JMP Partners with Wesport to encourage Women and Girls to get active through extension of ‘Bristol Girls Can’ Campaign

JMP, a Bristol-based creative content and campaigns agency, is thrilled to announce its partnership with Wesport to drive the inspiring ‘Bristol Girls Can‘ campaign forward into 2024 and 2025. This collaboration marks a new milestone in empowering women and girls across Bristol to embrace physical activity and lead healthier lifestyles.

‘Bristol Girls Can’, is the local activation of the widely acclaimed Sport England ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, has been successfully run for the past nine years under the stewardship of Bristol City Council. Now, Wesport, the Active Partnership for the West of England, takes the reins to continue the impactful work of encouraging movement, fostering confidence, and building community among women and girls in the region.

JMP’s responsibilities include campaign development, messaging, content creation, social media engagement, and website management. 

The ‘This Girl Can’ campaign seeks to tell the real stories of women and girls who get active or play sport in the way that’s right for them, for all shapes, sizes and abilities. This campaign is aimed to create a supportive and inclusive environment where women and girls feel encouraged, empowered, and celebrated for their participation in physical activities. 

“We believe in the power of community and collective action to drive positive change,” said Steve Nelson, CEO of Wesport. “Together with our key partners, we are committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity, fun, and empowerment that inspires women and girls across Bristol to lead active, healthy lives.”

Managing Partner at JMP, Matthew Joy, also added: “We are incredibly excited to partner with Wesport on the ‘Bristol Girls Can’ campaign. This initiative is not just about promoting physical activity; it’s about creating a sense of community across the Bristol area for women and girls and to inspire positive change and one we are excited to play a part in with other key local partners”.

The partnership invites community members to join the conversation, share their stories, and contribute to the campaign’s ongoing success. 

Individuals are encouraged to reach out via email at [email protected]  to share their experiences, and insights around the local challenges that women and girls face in accessing movement and physical activity, as well as those that are already active to share what works for you and what got you started.

As part of the campaign there will be a newly formed professional network community with an initial event being held on the 26th June. This network will be created to bring together organisations from across the city, all with a common goal of inspiring women and girls to get active across Bristol. 

About JMP:

JMP is a Bristol-based creative content and campaigns agency dedicated to creating impactful storytelling and engaging content for brands and organisations. With a passion for creativity and innovation, JMP partners with clients to deliver compelling campaigns that resonate with audiences and drive measurable results.

About Wesport:

Wesport is the Active Partnership for the West of England, serving the communities of BANES, Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire. As a sports charity, Wesport is committed to promoting physical activity, fostering inclusivity, and improving the health and well-being of individuals across the region.

For more information about the Bristol Girls Can campaign and upcoming initiatives, follow on social media and visit the website.

Web: bristolgirlscan.co.uk
Facebook: facebook.com/bristolgirlscan

For any inquiries, please contact [email protected]

A new campaign has been launched by not-for-profit organisation Tech4Good South West, designed to mobilise people and organisations in the region to commit to change.

Tech4Good South West relaunched last month and has unveiled its first-ever campaign to highlight the urgent need for technology to be used to create positive social impact.

One Small Thing is intended to inspire collective action across the South West to harness technology for good and encourage participation without boundaries. Being involved can take many forms – joining the community, donating time, offering advice, resources or space and investment in projects, people or skills.

A full list of ideas for getting involved is available on the Tech4Good South West website including:

  1. Volunteer as an individual or team with technology projects or charities focused on community inclusion
  2. Provide space for people to work/meet/create projects to encourage inclusion in the tech for good community
  3. Offer pro bono support, strategic advice or workshops to charities or third sector organisations in your area to stimulate technological innovation
  4. Organise a talk at a school or college to promote digital and technology careers
  5. Offer public workshops to raise awareness of online safety and privacy
  6. Fund an annual software subscription for a social enterprise or not for profit
  7. Investors – commit to funding a project or start up from an underrepresented group / women-owned organisation

Founder of Tech4Good South West Annie Legge commented: “Technology is moving at such a rapid pace, and we are seeing new innovations all the time. However, much of what we see others doing is borne out of a traditional business and investment model focused on profit. This campaign is about building awareness of the importance of coming together as a community and pooling resources for lasting positive change.

