Friday, 23 August 2013

My week at Brandspankin'

I’m Chloe and for the past week I’ve been an intern at Brandspankin’. I recently left Pendle Vale College after completing my GCSEs and will be going onto study A-levels at Nelson & Colne College.

I have always had an interest in journalism, and hope to pursue a career in the industry, so being having experience working in an environment that journalists liaise with is incredibly useful. I’ve learnt about branding and how important it is for businesses because it reflects what they stand for, as well as what services they provide and who they are.

I’ve also learnt how to write news articles and had a handful published on, which I am extremely happy about. Having experience writing articles is incredibly useful, because as I write more, it will mean my writing style will improve. All the articles have been on social media and focus on what effects social media can have on businesses.

Like most teenagers, I use social networking sites almost daily. I believe they are great ways to express opinions on a range of subjects, from big issues like politics to films and music. However, Brandspankin’ have taught me that social media can also be used by businesses to gain exposure for themselves and to reach out to their consumers.

Social networking sites now offer insights for their business pages which allow them to see the interactivity of the people who’ve liked the page, and when they are online- which allows the business to schedule their posts to when most of their consumers are online in order to have the maximum response and reach from their posts.

The combination of branding, journalistic writing and use of social media are necessary to fully understand the Marketing, PR and journalism industries, as all three are entwined with each other and rely on each other constantly.

Burnley’s aerospace giant smashes environmental target

Aircelle seven years ahead of target

BURNLEY-based aerospace giant Safran Aircelle has met an ambitious environmental objective seven years ahead of target and now sends none of the waste from its Burnley plant to landfill sites.

The company is the biggest private sector employer in Burnley with over 1,000 people employed at their site. This sees the business generate lots of waste material that includes anything from office waste materials like paper, card and toner cartridges – right through to scrap materials including metals.

The scheme was suggested to Aircelle by Graeme Cumpsty of GS Facilities Management, with the aim of the business sending 0 per cent of its waste to landfill by 2020. The total waste generated by the site peaked in recent years at just over 500 tonnes per year.

Up until April 2013, Aircelle working with G.S. Facilities Management Ltd were achieving an average of 95 per cent recycling of waste produced. Since May 2013 the business has been achieving 100 per cent recycling following the introduction of the waste to energy process.

Janis Murphy Aircelle’s Health, Safety & Environment Manager, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve hit our environmental objective seven years ahead of target. That’s potentially 3,500 tonnes of waste material that would have otherwise gone into landfill. It’s a demonstration of the fact that we are hugely committed to our community and that we take our social and environmental responsibilities very seriously!”

Stephane Cueille, Aircelle’s Managing Director, added: “Our objective is to make Aircelle a profitable business, whilst meeting our social and environmental obligations. Recently, we’ve been stressing our strength as a team – and this is an excellent example of what we can achieve. It’s a very positive development and I’m proud of the team’s efforts!”

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Pendle Witch Walk

We were delighted with the culmination of all our efforts a couple of weekends ago, when we saw 1,300 people attended the Pendle Witch Walk. We believe that the Burnley and Pendle area has a rich heritage and enjoys some of the best countryside that the UK has to offer, so to have half of the attendees come from outside the area was something we’re really pleased about. Of those attending approximately 850 did the walk, we broke the world record for the biggest gathering of witches, with 482 people in the appropriate attire as outlined by Guinness (i.e. Black wide brimmed pointy hat, Black full length cloak, Broomstick) and most importantly, we have raised over £30,000 for Pendleside Hospice. We also generated positive media attention from all over the world – the US, India – even Armenia! Radio 4 and Radio 5 also did pieces about the event, as well as television coverage from BBC, Granada and CNN. We were delighted with the outcome because we’d sought from the outset to demonstrate that Pendle is a beautiful place to live with its wonderful countryside and fantastic heritage. On the morning of the event artist Philippe Handford produced the “1612” guerrilla installation in 500ft numerals on the side of Pendle Hill. We supported Philippe’s efforts and generated some positive press for the project – and one of our team was up on Pendle Hill at 5:30am helping to create what was one of the defining images of the day! The music event after the walk featured Shaun Russell (swing, big band), Lancashire Sinfonietta, Nelson Arion male voice choir, Leyland Brass and Vicky and the Big Combo (motown and soul). Brandspankin’ MD and Pendle Witch Walk organiser, Julian Jordan said: “The day was a massive success – we had great weather, we broke the world record and we raised a huge sum for Pendleside Hospice, so we’d like to put on record our gratitude for all the magnificent support we received.”

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Oohh now that looks useful...

Having our lead designer currently located on the other side of the world, Sydney to be exact has caused one or two logistical issues, but they’ve been easily surmountable with modern technology, and there have been many benefits. I wake in the morning eager to find out what she’s done or what interesting new little thing she’s found or discovered and sent me during the night. It’s like waking up to a little present every day!

This morning I got up and along with the finished artwork for a clients ad, she’s also sent me a link to this little blog she’d found and thought I should share it with you as well. It does what it says on the tin – 101 most useful websites. It’s from January this year and previews the most useful from 2011, so some have fallen by the way side, but the author has updated where he can at the end. The sites all solve one problem really well and all are there to help us ‘improve our productivity’. But I’ve just spent the past half hour looking at them all, when I should really have been doing the VAT, so my productivity has probably dipped slightly because of it. However next time I need to generate some random numbers for a prize draw or a lottery I may be holding I’ll know to go to or if I want a less confusing view of time zones I know to go to

Seriously though there are some excellent sites here, no doubt you’ll all have heard of some of them but there’s bound to be at least one that makes you go “Oohh now that looks useful”. Go on have a look

Monday, 12 March 2012 appoints Brandspankin’ to manage media relations

NEWLY launched online gift store has appointed Lancashire-based Brandspankin’ to manage media relations and build awareness.

