Ronseal wanted to take a good, hard look at how they used words. Working with tone of voice mavens Afia, I helped them understand how their brand had changed over the last twenty years. Then I designed and ran a series of workshops defining, exploring and embedding their new tone of voice. Now they know exactly what it should say on the tin.
creating a shared sense of self
I ran workshops in Dusseldorf, Paris and London, and interviewed people across Europe, to help an IT infrastructure provider pin down its core values. All the conversations came together beautifully to give them a very strong, internationally agreed-on sense of who they are and how they work.
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 what can work for them all.
nostalgic training at Allianz
I helped several groups of Allianz people get to grips with their new tone of voice. The training sessions were a lot of fun – and they were held in a corporate training centre I’d last visited in 1996, which made them an enjoyably nostalgic experience too.
describing a new start
One of the big English charities has just redefined who they are and how they work. 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 Waking Hell
It’s not strictly part of my corporate work, but my second book’s out! Waking Hell came out with Gollancz last October. It’s a loose sequel to 2015’s Crashing Heaven. I’m now deep in my third 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
Another Afia job – this time, I spent over a year working with Vodafone. 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.
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, Coca Cola and Vodafone.
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 550 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.
explaining Air BP’s new brand
Air BP needed a brand film that explained their new brand personality to their very practically minded staff. I wrote the film that not only unpacked it for them, but also showed how clear, coherent branding can create concrete benefits in even the most technical of industries.
editing at high speed
I had a quick blast of very speedy jobs, editing presentations for all sorts of different people under fairly intense time pressure. Favourites included a rather informative British Heart Foundation one and a very technical piece for the European Investment Bank. I always love diving into entirely new areas and having to make sense of them as quickly as possible.
tone of voice training at E.ON
I ran a series of two day workshops helping E.ON’s customer response teams get to grips with their new tone of voice. We also thought about good communications in general, taking their writing style to pieces and rebuilding it in a more effective way.
bringing Horace Walpole back to life
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.
I’ve been editing some pretty substantial documents for Mastercard. It’s been fascinating getting insights into the truly global scale of their operations, and quite a challenge working with people in – and pulling together information from – so many different timezones.
helping architects find a new name
The architects formerly known as Hamiltons were looking for a new brand name to reflect their new management, new ambitions and new working culture. I helped them understand and explore the naming choices available so that they could be sure that they were making the right strategic and creative decision.
building a website for a sculptor
I worked with sculptor Katusha Bull to define her brand and put together her website. It’s been fascinating thinking about how best to present and explain her work to the world, and helping her begin to blog. The site’s now up and running, and you can take a look at it – and explore her rather lovely sculptures – by clicking here.
blogging about British Council films
I blogged for Counterpoint, the British Council‘s thinktank, about the films the Council produced and distributed from the mid 30s on. You can read my blog posts here and watch the films here. The blog was part of the British Council’s Social Planet project, celebrating 75 years of the British Council.
editing ‘After the War on Drugs’
I edited drugs legalisation charity Transform’s guide to options for the legal regulation of drugs, ‘Blueprint for Change: After the War on Drugs’ and wrote the Executive Summary from scratch. Both are available for download here. ‘Blueprint for Change’ has now been downloaded over a quarter of a million times.
consulting with The Tuttle Club
The Tuttle Club is London’s leading social media cafe. I defined the Crowd / Tribe / Team process that helped its members work with Counterpoint, the British Council’s thinktank, to develop a range of social media projects to celebrate the British Council’s 75th birthday.
defining The Hub at Pacific Quay
The Hub at Pacific Quay was a new development at the heart of Glasgow’s digital quarter. Its developers weren’t quite sure how to talk to their target audience. I developed the ‘seriously creative community’ positioning for them, and then wrote their website around it.