Twitter Updates

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

NEWS RELEASE: Inspirational Stan’s resilience turns adversity into opportunity

Pendle man sets up SIMCAM remote camera business after stroke

A PENDLE man has launched an innovative new remote camera business after having a stroke two years ago.

Stan Glover had led an active and healthy life, having previously been a market manager, but he suffered a massive stroke in July 2008. He was told he would probably never regain his mobility, but plucky Stan, 58, decided to prove doctors wrong and teach himself to walk again.

During this time, Stan was terrified of falling over and not being able to get up again without assistance. His wife worried about even going to the shops and leaving Stan alone, especially after one occasion when he had almost fallen into the fire.

However, the experience actually inspired and motivated Stan, who started researching solutions to the problem. That was when SIMCAM came about - a small, portable, alarm remote camera powered by battery or mains and fitted with a SIM card, allowing it to call mobile phones or send emails. The ingenious solution costs a fraction of orthodox CCTV systems and comes with a remote key fob, meaning that if a disabled user falls it activates the alarm/camera.

“Not only can my wife hear everything the camera hears but she can see everything the camera sees. Also a motion detector is incorporated into it, so they can be used for security purposes too – unauthorised entry of a property protected by a SIMCAM will generate a call to a mobile phone.”

“This allows everything that’s going on to be heard and sends very clear images of the intruder. The image is sent with no time delay, and if the first contact’s phone is turned off, it can call up to ten other numbers,” said Stan.

“I’m determined to make a success of it, but in all honesty, I’d be happy if it only prevented one disabled person from being stuck on the floor for hours after a fall,” he added.

SIMCAM has now spawned several versions – a portable one which is ideal for car security and one with a smoke sensor. Stan has even made SIM-CAMS available on a lease system and can provide a completely independent monitoring service.

“The whole process has given me an impetus. I was determined not to let the stroke beat me and SIMCAMS have been a massive part of that, both in terms of keeping me safe and keeping me active. It’s been a real Phoenix from the flames story – almost literally,” joked Stan.

You can read more about SIMCAM at www.simcams.co.uk

---ENDS---

Notes to Editors:

For further information, comment and photographs contact: Julian Jordan at BrandSpankin’ Ltd

t: 01282 878 301 m: +44 7912 786 947 e: julian@brandspankin.co.uk

About SIMCAMS

SIMCAMS was founded by Stan Glover. The business provides a GSM camera solution that helps people with disabilities and reassures their loved ones. Simcam is the first totally wireless remote camera that can alert you wherever you are in the world.
SIMCAM can alert you of any accidental fall, smoke or unauthorised entry in your own home by calling/text message. It also sends images of anything the camera sees to your mobile phone and e-mail – even in total darkness.

SIMCAM can monitor any movement, perfect for checking on baby or loved one. You can also check by listening in, on YOUR MOBILE, from anywhere in the world, whenever you choose. SIMCAM connects to remote smoke detectors and also door or window sensors too. SIMCAM works in your home, workplace car/caravan/van, inside trucks/wagons, in total darkness. SIMCAM is delivered from England completely set up ready to work, complete with recharger and TWO remote control units, that not only turn SIMCAM on/off but also include an emergency button which activates camera, to alert up to TEN different mobile numbers.

http://www.simcams.co.uk/

Thursday, 2 December 2010

NEWS RELEASE: SIMCAMS gives PR brief to Brandspankin’

NEWS RELEASE: 02.12.2010
SIMCAMS gives PR brief to Brandspankin’

SIMCAMS, the North-west based GSM remote camera business has this week announced that it has appointed Pendle agency Brandspankin’ to manage its PR and social media launch campaign.

The business specialises in remote monitoring cameras that are used in a variety of contexts including monitoring elderly or disabled relatives, as well as home and vehicle security.

The business is the branchild of Stan Glover, 58, himself disabled following a stroke. Stan ignored medical opinion and through sheer determination taught himself to walk again. Stan still has mobility issues though and this heightened his concern that people who are old or disabled are vulnerable when alone – falls whilst unattended can leave them unable to raise the alarm or get help. For that reason, Stan conducted research and SIMCAMS was the result.

Stan commented: “My initial motivation was to assist people in circumstances like my own – eventually I want to set up a social enterprise to help provide monitoring services for people with disabilities. However, in the meantime, our solution is proving affordable and popular as a home or vehicle security solution. I hope to see the security side of the business ultimately help me fund the social enterprise.”

“SIMCAMS can alert relatives if somebody has had an accidental fall, if there is smoke in the house or if there’s been an unauthorised entry into your home. It sends images of anything the camera sees to your mobile phone and e-mail. It can work anywhere in the world and it will alert up to ten different mobile numbers. “

“The next step is to get our message out there, so we’ve appointed Brandspankin’ as they have national media experience, but they also have a specialism in social media, which will help us target specific groups where we think our solution will be particularly valuable.”

Julian Jordan, MD of Brandspankin’, said: “Stan’s story and his determination is inspirational. The launch of SIMCAMS will mean that there is an affordable solution that will give a great deal of reassurance to the families of people with disabilities. So, we’re delighted to be working with SIMCAMS and we look forward to significantly raising their profile.”

---ENDS---
Notes to Editors:
For further information, comment and photographs contact: Julian Jordan at BrandSpankin’ Ltd
t: 01282 878 301 m: +44 7912 786 947 e: julian@brandspankin.co.uk

About SIMCAMS
SIMCAMS was founded by Stan Glover. The business provides a GSM camera solution that helps people with disabilities and reassures their loved ones. Simcam is the first totally wireless remote camera that can alert you wherever you are in the world.
SIMCAM can alert you of any accidental fall, smoke or unauthorised entry in your own home by calling/text message. It also sends images of anything the camera sees to your mobile phone and e-mail – even in total darkness.
SIMCAM can monitor any movement, perfect for checking on baby or loved one. You can also check by listening in, on YOUR MOBILE, from anywhere in the world, whenever you choose. SIMCAM connects to remote smoke detectors and also door or window sensors too. SIMCAM works in your home, workplace car/caravan/van, inside trucks/wagons, in total darkness. SIMCAM is delivered from England completely set up ready to work, complete with recharger and TWO remote control units, that not only turn SIMCAM on/off but also include an emergency button which activates camera, to alert up to TEN different mobile numbers. Or our local monitoring service

About Brand Spankin’
BrandSpankin’ is a creative marketing and public relations business based in East Lancashire, offering high quality, affordable marketing services in a friendly and efficient manner. We service businesses from small start-ups to larger enterprises. We have the experience and scale to help you build awareness and win new business. From media relations to graphic design and print, websites and digital marketing - from contract and trade publishing to advertising, our no-nonsense marketing will help your business stand out from the crowd.
To find out more visit www.brandspankin.co.uk

Thursday, 25 November 2010

NEWS RELEASE: Arts organisation relocates to Burnley’s Weavers’ Triangle

NEWS RELEASE: 24/11/2010
Mid Pennine Arts opens new Neptune Street HQ

MID PENNINE Arts, the regional arts charity has this week completed a move to new offices in the heart of Burnley’s historic Weavers’ Triangle. The organisation’s arrival coincides with fresh moves to kick-start the long-awaited rebirth of the unique heritage area.

