Friday, 16 July 2010

Make sure your audience knows What's on

Having worked with the Brighton Festival Fringe for over five years and now at the beginning of a new relationship with a venue owner, I decided it was time to put together a simple (by simple I mean a single page) document 'A Frank! guide to getting your What's On to work'. It was an interesting exercise just to think around why some guides work seamlessly and other don't. It isn't rocket science ... but it is a case of thinking logically through the customer journey. Thinking about their needs and understanding that people start their 'journey' from different places.
You are most welcome to e-mail me ( and I'll send you the guide but in summary..
- understand the readers' agenda. What is most important to them? The event itself? The venue? the date?
- ensure that no matter where the readers' journey starts the other information they need to book/attend an event is clearly and logically shown
- ensure that the guide motivates and enthuses the reader about the event
- ensure that the guide is designed with pick up appeal, and fits with your brand look/feel and tone of voice.
- make sure that the booking information (if relevant) is repeated regularly, and that the booking process is as straightforward as possible.

Do get in touch if you think we can help you with your What's on.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Small delights

I was sitting in the office one day and there was a hint of a knock on the front door.. and a chap came into the office looking a little uncomfortable. He asked if we did 'websites and that sort of thing' I said that we could and that we did. And we started chatting. The man was Brian Shields, he lived round the corner from the office - oh and he'd just had a painting accepted by the National Portrait Gallery as part of the BP Portrait Awards. I found out later that there were over 2,177 entrants to the 2010 awards and Brian was one of the 58 'selected works'that form part of the exhibition that is appearing at the National Portrait Gallery until September 17th 2010 after which it will begin a national tour.

Brian asked if I could help him get a website up and running to try and 'make the most' of the publicity that would surround the show. Something simple just to show his work and where people could get in touch with him. At this stage I hadn't seen his work so he suggested that he'd bring his portfolio round the next day. Which he did - and I was hooked. Brian's work is amazing - beautiful colours, amazing subjects and an incredible intensity that makes it hard to draw your eye away.
We have put together a simple site for Brian - and it went live before the launch of the opening of the NPG exhibition. You can see his work at
For me, I thank the day that Brian knocked on my office door. It has been a delight to work with him - and have appreciated his kind comments about working with me
'Dear Jo,
Just a note of thanks for all the envaluable work you at Frank! have done for me over the last few weeks.The web sites up and running and looking great.....hurrah!

Your enthusiasm,imagination and clear thinking were the perfect antidote to my indecision and technophobia(!) and now with the new gallery site I feel a renewed confidence in my abilities to progress professionally in my artistic career.

It's been a steep learning curve for me Jo but you made it fun,many thanks once again'

Actually Brian, the priveledge was all mine...

Signing out

Jo Weatherall

Photograph by

Monday, 21 June 2010

The one that got away...

Occasionally you get a chance to quote for a project that you would really love to work on. You meet the client - who seems impressed with your knowledge and insight, and you know you have the right credentials and experience. So you put together a quote and send it to the client (who turn down your offer to meet to go through it).. and you hear nothing. You follow the quote up with a phone call and leave a message on voicemail - you send a follow up e-mail - still nothing - then you call again and leave another message - this time with a real person. Eventually three weeks after sending the quote, you phone again and get to speak to your contact and they say 'oh I've not really had a chance to look at the quote.'. You then ask a few further questions and it turns out that they have looked at your quote but seemed to have dismissed it out of hand because it was too expensive.

I know that we offer really good value to our clients and I always ask if they have a budget in mind. Having an idea of how much money a client is hoping to spend really helps - not because we will 'fit the costs to the budget' but that we will put together the best possible solution within the budget. Sometimes, just sometimes we can't deliver what the client needs within the budget we have - and if this the case we are upfront enough to tell them this and often make alternative recommendations to make the most of the budget that is available.

I would love to have worked with this client, I know we could have done a fantastic job.

If you are a client - do be clear about how you are going to judge the quotes you request - is it all about price? Account management? Flexibility? Turnaround times?. Perhaps even provide a written brief (just a few lines) - so all of us can put forward our thoughts with a clear understanding of your priorities.

I am not going to give up on this particular client.. not yet. I'll update you all if anything changes.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

How would you decide?

At a networking event recently I asked a group of small business owners 'How do you make a decision about getting marketing support and how do you find the right person/company?'.
The answers are below and are in the order that responses were given.
1) If we had a new product or service
2) I would only work with someone I like and trust
3) I would want figures on the anticipated ROI from the outset
4) I'd need a set of deliverables to make me commit
5) I'd need evidence of the effectiveness
6) I'd like to work with someone I know and with experience of my sector
7) I would like to know what percentage my sales would increase by
8) I would like to be offered an initial consultation before committing
9) I would only recruit help if I felt we couldn't do it in house
10) I would need to have a specific problem that needed solving
11) I would outside help if I'd built it into the initial budget - the agreement would have to include some form of commission rather than just a fee
12) Marketing doesn't feel like an exact science which makes me wary of it
13) I'd want to look for a results orientated campaign
14) Personality is key
15) I'd need to see that there were some shared objectives - so success is important to both
16) I'd like to see a 'step by step process' laid out so I know what I am going to get
17) I'd want to work with someone who puts more value on us than they do on themselves
18) I only work with people who are persistent
19) It works best for me if they ask to be given a chance initially on a small project.

