Tag Archives: Manchester

Manchester marketers networking event

Manchester marketers networking
Manchester marketers networking – a place to swap ideas and make contacts

I always thought there was a gap for a Manchester marketers networking event.

Marketing professionals can be isolated folks.  It has often been the case, more so since marketing depts downsized since the start of the recession.

Yet the need to swap ideas about changes to the profession such as the impact of digital, employing new techniques, finding out how the profession is changing and how to progress your marketing career is more pressing than ever.

So on Thursday 12th December from 6pm there is a new networking event taking place for Manchester marketers.

Creative, social media, digital professionals and those from allied industries are all welcome.

It should be a night of relaxed and productive networking at the Saint James’s Club.

The club is situated at 45 Springfield Gardens Manchester M2 2BG, very near to Rosso.  It is a business institution dating back to 1825 and makes a great venue.

A buffet is provided so you will not have to rush back for tea and there is a bar serving coffee, teas, wines and beers.

The cost is just £10.

I hope you can make it and support this event.

Please contact me on 07957611834 or rob@artisanmc.co.uk

I hope to see you there.


Learn Spanish in Manchester from the professionals – sign up now

learn Spanish in Manchester
Is there any better place to learn Spanish in Manchester than the Instituto Cervantes?

A recent post focussed on languages in PR and how much a PR professional can get out of learning Spanish or German or another tongue for his or her PR career.

It is a point that has featured before as one of the key skills for PR professionals looking to gain a competitive advantage in their careers.

With that in mind I wanted to recommend that those that are interested to learn Spanish in Manchester should consider the Instituto Cervantes.

Instituto Cervantes
Instituto Cervantes Manchester

Fantastic teachers, plenty of cultural activities, an impressive building with concert hall that has Spanish dance classes, library (although my picture does it no justice) and opportunities to mix with Spanish speakers wanting to swap skills: intercambio (conversation swaps).

If you did not enjoy languages at school you will find this a completely different experience, fun, friendly and adult in approach. (If you don’t do your homework then that is your issue).

Classes are from beginners to literature, film and current issues programmes for the more advanced.

All teachers are native speakers from Spain and Latin America and classes tend to avoid English so you learn quicker.

Costs are reasonable.

The reason besides follwing up on earlier posts and wanting to help out the Cervantes is that the more support it receives the more likely it will be here for many years to come.

It is popular.  However, we often don’t appreciate resources until they go and although there is no sign of this with the Instituto Cervantes, I would want those interested to learn Spanish in Manchester and surrounds to use this fantastic organisation and appreciate it now.

New Spanish classes start next week May 14th for all levels and there often new courses starting every month or two, so why not get down to the Insituto Cervantes?

Hasta luego,




More PR agencies in Manchester – but are there too many?

PR agencies in ManchesterA new week, a new PR agency – at least we can say there is no shortage of PR agencies in Manchester to fill the local media pages with news.

I suspect the pattern is being repeated in many other cities as PR professionals turn their skills to working for their own organisations.

It is a welcome development for clients perhaps with new experience being offered from some many PR suppliers.

However, I also suspect that the market cannot maintain so many new PR agencies in Manchester or elsewhere.

The economy is still slumbering along and more to the point PR is changing. 

As pointed out in a recent post PR alone is not what many businesses want or need.  It seems they need a broader range of services: social media, copy writing, marketing as well as those activities that come under “pure” PR.

Manchester although a city, a reasonably big city does not have the wealth of opportunity that London takes for granted although Manchester PR agencies can more than compete with their London rivals. Can it provide the substance for more PR agencies in Manchester for higher end accounts?

If you look at Manchester SMEs, then those same agencies often need to be able to offer a marketing package.

While it is admirable and understandable that so many PR agencies in Manchester seem to be forming, it is interesting to guess the effect on the Manchester PR scene.

Moreover, many of the new agencies in Manchester seem to be focused on B2C rather than B2B, which also asks more questions of the above.

It is not an issue completely confined to PR agencies in Manchester (or other cities), the same could possibly be asked of SEO agencies (in the near to mid-future) and they have generally been enjoying a period of tremendous growth.

But then again we have the issues of Penguin, Panda and Google algorithms there.   

Still, I am not going to predict the future on all but one point: PR is in more flux than it has been since the deregulation of professional services that enabled firms to use advertising in the mid-90s and consequently it is a question of adaptation as well as competition.

The first Stone Roses PR stunt

Stone Roses PR stunt
The first Stone Roses PR stunt cost nothing but a little time and cheek

One morning many years ago I was wondering around Manchester early, before the shops had opened and I came across “Stone Roses” stencilled across the otherwise (for a change) pristine white Central Library and other buildings that offered a blank canvas.

