Helping Accenture Ireland talk about strategy
Refining speeches, shaping an event
I travelled to Dublin to interview various senior Accenture Ireland people in the run up to a day-long, company-wide strategy event, helping them pull their speeches into shape. Then I worked on the event itself, shaping its attendees’ experience of the day.
Closing an account for the Bank of Ireland
Writing linked letters, texts and call centre scripts
The Bank of Ireland used to run the Post Office’s current account service. When they decided to withdraw the account, they had to let every single account holder know and help them decide what to do next. I worked through creative agency Enough Said to plan out and write the chain of letters, texts and call centre scripts that guided account holders through the account closure process.
Celebrating the British Council’s 50th birthday
Designing workshops, writing a blog, public speaking
The British Council wanted to celebrate their 50th birthday in style. Working with social media mavens the Tuttle Club, I planned out three project development workshops. That led to me exploring the British Council’s film archive, blogging about everything I found, speaking about it at the ICA and inspiring the creation of a new company to properly assess and conserve it. The films are now available for everyone to watch on the British Council’s website.
Setting the tone for Carpenter Farraday’s website
Setting a tone of voice, writing a website, document templates and other comms
City recruitment agency Carpenter Farraday were rebuilding their website. I helped them think through what they wanted to say on it, and find the best words and the right tone of voice to say it. Then I ran their new tone through some of their other comms, creating new pitch and proposal templates and a couple of blogposts for them.
Running a breakout session for Crisis Action
Training 40 people in a couple of hours
Conflict resolution charity Crisis Action asked me to put together a short, sharp better writing session for forty people at their annual conference. They were the single most international group I’ve ever worked with. It was fascinating helping them think through their different writing styles and understand which ones can work for them all.
Defining a fintech scale-up’s offer and products
Defining brand messaging and tone of voice, writing key docs
One of London’s fastest growing fintech companies needed help explaining its offer to potential clients with little or no tech knowledge. Working through The Marketing Eye, I helped its management team define why the company exists, what it offers and how it works. I also gave basic tone of voice guidance and brought their new brand thinking to life with some key document rewrites.
Explaining HealthLumen’s high tech offer
Writing a website communicating tech expertise in clear, simple language
Healthlumen model how millions of people will react to health challenges, decades into the future. That’s very useful for senior pharma people, policymakers, thinktanks and charities. But because it’s based on some very complex technology, it’s hard to explain. Working with Afia, I cut through the technical jargon to write their simple, effective benefits driven website.
Creating an IT giant’s brand personality
Designing & facilitating workshops, defining & testing a brand personality
Afia asked me to run workshops in Dusseldorf, Paris and London, and interview people across Europe, to help an IT infrastructure provider understand its different national personalities and pin down the values all of its employees share. All the conversations came together in the creation of a single, universal brand personality that’s inspiring the whole company to work together as one.
Making Legal & General clearer and warmer
Training senior teams, rethinking a writing process, writing docs
Legal & General wanted to make sure their new tone of voice was really working. Afia asked me to run a series of one day ToV training workshops for them. I also helped them rethink their key features document copywriting process. I rebuilt every stage, from first briefing through document planning and writing to editing and final sign off, along the way drafting four new KFDs.
Helping Lloyd’s of London write more impactfully
Auditing lots and lots of content, shaping a new tone of voice
I was part of a team of three writers auditing Lloyd’s of London’s entire written output. We covered a lot of ground, from their regular insurance magazine to internal syndicate communications. I pulled together our findings in a substantial report, highlighting best practice examples, helping them understand what wasn’t working and sharing practical tips on communicating more clearly.
Helping a major new charity go live
Writing a strategy guide, drafting key sections of an annual report
One of our big heritage organisations has just stepped out of government control to become a charity. Working through Afia, I wrote the strategy guide that explains their new status and approach to their staff, their volunteers and their donors. I followed that up by drafting key sections of their first ever annual report.
Winning new business for Mastercard
Working internationally to edit 50,000 word proposals
Mastercard’s new business proposals are usually more than 50,000 words long, and assembled from many different international sources. I worked with international teams, against tight deadlines, to pull together and edit four of them.
