August, 2013

Client of the Month – New Era Internet




Copywriting can be a lonely occupation so it’s great to collaborate with other creatives such as design agencies.

And it’s doubly nice when the team is as great to work with as Croydon-based web development and online marketing agency, New Era Internet

Our first project together was a large and complex website for Camstage an established, well-respected supplier of screens and stage curtains to cinemas and theatres. The complexity and scale made it a real relationship tester but we worked well together and had some fun along the way!

Since then we’ve worked on several other websites including Connect Hair and Ian Allan Travel.

New Era Internet is a division of UK internet service provider, Tollon, established in 1997,  which provides a range of services from shared to dedicated cloud based hosting.

The New Era division offers a complete service from initial planning and design, to deployment, management and marketing. Services include web design, development, SEO, marketing, social media and website hosting.

New Era’s clients are mix of large, medium and small businesses across the UK and abroad. And they’ve also built a loyal base of local customers in Croydon and South London.

The agency covers everything from start-ups wanting a new website to complete website redesigns for established companies such as Camstage and Ian Allan Travel.

The New Era team is always looking for the best platforms and products to give clients exactly what they want and need to make them successful. For example, they specialise in WordPress development because it provides clients with excellent content management features.

But choosing the best products is just one way which New Era excels at customer service. They’re on the client’s side from the word go, quickly getting to understand the business and advising them on the best route to achieve their goals.  The result is a great looking, user-friendly site that gets found by the search engines too.

And here’s what they think of me!

“We have worked with Elaine on a number of projects and it has been an absolute pleasure. She produces some fantastic copy, with an excellent attention to detail and a thoroughly engaging writing style. Elaine is also able to adapt her tone of writing effectively to communicate and convey brand messages to a variety of different audiences.

As we’re a web development and online marketing agency, search engine optimisation is a high priority for us and our clients. Great copy makes for great SEO and Elaine understands this very well. She is brilliant at producing optimised website copy with SEO in mind that gets the balance between keywords and readability just right.

Thank you very much Elaine, we look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.”





What’s in a name? Choosing the right name for your business

Last week most of the papers and the TV were awash with speculation over baby names. That no doubt will turn into weeks of stories about the origin of names, the meaning of names, in fact anything to do with names.

Well, names are important. A good one can set you up for life, and according to an article in The Week from March 2012  they can even affect our personalities and the choices we make. Apparently, this belief goes back to the Romans who had a phrase – nomen est omen, or ‘name is destiny.’ Just look at how many actors and performers have changed their given names for something a tad more exotic or memorable.

It’s the same with businesses too. Naming your fledging company is just as important as naming your baby – you’re going to have to live with it for a long time. So you want it to be memorable for the right reasons, and for it to have positive connotations. You need to spend time on it and do your research. But where do you start?

Bronwyn Durand of JupiterJasper is a marketing mentor for small businesses, and as The Brand Whisperer, she  has a special interest in using what makes a business differentto develop its commercial identity. Here’s what Bronwyn has to share on naming a business…

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Can you inherit a memory?

“What would you like your children to inherit? A house? A clock? The family silver? Or something a little more valuable?” So begins the new TV ad from Center Parcs


The voiceover is followed by images of families doing lots of fun stuff outdoorsy together set to one of my favourite tracks – ‘Sweet Disposition’  by Australian band The Temper Trap.

The ad ends with an excellent strapline: “Memories start here.” So far, so good.

I hate to be picky (really, I do) but can you really inherit a memory? Surely, memories are individual and personal, and based on experience. Otherwise wouldn’t it be a bit like Bladerunner, you know when the nasty Tyrell Corporation implants other people’s memories into the ‘replicants’ they’ve created?

You can read or listen to someone else’s memories of course, but surely the point of the ad is that a Center Parcs holiday creates lasting memories for the people who experienced it. You had to be there in other words.

I know that Adland stretches language and grammar – and often to good effect, but this is a stretch too far for me.

