Journal

Tips from our team... keeping remote working creative

More from Faith this week on keeping creative when your team are all working remotely...

"We've learned that remote, or even blended working patterns don't have to mean the loss of co-creation, team collaborations or creative projects. In fact, there's opportunities to do even more to keep your communications creative, relevant and impactful.

Think sprint not marathon; find new platforms; bust the brief…

These are just three of the top tips for keeping teams creative during the pandemic restrictions that we shared at a Charity Comms conference a few months ago. If you're interested in hearing what other charities told us about their biggest challenges join the recording of our presentation here. If you'd like to dive straight into top tips to run great remote creative ideas sessions, join it here.

Inject some new thinking

We've set up a (slightly silly, definitely useful) new idea prompt generated on our website here. If you're stuck and need a quick injection of something fresh, click and scroll to the bottom where you'll find our 'New thing please' prompt generator right there!

Don't rule anything out

In spite of current restrictions, we've been helping clients to run incredibly sucessful, engaging events, running focus groups and continuing with audience testing for our digital and campaign work, making new films for clients and running Covid-safe photo shoots. There really is no need to feel that you have to put any of your charity's plan on hold - now more than ever is the time to increase your presence, engage your supporters and wider audiences and express exactly who you are as an organisation.

We're running Zoom sessions right now to help clients navigate all of these issues and many more - so if you think we can help (even if its just to assess your current site, without firm plans to make radical changes) get in touch."

Tips from our team... briefing in a film

This week Chris shares his top tips for briefing in a film to your agency:

"If you’re planning some filming for the Autumn, here’s a few pointers to help you get the most out of your shoot…

Ask yourself, is it a film?

This might sound daft, but film is great at taking your audiences to interesting and unusual places and to capture emotions and opinions. Not everything makes a great film, so the first big question to ask is - is film the best and most compelling way to get the information across?

Covid-safe

It’s an obvious one but follow the guidance on safe shooting. Our team have all taken the Covid-safe filming test and have the certification. We can guide you through this if needed to make sure we all stay safe on the job.

Planning makes all the difference

A successful film takes planning and organising. Getting the best locations, the most interesting angles and the most interesting interviewees all takes planning and visualising the final film before you even start.

Vox pops are rarely the best approach

We are often asked to capture ‘vox pops’ which in reality are interviews simply because the subject matter can be more complex than a simple vox pop question. We’d suggest planning your film by thinking about the message first and then decide the best way to communicate your message or story. Vox pops are rarely the best way!

Film it once, use it many times

If you are going to invest in capturing some film content, think about how you can use this content across different channels and formats. This might mean making a few different edits or re-purposing your film to work in portrait or square format. We’d recommend getting the maximum value from your filming by running the content across all of your channels.

Would you watch it?

This last point is critical - only make films that you would watch! What we mean is, make sure your films are as interesting, vibrant and visually dramatic as possible. If you enjoy watching them, then so will your audiences

Good luck!"

Charity webinar: mastering digital and social advertising for your charity

NEW DATE!!!

Creative Concern and Root Media have teamed up to offer a free webinar for charities on 3RD NOVEMBER, 11AM - 12.30PM

When it comes to using using digital to increase fundraising, increase awareness and engagement and build a charity’s brand, there’s a huge range of options that you can take advantage of. But many of us stick to the same few approaches, time and again, because we don’t have the time or knowledge to explore other (potentially far more impactful) routes.

We're inviting charities to register for a 90min, interactive live webinar on 3RD NOVEMBER, 11AM - 12.30PM to bring you up to speed on the latest opportunities available to charities across digital platforms, and give you a chance through questions and group discussion to explore the potential for your organisation. We’ll get stuck into: 

 

- social platforms; does it really have to be all about Facebook? Ways to expand your profile effectively across other social platforms

- integrating your off and online efforts, so they work together and help you build momentum

- how you can ensure that your digital activity doesn’t just drive traffic to your website or social channel, but actually leads to meaningful engagement 

- how to maintain high levels of creativity, even when working with strict formats

There are limited places. Please get in touch with Faith on faith@creativeconcern.com to reserve your space. See you there!

Tips from our team... proofreading

This week, our Senior copywriter, Rebecca shares some top tips for tip top proofreading:

"Proofreading is an important part of any job – it picks up those typos and grammar mistakes that can often slip through earlier drafts. It’s always a good idea to get someone else to proofread your work, a pair of fresh eyes can be key. If you’re proofreading your own work, here are three top tips to spot those mistakes:

1. Don’t rely on spell check. Even when words are spelt correctly, they may be being used incorrectly or be a simple typo (‘an’ instead of and’, ‘dairy’ not ‘diary’). For example spell check won’t pick up ‘What is there name?’ as it’s all spelt right, but it should be ‘What is their name?’.

2. Read aloud. You’re more likely to spot mistakes and awkward sentences if you read them out loud. If you stumble over the words, chances are your reader will too.

3. Check it twice (at least). You’ll do well to spot everything in just one proofreading session. There will be checks for consistency, cross referencing (page numbers etc.) and so on that you’ll need to check back over after the first run through.

Good luck!"