Clarifying Portfolio Metrix’s complex products
Explaining financial products to non-financial specialists
PortfolioMetrix creates and manages investment products for investment advisers. They wanted to help those advisers explain their model portfolio services to potential customers. Working through The Marketing Eye, I translated some very complex product descriptions into a brochure that advisers can use to help people with little or no financial expertise make the right investment decisions.
Short, sharp sessions for QuoteMeHappy.com
Snappy training for two people at a time
QuoteMeHappy wanted their callcentre people to write more effectively. But they couldn’t spare them from the phones for more than a couple of hours at a time. Working through Afia, I put together a two hour training session and zipped two people at a time through it. QuoteMeHappy ended up with better writers, and no service interruption whatsoever!
Showing Ronseal what to say on the tin
Designing & facilitating brand workshops, creating a tone of voice, bedding it in
Ronseal wanted to take a good, hard look at how they used words. Working with Afia, I helped them understand how their brand personality had changed over the last twenty years. Then I created a new tone of voice for them, bedding it in with two day training sessions for them and their agencies. Along the way I helped them develop a more efficient content development and sign-off process.
Bringing tomorrow to life for SciFutures
Writing 500 word science fiction prototyping short stories
SciFutures are an LA based science fiction prototyping agency. They bring the future to life for big corporate and consumer brands by telling stories about what’s coming next. I’ve written short fictions for them exploring the impact of all sorts of different technologies on various different tomorrows.
Creating an audio tour of Strawberry Hill House
Writing a 45 minute audio drama
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 45 minute audio drama, centred on the man, his achievement and his eccentricities. Here are some clips from it – Horace introduces his dining room, discovers that a tour party has helped itself to some souvenirs then exults as they guiltily flee.
Rebranding & rewriting the Tallow Chandlers
Defining brand messaging and tone of voice, writing a website
The Worshipful Company of 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 create a new brand personality and tone of voice that makes their rich history and wide-ranging charitable activities directly relevant to people today. Then I brought it all to life by copywriting their new website.
Editing a flagship policy guide for Transform
Editing a 232 page book, writing a 24 page exec summary
Drug legalisation campaigners Transform wanted to set out, in detail, what a legally regulated system of drug control could look like in practice. I edited the 232 page book that did it and wrote a 24 page executive summary to support it. The book’s been downloaded over half a million times and has become a key text in the responsible regulation debate.
Creating Twinings’ tea naming strategy
Designing & facilitating a workshop, developing strategy, writing a guidebook
Brand writing experts Afia brought me in to help Twinings create a content strategy for the front of their packs. I looked at how the big brands talk about their teas, interrogated Twinings’ own approach to writing, designed and ran an exploratory workshop then created an 80 page naming and descriptor writing guide for them. It’s packed with practical advice and creative examples to help Twinings people across the world write uniquely enticing, alluring pack copy.
Bedding in Vodafone UK’s new brand tone
Training several hundred people, plus lots of troubleshooting
I spent over a year working with Vodafone UK for Afia. After helping define their new tone of voice, I ran an extended programme of day-long training sessions for their agencies and several hundred of their staff. There was a fair bit of onsite coaching too, and a lot of editing, copywriting and general word-related trouble-shooting.
Writing WeTeachCRO’s must-read booklet
Turning tech-speak into an attention-grabbing brochure
WeTeachCRO are a specialist conversion rate optimisation agency. They make sure that the people who come to your website buy from your website. They wanted to grab the attention of potential agency partners, making sure their offer stood out from the crowd. I wrote the snappy, punchy sales brochure that explained why their partners really need them.
Helping Wired Sussex members tell brand stories
Speaking and taking part in a panel discussion
Tech sector support organisation Wired Sussex wanted to help their members understand branding. I took my turn sharing brand storytelling insights – that’s my fifteen minute speech above. Then I joined a panel with a highly experienced brand strategist and one of the Big Four’s ex-head of corporate affairs to discuss what we’d said and respond to audience questions.
Dig a little deeper
Now you know what I’ve been up to lately, you can find out more about who I am and what people say about me. Or you can explore some free better writing and brand storytelling resources, see what I’ve been thinking about on my blog or just get in touch.