“You don’t have to be working in or be an expert in technology – you could be from any business sector to get involved – technology touches all of us. We are committed to harnessing the transformative power of technology to address pressing societal challenges.  From addressing digital poverty, mental health & well-being and environmental impacts, to ethical implications of emerging technologies, accessibility and digital skills.”

Tech4Good South West was originally launched in 2017 and has built up a loyal following; however, Annie and the team have decided to expand the reach and impact of the organisation after realising the value of the community. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign earlier this year the organisation secured founding sponsor support from leading regional tech focused businesses: Torchbox, Digital Wonderlab, Purplefish, Modular Design, Naturally Social and Future Talent Group.

The campaign impact and collective actions will be published later in 2024.

To become a member of Tech4Good South West: www.tech4goodsouthwest.org/membership-types

How to use language to foster stronger, happier, more productive relationships.

Words: Simeon de la Torre, SIM7.

The language that an organisation uses in its content, copywriting and comms influences not just how it is perceived, but how it makes audiences feel. It’s a complex, nuanced arena, but there are a handful of golden rules to remember around using brand language that’s appropriate and inclusive.

First up: what’s DEI?

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) aims to make everyone within an environment, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, ability, gender or sexual orientation, feel supported and welcome.

Why is it better to use inclusive language?

According to Deloitte, companies that embrace inclusivity and inclusive language have 22% lower turnover rates, 22% greater productivity and 27% higher profitability. Externally, those companies have 39% higher customer satisfaction.

Rule #1 Avoid certain ways of identifying people

Only use race, gender, gender identity, ability, age, sexual orientation, etc. to identify people when strictly necessary, otherwise doing so can draw attention to something about someone’s characteristics that might make them feel different or excluded.

Rule #2 Use people-first language

People-first language prioritises the individual. This is an especially useful point to remember when talking about people who have disabilities.

For example, it’s better to say ‘a person with a disability’ than ‘a disabled person’. The former implies that the disability is a secondary characteristic rather than a defining one. But as mentioned in #1, it’s best to simply avoid mentioning disability unless relevant or strictly necessary.

There are a few exceptions to this point. The deaf community, for instance, generally prefers the term ‘deaf person’ to ‘person with deafness’. If in doubt, it’s best to ask.

Rule #3 Be wary of connotations

Terms such as ‘sexual preference’ or ‘preferred pronouns’ can be problematic. ‘Preference’ implies choice, and that can create a false impression. It’s best to err on the side of caution and use the terms ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘pronouns’ instead.

Rule #4 Avoid inappropriate references

Try to avoid using terms such as ‘bipolar,’ ‘OCD,’ ‘ADHD’ or ‘ASD’ as metaphors, especially in a jokey context. These are real disabilities and disorders. Using their names to refer to things they aren’t can offend people who have them.

Rule #5 Use gender-neutral language

Yes, you may often use language with a specific audience in mind, but pronouns are generally best avoided.

When making a hypothetical point – ‘if he or she went for a walk’, for example – the ‘he or she’ clause is unnecessary, and including it can make non-binary, gender non-conforming or genderqueer folks feel excluded.

When in doubt or when using a pronoun is necessary, ‘they’ is a good choice. It’s gender-neutral and can be used to refer to an individual or a group, so has all bases covered.

Rule #6 Avoid universal phrases

Jargon is often best avoided and it’s a good idea to think before using idioms – not all translate well across cultures.

Rule #7 Avoid using your group as the reference group

Using your group as the reference group can imply it’s the norm and that other groups fall outside that norm. Terms like ‘non-white’, for example, imply that white people are the norm and everyone else, a deviation.

It’s best to take care when saying…

Guys

This term is best avoided when speaking to or referencing a group that contains non-male members.