Mid Pennine Arts has built a reputation for innovative art projects that have attracted international attention to Pennine Lancashire – most notably the Panopticons including Burnley’s Singing Ringing Tree, Pendle’s Atom, Rossendale’s Halo and Blackburn’s Colourfields. The organisation is especially committed to celebrating the unique heritage of the area, and sees the canalside Weaver’s Triangle as a prime location for doing this.

Mid Pennine Arts aims to break out of the traditional gallery setting, and to take creative projects directly to a wider audience. The new office base is shared with green energy providers the Low Carbon Energy Company in a new partnership for both parties. The base will also provide a platform for creative work with partner organisations, schools and community groups, to start to breathe life back into a townscape that has long lain dormant.

Nick Hunt, Creative Director for Mid Pennine Arts, said: “The Weavers’ Triangle is hugely important for the future of Burnley and Pennine Lancashire. It celebrates our industrial past, and points to a brighter future. This move reinforces our commitment to highlighting our heritage with bold, contemporary art. Already this autumn we have launched the Contemporary Heritage programme in partnership with Towneley Hall, and this new series of big, cutting edge art commissions will soon provide a fresh view of other key heritage venues across Pennine Lancashire. Alongside those projects, moving into the Weavers’ Triangle makes perfect sense for Mid Pennine Arts and we are very excited about the future, as we reach out to new audiences and aim to put art at the heart of Burnley’s renaissance.”

“Mid Pennine Arts has been based at Burnley Mechanics since the opening of the building. This has been a long and happy association and we are very grateful to our partners at Burnley Borough Council for all their support. Now we want to work with the Council in breathing new life into the Weavers’ Triangle. We also look forward to a ground-breaking new partnership with the Low Carbon Energy Company.”

Mike Cook, Burnley Council’s Director of Regeneration and Housing, said: “This is good news for Mid Pennine Arts, for the Weavers’ Triangle, and for Burnley. It’s an important statement of confidence in the area’s future and in the aspirations we and our partners have for genuine transformation of the town’s historic industrial heart. On behalf of the Council, I’d like to wish them the very best in their new home.”

The arrival of Mid Pennine Arts coincides with moves by Burnley Borough Council to attract private sector developers to take on key sites clustered around the Sandygate development area. The canalside open space opposite Slater Terrace has been agreed as a future new public space, with an exciting new design selected through the recent Pennine Lancashire Squared design competition. This month the Council is ‘greening’ the area that will become Sandygate Square with an attractive temporary treatment to provide a glimpse of this brighter future.

In spite of economic gloom, these initiatives show the future starting to take shape for the Weavers’ Triangle. Mid Pennine Arts, working alongside partners like the Borough Council and the Prince’s Charities, is aiming to lead the way.

--- ENDS ---

Notes to Editors

If you require further information, photography or comment, please call Julian Jordan from BrandSpankin’ on 01282 878 301 or email julian@brandspankin.co.uk

www.midpenninearts.org.uk
www.brandspankin.co.uk

About Mid Pennine Arts

Mid Pennine Arts is an independent arts charity that brings art, people and places together to transform perceptions and change lives.

Although we operate primarily in Pennine Lancashire, we also deliver projects across the North of England. We create and deliver high quality artistic programmes that integrate Visual Arts, Creative Learning and Public Realm.

Created as a partnership, we develop our most successful work through partnerships, networks and creative collaborations. Our work is people-centred, people-friendly, celebrates diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. We embody a spirit of discovery and build a dimension of creative learning into all our projects. We always strive for the best possible creative results and the most ambitious impacts. We aim to break new ground in the content, context and outcomes of our work.

Mid Pennine Arts charity registration number 250642

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Pendle Riding for the Disabled Association (Fairweather Riders Project)

Your help in supporting this good cause would be greatly appreciated!

VOTING LINES are NOW OPEN !!!

The Fairweather Riders Project voting phone number is;

CALL to VOTE:- 08716268831

Please forward this number to all your contacts, family and friends.
Calls cost 10p from a landline, mobiles vary but are still low call rates.

You can vote 10 times from each phone

Every vote counts…….Last year, a group lost by less than a hundred votes, don’t let that happen to us!

Voting lines are now open until midnight tonight

Don’t forget to watch it on ITV GRANADA REPORTS at 6pm TONIGHT !

Pendle Riding for the Disabled Association (Fairweather Riders Project)

http://www.pendlerda.co.uk

Monday, 1 November 2010

BusinessTalk FM

Our MD, Julian Jordan has done a couple of interviews with BusinessTalk FM - one about the implications of government spending cuts for small businesses in the North West and one about Marketing, Media Relations and Social Media.

If you want to hear what he has to say, listen here:- http://bit.ly/aHt6RH

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Latest testimonials from attendees of our PR and Social Media Marketing course

Martin Harvey – MD, Harvey Environmental

I really didn't want to take 2 days away from my corporate life as it’s a cost to the business. But when I was there, it appealed to me because – whilst I knew people did social media, I thought it was just people tinkering around and not really for business use. So I did have reservations about the training.

However, the concepts were explained very well. I’m not completely technophobic, but I am not Bill Gate's programming mate either! I understood everything that was explained and there were quite a few “Oh my God!” moments on the course and the scales fell from my eyes.

It’s made me more confident that we can manage our own Social Media Marketing and PR Strategy. In fact that is what we’re doing now. Since the training, we have been using tools like hootsuite which have saved us lot of time. We’ve also been using Google analytics, which has meant we have been able to more closely monitor our website.

The training has helped our business save/make money and I can put a cash price to that. We used to advertise with Yell and I was never sure if this was money well spend and now, due to the course, we have cancelled that therefore saving us £6500, which is not a one-off saving, it’s an ongoing saving.

Lee Hezzlewood - MD, Secure thinking

"I personally attended Brandspankin’s 'PR and Social Media Marketing' course and found it to be a breath of fresh air. The course was informative, educational and also practical in its approach and focussed on a real world strategy which we have now implemented within our business. "

Sunday, 24 October 2010

NEWS RELEASE: Mid Pennine Arts appoints BrandSpankin’ for PR brief

MPA seeking to raise profile nationally and regionally!

