year information sheet detailing events across this UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.
As keen supporters of the Ironbridge Gorge community, we take great interest in the work of Ironbridge Regeneration Partnership. It has been great to see real events taking place in the gorge, so it was not a hard decision to make when asked if we can support the event.
Stuart Bickerton, Director of matm, the marketing, design, web and PR agency based at Jackfield near Telford, Shropshire, said: “The Ironbridge Gorge clearly has a proud history and the work of the Ironbridge Regeneration Partnership captures the mix of heritage and modern business thinking perfectly – it has a ‘Can Do’ spirit that supports enterprise across the area.
“I enjoyed the inaugural Victorian Christmas Market this year – I’m already looking forward to next year’s event. There was a great turn out from local businesses, traders, shoppers and local families.”
With plenty of events planned – it looks like being an industrious year in the Gorge – but given it’s history, what else would you expect!
Here’s a list of just a few of the events coming up during 2011:
Farmers Market – Held every third Saturday of each month,
beginning in March (except November)
Daffodil Ride – Bike ride for all ages and abilities, The Bicycle Hub
Queens Victoria’s Birthday Weekend – 28th to 30th May
Blists Hill Victorian Town
Brass Band Festival – The Museum of Iron 16th and 17th of July
Coracle Regatta – Dale End Park
PS…Here’s just some of the traders who supported this year’s event.
Bertelin Farmhouse Cheese: www.bertelinfarmhousecheese.co.uk
Little Round Cake Company: www.thelittleroundcakecompany.co.uk
Shropshire Spice Co: www.shropshirespice.co.uk
Sweetooth Liquorice: firstname.lastname@example.org
Absolute Heart: www.absoluteheart.co.uk
Fairlady Fabrics: email@example.com
Derek Houghton Images: www.shropshire-images.com
Jane Murphy Glass: www.jane-murphy.blogspot.com
Kim Rodgers: www.kimrodgers.co.uk
How frustrating is it when your carefully crafted piece of printed material needs ‘translating’ onto the web and your choice of typefaces is dramatically reduced? Well, help is at hand in the form of CSS3 @font-face.
In short, @font-face allows designers to use fonts stored online, reducing the need to rely on the standard web selection that we’ve grown accustomed to, says Lindsay Crayton, Senior Creative at matm marketing, graphic design, web and PR agency at Jackfield near Telford, Shropshire.
Things are looking quite positive with the majority of modern web browsers supporting @font-face. And, yes, Internet Explorer is one of them.
If you’re getting started, Font squirrel could be your saviour. You can parcel up your own font selections and have them converted to the correct file formats. They also have a large selection ready to download to help you get started.
Always check that fonts have the appropriate licensing before use!
We’re not in a position to wave goodbye to Verdana just yet. But, with @font-face, web typography is getting interesting.
Check out the links below for more information on licensing, formats and examples.
Audi R8 Spyder: 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds. Nationwide Platforms scissor lift: 0 to 10 metres (32 feet) in 55 seconds. Put them together and you have one of the most memorable advertisements of 2010.
matm PR client Nationwide Platforms played a key role in bringing to life Audi’s dramatic ‘Mirror, Signal, Outmanoeuvre’ TV ad for its new supercar. Rogue Films, the makers of the advert, hired a mixture of electric scissor lifts and booms for the shoot, which took place at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands.
We know through experience how important it is to have the correct equipment for video shoots and photoshoots and, the machines pictured above look perfect to support lighting rigs. We thought the image was striking enough to share with you – so come on – which machine is the real star of the picture?
Creative logo design is often one of the key starting points of establishing a brand and corporate identity. But even with something as simple as a splash of colour and a few lines that are seen billions of times a day, things are sometimes not what they first appear.
The logos below prove that point. They arrived in the matm office, along with the commentary, in an email which has clearly been virally circling the globe in recent months. We thought these examples of excellent graphic design were intriguing enough to share.
It only goes to prove that brand design is an art as much as a science and good brands work on a number of conscious and subconscious levels, says Tom Blockley, a designer at Shropshire marketing, design, PR and web design agency matm, based at Jackfield, near Telford.
See what you think. And if you have any fresh examples, we’d love to hear about them!
If you look at the center of this logo, you can see two people enjoying a Tostito chip with a bowl of salsa. This logo conveys an idea of people connecting with each other.
At first, this logo might not make much sense. But if you look closely, you’ll see the number 1 in the negative space between the F and the red stripes. I also love how this logo communicates a feeling of speed.
The Milwaukee Brewers is a professional baseball team from Milwaukee ,Wisconsin (well, duh…). Their logo is actually made up of the letters M (on top) and B (below the m). These two letters also form a baseball glove.