Good alternatives: ‘Folks’, ‘you all’, ‘everyone’, ‘team’.

Girls/ladies/gals

If she’s over 18, she’s an adult. And take care when saying ‘ladies’ and ‘gals’, these terms can be patronizing. Good alternatives: ‘Women’, ‘people’.

Handicap/handicapped

Today, ‘handicapped’ is considered impolite.

Similarly, when talking about people with disabilities, avoid using terms like ‘afflicted by,’ ‘victim of’, ‘suffers from’, and ‘confined to a wheelchair’. ‘Challenged’, ‘differently abled’, and ‘specially abled’ are best avoided too.

Good alternatives: ‘Disabled’, ‘person with a disability’.

You might also consider…

Mentioning pronouns

Including pronouns – he/him, she/her, they/them – in email signatures can help non-binary, transgender and other folk feel more included.

Trigger warnings

If you’re going to publish content  that has the potential to trigger people, it’s a good idea to add a trigger warning to that content. Forewarning people about potentially offensive content can help prevent causing offence.

Writing for web accessibility

People with certain disabilities can have difficulty navigating online content. We can all help ensure the content we create is accessible. See our designing for accessibility cheat sheet for useful tips.

Keeping up-to-date

Inclusive language best practice is constantly evolving. Periodic refreshers are a great way to stay up to date. Taking a moment to think about how the language you’re going to use is inclusive often goes a long way, too.

To learn more about creating an inclusive brand, visit https://sim7creative.co.uk/ or get in touch with Sim (he/him): [email protected]

For Earth Day, the team at Something Familiar have taken a deep dive into sustainable website design. Looking at what it truly means, common pitfalls and how to start making more eco conscious moves – without losing sight of your brand identity.

How can digital designers make choices to minimise their environmental impact? In this blog, we explore what actions we can take to create websites that are both engaging and better for the planet.

What is sustainable or low carbon website design?

Sustainable website design is all the noise these days, and for good reason. Historically, web design practices have failed to consider the environmental consequences of maintaining a website. With an average of 1.76g of CO2 emitted per page view, the cumulative impact becomes significant. For instance, a site with 100k page views per month emits approximately 2,112kg of CO2 annually! A car travelling 8,000 miles emits roughly the same amount of CO2, which is mad.
*Source

So what exactly is Sustainable web design?

It refers to the practice of creating websites with minimal negative impact on the environment, both in terms of resource consumption and emissions. This approach considers the entire lifecycle of a website, from design through to development, hosting, maintenance and user interaction.

On top of environmental impact, sustainable design also involves two other important aspects:

  • Social Responsibility
    Practising user-friendly accessible design, paired with respectful, inclusive content ensures it’s suitable for a wide range of audiences.
  • Economic Sustainability
    Taking this considered approach during the design phases could also streamline the development process, and minimise the page processing power. Ensuring the site is lightweight, future proof and built to last.

As cliche as it sounds we need to make a change. But how do we meet our green goals – without compromising our brand impact and website design?

It’s all about Sustainable Design Considerations

In this article we are focussing on the first phase of a website lifecycle – the initial design decisions you can implement to minimise your site’s environmental impact. This phase seems to be an area where little discussion is currently focused, but it comes hand in hand with development, so decisions made here are crucial.

We’re here to put you onto a few tips and tricks so you can get practising sustainable web design in no time. You’d be surprised what can be achieved through strategic design decisions.

Here’s are some things to consider when approaching your new sustainable website design:

  • Over-application of ‘best’ practice.
    Yes you can remove video, and yes you can use system fonts… but should you? We don’t want to lose the soul of your brand as a result of this practice, so remain conscious about your objectives. Keep it chill.
  • Set your objectives
    Addressing what needs to be done to improve your impact at the end of a project can lead to non-optimal solutions – think first.
  • Do your research
    Design-focused resources for sustainable impact are few and far between, so when you come across design inspiration that’s also incredibly sustainable – save it and share it.
  • Carbon calculator hype
    Yes, these are helpful and insightful, but it’s important to not prioritise your score over experience or business objectives. Also at the time of writing, these calculators seem to only measure initial page-load, which is not always an accurate reflection of page size.