MID PENNINE Arts has announced that it has appointed Pendle-based marketing and PR business BrandSpankin’ to promote its work both regionally and nationally.

The arts charity has recently embarked upon an ambitious programme of contemporary arts entitled “Contemporary Heritage” and has drafted in PR expertise in order to nationally promote Pennine Lancashire as an “arts destination”. Additionally, Mid Pennine Arts is determined to raise its profile across the region, raising awareness of its work in areas such as visual arts, creative learning and public realm.

Commenting on the appointment, Mid Pennine Arts Business Director Rob Carder, said: “In BrandSpankin’ we have appointed a Pennine Lancashire-based business that has a genuine commitment to the arts. Their media relations experience will be invaluable in building national awareness of who we are and what we do, as we continue to bring art, people and places together to transform perceptions and change lives.”

BrandSpankin’s Managing Director, Julian Jordan added: “We are delighted to be working with Mid Pennine Arts, as we share their commitment to transform perceptions of Pennine Lancashire. The launch of “Contemporary Heritage” places cutting edge contemporary art in completely new contexts and settings – and we’re determined to see it and Mid Pennine Arts become recognised nationally. Their exemplary work means that art previously only available in urban centres can now be seen against the unrivalled beauty of a Pennine Lancashire backdrop.”

The recent launch of “Contemporary Heritage” has seen Mid Pennine Arts link up with a series of heritage venues across Pennine Lancashire. The first of these projects is entitled “Not Forgotten” featuring a series of installations at Burnley’s Towneley Hall by internationally renowned contemporary artist Geraldine Pilgrim.


- ENDS -

Notes to Editors
If you require further information, please call Julian Jordan from BrandSpankin’ on 01282 878 301 or email julian@brandspankin.co.uk
www.midpenninearts.org.uk
www.brandspankin.co.uk

About Mid Pennine Arts

Mid Pennine Arts is an independent arts charity that brings art, people and places together to transform perceptions and lives.

Although we operate primarily in Pennine Lancashire; we are also currently delivering projects across the North of England. We are a driving force for the arts in Pennine Lancashire, recognised nationally and internationally for devising and delivering exemplary integrated arts programmes that inspire people and unlock their aspirations. We bring art, people and places together to transform perceptions and change lives. Created as a partnership, we develop our most successful work through partnerships, networks and creative collaborations. Our work is people-centred, people-friendly, celebrates diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. We embody a spirit of discovery and build a dimension of creative learning into all our projects. We always strive for the best possible creative results and the most ambitious impacts. We aim to break new ground in the content, context and outcomes of our work.

We create and deliver high quality artistic programmes that integrate Visual Arts, Creative Learning and Public Realm.

Mid Pennine Arts Charity registration number 250642

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

An old business adage adapted for the internet era...

An old boss of mine used to frequently berate the senior managers and directors of the business with the old adage “turnover is for vanity, profit is for sanity.” He used to miss off the next bit which goes...”and cash is king!”.

I often wondered about that. But after all, the business in question had a £500million turnover and was then part of a group that was listed on the FTSE 100. In those circumstances, where the group is swimming in money, working capital isn’t as much of a pressing concern as it is when you run your own business or work in an SME, so the “cash is king” bit was missed off.

Anyway, the thought occurred to me whilst I was looking at Google analytics this morning that the phrase could be reworked for the internet age - and it applies to web traffic. The sentiment remains pretty similar.

I always want to drive more traffic to websites, but is that always a good thing? Would you like a million visitors to your company website per month that then did nothing? Would it be preferable to have less visitors, but gain some sort of tangible response from more of them? And, would it not be best of all if those website visitors then made contact and became paying customers?

So with those questions in mind and an onus on quality instead of quantity, here is our update on the old adage:

“Volume is for vanity, response is for sanity and conversion is king!”

Taking this view, we’ve recently had some great successes with client websites – quickly seeing our clients’ sites pay for themselves and deliver a healthy return on investment. If you’re considering building a website for your business and you want to discuss our approach, give us a call on 01282 878 301.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

BrandSpankin's October PR & Social Media Marketing Course

We’re pleased to announce that we have confirmed dates for our October PR and social media marketing course. Why not call us now – despite the spending cuts we can still get your place on the course FULLY FUNDED if your business has five or more employees. (Even if you have less than five people, call us anyway – we may still be able to help)

The course will run on consecutive Mondays – the 11th and 18th October from 10am to 4pm. The course will be held at Pendle Enterprise Haven, in Nelson Lancashire.

The BrandSpankin' PR and social media marketing course trains businesses to:-

- Formulate key messages properly
- Write a compelling, "media-ready" press release
- Formulate an objectives-based Comms/Marketing plan that locks marketing activity into your Business Plan
- Understand the requirements of journalists and publication editors
- Use a series of freely available tools to monitor and measure the success of campaigns
- Understand how to optimise and best utilise your presence on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Foursquare.
- Use a variety of online PR resources to "self-publish" news releases
- Use blogging platforms to "self-publish"
- Massively enhance your online presence - so-called "Digital Asset Optimisation"
- Significantly increase traffic to your website
- Significantly increase return on investment

Attendees also:-

- Have a q/a session with a business journalist
- Have a one-2-one follow up from the course
- Receive presentations from each module of the course
- Receive a "starter-pack" of journalist data and the means to build this for themselves.
- Receive regular updates on new developments that will assist you to stay ahead of your competitors.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Five top tips for SME online marketing

Firstly, you shouldn’t need convincing that online marketing is necessary. Consumers are online and looking for local goods and services right now – so don’t miss out. Marketing your business online can give you measurable results – you can see where you spent your marketing budget and accurately track where the leads are coming from and what return they are bringing you. It’s relatively low-cost (even free in some instances) and it can deliver a high yield. So, what’s not to like?

Here’s a few things to consider...

1) Take control of your website

You need your website to do a job for you. It shouldn’t just be a brochure. Yes, it should look good and read well, but it should also build awareness for your business, generate leads and (where possible) make money! This process is a lot easier if you can operate the site yourself. If your site has a Content Management System (CMS) you’re laughing. If not, you’ve got a problem. A CMS allows you to update your site through a web browser – which is a lot less hassle than waiting for your web company to update it and charge you for the privilege!

If your business is a start up, there are alternatives if you’re operating on a budget - you could just run a blog until you’ve got the budget for a proper site. Have a look at some of the free blogging resources out there like Blogger.com or Posterous. If you want to be a bit more ambitious, have a look at WordPress, a free publishing platform. If you can spare the time and effort you can build yourself a free site – one client of ours, Ghost Town Records, did exactly this and the result is pretty impressive.

