How to create an eco-friendly office

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With climate change high on the news agenda, and reports showing that there has been a 53% reduction in single use plastic in the last year*, we are more mindful of our energy consumption and contribution to the carbon footprint than ever before. But what steps are UK businesses taking to become more eco-friendly? 

Whether you are already making steps to become a zero waste office, or are a startup that wants to play its part in reducing emissions, the UK’s biggest independent tech retailer Ebuyer has five top tips on simple changes every office can introduce to create a greener office.


Be mindful of paper use

Excessive paper use is something that most offices will be guilty of, but is one of the quickest changes to implement. It is becoming more common for offices to implement a zero printing policy to keep the paper waste down, but asking employees to be mindful of what they are printing and reserving it for important documents only should see a drastic reduction in the amount of paper used each week. 

Another easy way to reduce paper consumption is by ensuring employees are not printing personal documents in the workplace – recent research conducted by Ebuyer found that over three-quarters (77%) of office workers regularly print personal documents while at work, with an average of thirteen pages being printed per person, per month – a substantial amount of paper use that can easily be avoided. 

Update the recycling options 

Recycling isn’t just for the home, and offices should be set up to let workers easily recycle – whether that be plastic bottles from a lunchtime meal deal, to completed documents that are ready to be shredded. Setting up seperate bins in communal places such as kitchens and near printers will encourage employees to think about what they are throwing away. For workplaces where workers can make their own lunch, providing employees with cutlery, plates and mugs will help reduce the amount of single use plastic that needs to be thrown away each week.    

Update your technology 

Technology is a necessity for many businesses, but simple changes to technology and habits can reduce your carbon footprint. New computers and monitors are more energy efficient than machines that are a few years old, so ensure you are monitoring this and replacing where necessary. If your technology is being updated, many businesses now offer the option to safely recycle your old appliances in line with the WEEE regulations.  

Standby mode is one of the most wasteful uses of energy, so make sure that when they are not in use, machines are shut down completely and multi-plug adapters are switched off by the mains. Not only will this ensure power use around the office is minimal, but it will save you money on your energy costs in the long run. 

Make the most of the environment

If your office or work space allows it, making the most of the environment can not only help reduce energy emissions, but can create a better working environment. Ensure artificial lighting is turned off in meeting rooms and spaces with plenty of natural light, and encourage employees to open windows to manage the room temperature, rather than relying on the air conditioning. 

Go green with office supplies 

From 100% recycled paper to eco-friendly cleaning products, making smart choices when it comes to your office supplies can make a huge difference to the environmental impact of your office. The majority of common stationery, from Post-it Notes to mouse mats, now have a sustainable option, so spending some time choosing the best option for you will pay off in the long run – both environmentally and financially. 

To find out more about Ebuyer’s business offering, visit: https://www.ebuyer.com/office-stationery 

How to create a content marketing calendar

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How to create a content marketing calendar

It’s easy to find stories about businesses that jumped on the content marketing bandwagon, then jumped straight off. They created a handful of 500-word posts, added them to their blog, promoted them on social, and kept it going for a few months while they waited for the promised inbound queries to arrive.

But nothing happened. 

Why didn’t it work? Lack of focus, lack of topic discipline, lack of targeting, and lack of a plan.

To avoid this trap the marketing director at Datadial, Matthew Sawyer, has mapped out where you should be going and how you can get there using a content marketing calendar.

A content or editorial calendar is an essential piece in the content marketing process. It’s a core management tool to keep execution on track. But it’s also robust enough to provide much needed structure when a full-scale strategy isn’t ready. So, here are six essential steps to creating a content marketing calendar.

Step 1: Ideation 

If you have a well-defined strategy this will be easier as a lot of the information you need will already be defined. If not, there are some key questions to answer about the type of content that fits your brand and target customer.

·         What is your brand’s personality – and is it different online? 

·         How will content reflect that personality – or, will you diverge from it in order to address a specific or sensitive issue?

·         What pain points, questions, or issues are prospective customers looking for help with?

·         Where are the trusted sources of information in your industry, and where can you add value by adding your brand’s voice?

 

Step 2: Create the calendar

A screen full of blank rows and columns can be daunting. Start by populating the calendar with things you know are already agreed, and consider adding industry milestones like trade events, annual studies, key dates or commemorative days that can influence the timing and content of what you create.

