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tel: 07785 780569

 

The Leys, Woodlands, Roundwood Road,
Baildon, Shipley BD17 6SP
T: 01274 532715 - E: mick@cscommunicate.co.uk

Our clients range from a national hotel chain to stockbrokers, solicitors, manufacturing and small, owner businesses. Some are relatively new while other clients have been with us for more than 15 years! It is not always the obvious elements that make any project or relationship a success, which is why we provide this news page to highlight some general industry news together with some insights into projects we have recently completed.

 

It’s our responsibility to keep you informed

As with any industry, changes can happen quite rapidly at times. Non more so than corporate design, advertising and website development sectors that we have been involved with for many years. Hopefully, by returning to this page on a regular basis, we can keep you informed of some of those changes as they happen!

CSC News Amateur vs Professional

I have a beech hedge that runs down the full length of my garden. As well as being a feature to our house it is also home to a variety of interesting and beautiful wildlife. Every year it costs me £250 to commission a landscape gardener to trim and tidy. But times being as hard as they are, I bought a £25 set of garden shears and with much gusto, set on them like a psychotic Tasmanian Devil.

 

Amateur vs Professional is an age-old question that is particularly relevant now, as everything seems to be focused on ever cheaper and cheaper options. You only have to browse the web to find logo creation sites, cheap £5.00 per 1000 business cards and web shops offering £150 sites including hosting. Or you could get your son, wife, husband or that mate you know from the pub (who will seemingly do anything for a pint), to design a logo or build your business website for you.

 

So why pay for a professional? For the same reasons you wouldn’t ask your mate from the pub to sort your dodgy tooth, instead of visiting a professional and paying the dental charges. Designers have spent more time formulating colours, images, type and layout or producing a logo and corporate design, to make them presentable to the target audience to reflect the type of company you are and that is fitting for your business sector, than you can possibly imagine. They’ll take care to advise and help you to make sure you are getting the best quality, consistent material while creating a balance that will send a message of professionalism because first impressions do count.

 

Equally a website costing around £150 might be cheap and cheerful, but will it fulfill your needs? A good designer will use all their experience and knowledge to collate all the information, organise copy, source images and create any graphics. With this material they will focus on the client’s requirements and create a site that is attractive and informative, making sure that all visitors find what they need in your site without any hiccups. A good designer has been through all this, understands it and is there to help the client benefit from their experience, knowledge and professionalism!

 

Sometimes the attraction of cheaper options can be very powerful, but how many times do we end up spending more to get the job done right, correct the previous mistakes and avoid emails like the one below.

 

“Hi Mick, Thank you for trimming the Beach Hedge, you have worked so hard to get it right that I thought it was only polite for me to let you know (by email), a couple of issues I think could be improved on, for the next time. Before you started you did say you were going to give it a thorough trim, that has certainly been achieved but I did not think you also meant the resident wildlife too – it’s as deserted as a nuclear fallout zone. And, Denise our neighbor would also like to thank you as she found it refreshing to not have to walk all the way round to give us our undelivered parcels, she can now just pass them through the hedge. Through the same holes as all the passing perverts who like to have a quick peek at me sunbathing in the garden…

 

Love Kaz XXX

ps. I will pay for the gardener next time...!”
K Spencer, wife to Mick Spencer.

CSC News Infinite Stupidity

With some of the best promotional advertising across the whole nation, the BT Infinity campaign hooked me. And why not, with ultra fast broadband and a fixed price including unlimited calls, I’d be a fool to ignore such a deal. Because I’ve had bad dealings with BT in the past I did plenty of research, just to reduce any possible complications that may occur. This included using the BT online availability checker and even calling BT with a number of well thought out questions, all was good to go.

 

Needles to say it all went downhill from there. Just before the switch over from my existing supplier I received a call from BT saying it was not possible for me to have the said package (but they couldn’t tell me why). Then everything went off, no phone or broadband connection.