2) Drive traffic to your site

If your website is going to work hard it needs people looking at it – so don’t just wait for this to happen, make it happen. You can pay to do this using Google AdWords – so-called pay-per-click. You only pay when someone finds your ad on search engine listings and clicks through. You can qualify your ad by making it “geo-targeted”. In other words, you can specify the geographic area where you want people to see your ads – why pay to advertise to an area where you don’t want to sell?

However, you can also drive traffic to your site for free using social media sites. Every time you update your blog or your website – post links on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Similarly if you got a new offer, let people know – include a link to the offer page on your site. Social media gives you an opportunity to be seen to add value, offer advice and get conversational. Just yesterday a member of the BrandSpankin’ team happened to tweet that her killer heels had lived up to their name and she could do with a foot massage – she got a direct message back from a business called Happy Feet with a link to their site. She contacted them and was offered a free sample! That’s an example of excellent “conversational” social media marketing in action. And suffice to say, BrandSpankin’s high heeled Diva has posted it all over the place and let all her friends know!

3) Build a local list

It’s pretty easy to organise a list of contacts isn’t it? You could even get people to sign up to it on your web site. When you’re at events if you get someone’s card, politely ask if it’s OK to send information through to them. At its most basic you can use social media tools like Twitter to stay in touch. But why not start to send out e-shots to your list? There are free tools out there that you can use to do this, such as Mail Chimp. Not only can you manage a professional looking e-shot for free, you even get to analyse the results as it tells you who opened your e-shot and who clicked through. With that information you can then start to schedule a series of follow up calls and convert some of that interest into business.

4) Get on Google Maps

If you go to Google.com/places you can put your business on Google maps – meaning people conducting a local search will see you business and your location, plus they can click through to your website! Many Google searches show local listings and this is a good way to get your business “above the scroll”.

5) Optimisation

Search engine optimisation (SEO) can be a costly and complicated exercise, but when done properly it will bear significant results. A basic way to enhance your SEO (if you have a CMS) is to ensure that the text within your site contains keywords that your customers and prospects are likely to use when looking for the product or service you sell. You can research high volume search terms by using this tool –

http://bit.ly/KeywordIdeas

This approach will provide some very basic assistance – if you want to explore SEO much more thoroughly, give us a call. (01282 878 301)

However, there are other forms of optimisation you should consider – simply making your business more visible and “findable” will help you to get a return on your digital marketing investment – this is sometimes called Digital Asset Optimisation. We urge small businesses to consider as many methods as possible to create this online visibility. So make sure you’re engaged in the social media conversation – have a Facebook fan page, have a LinkedIn company profile, use a blog, tweet to your followers, use free PR resources (such as PR web or release-news) to publish you press releases, set up a Youtube channel etc, etc.

There are loads of free resources available - and they can be managed in a way that isn’t too time consuming. The opportunity they present is to significantly raise you profile, generate increased traffic to your, website, increase your lead generation, and to generate more revenue.

And, if you’re still not convinced that you can do all this yourself, give us a call as we can provide PR and Social Media Marketing training – and if you’re from a North West business, we can probably get it fully funded for you.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

NEWS RELEASE: Contemporary Heritage: a new way of seeing Towneley Hall and Park

Mid Pennine Arts and Towneley Hall partner on the first Contemporary Heritage commission

BURNLEY’s Towneley Hall and Park is gearing up for the imminent launch of Contemporary Heritage featuring the work of nationally acclaimed artist Geraldine Pilgrim.

Not Forgotten, which opens on Saturday 11th September, forms part of Contemporary Heritage, a Mid Pennine Arts partnership programme inspired by the historic venues that Pennine Lancashire is home to.

Rebecca Alexander Mid Pennine Arts’ Visual Arts and Projects Officer, said: “Pennine Lancashire has a wealth of sites, from Castles to Towers, all rich with stories and history. We are working with our partner venues to commission artists to create new work in response to these stunning locations.”

“We are passionate about the cultural heritage we have in Pennine Lancashire and the opportunity Contemporary Heritage offers visitors to experience major works of art outside a city environment by artists of national and international standing.”

Not Forgotten is the latest work of artist Geraldine Pilgrim, whose installations reveal memories and atmospheres, as well as the history of the space. It is something of a coup for Pennine Lancashire that the first commission of this flagship project has been awarded to Geraldine Pilgrim, a highly acclaimed artist whose previous work has been commissioned by organisations as varied as Girl Guides UK, English Heritage, The National Review of Live Art Festival, The National Trust and Liverpool’s Bluecoat Gallery.

The Not Forgotten installation, commissioned for Towneley Hall and Park, has been inspired by a distinctive portrait of John and Mary Towneley and their seven sons and seven daughters. The work will enable people to experience Towneley in new ways and will cast light on elements of the history of the location that present a compelling meditation on memory and loss.

Mid Pennine Arts have been working with Mike Townend, Towneley’s Senior Curator to develop the programme. Mike said: “We’re looking at new ways of using our collections – so to have provided the inspiration for a nationally recognised contemporary artist is fantastic. We really hope this will engage people and take contemporary art to a new audience.”

“People will begin to see Towneley in new ways - with installations in both the grounds and the Hall. You can stand in a window at Towneley and look out at the installation in the landscape and it gives the place a different perspective. We call it ‘Looking in: looking out’. “

Mid Pennine Arts Creative Director Nick Hunt, said: “Towneley are great partners and we are really excited that Contemporary Heritage is set to launch at Towneley. It’s a really fitting location for Geraldine Pilgrim’s installations and I’m sure Not Forgotten will prove to be extremely engaging and memorable.”

He added: “This marks the latest step for Mid Pennine Arts’ ambitions to see Pennine Lancashire become an arts, culture and heritage destination. Mid Pennine Arts bring art, people and places together to transform perceptions and change lives.”