That can include webinars, industry events, press releases, big branded content pieces like eBooks or industry reports & conferences you’re already confirmed for.

Here’s a sample of what it might look like:

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Map out 1-3 months if the broader strategy is still being defined. Go for six months/two quarters if you have more activity already in the pipeline.

Step 3: Leave some blank spaces

A content calendar is by definition a proactive tool. So, don’t forget to leave space for the ad hoc or reactive opportunities that relevant news and emerging trends can create. Perhaps it’s a huge merger between competitors, maybe it’s a consumer trend you want to have a point-of-view on. The weekly news cycle can throw up all sorts of opportunities for content around topics that are trending now.

Step 4: Observe and measure

Keep a close eye on content analytics. The calendar will be a living and breathing document, it’s fine to make course corrections. If something isn’t engaging readers, edit it or pull it. If one topic or asset is generating loads of interest, go back to brainstorming and think of new content executions that can maximise that audience. Keep another close eye on the competition. They might be doing something right and there’s no shame in taking inspiration from elsewhere.

Step 5: Finalizing the calendar

Ultimately you want to have a mix of content lengths and formats to accommodate the preferences of different readers. Put the time and effort into at least one well-researched and original long-form blog post. That means one-piece between 1,200 and 2,000 words, alongside 1-2 shorter blog posts as more reactive content. Even though people want shorter pieces they can digest quickly, they’re also willing to stick with a longer article if they find it valuable.

Create monthly visual content too via infographics, statistics or video.  Not only is this format highly share-able on social, in terms of volume they receive more downloads, embeds & engagement overall.

Finally, publish a quarterly whitepaper. Whitepapers and eBooks are a great way to delve even deeper into a subject you’ve covered in one of your long-form blog posts. As they are weighty and in-depth, they make great assets for content upgrades and lead generation campaigns. They also provide a brilliant format for content recycling. If you’ve written 5 or 6 long form blog posts on a similar subject, gather them together as chapters of an eBook, then post it to your website.


Step 6: Don’t just publish, distribute

After each piece of new content goes live, promote it on social media, in your email newsletter, in PPC campaigns, or if the asset is rich enough like an eBook – create a dedicated landing page and use it to gather leads. Plug the ‘break’ dates and distribution channels for each piece of content into the calendar as well, to ensure the promotion piece isn’t missed out.

After that it’s a matter of measuring the effectiveness of each asset you’ve created. The KPIs for should be set according to the stage in the sales cycle the content is meant to influence. That can range from unique user sessions for blog posts meant to fill the top of the funnel, to leads generated, and sales converted.

Revisit the calendar regularly to make sure that everything is on track. A content marketing calendar can be an incredibly useful tool – making your job easier and demonstrating the thought process behind your work. Use it to full advantage.

This piece was brought to you by the experts at https://www.datadial.net

Young homeless people to be encouraged into the creative industry with new ‘ready’ initiative

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Young homeless people to be encouraged into the creative industry with new ‘ready’ initiative

Young homeless people are to be encouraged into the creative industry by The READY Initiative – a ground-breaking, 15-month salaried apprenticeship for young people who have experienced homelessness and are more suited to a creative career.

More than 100,000 young people ask for help with homelessness each year in the UK, according to Centrepoint [1]. And unsurprisingly, finding employment is tough. Often, the jobs they find are manual or service-led roles. Yet research suggests many of these individuals find it hard to stay in such roles as they are highly creative. Which is where The READY Initiative comes in.

The READY Initiative has been developed by leading marketing services agency RAPP UK, in partnership with youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, education specialist Creative Pioneers, and homelessness experts at Cardiff University. READY aims to find and develop these disadvantaged individuals by giving them the skills and aptitude to flourish and grow in any creative workplace, not just advertising.

RAPP UK Chief Creative Officer Al Mackie said, “The READY Initiative is all about standing up for individuality and we’re pleased to say that READY has been designed to find talent that is easily overlooked, through circumstances beyond their own control.” 

The salaried apprenticeship runs for 15 months, during which time participants will work at RAPP UK on live briefs and receive the ongoing support of a bespoke mentor network, an agency starting salary and the same benefits as other full-time employees. 