So there you have it!

if you want to talk about your marketing - do get in touch

Putting your money where your mouth is

As a small marketing agency (Frank! Communication Solutions) we do occasionally get asked whether we will get involved in projects that do not have a budget . Some people are up front about it - they say 'We are a start up, we have a fantastic product but we need your insight and experience to help sell that product'. Others say 'Well if you are as good as you say you are will you work on a commission basis...'.
Of the two attitudes I may well spend a bit of time with the former - but am very unlikely to spend time with the latter. Not because I don't have every confidence that we can help both organisation 'shift more stuff'. More because the former believe that we have a value and an expertise and the latter believe that we don't.
There are of course a number of organisations that I am more than happy to help, in any way I can (apologies to David Beckham) and this is why Frank! is a member of the Business Community Partnership who "match voluntary and community groups with companies that want to support their work by sharing expertise, ideas and resources." The organisations you help understand the need for your expertise and value your input accordingly.
If you want advice and suggestions about your marketing then please do contact us, we'd be happy to talk about how well executed and targeted marketing could help your business - and after that you can decide whether our services are something you are prepared to pay for.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Brian Shields

I am really chuffed that we have been selected by Brian Shields to work with him on developing his website. Brian is an artist who produces simply amazing work. He lives locally and is the type of guy you'd happily start to chat to in a pub or on a bus. Very unassuming but incredibly talented. He knows he is a good artists, I think he may even be a great artists but he isn't the sort of guy who goes around telling everyone how fab he is.. I guess that's why he wants to work with us - we are very happy to tell everyone how fab he is.
Brian's latest work will be on show as part of the BP Portrait Awards.. you can check out his painting 'Inside outside Clare with Claire' here,in-pictures,news-in-pictures,in-pictures-the-bp-portrait-award,2
His website will show a range of his work and give details of how to get in touch with him, it will be simply and unassuming - his paintings talk for themselves.
I will let you know when the site is up.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Focus in on focus groups

We have recently started offering 'focus group facilitation' as an additional service to our clients. It's an interesting addition to our marketing communications mix but one that fits very comfortably and adds real value to our client offer. We run the groups in partnership with Brand Adventure and have a bunch of happy clients one of whom was kind enough to say that we 'engaged a traditionally hard to reach population and achieve excellent results and produce some great ideas within a very short deadline.'

We feel that we are offering our clients a really good additional service the conclusions of which can really effect the way they engage with their audiences and potentially save them money.
If you think you have a project/product/service that could benefit from a focus group then by all means get in touch - we will give you a view on whether a focus group would be relevant and provide you with the results you are looking for. Don't forget when you are looking for answers it is the question that really matter - know the question and the answer is so much easier to find.
Over and out.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Alert or Nudge?

This week we have been working with Sussex airAlert on their new leaflet - airAlert is a free 'air quality warning service' that provides people with COPD or pollution related asthma with text/email or voicemail alerts when air pollution levels are likely to rise in their area. It's a great service and particularly valuable to those recently diagnosed with asthma or COPD who are not yet in the habit of managing their own condition. We have designed a leaflet that will appeal to new users and encourage more registrations. We are working with Mel at 'a space for something'. it's the first project we have worked on together and has been a great experience so far.

The leaflet can be easily personalised to other geographical areas that are currently 'rolling out' the service in their area. The leaflet is not rocket science, just well structured design and copy that gives the target audience the information they need to make an informed decision about signing up for the service.

Having recently read 'Nudge. Improving decisions about health wealth and happiness' by Thaler and Sunstein I am really interested in the whole idea of nudging people in the right direction to help them make competent decisions. And we have used my learnings from 'Nudge' to make sure that the leaflet works for its audience. 'Nudge' for me really captures a way of thinking that is relevant to our information overloaded times. With the amazing world of the Internet at all of our fingertips we have access to infinite amounts of information and views, but often no real understanding of how we can make use of these to make decisions that improve our lives. Our responsibility in producing leaflets for airAlert is to provide the information people need in order to make a decision that could benefit their health.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Stonewall equality dinner

Frank! has been working with Door 22 producing the look and feel for the 2010 Stonewall Equality Dinner. The dinner was on the 19th April at the Dorchester Hotel London and was a fantastic fundraising event. I didn't get along to the evening but got a great buzz from viewing pictures and and seeing how fantastic the lectern, banners and brochure looked - sitting so comfortably amongst the great and the good.
To see the pictures visit!/album.php?aid=209164&id=18933990398 - and take a little time to see how absolutely right this years supporting materials looked.

So what were the lessons learnt?
1) when you develop a theme for a one-off event don't undervalue the design itself - you are creating a look and feel that will set the scene/mood for the event
2) get a full briefing from the client about all the aspects you will need to deliver - if possible visit the venue
3) don't scrimp on poor quality print, work with your printer to see what options there are to maximise budgets - they are the experts, enlist their help.
4) always present your client with workable options - stressing the benefits of different routes
5) let everyone bathe in the success of a project - make sure client thanks or compliments are passed on to everyone involved
6) work with clients you respect and like.