Weeknote 26: Black Friday, Advent and “me too” marketing

Screengrab of the Ashmolean Museum website, with an online "Advent calendar". Six windows have been opened and show different winter-themed artworks.

I’ve seen a  lot of “me too” marketing in the last few weeks. First, there’s been the Black Friday sales messages, which everyone claims to find annoying. It would be interesting to see retail figures for this period, now that we’ve got used to/tired of the notion in the UK.

And then there’s been the anti-Black Friday stuff. Doing something different will get you brownie points with your customers, as well as some good PR: I hadn’t heard of Canopy & Stars until one of my friends shared on Twitter that they were closing their website for the day. Now I have. (And yes, I am in the market for what they do.) Read more ›

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Posted in Content marketing

Weeknote 23: sustainability, pizza and a cat

Tweet from Pizza Express: 9:00 pm - Switch off computer    10:00 pm - 120 messages on work WhatsApp group telling you to "check Twitter now" .

Photo of the week. How to do reactive comms.

Last weekend I went to a reunion for my old workplace. My workmates were always the best thing about the company, and it was good to catch up with some of them.

As we were chatting, one of them asked me what I thought about Extinction Rebellion. I replied that if they – and the school strikers – hadn’t taken action this year, we wouldn’t now be talking about a climate emergency. And climate change would still be marginalised by the media, the politicians and the general public. Instead, Channel 4 is now going to host a leaders’ debate on the subject.

Interestingly, we’d spent most of the Creative Meetup that week talking about sustainable business. There are a few people in the group who have a background in sustainability but even those who don’t are now taking it seriously. Read more ›

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Posted in sustainability

Weeknote 22: IT jargon, style sheets and air pollution

Picture of John Bercow with the caption "Spare us the theatrics".

John Bercow gifs are doing the rounds on Twitter this week.

This week, I’ve been thinking about jargon. You get a lot of jargon when working in a technical job, and you get a lot of jargon when working in HR. I’m editing some IT job descriptions at the moment, so that combination has been fun. Read more ›

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Posted in Editing, sustainability

Weeknote 21: Substances derived from food, and other new words

A sign on an empty card rack in a shop: "We're getting ready for Christmas. We apologise for any disruption whilst we make these changes."

Photo of the week: seen in WHSmith. There’s a joke in there somewhere.

The last few weeks have made me think about the things I like about being self-employed.

1. If you’re not well, you don’t have to see anyone.

I’ve had a cold but working from home means I can pace myself and I don’t have to worry about spreading germs.

2. You learn lots of new things.

Working for a variety of organisations means I’m always learning new things  – and new words. Here are some of the new words and phrases that I’ve enjoyed recently. Read more ›

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Posted in Reading

Weeknote 20: Sustainable development, tech in Oxford and why you need subeditors

"Lifeguard Service" poster on beach. Words include: "RNLI Lifeguards and the 'orange' Seafront Advisors operate on this beach during the summer season. Lifeguards on duty when red and yellow flags are flying."

A job title I haven’t heard before: Seafront Advisors

Things I’ve done since my last weeknote:

1. Started work for two new clients

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent research organisation that focuses on sustainable development. That’s right up my street, so I was happy to be asked to do some web editing for them.

And I’ve already learnt a lot: how agroforestry can build climate resilience, the growth of impact investing and how clean energy can ensure cleaner air in rapidly urbanising countries.

I also learnt a new word: ‘purposewash’ (the new greenwash). Read more ›

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Posted in Communications, Journalism