The successful apprentice will also be enrolled on the Creative Pioneers Junior Content Producer course. This involves spending a day each week learning about art direction, copywriting, video production, social media, blogging, and content creation skills.

Centrepoint, which supports young people who have experience of homelessness, has helped to recruit candidates and will offer them ongoing support, as well as support and advice to RAPP UK.  

A brief to test candidates’ creative potential was set by RAPP UK and shortlisted candidates have been taken forward to spend time in the agency. After three-weeks, one candidate will be taken forward to the apprenticeship scheme whilst the remaining candidates will receive career coaching and support.

Employability and skills expert Sadie Odeogberin from Centrepoint, explains, “The challenge for the Government and third sector organisations is to bridge the gap between the needs of employers and goals and aspirations of young people. We’re excited to be part of The READY Initiative which reflects this need. We’d love to see more creative companies getting involved with these young people.”

Mackie added, “We hope The READY Initiative will encourage other agencies to get out there and take meaningful action around recruitment, meaningful action around the industry’s work force and meaningful action to be truly inclusive.”

RAPP UK, Centrepoint and Creative Pioneers believe The READY Initiative should be an open platform and is inviting anyone interested in learning more about how they can replicate it in their own company to contact them.


[1] Centrepoint’s Youth Homelessness Databank estimates that last year 103,000 16-24 year-olds asked their council for help because they were homeless or at risk. 

3 Trends for 2020 in the Marketing, Communications and Events Industry

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By Patrick Howells MD at The fresh Group – Award winning global Insight led Events & Communications agency.

This year has been quite pivotal at The Fresh Group. We have won 4 industry awards so far, as well as secured several key long-term contracts, even in the face of Brexit concerns. But like any UK business leader at the moment, I am asking myself – what will 2020 bring to the industry? And what trends can we prepare for to remain ahead of the curve.

Looking at the state of the industry, it is no secret that the retail and automotive industries will continue to face great difficulty. Not to mention the closure of many high street bank branches and the recent collapse of Thomas Cook, it is fair to say 2019 has been tough and 2020 seems to be heading in the same direction.

This said, it’s not all doom and gloom. Below are the three areas the fresh team and I have predicted will grow within the Marketing, Communications and Events Service industry, followed by how we as a business have prepared to capitalise on them.

1)       Experiential Marketing

It truly is a minefield for marketers at the moment when tracking the success of online for campaigns, as the measurability of these channels can be challenged when you consider the reality of fake followers, fake reporting, bots, bad sites, changes in algorithms etc… Getting cut-through and actually proving it is harder than ever. This is why the solution for 2020 lies in the physical world.

Experiential Marketing will still have a very strong place for brands and businesses in 2020, especially when we consider the amazing technological advancements such as voice activation, AR, VR and 4D sensory applications that enable brands to elevate those experiences, these coupled with the introduction of 5G speeds means that the sky will be the limit in terms of interactivity and connectivity at an event. The ability to connect with people, human to human, will still be the one sure way to make a meaningful connection with customers. The art will be how this is then followed up, reflected and measured in the online world.

2)       Internal Comms takes the spotlight

Businesses are recognising that internal communications departments can make a huge difference to the bottom line, as well as making the difference when a company has to adapt to change, in an era where change is now the norm. Internal communication departments are investing in upskilling teams to be better content creators, in order to keep employees engaged.

The amount of communication and social tools companies can use to engage their employees has never been so diverse and clients are demanding that communication agencies understand that one size doesn’t fit all, internal communication has to be bespoke and considered for each audience. We anticipate clients will want internal communications agencies to be more creative and approach their employee communication campaigns in the same way branding and marketing agencies approach external campaigns. Which is why we have continued to invest in comms planning and geared up to apply content marketing tactics to future internal communication campaigns for our clients in 2020.

3)            Clients want more for their money

Many economic pressures have impacted marketing and events budgets, meaning that there is no room for any project that lacks a real purpose for brands and businesses. Agencies that can offer clients more than a few core services will be able to adapt and provide better support for clients whose budgets are being challenged. Many agencies just like ours have pivoted their focus slightly in response to this trend in order to stay adaptable. For example, we have recruited particular skill sets and refined our creative processes, as well as our delivery models, to make sure we provide real value for our clients. We have also ramped up our service offering alongside the events and experiential services by creating fresh’s strategic comms and social content planning departments, closing the gap between the offline and the online experience as much as possible for our clients.