To summarise, and maybe over simplify this topic, having a low-impact website typically means stripping things back. So using smaller images, removing video, less content on a page, avoiding multiple fonts etc.

But how can you do this without diluting your brand? It’s a challenge that we have been facing so we created a methodology that aligns impact and expectations.

Determine how far you want to give your website a green glow-up.

At Something Familiar, we’ve adapted a tiered approach to sustainable web development – The Gold, Silver Bronze approach. By understanding your business positioning and communication priorities we can build a sustainable website, without impacting your brand presence.

We’ve sourced some excellent example websites to see where they fall on our scale. All of these websites demonstrate excellent design and brand impact, but offer varying levels of sustainable web design.

GOLD: Lean and Green

Those who have achieved sustainable website zen! Exemplary brand communication and aesthetic, whilst upholding impressively low page weight. Sacrifices are evident in the absence of motion and video, with minimal utilisation of photography, opting primarily for a typography or vector-based design approach. However, these sacrifices are executed with meticulous consideration and attention to detail.

Genesis

https://eatgenesis.com/
A 100% plant based alchemy restaurant concept.
Design notes:

  • The trippy illustrations are light on the load time. Fun and super memorable.
  • On desktop the cursor becomes a source of subtle light – encouraging interaction with the illustrations.
  • It’s simple – a responsive one pager. Due to the optimised content it responds very well to different screen breakpoints.
  • The dark colour scheme consumes less power on devices – see more on the benefits of dark mode here.
  • Carbon rating: A
  • First visit from Beacon – CO2: 0.026g / SIZE: 82.24 KB

 

Happy Base

https://happybase.monwest.nl/en
Offering up creative services and coaching.
Design notes:

  • Media placement is minimal, light and small. Used strategically where it counts for warmth, adding depth to content.
  • The annotations and scribbles feel like an effective on-brand wayfinding device, encouraging scroll exploration.
  • Confident use of strong heading typography, combined with shapes – instead of images.
  • Carbon rating: B (which goes to show you can still have a great score, without being just a one pager.)
  • First visit from Beacon CO2: 0.388g / SIZE: 1.03 MB

 

Doing Good: The Something Familiar Impact Report

https://impact-2023.somethingfamiliar.co.uk/
It wouldn’t be right if we plug our own B Corp impact report microsite now would it 😜
Design notes:

  • We made it our challenge to get to A+. 94% cleaner of all web pages globally on the website carbon calculator (a real challenge when you want to show off everything achieved in the last 12 months)
  • Our stickers go a long way to inject personality. Light little Lottie Files to compliment each chapter, SF style.
  • We used a low code page builder, Bricks Builder, built with clean bloat free code.
  • Our use of video was minimised by looping short autoplay clips rather than playing entire video content.
  • Carbon rating: A
  • First visit from Beacon – CO2: 0.131g / SIZE: 420.56 KB

SILVER: Sustainable standard

Could this be the ideal equilibrium? Introducing distinctive and captivating features that depart from typographic and flat styling, incorporating depth and distinctive Javascript interactions and animations. Meticulous attention is given to the utilisation of video and highly optimised images.

Flayks

https://flayks.com/
Portfolio site of designer/art director Félix Péault
Design notes:

  • The layout is incredible and highly engaging. This is partially due to super confident use of typography – it does a lot of the work in place of heavy media.
  • Video is used strategically, and only plays when within your viewport.
  • Carbon rating: B
  • First visit from Beacon – CO2: 0.131g / SIZE: 420.56 KB

Flying Papers

https://www.flyingpapers.com/
Beautifully branded cannabis products.
Design notes:

  • The jiggy illustrated characters are really cute and memorable – helps to feel immersed in their brand-world.
  • Lovely experience on mobile, a scalable approach that feels consistent to the big screens.
  • Clever use of variable fonts and viewport responsive design to keep the ratio of content to whitespace even.
  • Carbon rating: C
  • First visit from Beacon – CO2: 0.634g / SIZE: 1.69 MB

Pest Stop Boys

https://peststopboys.co.uk/
A contemporary pest control service.
Design notes:

  • Illustrations utilising that vibrant colour palette eliminate the need for any images on the site.
  • Simple, subtle interactions go a long way: the transitions, rollover links and on-scroll illustration movement is fun.
  • The cursor in the hero encourages exploration and puts the brand in centre focus, without using heavy media.
  • Carbon rating: C
    First visit from Beacon – CO2: 0.627g / SIZE: 1.97 MB

BRONZE: Luxury over low-carbon 

Basic in terms of sustainability, but bespoke in terms of design impact. These sites offer incredible experiences to their users and have won Awwwards for their work, but this comes at the sacrifice of page weight. Keep in mind though that these sites have different objectives and are aimed at a smaller audience.

Mita

https://www.joinmita.com/
A new app to share and invest in artists.
Design notes:

  • A slick, contemporary site to that’s bespoke down the small details, even the cookie consent looks legit.
  • It’s media rich, and has to be to sell the features and benefits of the platform.
  • It also prioritises aesthetic over accessibility – which is a reflection of the audience it’s targeting.
  • This won an Awwwards SOTM (site of the month,) which is a huge accolade.
  • Carbon rating: E
  • First visit from Beacon – CO2: 1.105g / SIZE: 3.48 MB

Opal Tadpole

https://opalcamera.com/opal-tadpole
Plush little cameras and webcams
Design notes:

  • Premium, elevated experience is priority over tip-top accessibility.
  • Silky smooth product renders are essential to show off the webcam specifications.
  • Plenty of immersive (but necessary) images and video to sell the product ramp up the page weight.
  • Carbon rating: F
  • First visit from Beacon – CO2: 6.539g / SIZE: 20.58 MB

Bearbrick Audio

https://bearbrick.audio/
Iconic collectibles from Medicom – now speaker-fied.
Design notes:

  • The dynamic apple-esque landing page serves up a really enjoyable experience to scroll through.
  • It’s media rich and interactive in order to convert – but also helps to sell the storytelling piece about Bearbrick ‘finding its voice’.
  • The on scroll animations and high quality assets are necessary to reflect the price point associated with collectable culture. Also helps to reinforce the value of the Medicom/Bearbrick brands.
  • Carbon rating: F (but a design: A)
  • First visit from Beacon – CO2: 7.307g / SIZE: 19.45 MB

So what action can you take?

Here’s some simple design-focused moves you can make now to start reaching green glowup. Ideally, these should all be actioned or considered at the beginning of a project.
  1. Variable fonts
    Reduce the amount of fonts being loaded on your site. A variable font ecompasses a slew of weights within one file, vs. the old days of loading 5-6 heavy separate files.
  2. Be strategic with media
    Beyond compressing/optimising your media, think about its value and positioning. Immersive images and video assets should be saved for key parts of communication.
  3. Make things move
    Elevate your website’s storytelling with scroll stopping motion. If you haven’t already, check out our Motion Manifesto, trust.
  4. To further this point, ramp up typography to really push how tone and messaging can be delivered without relying on heavy media.
  5. Main character: mobile
    Designing mobile first might not be your thing, but regardless of order – get your mobile design optimised. Cater to accessibility on small devices to make the experience just as beaut.
  6. Make accessibility breezy
    Get Stark (plugin) involved in your design process to eliminate any accessibility risks. It’s a lovely little plugin in Figma you can use to review typography, palettes and contrast. It’s all aligned with the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) too.
  7. Lastly, try to avoid accessibility overlays
    Here’s a great explainer why.

To wrap up…

With all this in mind, think about where your website to sit on the sustainable spectrum. Ultimately, the outcome is reaching a happy medium that meets objectives, delivers a killer experience and practises sustainability.