I had no idea who the Stone Roses were – vegetable, mineral or animal (you can still take your pick) – not long after we found out.

So did this free publicity launch the band, I don’t know?  It certainly gave them a new minor urban myth and a bit of controversey as no-one could pin the deed on the Stone Roses.  Nowadays CCTV would lead to a caution, community service and a bill.

But as a PR stunt, graffiti, if you are not caught or do it legally (a bit lame perhaps), seems like an opportunity that should see a little more interest if not done badly as by Coca Cola and its agency, which picked up the blame. (Cue Coca Cola’s PR or branding department getting upset, only reporting the news).

Why do I mention this?

Nostalgia mainly, but also shows a little imagination, an old and tested format and a result perhaps (for consumer PRs).

For B2B PR it would be inappropriate, highly creative or just odd to use graffiti but I like the idea.

Client release: Google Trusted Photographer Nicola Williams 360 Spin approved first Manchester supplier for Google Business Photos

Google Business photos
Google Business Photos comes to Manchester at Folk Cafe Didsbury

Specialist photographer Nicola Williams of 360 Spin has been specifically selected to roll out Google’s new Business Photos programme in Manchester this summer.

Nicola, who will be amongst a select group of photographers in the UK to be involved in the programme, is currently set to cover the Manchester and Stockport areas.

Google Business Photos is building on the work accomplished by Google Places and Google Street View, enabling surfers on Google to view the inside of shops, leisure and hospitality facilities, providing an interactive look around a business’ premises.

Google Business Photos allows businesses to showcase their offering through high quality stills and virtual tours inside their premises. It aims to improve the user experience; enabling potential clients to better connect and understand the business offering.

Google Business Photos enhances the way businesses appear in Google search, places and maps. It is envisaged that small businesses right through to household names across retail, hotel, leisure and entertainment will be at the forefront of taking advantage of Google’s new initiative.

Nicola Williams of 360 Spin comments: “Even though we envisage high profile businesses such as sports clubs, tourist attractions and top hotels incorporating Google Business Photos into their marketing, it is just as accessible to smaller businesses wanting to make a bigger impact online.”

“Google have totally embraced virtual tour technology and taken it to another level. To have your business tour within Google maps when people search locally is an amazing feature and one that our clients are excited to be a part of.”

Nicola has a track record spanning a decade, as a photographer at 360 Spin; of supplying still and virtual tour photography.  She has worked with clients such as Hilton Hotels, property developers Urban Splash, the BBC and ITV, Chelsea Flower Show and the NHS.

To find out more about Google Business Photos at 360 Spin click this link.  Please feel free to use this release on your blogs, websites and media outlets – all links to 360 Spin appreciated.

Google Trusted Photographer

Looking for effective business networking in Manchester? It’s a no brainer!

Are you looking for effective business networking in Manchester?

Well, we are looking for new members for our breakfast networking group Manchester Business Breakfast Club.

We meet every Friday at 7am at our rather nice venue Manchester Tennis & Racquets Club Blackfriars Road Salford M3 7AQ.

Before those that are not early risers turn off I will outline why our group is worth considering.

Firstly we have over 30 members, many of whom are very well connected.  We are welcoming and generous in helping other members; we do not operate in cliques or expect you to be a member for months before business is referred.

The atmosphere of the group is light hearted, fun and irreverent although it aims to generate new business.

As an added bonus we have no membership fees, just a small charge for breakfast.  Any profits the group makes goes back into social gatherings.

MBBC allows only one member from any profession.  So we have only one printer for instance.

However, within a profession there can be a number of disciplines where there is little or no conflict of interest.

So we have a lawyer, Zatmans, and also a family lawyer from Howards Solicitors, as Zatmans does not offer that service.  We also have a Wills writer and a probate genealogist – professions that can work alongside or with legal practices.  We also have outsourced HR that covers employment law.

So who are we looking for?

Generous individuals who are happy to give referrals, possibly offer advice and might use other members’ services, if they feel confident and trust the recipient.  It is about know, like and trust.  In return, new members can expect to receive the same help.

Despite many professions being accounted for we still have the following openings:

  • Architect
  • Art dealers & auctioners
  • Burglar alarms/ security systems
  • Business travel/ travel Agent
  • Care leasing & contract hire
  • Commercial gas & electric
  • Courier services
  • Debt management
  • Interior design
  • Document storage/ management
  • Engineering and manufacturing
  • Estate agents/ letting agents
  • Executive car hire
  • Exhibition companies
  • Florist
  • Franchise consultants
  • Hotels/ venues
  • Recruitment
  • Recycling
  • Restaurant
  • Secretarial/ Virtual PA
  • Sports club – we have had Wigan FC as members in the past and Manchester United came as visitors
  • Surveyor
  • Wholesalers
  • Wine merchants

If you don’t see your profession and are interested in joining please ask, as it might be free.