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

BrandSpankin PR & Social Media Marketing Courses

Our next course starts on Monday 6th September and concludes on Monday 13th September. We are now taking bookings for our October course. The normal cost is £500 per attendee, but North West businesses can still get places fully funded

The BrandSpankin’ PR and social media marketing course trains businesses to:-

- Formulate key messages properly
- Write a compelling, “media-ready” press release
- Formulate an objectives-based Comms/Marketing plan that locks marketing activity into their Business Plan
- Understand the requirements of journalists and publication editors
- Use a series of freely available tools to monitor and measure the success of their campaigns
- Understand how to optimise and best utilise their presence on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Foursquare.
- Use a variety of online PR resources to self-publish their news releases
- Use blogging platforms to "self-publish"
- Massively enhance their online presence – so-called “Digital Asset Optimisation”
- Significantly increase traffic to their website
- Significantly increase return on investment

Attendees also:-

- Have a q/a session with a business journalist
- Have a one-2-one follow up from the course
- Receive presentations from each module of the course
- Receive a “starter-pack” of journalist data and the means to build this for themselves.
- Receive regular updates on new developments that will assist you to stay ahead of your competitors.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Ten reasons why North West small businesses should use social media marketing

1. It’s free - and that’s a pretty good price point compared to many other ways to promote your business.

2. It’s measurable – so you can see how effective it is at helping you to build awareness and generate leads. This then helps you to focus your efforts into the areas or channels that are most productive for you.

3. It presents your business as forward thinking. Much of your target market is becoming savvy and uses social media as a part of daily life. You will be more relevant and in-step with your potential customers and you can engage in an instant dialogue with them. Globally, Facebook now has over 500 million users – that’s the equivalent of the world’s 3rd biggest country and you’ve got an opportunity to market to them for free.

4. The tone of social media marketing can’t be too ‘salesy’ or ‘shouty’ – it’s about adding value, sharing knowledge or providing a credible commentary. Small businesses are naturally really good at this – they win business and retain it by building relationships. This approach lends itself well to the dialogue based style of social media marketing.

5. Social media will generate additional traffic to your website. By updating sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with posts linking back to your site, you’ll create additional traffic to your site from people who have a specific interest in what you’re doing. Social bookmarking sites like Digg, Stumbleupon and Slashdot will also generate traffic to your website if you frequently write articles and blog posts.

6. Your social media work can build inbound links which in turn supports your search engine optimisation (SEO), i.e. the way your site achieves a high ranking in search engine listings. Many social media sites use so-called NOFOLLOW tags that limit the outbound link value of posts made on their sites. Nevertheless, many leading social media sites allow DOFOLLOW tags including Slashdot, Digg, Furl, Mixx and FriendFeed.

7. Social media will help you to integrate all your marketing and PR activity – and this has great results in terms of your search engine rankings. Search engines such as Google and Microsoft Bing are increasingly interested in indexing and ranking posts and other information from social media sites. Videos from popular internet sites like YouTube can also be optimised for indexing by the major search engines – they also make great viral marketing (check out “Will it Blend” on Youtube – their iPhone blending stunt has had 8.7 million hits).

8. Social Media helps to keep you front of mind with your friends and contacts. It reminds them about what you do and means that they can either to use your services or act as an advocate for your business and refer you to one of their friends or contacts.

9. Setting up a company profile on a site like LinkedIn provides a great opportunity for you to regularly post updates on your activities, as well as important news and trends in your industry, allowing you to position your business as experts, “business champions”, “consumer champions”, or “community champions”.

10. Setting up a blog can provide you with a “destination” at which you can direct your social media work. If you use a technology like Blogger (which is free!) you can even get some free code to integrate your blog into your company website. This means you can efficiently direct traffic to your website to promote things like your latest offer, press releases or market intelligence.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

NEWS RELEASE: Mid Pennine Arts brings Contemporary Heritage to Pennine Lancashire

Mid Pennine Arts moves beyond the gallery to celebrate Pennine Lancashire’s heritage

MID PENNINE Arts has announced the launch of a new programme of high-profile contemporary art, featuring commissions of new work sited at spectacular locations around some of Pennine Lancashire’s many beautiful heritage venues.

Contemporary Heritage’s first installation is set to be on show at Towneley Hall, Burnley for a year from 11th September 2010. The launch date has been chosen to coincide with the Heritage Open Days national campaign (Thursday 9 – Sunday 12 September 2010), which celebrates fantastic architecture and culture by offering FREE access to properties that normally charge for admission. (Towneley Hall offers free entrance for Burnley residents at any time).

Contemporary Heritage is a partnership project with Arts Council England and Lancashire County Council. It will celebrate the unique elements of heritage sites across Pennine Lancashire. Mid Pennine Arts will commission artists of national and international standing to create new works in response to the history, stories, architecture, or collections of Pennine Lancashire venues. The artworks will connect visitors to the past of the venues and provide what organisers are describing as “a new way of seeing” the history we often take for granted.

Contemporary Heritage sees the Mid Pennine Arts move from a gallery based programme in a single location, to an ambitious vision taking in venues throughout Pennine Lancashire. The project will make a significant contribution to raising the profile of Pennine Lancashire as a cultural destination for heritage attractions and outstanding contemporary site-specific art.

Mid Pennine Arts Creative Director Nick Hunt said: “We invite everyone who supported the Mid Pennine Gallery to join us on this new adventure. From September 2010, we will use the whole of Pennine Lancashire as our gallery, and in doing so will highlight some of our best assets. We believe that this bold, new work will provide a terrific counterpoint to some of our heritage treasures, and will attract a new, wider audience to explore the splendours of Pennine Lancashire.”

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors
If you require further information, images or would like to interview Nick Hunt, Creative Director or Rebecca Keating, Visual Arts and Projects Officer from Mid Pennine Arts please call Julian Jordan from BrandSpankin’ on 01282 878 301 or email julian@brandspankin.co.uk

http://www.midpenninearts.org.uk



About Mid Pennine Arts

Mid Pennine Arts is an independent Pennine Lancashire arts development charity which brings art, people and places together to transform perceptions and lives.
Although we operate primarily in Pennine Lancashire; we are also currently delivering projects in Todmorden, Preston, Lancaster and Wyre. We provide a strategic overview of the arts and work in partnership with local service providers and regeneration organisations to develop best practice in arts consultation projects. We have a diverse range of projects at any one time and work with a large network of high quality, independent artists.
We have an education department that works extensively with all the primary, secondary and further education establishments in Pennine Lancashire.

Mid Pennine Arts Charity registration number 250642

Monday, 19 July 2010

East Lancs businesses reaping huge benefits from social networking

NEWS RELEASE: 19.07.2010

EAST Lancs-based businesses have been ahead of the national picture when it comes to adopting social media to promote themselves, according to a local businessman.

Julian Jordan, MD of Pendle marketing and PR business, BrandSpankin’ has been running training courses for businesses to show them how to use PR and social media to enhance their marketing efforts at little or no cost – and with over 50 businesses having attended the courses this year, over half have come from the East Lancashire area.

“When it comes to using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to promote themselves, East Lancs businesses are definitely early adopters,” said Julian. “We’re also finding that many local businesses are benefitting from using blogs and Youtube channels to enhance their more traditional approaches to marketing.”

