telling the tale of Tilt
I’ve been helping Brighton digital mavens Tilt work out how to tell the world the story of who they are and what they do. It’s been fascinating finding and articulating the common themes in the achievements, approaches and experiences of such a diversely skilled and talented group of people.
Ronseal wanted to take a good, hard look at how they used words. Working with writing experts Afia, I helped them understand how their brand personality had changed over the last twenty years. Then I designed and ran a series of workshops that defined and embedded their new tone of voice. Now they know exactly what it should say on the tin.
talking stories at 26
I ran a Trade Secrets Masterclass for London pro writers organisation 26, sharing how I use stories to help with everything from understanding brands and solving strategic problems to managing challenging clients. It was a very satisfying evening, made even more enjoyable by some fascinating attendees.
creating a shared sense of self
Another Afia job – I ran workshops in Dusseldorf, Paris and London, and interviewed people across Europe, to help an IT infrastructure provider understand its different national personalities and pin down the core values they all share. All the conversations came together beautifully to give them a very strong, globally agreed-on sense of who they are and how they get things done.
fine tuning Crisis Action
Conflict resolution charity Crisis Action asked me to put together a short, sharp better writing session. I think they were the single most international group I’ve ever worked with! It was fascinating helping them critique their different writing styles and understand which ones can work for them all.
bringing a charity’s new start to life
One of the big English charities has just redefined who they are and how they work. Working through Afia, I wrote and edited their new strategy guide and annual report. It’s been fascinating understanding the breadth of their aims and activities, then helping explain them to the world.
launching my second novel
It’s not strictly part of my corporate work, but my second book’s out! SF publishers Gollancz launched Waking Hell last October. It’s a loose sequel to the first one, Crashing Heaven. I’m now deep in the next book, which is all about the dark side of digital disruption. There’s more on that side of my life over at my other site allumination.
training and writing at Vodafone
I spent over a year working with Vodafone for Afia. I helped define their new tone of voice. Then I ran an extended training programme for their agencies and several hundred of their staff. There was a fair bit of onsite editing, rewriting and general word-related trouble-shooting, too.
sharpening up Legal & General
Legal & General wanted to bring more focus to their key features documents. Afia asked me to help them rethink and redesign their writing process. We rebuilt every stage, from first briefing through document planning and writing to editing and final sign off. And I ran quite a few better writing and tone of voice workshops for them too.
redefining the Tallow Chandlers
The Tallow Chandlers are one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. They’ve been part of its fabric for at least five hundred and fifty years. I helped them understand how to present their rich history and wide-ranging charitable activities in a way that’s directly relevant to people today, then bring it all to life in their new website.
an Accenture Ireland event
I travelled to Dublin to interview various senior Accenture Ireland folk in the run up to a day-long, company-wide strategy event. Then I helped come up with its creative shape. It was a lot of fun getting stuck into some experiential work – it took me right back to my days with Imagination, working with clients like Ericsson, Sony and Coca Cola.
writing an audiodrama about Horace Walpole
The newly refurbished Strawberry Hill House needed a guide as quirkily splendid as it is. I dug into its history, adopted the voice of Sir Horace Walpole (inventor of the Gothic and builder of the house) and wrote the audioguide as a forty five minute radio play, centred on him and online here.
editing at high speed
I had a quick blast of very speedy jobs, editing documents for all sorts of different people under fairly intense time pressure. Favourites included a rather informative British Heart Foundation presentation, a very technical piece for the European Investment Bank, several very dense business proposals for Mastercard, EY’s brand story and an entire book for drug campaigners Transform.