Tips from our team... providing amends to your designer

This week, Faith (our Business Director) shares some tips on how to provide amends and feedback on drafts of creative work.

"We know there's always going to be amends on creative drafts and we build in time to cover these of course!  But there's some simple, practical ways to make sure that your designers really understand what you mean, and rounds of amends are kept to a minimum. 

1. Think about three key areas: content, accuracy and design, when you're reviewing creative drafts. Ask:

Are all the written and visual elements that you expected to see in the draft included (as occasionally, images or lines of writing may be accidentally cut when being added to the draft)?

Are you completely happy with how the document reads?

Are you happy with how the images and graphical elements in your draft appear?

Are all contact details (telephone numbers, email addresses, web addresses etc) included in your draft are correct?

Are all figures (statistics, quantities etc) included in the draft correct?

Are all references and photography credits correct?

2. If you're marking up PDFs, try to use the correct markup tools; there are specific commenting tools for text deletions, replacements, insertions etc. Sticky notes should ideally be kept for general queries or design changes, as it can be difficult to locate exactly where in the text the amend is. There is helpful advice on the Adobe website: https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/acrobat/using/commenting-pdfs.html

3. If you're supplying replacement copy for any part of the document, please supply this as a typed version on email or word document and provide the page and paragraph number for each amend (so we’re clear about what we’re amending)

Super practical - but helps to speed the amends process up and get the final result ready for you much quicker!"

Happy amending! Faith 

DNS network

We met up with our peers in the DNS network at the Ecoavantis headquarters in Córdoba, Spain in May. 

The DNS is a network of agencies based in locations across Europe that are linked by our sustainable and ethical outlook. The latest meeting in May was an invaluable opportunity to meet with other like-minded agencies to share ideas, cross cultural experiences and innovative solutions in the surroundings of the historic city.  

You can find out more on the DNS website.

Creative Concern is on the move

After sixteen years in the Northern Quarter, we’re upping sticks and moving to a new office on Sackville Street. 

From 6th May 2019, our new address will be: 

Creative Concern 
Fourth Floor, Fairbairn Building 
72 Sackville Street
Manchester
M1 3NJ
Our phone number stays the same: 0161 236 0600

Please update your records and pass it on to anyone else you think might need to know – thanks!

And feel free to pop in and say hello – we’d love to see you.

 

Greater Manchester Green Summit

The Innovation Zone was one of three main breakout areas for the second Greater Manchester Green Summit. The area was co-ordinated by The Growth Company, the North West Business Leadership Team, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Creative Concern, with the opening panel chaired by Andy Burnham.

The objective was to engage business, academics, policy makers and other delegates in a creative dialogue to discuss innovation programmes for Greater Manchester to nurture in the immediate future. Professor Michael Shaver from the University of Manchester’s Henry Royce Institute delivered a keynote talk on the topic of plastic waste and material sustainability.

Following up from the Summit, we are co-creating a report that will chart our route to a zero carbon city, supported by the kind of innovation the city of Manchester is famous for.

Sustainability showcase

We were delighted to be commissioned by the Environment Agency to produce a series of short films showcasing best practice from around the world.

The films were featured as part of Manchester’s Green Summit and covered themes including natural environment, energy, green buildings and sustainable travel. The themes introduced the audience to a range of ambitious projects designed to encourage the audience to think big and take bold actions in Greater Manchester.

The Roundtable on Responsible Soy Association

The Roundtable on Responsible Soy Association (RTRS) is an internationally recognised organisation doing great work promoting the responsible production, processing and trading of soy from the farms of Brazil to the supermarkets of Europe. Creative Concern has been proudly working with RTRS for a number of years helping them communicate complex issues around the value of sustainable soy to their supply chain stakeholders across the globe – from major supermarkets and global agribusinesses to researchers and governmental organisations.

We are currently working with RTRS on their RT14 conference taking place in Utrecht, The Netherlands in June. This year we’re busy creating case studies, a promotional film, raising brand awareness through PR activity and supporting their first ever RTRS sustainability awards.

Each year the RTRS conference welcomes hundreds of senior industry delegates who take part in workshops, keynote speaker sessions and panels that help shape the strategic objectives of the whole soy industry as it moves towards a more sustainable future. This is a vital to create future security for the natural environment including the Amazon rainforest and The Cerrado tropical savanna.

For further information on RT14 or to attend the conference visit the RTRS website.

Merseytravel Arrive Happy

Over the last year and a half we’ve been working with Merseytravel on a grassroots walking and cycling campaign targeted at workers right across the Liverpool City Region. The aim of the Arrive Happy project has been to encourage people to change their travelling habits, whether for their daily commute or leisure journeys.

We’ve reached tens of thousands of people in that time through workshops, social media, viral videos and PR, creating a network of ambassadors who reinforce the core belief that a health commute is within everyone’s reach.

Whether getting off the bus a few stops early each day, cycling to work once a week or walking part of your journey home with a friend there are so many things people can do that will make them feel healthier and happier.

Arrive Happy has made the people of Liverpool City Region into the heroes of the campaign, reflecting a reality and a feeling of aspiration that is really changing the way people engage with their travel choices. Find out more on the Merseytravel website.