Prior to setting up BrandSpankin’ in Pendle, Julian managed marketing and media relations for telecoms businesses in London and Manchester, and he thinks that whilst these sorts of bigger businesses are missing a trick, small and regional businesses are adopting social media techniques to market themselves very cheaply, whilst being able to measure the effects and successes of their campaigns.

“In the current climate, social media is great for small businesses because it’s free and effective. It’s much more about having a dialogue with customers and prospects, than shouting your message at them. This is why I think it works really well for a lot of East Lancs based small businesses, as they have always traded on the basis of giving a good service and building a relationship with customers, so the tone of social media really suits them.”

-Ends-

Saturday, 17 July 2010

A few social media marketing tools for you to try

We're constantly on the lookout for new ways to monitor and evaluate media relations and social media work to enhance the "PR and Social Media Marketing Course" we run for small businesses.

There are an increasing number of really good free services, so here's a few for you to have a go at.

http://www.pickanews.com – this is a free online monitoring tool that picks up any print coverage you win. You can search it using key terms or even set up email alerts. It’s got its limitations because you can’t drag PDFs of your coverage off the site – but at least you know when you’ve featured in the “Heckmondwike Herald”, and it’s free!

http://www.socialmention.com – this is a great tool as it picks up online coverage, but also any mentions you might get on social media sites too. It’s like Google Alerts for social media!

http://www.twoolr.com – This is one for those of you that are seriously into twitter. It’s a monitoring tool that allows you to see who retweets you most frequently, amongst other things.

If you discover any new tools yourself, let us know! And if you're considering using social media as part of your business' marketing, why not give us a call on 01282 878 301 to find out about the PR and Social Media Marketing courses we run in East Lancashire? If your business is based in the North West we can help you to get your place fully funded!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

August PR & Social Media Marketing Course

We've just confirmed dates for our August PR and Social Media Marketing course. Why not get in touch with us to see how you can get your place fully funded? Call us on 01282 878 301.

The course will run from 10am until 4pm on consecutive Tuesdays - the 3rd and 10th of August. It costs £500 per attendee, but if you're a North West based business with 5 or more employees, we should be able to help you get the course fully funded.

The course will enable you to:-

- establish your key messages
- write a compelling "media ready" press release
- formulate an easy to manage marketing communications plan
- understand how to measure and monitor your work for free
- get to grips with marketing you business via social media

You will:-

- experience a q/a session with a journalist
- get publication/journalist data to distribute your press release
- win positive media coverage (!!!) to build awareness of your business, its offerings and values
- generate more leads

Don't just take our word for it - here's what some recent attendees have to say...

"The atmosphere on the course was relaxed and friendly. I learned how to write and distribute strong press releases - and monitor coverage. Since the course we’ve had stories in the Nelson Leader, Lancashire Telegraph, Bolton Evening News - plus online coverage. The social media elements have helped with lead generation, so we’ve seen a real return. Overall was thrilled with the course and better still it was fully funded by Business Link!"

Victoria Evans - Office Manager, Uno Coffee, Nelson


“Great course, can’t wait to put it all into practice”

Tracey Taylforth - Marketing Manager, Hillendale Group, Nelson


“Brandspankin’s training has helped us get to grips with PR and social media. We got our first item of coverage before the course had even finished”

Tracey Humphries - Practitioner, Vitality+, Ramsbottom


“Thanks to BrandSpankin’, we’ve now won coverage in business and
regional media – and we’ve been in The Daily Telegraph”

Andy Gott - MD, MobileBroadbandSupermarket.co.uk, Manchester

Friday, 25 June 2010

ReclaimedBricks.com pays for itself in a fortnight!

Two weeks ago we launched a new website for our client ReclaimedBricks.com. The website generated its first leads within the first hour of going live and within 48 hours had generated a significant order. Today it’s pulled in an order that’s paid for the site!

At BrandSpankin’ our remit is to help our clients build awareness, generate leads and make more money – and what better example of our philosophy in action than the success of ReclaimedBricks.com.

Besides the fact that the ReclaimedBricks.com website looks great, we’ve done quite a bit of search engine optimisation work (SEO), so the website already features highly on Google for searches such as “Reclaimed Bricks”, ”Victorian Bricks” and ”Old Bricks”. Our aim is to build on this good start and use PR and social media marketing to keep building awareness and generating those valuable inbound links!

That way, our client will see a very significant return on their investment and we’ll have built a website that is more than just an electronic brochure – it’s a highly profitable sales channel!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

ReclaimedBricks.com

We went live last week with the new site we've just completed for Reclaimed Bricks and we're delighted with the results.

The site looks great - high quality photography always helps - but more to the point, it is performing really well. It's number one in Google for the search query "reclaimed bricks" as you'd expect, but it's already above the scroll on page one for "old bricks" and "Victorian Bricks". "Handmade bricks" is on page two at the moment but we'll keep tweaking to get that up there too.

The site's traffic has been excellent so far - it was generating enquiries within an hour of going live and it closed its first piece of business (an order for £1,700) on Friday.

ReclaimedBricks.com typifies our approach to web design and build. The site has got to work hard to get the right traffic, it's got to have compelling copy and visuals - and it's got to give the viewer an intuitive journey that makes a sale a likelihood. The outcome has to be a site that acts as a sales channel and delivers a handsome return on investment for the client.

http://www.reclaimedbricks.com

Thursday, 3 June 2010

The power of Google Alerts!

More and more businesses are Twittering, Facebooking, Blogging and generally getting out there in cyberspace. Promoting your business in this way is highly relevant, it hits people in an appropriate context and it's absolutely free!

However, are you monitoring how many mentions you're getting online? This will help you understand the effectiveness of your online marketing. In short, are you awake to the benefits of keeping in the know? Google alerts will help you achieve just that!

Right first of all, how do you set up a Google alert? Start off by going to the following link http://www.google.com/alerts

It is really simple; just enter the key terms you want tracking. Then choose how often you want to receive the alerts and how many alerts you want to receive. After that, you'll get alerts via email covering news and developments as they happen. Being first to know, is a strong position to occupy!

You should follow news on a series of key terms that are of interest to your business, it's prospects and customer. This way you'll have some interesting market intelligence, you can keep track of your competitors and you can track any mentions of your own business. You'll ensure that you're up-to-date with the latest news, techniques and developments. In such a fast moving world it is important to be on the ball, it also means that you can react to news, tweet it, Facebook it or post it on LinkedIn.

Once you start reacting to relevant news and offering an interesting commentary, people will start to see you and your business as a valuable contact on social media sites. You will also ensure that your business is front of mind’ when they come to buy products; they will see you as an expert in your field.