This insight led strategy has allowed clients to recognise the benefits of longer-term partnerships with us here at fresh, reflected in the multiple year contracts we’ve secured this year. As these three areas continue to trend, we also expect to see Marketing, Events and Internal Comms departments across businesses of all sizes becoming more streamlined which will also be reflected in the briefs they provide agencies. Any leading marketers, communicators and event planners that prepare for this wholistic requirement, especially in terms of skill and creativity levels in their individual teams, the better for 2020.

Elements of Web Design That Are Crucial to Ensuring Repeat Traffic

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In the modern-day, several website essentials can assist in growing a start-up business. Over the years, digitalisation has revolutionised a number of different industries. Additionally, for organisations that are looking to find their feet within increasingly competitive markets, having a well-designed online platform can make a huge difference. With this in mind, we’re going to outline some of the most crucial elements of website design that contribute to ensuring repeat traffic.

A Consistent Theme

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While many factors contribute to the creation of a successful website, having a clear theme mustn’t be overlooked. First opinions are hard to change, and, as a result, making a positive impact is vital as consumers will form an impression within seconds of accessing any website. Although simplicity is advised in other markets, 66 per cent of people would prefer a well-designed platform over something nondescript. A consistent theme will determine a website’s aesthetics, and, if chosen correctly, will hold visitor interests.

In recent times, appropriately selected website themes have contributed to the growth of many digital markets, including online casinos. Award-winning platforms such as Mr Green implement various stylistic elements into their live betting and casino opportunities, along with also developing contemporary slot titles that follow specific themes. Starburst, for example, has been created with a space-orientated theme, while Book of Ra delves into the mysterious world of ancient Egypt – not only in its gameplay but also its overall design – in seeking to attract and retain the interests of consumers.

Colour and Font Choice

Even though it may be an overlooked aspect of web design, typography is at the heart of any successful website. While selecting a vast array of different fonts isn’t advisable, there must be enough to ensure that the numerous sections are easily differentiated. Much like when selecting a theme, too much variation can result in webpages lacking purpose. Crucially, the chosen font, like colour, must evoke positive emotions within the visitor to increase the chances of generating repeat traffic.

Additionally, choosing the right colour for any font is also vital. After selecting the theme, ensuring that the text is readable and contrasts any background colours plays a big role in increasingly readability. Moreover, along with being unique to businesses, colours such as blue, green, violet and yellow create a calming environment that is more enjoyable to prospective customers.

User-Friendly Focus

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For those looking to maximise web traffic, having a user-friendly site is essential. According to a recent study, 88 per cent of Americans experience negative feelings including annoyance and disrespect when websites perform poorly. As mentioned above, first impressions count for a lot, and that makes minimal load time pivotal. Components should fully load in approximately five seconds – any longer than that, and users are likely to focus their attentions elsewhere.

Of course, digital platforms should be created with the users in mind, and with people of different abilities now online, navigation needs to be as simple as possible across multiple devices. According to research by Google, 40 per cent of users who struggle to access a mobile website will go to a competitor’s site instead. Ultimately, not only does a user-friendly focus attract new customers, but it also plays a vital role in retaining existing visitors.

Poor Websites Can Drive Users to Competitors

Inadequate designs and complicated layouts can be the difference between success and failure. However, for each of the elements mentioned, ensuring that they are carefully integrated, regularly updated, and suitably structured can be the catalyst to thrive in the digital era.

World Textile Leader Deploys Aryaka to Initiate Network Transformation in China

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Aryaka today announced that Coats, the world’s leading industrial thread business, has selected Aryaka to streamline the performance of their business applications across its China sites.

Headquartered in the UK and with 19,000 employees across 50 countries, Coats has already achieved a 300% improvement in employee user experience since deploying Aryaka networking services. The company is addressing the challenges of connecting its locations in China to its European offices by replacing its legacy, underperforming MPLS solution with Aryaka’s global managed connectivity delivered as a service.

At a time when existing Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) contracts came up for renewal, IT teams and executives at Coats agreed its existing MPLS solution was incapable of fully and reliably supporting new global applications such as Office 365, which is used by Coats across all of its worldwide sites.