This simple looking logo actually carries a lot of information. First of all you can see the letters N and W, the first two letters of the brand name. But what most people don’t see is the compass that points to the Northwest, another reference to the brand name.
This logo doesn’t seem to hide much at first sight, but it gives you a little insight in the philosophy behind the brand. First of all, the yellow swoosh looks like a smile: Amazon wants to have the best customer satisfaction. The swoosh also connects the letters a and z, meaning that this store has everything from a to z.
Toblerone is a chocolate-company from Bern , Switzerland . Bern is sometimes called ‘The City Of Bears’. They have incorporated this idea in the Toblerone logo, because if you look closely, you’ll see the silhouette of a bear.
The old logo of Baskin Robbins had the number 31 with an arc above it. The new logo took this idea to the next level. The pink parts of the BR still form the number 31, a reference to the 31 flavors.
Sony Vaio is a well known brand of laptops. But did you know that the name Vaio logo also had a hidden meaning? Well, the first two letters represent the basic analogue signal. The last two letters look like a 1 and 0, representing the digital signal.
Do you see any arrows on FedEx’s logo? I saw it a few times at other site saying that there’s an arrow hidden in the FedEx arrow, but I couldn’t find it at first, can you see it?. The clue is that the arrow is located in between the alphabet E and X, and the arrow is white, acting as a background.
An icon is instantly recognisable. Just ask fans of Marilyn Monroe. And designers are creating new ones every day.
Here at Shropshire marketing, design, web and PR agency matm, in Jackfield, Telford, we have just created an icon for Lavendon Access Services, the group which owns the Panther and Nationwide Platforms brands, among others.
It’s designed to illustrate the latest development in the powered access industry – a personnel lift that gives low level access. Think of it as the replacement for the standard ladder, which in many workplaces is no longer considered safe.
These smaller machines are increasingly used in shops, offices, hotels and leisure centres. And now the icon we have created will sit proudly alongside others that depict the powered access industry.
Designer Tom Blockley said: “Designing icons for particular product types can be a very powerful way to depict the machine. Pictures paint a thousand words and this icon will help Lavendon customers identify the machine type quickly and easily.”
The knack is to reduce the design to its simplest form while ensuring the object is instantly recognisable. Tom drew the new icon in industry standard illustration software, so it can be used in any size, from small icon to the size of a building (if required!).
So our icon might not be a sex goddess but it’s still perfectly formed.
With marketing for hospices and charities a regular conversation here at matm, specialist marketing agency from Shropshire, we have been interested to read Stephen Cook’s thoughts on the influence of the comprehensive spending review will have on the third sector.
He reports that the Chancellor, George Osbourne, has acknowledged that voluntary organisations will be expected to pick up what the trimmed-down public sector will be forced to let go – and has allocated £470m over the next four years to support charities and community organisations. This will be the Big Society in action.
Stephen Cook says: “Although the comprehensive spending review will reduce public spending by 19 per cent over the next four years, it promises a bigger role for the voluntary and community sector.”
As an agency that takes pride in working with third sector organisations on a wide range of projects including marketing, public relations, web design, graphic design and telemarketing – and, let’s be honest, welcomes the income that work generates, we’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
Here at matm, we’ve got good of experience of multi-language design, print and web design – and have put that to good use producing a new lottery leaflet for St David’s Hospice in Llandudno, North Wales.
As with many hospice lotteries, St David’s is taking advantage of recent legislation changes which allow charities to introduce a rollover to their weekly prizes. This means that someone could win up to £5,000 with one ticket.
Every Friday, St David’s Hospice calls a lucky winner to tell them the good news – that’s something we like the sound of here at matm, Shropshire marketing, design, PR and web agency, writes designer Tom Blockley. Receiving that call would definitely make my weekend!
You’ll also notice that the leaflet has both English and Welsh language text, together on one version of the leaflet to provide the most cost effective print.
We’re proud to work with such a worthwhile charity as St David’s Hospice and we wish them every success in their new lottery rollover.
Click on the pictures below for a better view.
When the time is right, all companies and organisations can benefit from refreshing their image. matm recently rebranded Douglas Macmillan Hospice’s fundraising lottery to make it more contemporary and engaging, especially for a younger audience.
The hospice, in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, wanted the lottery to be less “gimmicky” so people are encouraged to feel they are part of a service doing great work in their community as well as giving themselves a chance to win some cash – which is still important!
A key part of the project was designing a point of sale display to promote the hospice’s new weekly rollover. This was achieved with a calendar-style counter stand which gives the rollover total on the front for customers and prize information on the back for vendors.
Other branded items include lottery tickets, a leaflet, gift vouchers and display boards.
Client feedback has been very positive. Donna Adams, Lottery Promotions Development Manager for Douglas Macmillan Hospice, told us: “It is always a pleasure to work with the design team at matm. When we thought about rebranding, we knew it was matm we wanted to work with. Their designers have the creativity and attitude we like.”