If you are in the above professions please contact Graham Heap on 07725 993 400 ggheap@yahoo.co.uk

If you come you will be welcomed and will be allowed to come for free for two visits, including a hearty breakfast, before deciding if it is for you.  So why not try and find out if we can help grow your business?

SAScon – must do search marketing & SEO conference in Manchester

SAScon is about to have its inaugural conference launch on 28th April at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

The aim is to bring talented and knowledgeable SEO and search marketing experts, from Europe and the US, in one place to deliver informative and practical advice to marketing, PR and fellow digital professionals.

It is an exciting opportunity, especially as it is in Manchester and will promote the city as a centre of digital talent.

I spoke to Simon Wharton of search marketing agency PushON, and a driving force in organising the event, on why this is a must attend and what attendees will get out of the day.

Simon Wharton explains more, click here to hear the interview. (Is that alliteration?)

Creative Credits: £4,000 government grant towards your PR spend

Are you a business based in Manchester, an SME perhaps?

Are you considering PR, would it help your business?

Well if you want to raise your profile in the business community, with potential clients, then this might be of more than some interest.

NESTA, a body that promotes innovation in business, is providing £4,000 towards the costs of marketing and PR projects.

Recipients will invest £1,000, but as this is matched by a £4,000 grant it will mean that 80% of the cost of a project or campaign will be covered.

The scheme called Creative Credits is a pilot project and is being launched in Greater Manchester, with a possible view to rolling it out to other cities.

So if your company is based in Greater Manchester then why not register, it takes about 10 minutes to do so.  (You will need a company number and be VAT registered).

Click here to register for Creative Credits.

There are 75 grants available, which will be selected in October.  If your business is chosen – it is a lottery process – then you can select a supplier from the online gallery on the Creative Credits Internet site to provide the service you need, be it photography, design or PR.

Artisan will be providing PR and copy writing.  Integrated campaigns providing marketing and social media elements can be provided in conjunction with PR.

Please feel free to contact me, Rob, if you need further information.

Marketing internship opportunity

Northwest Vision and Media is offering the opportunity to gain some valuable experience in marketing in the games industry.

The paid placements are available to North West graduates in marketing and digital disciplines.

The deadline for applications is Friday 24th July at midday, so if interested contact ianw@visionandmedia.co.uk for an application form.

It looks like a good opportunity to get some valuable experience and get a career going – so what are you waiting for (if indeed you are graduate starting out)?

Manchester Social Media Cafe – first impressions


I have been meaning to get down to Social Media Cafe Manchester for some time but events conspire against me.  Still I overcame the odds and made it.

I was not sure what to expect exactly.  It was probably an unusual initiation as it turned out.  I did not break off into any of the groups but just had a chat with some of the attendees, it proved to be an enjoyable and productive evening if you are going to put values on things.

I had the opportunity to speak to Manoj Ranaweera, who I have been aware of for some time (through the Internet and social media sites) but somehow never met – a few name drops showed we share many associates, contacts and friends.

Manoj talked me through his Edocr document sharing site or as he puts it a “kind of document You Tube.”  With traditional media under pressure Manoj’s concept is certainly a welcome tool for pushing out content.  I will be exploring and I am sure using shortly.

I also got to talk to another journalist / PR freelancer Carolyn Hughes.  Carolyn has an interesting mixture of work and is in part guided by doing projects that she has a personal interest in pursuing.  It is interesting (repetition of “interest ” but cannot think of an alternative) speaking to other freelancers.

A special note about Craig McGinty, who was present.  Craig is about to move to France – a sensible move as his main blog is “This French Life.”

I know Craig will be on Twitter, e-mail, blogging, Facebook, probably LinkedIn but I must say I will miss hearing his wisdom over a pint or as he says a “sherbet.”  Craig is really knowledgeable about social media and also generous and honest with his advice.  I can only hope some of his views have permeated my intellect such as it is over teh past couple of years.

A mention for Mario Cacciottolo and his Someone Once Told Me site, which features an interesting quotes and photography project.

Last but not least Matt from Orchard Suits and Richard Hudson from Vanilla Storm who gallantly helped me prop up the bar.

I think I will be going again, especially if I can get there for the pre-match meal as organised by Sarah Hartley, the former Manchester Evening News online editor.

My only question is, “Does this count as work?”