So all in all wake up and get alert with Google.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Valley at Work

I'm speaking this evening at "Valley at Work", the networking group set up by PEER in Rossendale.

I'm speaking on 'Low-cost marketing and social media marketing for small businesses' at the Russian Tea Rooms in Bacup. I'm looking forward to it for several reasons, but not least because Valley at Work is something I'd like to see replicated in Pendle - I think it's potentially very powerful to have a community enterprise board working closely with a business networking group.

I chair "Enterprising Pendle" - PEER's sister organisation - and it's a model I'm very keen for us to adopt in Pendle.

Tonight I'll be talking about the social media landscape, it's pitfalls and opportunities - but most of all I'll be reiterating the message - measure, monitor, analyse and adjust. This help you to ensure that your marketing spend is doing it's job. It's all about return-on-investment - which requires people to not put the medium before the message.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

How to gain followers on Twitter

We’ve been doing a lot of work with clients around social media recently and those who are new to Twitter frequently ask us how to generate followers. Well, here’s a few steps to consider:-


1. Check out who your friends, contacts, customers and competitors are following and follow them yourself. The rule of thumb is that about half will follow you back.

2. Compelling content will get you followers! So remember, the message comes before the medium, so don’t just tweet any old nonsense. One way to get good material to tweet is to use Google alerts (www.google.com/alerts) to prompt you about stories featuring subject matter you’re interested in and which will interest potential followers. Position yourself as a resourceful contact.

3. Tweet using keywords as it will help you to be found when people search. Equally, you should put the right keywords on your homepage biography.

4. Retweet interesting tweets by people you follow. They may well do the same for you and carry your message to a wider audience and attract you new followers.


You might find after a week or two that some of the people you have followed haven’t followed you back and you might want to unfollow them. You can do this manually, but there are a number of tools that you can use to manage twitter accounts that will do this for you in an automated fashion (such as Huitter).

Be careful when using these not to rid yourself of more than a couple of hundred followers at a time, as it may flag up your account with Twitter. Automated activity sometimes implies spammer activity – and this is usually sufficient for Twitter to suspend accounts - permanently. After all, they’re sitting on a multi-billion dollar intellectual property – they don’t want it to be compromised!

A couple of other tools to consider using are bit.ly and monitter.com.

Bit.ly allows you to shorten URLs that you post (useful, as tweets are limited to 140 characters), but also gives you some really interesting metrics like number of clickthroughs and retweets.

Monitter allows you to follow what people are tweeting in real time around specified keywords and within a geographic radius. So you could follow what people are saying in your area and on key subjects. You can then be first to respond.

We’ll be posting more social media, marketing and public relations tips in coming weeks, so be sure to follow the blog and be first to know!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Uni-play.co.uk

We've just finished a design and build job - the website for school playground equipment specialist, Uni-Play - have a look... http://bit.ly/9GJZ7G

At BrandSpankin' we strive to build websites that deliver a return on investment for our clients - hence they are very well optimised (as standard - we don't see SEO as a value added service, but as a basic requirement).

However, it's not just a matter of getting the right traffic there - it's also about making the site compelling to read, attractive to look at and simplifying the customer journey. In short the site has to work hard as a lead generation vehicle, as a sales channel - or both.

It's for these reasons that our sites usually pay for themselves fairly quickly - and why we're confident that Uni-play will have invested in an e-commerce site that will reap dividends!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Millward Brown Optimor Survey - top 100 brands

Just had a read of this year's Millward Brown Optimor survey of the world's most valuable brands. It's on the FT site, here's a link to the survey data:-

http://bit.ly/cU5Edd

Not surprisingly Google was found to be the world's most valuable brand in a field dominated by technology firms.

Google, IBM, Apple and Microsoft topped global leviathans Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Marlboro in the Top Ten brand value list.

Google's brand was worth more than $US114 billion

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

PR and Social Media courses

We've just completed the April course and it went down very well. It was slightly different this month because previously we've done a journalist q/a with Ben Briggs, the Editor of Lancashire Business View. This month we were joined by Chris Hopper, the business reporter from Lancashire Telegraph. Feedback from attendees has been very positive and we fully expect to see them getting as much coverage as previous attendees.

This month we trained staff from the following companies:-

- Petty Chartered Surveyors
- The White Room
- Little Treasures
- Daviker Software
- Printing.com
- Tax Assist
- Art Exchange

I should also congratulate Vicky from Uno Coffee - she attended in January and has several pieces of coverage since then. Here's what she had to say:

"The atmosphere on the course was relaxed and friendly. I learned how to write and distribute strong press releases - and monitor coverage. Since the course we’ve had stories in the Nelson Leader, Lancashire Telegraph, Bolton Evening News - plus online coverage. The social media elements have helped with lead generation, so we’ve seen a real return. Overall was thrilled with the course and better still it was fully funded by Business Link!"

Monday, 19 April 2010

Icelandic volcano top 20

Greetings pop pickers! We’ve had a poptastic day in the office today. Camilla was supposed to fly to Italy – cancelled. Julian’s Dad was supposed to fly to Istanbul – cancelled. Bill Spear from WDN was supposed to be here from the US – he’s stuck in Dublin. Alison from Uno Coffee – stuck in Spain.

So here’s our Icelandic Volcano top 20...not ‘arf!

(Read whilst listening to this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOb4Ac2CLXA)

1. Ashes to Ashes - David Bowie
2. My old man's a dustman - Lonnie Donnegan
3. Another one bites the Dust - Queen
4. Volcano - Damien Rice
5. Lava Lava - Boys Noize
6. Leaving on a jet plane (NOT) - John Denver
7. Fly Away - Frank Sinatra
8. And I would walk 500 miles - The Proclaimers
9. We are Sailing - Rod Stewart
10. Solid Air - John Martyn
11. I Wanna go Home - Micheal Buble
12. Blowin in the Wind - Bob Dylan
13. Great balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis
14. The look of Lava (well...love) - Dusty Springfield
15. Smoke on the water - Deep Purple
16. Led Zeppelin – Misty Mountain Hop
17. Keith Harris and Orville – I wish I could fly
18. R Kelly – I believe I can fly
19. ELO – Last Train to London
20. Cliff Richard – We are all (not) going on a summer holiday

Friday, 16 April 2010

The party leaders debate...

I watched as much as I could tolerate of the party leaders debate last night (about 10 minutes) and considered the comms implications. I found it difficult really.