“User collaboration tools are very important for Coats, as is our suite of business tools hosted online. China is a critical region for us and we needed a solution that could guarantee user satisfaction when accessing our online tools. Aryaka was the only provider that was able to optimise and compress the traffic to our critical applications both in the cloud and on hosted datacentre providing a simple design and fully managed service,” said Tania Sanchez, Head of Global Architecture, Coats.

The project was completed in partnership with Aryaka’s local German partner and official Microsoft Cloud Solution Partner, GAB Enterprise IT Solutions, which introduced Aryaka’s solution to Coats and managed the communication between the two companies during implementation.

Brought in to overcome the lack of reliability provided by existing MPLS technology, Aryaka’s global connectivity solution was given an inadvertent test run prior to the official project completion, when Coats’ MPLS network had performance issues in 2018. This saw all Coats’ network traffic automatically routed over Aryaka’s private, managed SD-WAN network with significantly improved performance compared to their legacy connections.

Coats thread is used to create more than 450 million pairs of shoes and more than 100 million car airbags every year, as well as support specialist textiles and clothing for the medical, health, food production, and personal protection industries.

“Integration with the mission-critical applications we rely on every day keeps our business running smoothly, and Aryaka’s services ensure employees in China have the bandwidth, speed, and stability they need to conduct business on a daily basis,” added Sanchez.

Aryaka supported Coats in bringing its Singapore data centre online, an additional site to be connected to the global network. Aryaka also assisted the manufacturer with integrating Zscaler’s Cloud Security service to provide enterprise-grade firewall protection to cloud services. Last year, Aryaka announced a partnership to integrate Zscaler Cloud Security into its WAN platform.

“Compatibility is critical,” Sanchez continued, “and Aryaka’s integrated security solution helped us seamlessly secure our networks, bringing the bandwidth to connect with cloud and cyber tools such as Azure and ZScaler.”

This critical work to Coats’ global network infrastructure signals completion of the first roll-out phase of new networking services which not only includes their Singapore location, but also offices in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and the European data centre in Vienna.

“Coats has a long, rich history that includes being the thread of choice for Thomas Edison in his experiments to invent the lightbulb and being appointed the official thread supplier to the Royal Shakespeare Company. There’s no reason companies with this longevity should be held back by legacy infrastructure incapable of supporting business objectives in the 21st century” said Ian McEwan, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Aryaka.

“We are proud to be the wide- area network of choice for Coats and helping them embark on their digital transformation with a seamless global network delivered as a service.”

Deployed by hundreds of global enterprises, Aryaka is an industry leader in managed WAN solutions, delivering improved and predictable performance for cloud and on-premise applications by routing enterprise traffic through privately owned Points of Presence (PoPs). Aryaka’s global network solutions have quickly become the only viable MPLS replacement solution for enterprises requiring alternatives to legacy WAN infrastructures.

Rising Stars in Marketing

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Since their inception, The Individual Agency have focused on clear targets, truly differentiated brands, relevant communications and ongoing measurement to transform their clients’ brands and overall businesses.

The Individual Agency creates engaging brands and communications for a range of clients, both big and small, across a vast range of sectors. Priding themselves on their ethos of only working in a particular sector once, for one client; given how immersed they become in a brand and the business overall, the team at The Individual Agency feel it is unethical to then work with a competitor at any point in future. Michelle begins by going into further detail about the areas the team at The Individual Agency specialises within to ensure they deliver a personalised service to their clients.

“Here at The Individual Agency, we work with likeminded people/ brands not just as many people as we can; volume is not what we’re about. We don’t just build brands, we take them to heart; we aim to tell an engaging story that makes sure our clients’ brands are seen as individual and stand out from the competitive set.

“At the heart of everything we do is our ‘Brand Build’; a logical, straightforward process that was designed to build engaging brands from the ground up. We believe you get out of your brand what you put in, and putting solid foundations in place will provide a strong platform to build upon, for all future brand communications. Once we complete the Brand Build, we then take full responsibility for all marketing communications, working in house for a number of clients to ensure KPIs are achieved.”
Over the years, the team at The Individual Agency have built an impressive portfolio, accumulating clients from a diverse range of sectors. From working with biosafety cabinets (bakerco.com) through to baths (trojan-baths. co.uk), freezepops (mr-freezepops. co.uk) to bedding (littleslumbers. co.uk), the firm have ensured that their approach to each client and project has remained the same. How the team are able to achieve this, is something that Michelle is keen to explain.