The Shropshire-based business focuses on selling unique and often handmade gift products that are made in Britain - such as natural bath & body products and handmade chocolates, jewellery and homewares.

To date the business has already built an impressive list of suppliers including Savonnerie London, Clifton Cakes, Hurley Burley and Gillian Kyle.

With recent research demonstrating that more than a third of consumers would buy British if it was made easier, Megan Brown's promise of only sourcing unique gifts that are made in Britain is set to benefit millions.

Building awareness around key values, along with driving online traffic and promoting sales were all considerations in appointing an agency.

Megan Brown said: “We’re delighted to have appointed Brandspankin’ to manage PR for us. They are vastly experienced in successfully delivering public relations campaigns and they share our values and commitment to the idea of promoting British design and manufacture.”

Jacqueline Jordan, Director of Brandspankin’, said: “It’s fantastic to be working with They support the British designers and manufacturers who understand the UK market best and are renowned for their creativity and innovation. It’s the perfect site to visit for birthdays, for mother’s day, or just for a beautifully handcrafted indulgence!”

Pendle Witch Walkers set to be world record breakers!

Guinness World Records™ endorse record number of witches attempt!

A HUGE Charity event planned to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Pendle Witch Trials in August is set to break a world record for the biggest ever gathering of “witches”!

Pendle Witch Walk, taking place on August 18th – the exact date of the infamous trials - has been approved by Guinness World Records™ as an official world record attempt. And with over 2,000 attendees expected in witch-themed fancy dress, organisers are confident that they’ll claim the record!

The event itself is a 5-mile circular sponsored walk from the beautiful Lancashire village of Barley – the epicentre of so-called Lancashire Witch Country!

The walk will take in the summit of Pendle Hill – which in itself is emblematic of both Lancashire and witchcraft, as well as being a site of reverence for both Pagans and Quakers!

Simon Tattersall, one of the organisers of the event, said: “It’s great news that Pendle Witch Walk has been recognised by Guinness World Records™ as a World Record attempt. Clearly, that means we need as many people as possible to visit the website ( and register to join the festivities – then of course, attend the event in witch-style fancy dress.”

“We only announced the launch locally a couple of weeks ago and the levels of interest have been staggering - we’ve already had dozens of people register for the walk, the website traffic has been phenomenal, plus we have 250 Facebook followers and 700 on Twitter!”

“We’re hoping for a great event and a truly memorable day. The world record attempt for the greatest gathering of “witches” will give everybody’s efforts an undisputable measure of achievement. It will bring huge attention to the Burnley and Pendle area and our tumultuous history, but more to the point we hope that via their sponsors, walkers will raise in excess of £50,000 for Pendleside Hospice.”

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Why you should probably NOT spend money on print advertising!

IF YOUR business is a start-up, or just a small business, you face the challenge of managing your limited resources whilst trying to generate a return.

In difficult economic circumstances, winning new business – even generating leads can be hard. Then there’s the question of building awareness more broadly, to ensure that when prospects make a “buying decision”, your business is front of mind.

It’s usually when you’re toying with these imponderables that the phone rings and some slick-talking smoothie says that the publication he works for has an available page, they’re due to go to print imminently and out of the goodness of his heart, he thought he’d offer it to you at a very reasonable discount. Yes, that old chestnut!

Well, I’m not suggesting that you say NO to every one of these media-sales types…just 99.9 per cent of them. Brass is better in your pocket than theirs!

In short, here’s my advice regarding how to respond when approached to buy advertising space:-

- Ask if their circulation is audited by ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation). If it’s a radio ad, the equivalent organisation that audits radio listener figures is called RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research)

- If they say they don’t have these metrics, but offer a “Publisher Statement”, there may be little basis to whatever they claim as their circulation. Ask them to qualify the figure by giving you their print run.

- Ensure that they offer you a detailed demographic statement regarding listeners/readers. Ask yourself if this demographic is really who you need to be selling to.

- Ask them if they have successfully advertised a business offering services like yours previously. Can they qualify this? Ask them what return on your investment you might expect. If this is answered in a woolly fashion, ask them if they have case studies from businesses comparable to your own. Or better still, ask if you can have the contact details of an advertiser who has gained a measurable return on their investment from advertising with them.

- If at any point when you ask these sorts of things, you are given prevarication or evasiveness, it suggests they can’t give you the assurances you need before you part with your money.

I was with a client recently when a salesperson from a lifestyle publication turned up. She flannelled through most of the stuff I’ve outlined, so I asked her to do a “taster” deal - and that if it worked my client would commit to a series of adverts. The taster I suggested was a free one page ad for my client and he’d pay them half of the profit he generated from any leads the ad generated. Suffice to say, she declined. More to the point, since then neither I nor my client have been approached by the publication. This speaks volumes about their confidence in their product to do anything beyond vanity advertising.

In fairness, you might want to advertise for reasons other than straightforward lead generation, such as long-term awareness building. In which case, at the very least this approach should get you access to better than rate-card prices.

Finally, as a test of a publication’s commitment to giving you a deal that actually works, why not ask them to publish a press release for you? If you get a response to your story, it’s reasonable to assume that if you advertise with them you might see a response too!