Not just that it was tedious and unilluminating. All three party leaders were well drilled and the stock answers pretty much rolled off their tongues. Nobody made any serious gaffs, nobody delivered anything that will significantly shift much in the way of votes - possibly Clegg might have picked up a few more tactical votes than he might have otherwise.

The thing is - the whole election is an anaemic exercise. The age of grand ideologies is over and the so-called election debate is about who can run the show slightly better and who will adjust the tax system so it's marginally more beneficial to your circumstances. Illegal wars and economic meltdown barely get a mention (I know...they were covering domestic affairs last night).

Camilla, our graphic designer just cracked us all up, when she summed up the level of resignation we all feel - she said that the fact that they all wore ties in their party colours was sufficient to make her turn off "because it's about shapes and colours." I'm guessing they can't even inspire on that front either....

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

BrandSpankin’ to host Mobile Marketing event

PENDLE marketing business BrandSpankin’ (http://www.brandspankin.co.uk) is set to host a mobile marketing demonstration for east Lancashire businesses that are looking to generate significant footfall and turn passers-by into customers.

The event is to take place in Simonstone, Lancashire on Wednesday 21st April, and will be co-hosted by BrandSpankin’s technology partner, C2-UK. The event is free to attend but places are limited, as there is significant interest in this form of mobile or proximity marketing.
The system operates using mobile handsets that have Bluetooth enabled, allowing businesses to send messages, discount codes and special offers to people who are in the immediate vicinity, allowing businesses to pull in people who might otherwise just pass by.

The UK has more active mobile contracts than people and over 90 per cent of handsets have Bluetooth functionality – potentially giving businesses unprecedented levels of access to foot fall that they would otherwise miss out on.

“Open rates” for this form of mobile marketing are in the region of 13 per cent, whereas traditional small business marketing techniques such as door drops, direct mail or flyers can typically have as little as a 0.5 per cent response rate.

Julian Jordan, MD of BrandSpankin’ said: “At the event we’ll be demonstrating the ease of use of our mobile marketing solution. Unlike a lot of traditional marketing forms you can really measure the effect of this approach and see an unprecedented return on your marketing budget. This kind of solution makes massive sense for small businesses such as bars, clubs and taxi businesses – but equally larger enterprises like football clubs, supermarkets and concert venues can see huge and immediate responses.”

Businesses interesting in attending should contact BrandSpankin’ on 01282 878 301 or 0161 453 3230.

Asda shoppers get the Doodle bug!

PENDLE creative marketing business BrandSpankin’, has had Colne shoppers doodling for a good cause this week.

Shoppers at Colne’s Asda store took part in Lancashire’s Longest Doodle and supported Pendleside Hospice in the process.

The Doodle is taking shape on a huge stretch of cotton and has had hundreds of people doodling for a good cause. So far the doodle is 130 metres long and filled with the artistic work of hundreds of local people!

Doodlers are also being asked to make a contribution to Pendleside hospice, a charity designed to meet the needs of local people with cancer or life-threatening illnesses.

BrandSpankin’ started the project to promote the regeneration of Lancashire.

Julian Jordan, BrandSpankin's managing director explains: “We believe that creativity generates the ideas that will spawn enterprise and ultimately regeneration. The doodle has already been all over Lancashire and when it’s complete we’ve got plans to roll it down several spectacular Lancashire landmarks.”

Any schools, businesses, or community groups interested in participating in the doodle should call BrandSpankin’ on 01282 878301.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

BrandSpankin’ new approach to promoting your business.

PENDLE marketing business BrandSpankin’ (http://www.brandspankin.co.uk) has launched a radical new marketing solution to help east Lancs businesses make more money.

Mobile or proximity marketing operates using mobile handsets that have Bluetooth enabled, allowing business to send messages, discount codes and special offers to people who are in the immediate vicinity, allowing businesses to pull in people who might otherwise just pass by.

The UK has more active mobile contracts than people and over 90 per cent of handsets have Bluetooth functionality – potentially giving businesses unprecedented levels of access to foot fall that they would otherwise miss out on.

“Open rates” for this form of mobile marketing are in the region of 13 per cent, whereas traditional small business marketing techniques such as door drops, direct mail or flyers can typically have as little as a 0.5 per cent response rate.

Julian Jordan, MD of BrandSpankin’ said: “We’ve spent ages trying to source the best mobile marketing solution and we’ve been really impressed with the kit we’ve got. It’s really robust and the reporting it can deliver is superb.”

“Unlike a lot of traditional marketing forms you can really measure the effect of this approach and see an unprecedented return on your marketing budget. This kind of solution makes massive sense for small businesses such as bars, clubs and taxi businesses – but equally larger enterprises like football clubs, supermarkets and concert venues can see huge and immediate responses.”

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Social Media and Media Relations courses

BrandSpankin' has just completed the March Social Media and Media Relations course and again we've had some excellent attendees, representing businesses including Daviker Software (www.touchstarccs.co.uk), Weighing Scales Limited (www.weighingscalesltd.co.uk), Function Factory Theatre (www.functionfactorytheatre.co.uk) and Four Seasons Gardening.

Given the popularity of the courses to date (and some of the excellent successes previous attendees are now reporting), we're rolling them out and we'll be considering doing them further afield - with Liverpool and Manchester being possible/likely locations.

To support our efforts, LMA (www.lmaaccountants.com) will be selling spaces on courses from May, as well as managing grant applications for those businesses looking to have their attendees fully funded.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Lancashire's Longest Doodle on tour!

There are a few dates we thought we'd share with you in case you felt the creative urge to help with Lancashire’s Longest Doodle and at the same time raise some money for Pendleside Hospice.

On the 25th March Function Factory, an East Lancs based theatre company will be taking the doodle to the ACE Centre in Nelson. (http://www.functionfactorytheatre.co.uk)

Pendleside Hospice are also taking the Doodle out to various local supermarkets. It will be at Tesco in Burnley on the 5th and 6th March, Asda in Colne on the 12th and 13th March and at Asda in Burnley on the 21st and 22nd May. Come along and show your support and have a doodle at the same time.

Monday, 15 February 2010

BrandSpankin' PR and Social Media Courses

January saw the start of our PR courses for small businesses. Taking place at Pendle Innovation Centre where BrandSpankin’ is headquartered, we are planning subsequent courses – the next of which will run in March.

The course covers areas such as understanding your business brand values and propositions to determine your key messages, writing a compelling press release, building a comprehensive communications plan, and using social media to support your PR and marketing efforts.

For our first course we welcomed attendees from Hillendale Land Rover, Anvic Developments, Louvreties, Enterprising Pendle, Coffee Uno and Brooklands Retreat.

Let us know if these courses are of interest – we can help you secure funding to cover your costs!