“Firstly, we need to truly understand their ‘targets’ – both internally and externally, what profit are we trying to drive for the business but then who is our target audience and what are they looking for. Once we have all of the information we require to derive insights etc., we can then establish the ‘brand’ and complete differentiation to the rest of the market, along with the messaging that we know will resonate with the target audiences.

“With clear targets and a truly differentiated brand, we can then look to communicate to best effect – we always write a 12 month tactical marketing plan so that the business knows exactly what is happening and when, the cost associated and who is responsible – it makes for easy implementation. The final aspect to our approach is measurement. Monthly reporting on agreed KPIs is crucial and something that is discussed from the outset with all clients.”
Enabling the firm to deliver such a high-standard of service, is the talented, inventive and committed team which forms the backbone of The Individual Agency. When discussing the internal culture, Michelle reveals the significant role the team play in the overall success of the firm.

“The team at The Individual Agency are the fundamental reason we achieve everything that we do. Each and every person is
completely dedicated to delivering a fantastic service, above and beyond what is ever expected from a marketing and design agency. As a team, we are small but perfectly formed (there’s currently 10 of us) – we are all of a senior level and challenge one another constantly to come up with new creative ideas and try new ways of working. Everybody has an opinion and everybody is immersed in the sectors in which we operate…this can be a real mental challenge when the industries are so, so different but it’s a challenge we all relish as it means we are constantly learning too. The respect and trust we have for one another shows in the work we produce, as it is always a collaborative approach to any brief.”

Over the years the team at The Individual Agency have worked on numerous successful projects, many of which have been recognised and awarded. The firm found success recently in Corporate Vision’s 2019 Marketing, PR & Design Awards where they were righteously awarded the title Most Client-Focused Branding Agency 2019 – United Kingdom. Working closely with both companies and brands who are viewed as ‘rising stars’, those with the desire and ability to challenge the market leaders and the norms of their particular sector, with the ambition to drive change quickly and without bureaucracy, as Michelle informs us.
“Our proven approach gets results which is why we win all new business through word of mouth only, relying on those for who we have delivered to recommend us to like-minded businesses.

“All client testimonials say the same – we understand their brand better than they do and treat it as if it were our own, giving ourselves strict targets and raising the profile of the brand both internally and externally.”
Looking ahead to what the future holds, the team at The Individual Agency will continue to deliver an exceptional level of service to their clients which not only meet their requirements but also surpass their expectations. Bringing the inter
view to a close, Michelle signs off by highlighting the main goal she has for the team at The Individual Agency.
“Ultimately, we love what we do, who we get to work with and the brands we get to bring to life, so in 2019 we will continue to do the same!”

Contact: Michelle Edgar-Parsons Company: The Individual Agency

Address: Blayds House, Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, LS1 4AD

Telephone: 0113 242 3712 Email: [email protected]

Web Address: www.theindividualagency.com

Search Specialists of Choice

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Aqueous Digital are a Digital Marketing agency specialising in Search Engine Marketing. Following their success in CV’s 2019 Marketing, PR & Design Awards, we profile the firm and caught up with Jonathan Guy who provided us with a glimpse into the inner workings of the innovative marketing agency.

Established in 2011, Aqueous Digital are a specialist Search Engine Marketing agency with a focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click).

Over the years, the team at Aqueous Digital have worked with a broad range of customers from a range of sectors, but in recent years they have begun to focus more on Professional services, e-commerce and shopping, and Manufacturing. The team’s approach to working with new customers, is through a range of networking, telemarketing and direct approach. However, many of their clients buy into them because of one word; TRUST. “When the meet us and understand why we do what we do, they start to trust that we can deliver the results they are looking for” said Jonathan.

Going into further detail about the services the firm provides, Jonathan continues by telling us about Aqueous Digital’s overall mission, and the steps the team takes to ensure that they not only meet the requirements set by their clients, but also surpass them.

“Here at Aqueous Digital, our company mission statement is ‘To be the Search Specialists of choice’ as we want people to recognise us as being outstanding in that field. We don’t claim to be a firm that does absolutely everything for everyone; we’d rather specialise and be very good at the things we do as we believe that this gives us, and our customers, a competitive advantage.”