 

At the time it felt like a severe trauma to all my senses, displayed as nervous twitches and bouts of hysterical laughter. It is easy to see the funny side to it all now, especially when you summarise some of the bizarre events that occurred over the following 3 months:
• After holding for 50 mins on my mobile the BT operator said it will be cheaper to call back on the landline
• I reminded them that I have no connection, so they suggested I email them
• The first bill arrives
• Their sales representatives tried to sell me a slower broadband connection that was 20% more expensive
• I declined and was sent a £350 cancellation fee for my troubles
• Received a letter demanding payment
• My free BT wireless hub arrives
• Final demand letter saying pay within 5 days or risk termination of all services

 

Now all this BT nonsense has eventually died down and I am back with my original supplier, I know now my research had been very poor. If only my searches went as far as BT complaints sites, I would have stumbled upon several that have sections specifically related to BT casualties.


“We are sorry that we could not supply you with a service at this time, but please consider us in the future for any other services!”
BT Sales Representative.

CSC News Newsletter Feedback

The value of paper in hand has always been very satisfying for many people, especially with all the available content online, it is becoming quite rare to see quality printed material these days. And this is true for the Fyshe Horton Finney ‘Fyshe Focus Newsletter’, a share dealing company who are having fantastic feedback from all their clients.

 

Printed on quality silk paper it feels quite substantial to the touch, while the design and layout entices you to peruse each page before returning back to the cover to start your reading process. The 6 pages of financial and investment content start with an impressive and thought provoking cover image giving you greater insight to the main article. It then moves on to news articles, stock recommendations, fund reviews and investment solutions just enough information to keep investors informed of the latest financial hot picks.

 

We have been producing newsletters for Fyshe Horton Finney for over 6 years, year on year it has become ever more successful. This is due in no small part, to the tried and tested production pipeline, used to keep the newsletter time efficient and cost effective. The most time consuming element is the cover article image, apart from the obvious creative process, it usually requires some 3D modeling, texturing and photo re-touching.

 

But what is more interesting is the large number of complaints Fyshe Horton Finney received when they decided to drop an issue due to a company corporate design update. Many clients collect the newsletters and refer back to them at a later date, mainly to check the performances of older stock performances. The client had not anticipated so much response from this simple minor act, full testament to how vital, important and informative this wonderful little document is especially for regular communication with their clients.

 

“Just a quick email to inform you that I have not received my Fyshe Focus this month. I look forward to the said document as it informs me of many important facts and issues that help me make important financial decisions. Please send me a copy in the post as soon as you can...!”
Fyshe Horton Finney client.

CSC News 3D Power

In this digital era, we can easily forget some of the advances that have occurred over the last decade or two. For me the unsung hero is 3D. Not the 3D cinema with the embarrassing glasses experience but in all the everyday media we continually see around us.

 

Without the ability to create 3D models, the world would be a far less rich and colourful place to be. Movies would never be able to show the impossible and stretch our imagination beyond what would normally be unachievable with traditional methods. Some huge blockbusters like Toy Story, the first billion dollar 3D franchise made by the multi billion dollar Pixar, would never have existed. One of Pixar’s founding member was the late Steve Jobs of Apple fame, who saw the possibilities within 3D and eventually sold the company to Disney.

 

Not only is the super high quality of the 3D model and animation industry astounding, it also gives us the ability to place these models in real world environments, making it very hard to determine what is real and what is not. This exciting format took hold in other markets like video games, architecture/property development, product development, multimedia presentations or product placement for any advertising and marketing.

 

With this in mind, it did not take us long to develop the skills to be able to create super quality 3D models as a practical, quality alternative to photography. However, it was a huge step for some clients to commit to and they needed to see the results to believe the impossible was now genuinely possible. So we started to sneak 3D illustrations into newsletter cover articles, this gave us the ability to showcase some examples and then hopefully someone would bite.