Great images, great strapline, and of course that glorious soundtrack through!



Five things you should know before dealing with the media

Guest post by Nicky Rudd, MD, Padua Communications

Dealing with journalists can be tricky – especially if you’re not used to it. I asked Nicky Rudd, seasoned PR practitioner and managing director of Padua Communications, to share her experience. 

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Surbiton business owner gets around Olympic word ban

On Friday I wrote about the ridiculous restrictions on the use of certain words and phrases connected with the Olympics. It’s meant to stop businesses from infringing the rights of the sponsors with ‘ambush marketing’. But it’s hard to see how a small local business, who uses an Olympic theme for its window dressing, could possibly hurt a giant like McDonalds.

One such small local business has come up with an inspired way to get around the ban. Take a bow Stephen Holt, owner of Focus Wear in Surbiton.

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‘Brand police’ deployed to hunt out ambush marketeers

‘Britain flooded with ‘brand police’ to protect sponsors’, screamed the headline in the Independent on Tuesday 18 July. I’m not sure if Independent headlines really do scream but it was enough to draw me in.

According to the report, hundreds of uniformed Olympics officers have been dispatched to tour the UK, checking companies to make sure they’re not ‘ambush marketing’ or illegally associating themselves with the Games at the expense of official sponsors.

Businesses have been warned that, during the Games, they are banned from using certain words in their advertising. I must admit, I’m a little baffled by some of the words on the banned list.

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June client of the month – St Georges Finance

St Georges (no apostrophe!) Finance  is my client of the month for June.

St Georges Finance is an independent funding specialist working mainly in the property sector. Clients include people who want to start property portfolios, SMEs who need finance to buy business property, and residential property developers.

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April Client of the Month – Ashtead Performance Group

April’s client of the month is Simon Aldridge, MD of Ashtead Performance Group (APG).

I’ve worked with Simon for the last five years, ever since he asked me to write the words for APG’s website.

APG works with senior teams to equip them to achieve excellent performance across their business. And therein lay the challenge.

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Cut-out quotes: beautiful papercut art from Ant Design

If you’ve visited my blog before you’ll know I like images created with words:  I’ve written about several artists who work in this way.

I discovered Ant Design’s papercuts the other day and I love them. I know Ant Design as a graphic design agency founded and run by the very talented Kashmira Jhaveri. I also knew that, as well designing materials for corporate clients, Ant Design also has a gift range  but I’d no idea these lovely delicate pieces had been added.

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Grabbing the headlines

Grabbing the headlines

Whatever we think of the reporting standards in our national newspapers, they have given us some great headlines over the years.

One of my personal favourites is The Sun’s “Super Cally go ballasitc, Celtic are atrocious” following Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s 3-1 win over Celtic in the Scottish Cup in 2000.

I spotted one of a slightly more sophisticated nature on the front page of The Guardian in April and have been meaning to write a post based on it ever since. It accompanied a front-page story by the paper’s Paris correspondent, Angelique Chrisafis. She was writing about the alleged outrage of notorious French riot police – the Compagnie Repulicaines de Securite (CRS) on hearing they would no longer be allowed to drink alcohol with their lunch.

Apparently, up until now, even packed lunches provided to the CRS out of riot vans while they were patrolling demos, came with a can of beer or glass of wine. And the headline?

“Riot squad sees rouge as police vin gets bottled.”

It’s tempting to think that good headlines are the result of a flash of inspiration (an old stalwart, by the way, when I was Head of Press and PR for Nikon UK and writing about the company’s flashlights – yes I know, I know). But the majority of strong, memorable, and more importantly, effective headlines take time and a great deal of hard work.

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Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

It's mostly about words and writing - things that inspire me, entertain me, and make me smile. Sometimes it's about things that horrify me so much I want to scream and shout!

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. And speaking of useful - scroll down and take a look at the Oxford Dictionaries tool.

Click here to find out a bit more about me.

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