Enabling the firm to deliver these exceptional services, is the creative, talented and hard-working team who form the backbone of Aqueous Digital. When discussing the internal culture, Jonathan is keen to highlight the significant role the team play in the overall success of the firm.

“Everything we do is based on the skills, knowledge and development of our people. Our company vision is ‘Developing people’s expertise to help our customers succeed’ as we recognise that investment we make in the people who work for us leads to a better return for our customers. As such, we spend large sums of money on training and development every year.” Given the success their customers have it seems that the results of this strategy speaks for itself, with most customers staying with the firm for over three years and some having been with them since their inception.

Looking ahead to what the future holds, the team at Aqueous Digital will continue to deliver their exceptional services which has seen them become an award winning Agency, with their most recent recognition of being selected in Corporate Vision’s 2019 Marketing, PR & Design Awards where they were awarded the title 2019’s Recognised Leaders in SEO – Northwest England.

Bringing the interview to a close, Jonathan signs off by revealing the exciting plans which lie in the pipeline for the firm, touching on how far the company has grown in the last few years.


“Our stated plan in 2016 was to be a £1m turnover firm by 2020 and we have growth plans in place to achieve that. We were supported in January 2018 by an investment from the Northern Powerhouse fund and this has helped us to move offices, double our staff numbers and double our turnover in 2018. In 2019, we are looking to double again and are on track to deliver that result.”

Company: Aqueous Digital

Address: Oak House, Sutton Quays Business Park, Runcorn, Cheshire, United Kingdom, WA7 3EH

Telephone: +44 1928 566 777

Web Address: www.aqueous-digital.co.uk

Get creative — How DRAM can solve your rendering woes

By Jim Jardine, director of DRAM product marketing, Crucial

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Waiting — it’s one of the most frustrating things when you’re on a deadline or in a rush. For creators, this is a common occurrence and an unfortunate ‘part of the job’.

Every creator, whether you’re a videographer, filmmaker or graphic designer, loses precious time when waiting for design programmes to load. Whether you’re editing on After Effects or Adobe Premiere Pro CC, design applications demand a lot from your computer and without the proper hardware, you’ll regularly be sitting and waiting, wasting time.

Transferring large files, editing and rendering are everyday processes that creators are tasked with, but if lag times and delays occur regularly, then your productivity will suffer. The solution to this issue is not as difficult or expensive as you might think. By maxing out your system’s memory, you can overcome the natural bottlenecks and speed up your workflow. But, how do you know what technology your PC requires and how will it make your working life easier?

As an example, let’s focus on two main design applications, Premiere Pro CC and After Effects.

Speed up your workflow – After Effects

When working in After Effects, waiting is a common problem. As soon as you boot up the app, it often takes several minutes to load followed by large chunks of time waiting in the render queue, particularly if you have 8GB or less of memory installed.

If you’re multiprocessing, previewing files, applying effects, using real-time video playback or creating motion graphics, which I’m sure you do on a daily basis, then you are relying on your computer’s memory to process these tasks. Memory enables features that hold and recall frames and compositions and with more memory, you can cache bigger frames for longer amounts of time.

Similarly, After Effects’ powerful multiprocessing feature runs using computer memory (DRAM). As it uses so much power, it’s important to assign enough DRAM when rendering large sequences. Without enough physical memory, the application will perform slowly and the process will take far longer than needed.

So, how much memory do you need to create a seamless operation? It’s likely you’ll need 64GB of memory or as much as your system will allow. Maxing out your memory will enable you to multitask between applications faster and allow you to render and process quicker. Both PCs and Macs have an easy way to find out how much DRAM your computer is using. On a PC system, press CTRL + Shift + Esc; on a Mac system click the Apple Icon > About this Mac, this will open an information box detailing the basic details about your hardware. By knowing the amount of memory you’re currently using, you can ensure that you have the right amount for your creative applications to run faster and better.

Boost your creativity – Premiere Pro CC

Like After Effects, rendering in Premiere Pro CC is one of the most demanding processes for your computer. Importing files from camera to computer and editing in the application requires a good chunk of memory to operate efficiently.

If you are rendering large files, it’s easy to drain your DRAM and go into something called, ‘virtual memory’. This is where your computer starts treating your storage drive like memory, which will slow your system even more.