Or if you want us to do it – get in touch. ✌️

This article was written by Kenz Meadows, Lead Editor of Squarely Magazine. Squarely is The Square Club’s lifestyle magazine; as a member of Bristol’s Best Co-working space, you are able to pick up a complimentary copy! Find out more here.

Best known for the annual Oktoberfest bacchanal, Munich is a patchwork of old and new. The neon signs for gambling halls above an independent Birkenstock shop, monastic breweries and a world famous Glockenspiel just round the corner from the H&M make knowing where to look a bit of a headspin. But knowing where to go is a much easier task to manage. The rich tradition of monastic brewing and the beerhalls Oktoberfest celebrates are just as delightful an experience without the nearly six million international tourists the festival reliably draws each year.

Of course, the guidebooks will tout the most renowned beer halls like the Hofbrauhaus, that are sure to be on everyone’s list. While the beer halls still largely employ table sharing, seating multiple parties at the same table, walk-ins are not typically something this particular hall accommodates–not even in the off season. So, reserve your steins well in advance.

I spoke with Membership Manager, Pelin Yüksel, at our reciprocal Famtain Club, in the heart of the Altstadt–or Old City. A native to Turkey, she had an outsider’s perspective on Munich and how the club fits in to the city’s social scene. “Munich is very business-oriented — I think people have a hard time turning off and having fun. In response, Famtain focuses on being a social club–presenting opportunities for our members to relax, enjoy themselves, and socialize outside of an office environment.” And if you’re foregoing your office watercooler for social engagement, you could do worse than the Famtain. It drips with lush colours, delicate hand-painted wallpaper and extremely inviting furnishings. I could have easily overstayed my welcome. The restaurant has a revolving menu of seasonally appropriate dishes, offering fusion cuisine with effortless expertise.

As regards to Oktoberfest, Yüksel is pleased to offer our members all the same access to amenities their own members receive. However, if the beer halls are hard to get into during the off-season, they’re impossible to reserve for the festival. Book now. Better yet, book yesterday. And be sure to reach out to the Famtain Club when you do, it doesn’t hurt to have an in when arranging your own autumnal jaunt.

If, like I did, you feel compelled to brush up on your high school German speaking skills, I would recommend really committing to it. Nearly everyone in the city spoke enough English to reveal my German for the exercise in futility that it is. While plenty of nations embrace and admire tourists making the effort to speak the local language, I did not get the impression this was one. I would absolutely recommend getting out of the city for an afternoon. I took the train out to Hoehenschwangau, grabbing fresh pretzels and bottles of beer at a stop along the way. Watching the countryside roll by you, warm salty baked good in-hand, is enough to make anyone seriously consider a rural Bavarian lifestyle change.

While the castle was impressive, I was disappointed by the tour at Neuschwanstein Schloss. The quark donuts from a stand down the hill from the castle were ample consolation after the expensive English audio tour though. Back in Munich, the museum I enjoyed most was the Alte Pinakothek. The expansive collection was home to more than a few masters even I, a novice in fine art, was surprised to see in person. My highlight from the trip was absolutely the food, but specifically the food purchased off the cornucopia of vendors in the Viktualienmarkt. Don’t miss the pickles. Seriously.

Bristol Creative Industries is thrilled to launch a partnership with The Early Careers Foundation (ECF), a social mobility charity that works with young people from low-income backgrounds across the country, to ensure that talent and hard work are what determine their career success, not background.

Social inequality is a huge problem in the UK, with family wealth at birth (not IQ, race, or gender) still the most accurate predictor of future financial success. The Early Careers Foundation is committed to ensuring that talent, not background, is what determines a young person’s career success.

One of the Foundation’s initiatives is its Mentoring Programme, which pairs employees from corporate partner organisations with 16-18-year-olds from the organisation’s school partners for monthly hour-long mentoring sessions.