 

One call, from Terebro Trenchless Systems, provided us with the ideal opportunity to solve their problem. How much retouching would be required to make some serious tunneling hardware look perfect for their new literature? Assuming of course, that suitable photographs could be produced. Our solution was to create models of all equipment in 3D and then we would have the flexibility to use the completed model in any position or environment and as many times as is required. Thus saving a huge amount of photography and retouching costs.

 

Since this we have completed a number of projects in 3D and look forward to more especially as it’s a very pleasing and satisfying environment to work in. The ability to create something using only a few reference points and deliver stunning results, in very little time and cost effectively, makes everyone a winner, Pixar, here we come…

 

“Not only does the 3D object look amazing, but I believe it to be better than the real thing, well done lads, the next pint is on me..!”
Adam Clarke (Managing Director), Terebro

CSC News More than just spit and polish

We are all so much more “web savvy” and aware than ever so it is important to keep your finger on the mouse! Tastes, styles and the way information is presented and searched for on the web changes quicker than ever. Many businesses think that just having a website or web presence is enough, job done! Don’t need to update it or refresh the content. How wrong can they be?

 

This was the dilemma facing VAK Hypnotherapy Practice. Queue design brief to totally revamp their website to have a cleaner more clinical visual style in keeping with an ever changing market place. Complete new copy after many hours rewriting and honing to ensure succinct but informative content is also complemented by new images and a fresh layout.

 

Our next big task was to convince the client that traffic has to be driven to the site. There’s no point having a presence if nobody knows about it. After formatting the site with all the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) tools and developing a strategic Adword structure, we then had to convince the client that new videos for his YouTube presence was not only a huge benefit but a definite must! He needed to improve the content of the videos, something more than just a talking head, to increase viewing and visitor rates.

 

Incredibly, YouTube has 490 million unique users worldwide per month (as of February 2011), who rack up an estimated 92 billion page views each month. This all adds to the complicated mix to make the website work harder. We have just completed all video and sound recording for the 3 videos as we post this article, just the editing, YouTube listing and upload schedules to finalise.

The result is a delighted client and a website that is head and shoulders above the rest in its field. In addition, with the inclusion of Google Analytics, he can now monitor the increased traffic. A great success..!

 

“Hi guys, just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for all your determined pestering. I can gladly say you were right and all your hard work makes me proud to be associated with you both.”

Steve Unsworth, Hypnotherapy and NLP Practitioner.

CSC News Travelodge Rocks

As we complete another oddball, mega-quick, turn round promotional aid, we reflect on the many varied and interesting items we’ve produced for Travelodge. We are also holding our breath in anticipation for the next urgent installment to add to the ever-growing list.

 

One of the first “Seaside Launch” promotions, for Eastbourne Travelodge, resulted in the creation of a huge stick of seaside rock that needed 13 people to hold it! The relief on our faces was quite apparent when the 3 metre long, pink, stick of rock arrived on time, in one piece, straight and where it should be. More promotional fun was had when buying vast amounts of plant seeds – the Delphinium Bicolour Cloud – and repacking them, which now seemed easy on reflection. Damn they were small and fiddly, required a lot of patience by our seed packing team!

 

By far the most demanding promotion has been sourcing and buying several thousand packets of chewing gum for the London hotels launch. We were shocked to discover that, at the time, there was only one supplier in the UK. It was easier to print the cards and attach sticks of chewing gum inside than it was to convince Wrigleys that it was a genuine promotional give-away and we weren’t selling their highly prized branded product from a stall on Leeds Market.

 

It makes supplying and branding mugs, t-shirts, balloons, chocolates, party cannons, rosettes, trophies, duvets, pillowcases and pyjamas dull by comparison. Still the Lady Godiva promotion should have been much more rewarding than the false “comedy boobs” that we provided previously!

 

“As ever CS Communicate to the rescue! Brilliant, thank you!"
Sharday Wells, PR Executive, Travelodge.