For creators, multitasking is key. Switching between Premiere Pro CC, client emails, testing background music and moving between clips are often everyday occurrences. To have these applications open all at once and working effectively, a sufficient amount of DRAM is needed. We recommend 32GB of memory for Premiere Pro CC; however, if your system can support more, then think about investing in the maximum amount of memory your system can support. By doing this you’ll prevent any jumpy playback or dropped frames, allowing you to work faster.

As a creator, you need your computer to perform at its peak. However, worrying about the specs of your computer is probably the last thing you want to think about when deadlines are looming. By utilising a simple System Scanner that is guaranteed to find compatible memory solutions to speed up your computer, it will help you to get productive and boost your creativity.

So, don’t spend precious minutes waiting around for slow technology, think about upgrading your computer’s hardware to speed up each step in the design and video workflow process.

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Signallamp Retains Sage Growth Partners for Strategic Marketing Communications Services

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Sage Growth Partners (SGP), a Baltimore-based healthcare research, strategy, and marketing firm, today announced that it has been retained by chronic care management provider Signallamp Health as its agency of record. As part of the ongoing relationship, SGP will deliver strategic content development, communications, and lead generation services.

Based in Scranton, PA, Signallamp Health works as an extension of the physician practice to manage chronically ill patients through a combination of technology and human connection. By layering dedicated nurse resources alongside its platform, Signallamp drives enhanced care, engagement, and better health outcomes. The company has engaged SGP to tell its value story using multiple mediums, including videos, case studies, and an economic impact calculator. SGP will also provide wrap-around integrated marketing services such as social media, public relations, and sales engine support, leveraging these assets to generate demand and build brand awareness.

“We looked at a lot of options for a marketing partner but struggled to find anyone with a meaningful understanding of the healthcare delivery system, which is critical to our value proposition,” said Drew Kearney, Signallamp co-founder. “Since we began our engagement with Sage, we have felt validated in our decision and the team’s capabilities, and we look forward to meaningful results over the next year.”

“Signallamp Health is at a critical inflection point in its growth and needs to capitalize on the track record of success and trustworthiness it has built,” said Boh Hatter, SGP CMO and General Manager, Marketing. “Signallamp is well positioned to capitalize on the growth and implementation of critical value-based initiatives and programs. Our multi-disciplinary team will take an integrated approach to help them achieve that goal and secure a market-leading position.”

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Sterling urges companies to take social media screening more seriously after BBC debate controversy

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Global leader of background and identity services, Sterling, has called for greater awareness around the importance of social media background checks following widespread criticism faced by the BBC over its vetting process after it emerged that a guest on its leadership debate show had allegedly shared anti-Semitic and sexist tweets.

The guest, Abdullah Patel, has subsequently been sacked after tweets came to light from a previously inactive Twitter profile in the aftermath of Tuesday’s debate. In response to the controversy, the BBC commented that: “had we been aware of the views he expressed he would not have been selected.”

The selection was made after the BBC asked people to submit questions via email or an online form, with the call-out made via social media and on air across several BBC platforms. The questions were picked by the production team based on subject areas, with those they judged to be the strongest making the final selection. Selectors also aimed for a geographical spread of questions and a variety of ages and backgrounds.

Commenting on the story, Steve Smith, Managing Director EMEA at Sterling, said:

“With 45 million people in the UK using social media, screening these platforms is fast becoming a crucial part of any successful hiring or vetting program, and essential for reducing risk. In fact, statistics show that 43% of hiring managers have uncovered materials online that caused them not to hire someone”

“Of course, while a more robust social media background screening policy would have gone a long way to avoiding this particular scandal, in the media, vetting those lined up for interviews can be tricky – particularly given the urgency with which many of these interviews take place. However, this case clearly demonstrates a need to strengthen the interviewee vetting process across all media channels. However, while these checks can offer a huge amount of insight on applicants, for many, the etiquette and ethics of performing this type of screening is still ambiguous. As long as this continues, this issue is bound to persist”

‘’Ultimately, companies must be absolutely certain of what checks they can perform, and work to develop a comprehensive and consistent background screening policy. With this type of plan in place, the BBC and other media outlets can better prevent these same errors occurring in the future.”