Volunteer to be a mentor and support young people

Thanks to this new partnership, we’re thrilled that Bristol Creative Industries members can volunteer to be a mentor to one of these high potential young people using the Foundation’s expertly designed resources to support building their confidence, developing their employability skills and offering invaluable professional guidance.

The Foundation does the leg work – covering the cost of your enhanced DBS check, running comprehensive training sessions and providing expertly designed resources to structure each session – so that the only ‘eligibility’ criteria is that you are enthusiastic, happy to share learnings from your own professional experience and crucially, committed to at least 10 months of mentoring sessions.

Mentor applications open on 2 April and close on 1 August. You can get started TODAY. Read through the ECF Mentor Prospectus Flyer (2024-25) and apply directly through this link (this can also be found at the bottom of the prospectus).

Please note that you need to be a Bristol Creative Industries member to take advantage of this exciting opportunity. If you’re not a member, join today.

Hi Bristol Creative Industry members 👋. 

If you’re after a bit of inspiration from creative leaders across the globe then take a gander at The Changemakers brought to you by Shaped By. It’s a series of talks with amazing and brilliant minds driving forward creativity.

It started as a podcast picking the brains of brand, creative and marketing leaders in the world of B2B tech. Dave Corlett our Business Director was the original host and he’s delved into some belter of discussions on:

We then morphed it into different formats with multiple guests, got other Shape-lings to join hosting, and hit record on the video. While it’s been a privilege to chat with people from brands like Microsoft, Stripe, Zapier, Drift, and Webflow, we wanted to bring a new flavour to the series. So we’re looking outside of the norm, and interviewing people who are super interesting from a creative and design perspective. We’re talking sound designers, illustrators, artists and so on. 

You can watch the first foray into these as we spoke to Adam Legg, a Bristol-based composer and sound designer who we’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with. We dug a little deeper into the secret art of sound design. What’s the process? How do you ensure it’s relevant to the storytelling? And ultimately, what’s the difference between a ‘meh’ sound design and one that makes you stand out and take notice? Check it out here

We’re lucky to have had so many smart, insightful chats with genuinely good people over the 40+ episodes we’ve got in the can; and we’re excited to take this to the next level. 

Check out all the episodes yourself on your favourite platform below:

🟢 Spotify 

🍏 Apple

🔴 YouTube

And if it floats your boat, subscribe, like and share. 😊

✌️ Alex Waite, Marketing Director @ Shaped By

South West-based brand and communications specialist AgencyUK has announced record growth as evolutions in the company’s culture continue to drive unprecedented levels of performance, despite an economically turbulent period for many.

AgencyUK (AUK) achieved record numbers in their 2023 financial results, following two years of cultural alignment and investment in their new Senior Management Team led by founding members Sammy Mansourpour and Amy Stobie. The business has delivered 220% annual growth in revenue for each financial period since January 2020, putting them on track to becoming one of the UK’s largest independently owned agencies.

“Celebrating 16 years is a seminal moment for the whole agency. It really feels like a transition into adulthood. As an established agency business with a team rich in experience, it is in no small part down to our team embracing creativity and new technology. AI and data analytics have made a meaningful difference to our work, by fuelling our creativity and building in new features around advertising campaign performance. This has been instrumental for our clients, particularly those in the B2B space, where we have a particular foothold in the healthcare sector. And we’ve seen the agency grow exponentially because of it,” says Sammy Mansourpour, Managing Director.

In 2021, the Senior Management Team focused on expanding the agency’s client portfolio in the health, life science and pharmaceutical sectors, leading to a record signing of three top-tier new drug development organisations, as well as launching Our Future Health, a nationwide health research programme in partnership with the NHS, which now has over 1.2 million participants across the UK. 

The agency now boasts a stronger B2B portfolio making up 50% of its revenue. The remaining 50% houses well-known food, drink, health and wellbeing brands, including beloved sweet brand Chewits, currently enjoying a renaissance since our amplified brand campaigns and award-winning work across social media.