After the blood, sweat and tears of pre race practice runs – about 95 minutes of practice to be precise – the team matm rowing boat set off in blades of glory to romp home victorious in our first race against Ramsbury Flyers.
Team matm – monikered as Angry White Pyjamas to reflect their martial arts attire – was slightly less successful against two other teams, including the eventual winners Mostyn’s Maniacs, but a great time was had by all.
Thanks go to our designer, Tom Blockley (who also made the hats in the early hours of the morning before), web developer Rich Howells and Mandy Sznober (Rich’s better half) for pulling enthusiastically in the same direction (mostly) and to the good people of Bridgnorth Rowing Club for their help and patience.
As a journalist expected to write great copy, I often went out on particular stories knowing that if I didn’t come back with a photo in my pocket (this was when pictures were made of paper) I would have failed, and miserably, writes Andy Comber, PR manager at Shropshire PR specialist matm. Good photography can turn an okay story into a great one.
One of our recent projects is a good example. RS Miller Roofing in Dudley brought an 18th Century dovecote at Chillington Hall, near Brewood in Staffordshire, back to life in spectacular fashion. It was an impressive project. And the pictures taken for us by photographer Paul Watkins showed it off to the full. He uses a remote controlled helicopter or a telescopic mast to get excellent aerial shots.
We offered the story and pictures to Roofing Magazine, the industry’s No 1 publication and the first reaction was: “What great pictures!” So great, that the image was used on the July/August front page and more in the two page spread inside (and this was not an advertorial). I like to think the copy was great too, but getting the images right can make all the difference.
Love them or hate them we come across typefaces everyday, writes matm‘s Senior Creative, Lindsay Crayton. In most cases we follow corporate fonts which our clients have specified but what happens when you’re left to make the decision?
Here are some simple guidelines to get you started:
Finally, back to my clothes reference…dress to impress, select a typeface which is fit for the occasion.
Matm‘s Rich Howells, Web Designer, and Tom Blockley, Senior Graphic Designer, will be donning the lycra this weekend in support of Severn Hospice for the yearly 50k bike ride in and around Telford/ Bridgnorth.
Tom has openly admitted to being “very afraid” at the prospect of seeing Rich in cycle shorts, however he feels this will be something he is willing to endure for the ‘greater good’.
Another fantastic masterpiece from bath specialist Victoria + Albert.
matm have been working on the new luxury brochure including this fabulous new bath
… more details soon but we thought we show you their new creation just after it’s official launch day.
Visit www.vandabaths.com/uk for further details
Matm’s lengthy experience of working at a wide range of events ensured we found the best possible photographer to support our client Panther, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of powered access. We knew this event was a bit different, especially when we were dealing directly with Adrian Beckett, the Colour Sergeant of the Band of the Welsh Guards.
It was clear there was a requirement to meet the very highest standards, in terms of technical performance and safety, expected at such a prestigious event. We made sure that our photographer was fully compliant with stringent security requirements and that he could gain access to all the areas needed – we hope you agree that he came back with a stunning shot?
The price lists detail the company’s range of beautifully-designed volcanic limestone baths, basins and accessories and have been designed for simple, clear referencing.
So whether you speak Italiano, Deutsch, Nederlands, Español, Français, Polski, Ruski or even Australian, Victoria + Albert has a price list for you, and maybe a bath or two.
matm was asked to create this video explaining how British Superbike rider Simon Andrews is using OXYfit, which is oxygen in a can, to help him challenge for the BSB Champioship this year. Breathing in pure oxygen is the equivalent of an intense caffeine rush – anyone for an ‘OXYspresso’?!
Here’s a sneak preview of some images we’re working on for a client presently.
It’s always important to adopt a style appropriate to the subject. We’ll let you see a few more when we have them.
Neil Dicken, Designer commented “There is nothing worse than picking up a leaflet, to find inside a map that has so much information that you really don’t know where to look first. More often than not it is the choice of imagery that makes a map confusing; the contrast of colours, and the varied size and shapes. A simple and effective way to combat such a problem is to use a simple illustrative style that unifies all the different locations.”
We will show you what we are doing and, when it’s right to do so, who we work for.
We’ll explain our thinking, how we go about our work, what expertise, knowledge, creativity and values we bring to bear for our clients.
We’ll also share ideas we glean from other experts and thought leaders about marketing, design and PR.
We also aim to tell you about us, as people, as professionals and as a team. How we might work together with you to help your business grow and prosper.
The Juice will also be a place to have some fun. We want it to be refreshing, bright, sharp and to the point and pleasurable all at the same time.
Finally, we want it to be a place to share ideas. So please join in the discussion. We’d love to hear from you.