In response, the agency has expanded its in-house teams by growing its creative department and assembling a new senior management team, recruited from its in-house fast track careers programme. Overall staff numbers have increased by 50% with a further 30% expected to be in place by January 2025.

“We are of course delighted with the performance of the business over the past five years, and we have no doubt that our long-term investment in developing the agency’s culture and staff careers plays a significant part in our success on the bottom line. We welcome turning 16 with open arms,” says Amy Stobie, Director.

The AUK leadership team has embarked on a comprehensive programme of cultural development, sustainability and community outreach. Framed around people, planet and community, these initiatives also form the bedrock of the agency’s commitment to being a certified B Corp since their accreditation in 2021, as well as an award-winning staff development and well-being programme.

As another year draws to a close we look back on some of the fantastic web design and web development projects we have worked on during 2023. Over the course of the past year we have worked with some amazing clients and delivered high quality, bespoke websites built on either WordPress or OpenCart content management systems.

To celebrate another great year of designing and developing websites in Bristol we have decided this year to put together a video showreel showing off our recent work.

This year we have worked with Dream Bites creating an ecommerce sweet treat website, brochure website for civil engineering company Lynwood Civil, ecommerce and informational website for Cardiff Nail & Beauty Training School, brochure website for mortgage broker Mortgage Gold, brochure website for The Natural Pool Company and many more.

Not only do we provide amazing web design and development we have also provided responsive and transparent website maintenance and support to a range of our clients this year to ensure their websites are up to date, new features are added or given technical assistance through our client portal and maintenance packages.

Grab the popcorn, sit back, relax and discover some of the exciting web design projects that we have been busy with!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PieOBe99qFo&ab_channel=eckhoMedia

According to the World Economic Forum, critical thinking and problem-solving skills are at the top of the skills list that employers believe will grow in prominence over the next five years.  Yet we continue to passively meander through our working week; going to meetings where there’s no one leading and there are too many invitees, observing team members who are distracted or doing something else.  We leave the room feeling frustrated at the time wasted, and none the wiser on how we’re going to solve the problem we came together to discuss.

A few stats I found on time wasted in meetings (US research):

·      71% of senior managers believe meetings are unproductive and inefficient

·      Only 50% of employees feel their ideas are heard during meetings

·      An estimated 50% of meeting time is spent on irrelevant topics

·      Companies with fewer than 50 employees waste an average of $18k per year on unproductive meetings, whilst for companies with over 100 employees it’s an average of $420,000

What if we turned these lazy, lacklustre meetings into something positive?  What if we started running bite-sized workshops instead, putting our energy into creating experiences for participants to problem-solve together?

Do workshops take more time and effort to plan?

Initially, yes.  But … the more you do, the more confident you’ll become, and the quicker you’ll be at designing activities that actually help solve problems, where everyone leaves the room with an agreed plan of action that’s been created by you all.

What’s the difference between a meeting and a workshop?

I use the following distinction to guide me.  If your goal is simply to share or exchange information then a meeting will suffice.  If your goal is to solve a problem where you need input from people with different skills and experience (those skills and experience will be based on the topic and outcome you’re after), and that will result in actionable options, then try running a workshop.

5 tips to get you started

1. Only invite participants who will contribute, and have a diverse set of skills and experience

2. Share the workshop purpose and goals with participants beforehand, so they know what to expect.  And don’t be afraid to give them pre-work to help get them into the zone beforehand

3. Design activities that will play to the strengths of the participants and different learning styles – consider a mix of discussion, individual reflection and group work

4. Don’t be afraid to flex the agenda if you feel like another way might be more effective in achieving your goal

5. Always capture actions with owners at the end, to ensure you keep up momentum after the workshop

New year challenge – facilitating positive change

Give it a go in January, and let me know how you get on … Tell your team and clients that you’re trying something different, and encourage them to do the same.

If you need help, get in touch.  I’m running a Workshop Wizardry ‘workshop’ on 31st January, which will be packed with handy tools and techniques to build your workshop confidence. I also offer tailored in-house sessions with your team with 20% off for BCI members.