Huckle the Barber Press Release

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Brief

Huckle the Barber needed a PR communication to fire off whenever they receive media enquiries.

Thoughts

Quality male grooming is not new in London so what makes Huckle the Barber special? It was my job to find out, through conversations with the boss and my own market research.

What the client said: >

Sample copy

New Barber Takes the Chore Out of Male Grooming

Huckle the Barber is a smart cut and shave barbershop in London. The first branch was opened on Old Street by owner Chris Ward in 2012 and the Lamb’s Conduit Street branch followed in January 2016. Huckle aims to fill a gap in the market by offering modern cuts with traditional service in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

Chris explains the Huckle ethos:

“We want to take the chore out of getting a haircut so it’s something men look forward to. Our clients build a trusting relationship with their Huckle barber; they know they’ll get a good cut every time so they can relax. I love it when a client tells me Huckle has ended their search for the right barber.”

All Huckle barbers are hired directly by Chris and have seven or more year’s experience. The lineup includes top session stylists who, when they’re not at Huckle, can be found styling celebrities’ hair or at fashion shows in London, New York, Paris and Milan.

The look of both branches (a collaboration with interior designer Laura Bracken) is inspired by a butcher’s shop; white ceramic London underground tiles and grooming products displayed on a meat counter. Clients sit in Takara Belmont barber’s chairs. Both branches have KEF sound systems and the Huckle playlists, updated each month, are available on Spotify.

Chris again:

“I want clients to feel well looked after, like they would in a member’s club. They know they’re getting the best but it’s enjoyable, not intimidating or stuffy.”

Each client receives a complimentary drink from a selection including: craft ale (on tap at Lamb’s Conduit Street), whisky (currently Japanese favourite Nikka From the Barrel), Hackney Darks Arts coffee and Bloody Marys on Saturdays. The Lamb’s Conduit Street branch holds a regular comedy night, Cut Throat Comedy, hosts bands for exclusive sessions and puts on occasional vinyl listening parties for clients and friends.
 
CHRIS WARD, FOUNDER & OWNER – HUCKLE THE BARBER
I needed content to engage with Huckle the Barber’s clients but I’m a barber, not a writer, and I’m pushed for time. Olly wrote quality marketing communications that cut through the fluff and weren’t too salesly. He got my brand straightaway and his copy hit the right tone.

He offered great advice and turned the work around with a professional and personable attitude. Hiring Olly is money well spent and I’d recommend him to any business. It’s the perfect solution for busy people who need copy: after briefing you can leave the job in his hands and you don’t have to worry – another box ticked.
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Huckle the Barber Sales Email

HuckleTheBarber 1 - Huckle the Barber Sales Email
HuckleTheBarber 1 7ce17eb4612034df44846721a44cf69c - Huckle the Barber Sales Email

Brief

Huckle the Barber wanted a light-hearted tone for their Christmas mail out to promote a local event and one of their unique selling points – great music playlists.

Thoughts

I had the pleasure of getting my hair cut at Huckle the Barber, which helped me understand their brand. The humorous tone fits well with the upmarket but laid back feel of the barbershops.

What the client said: >

Sample copy

Ho, ho, ho. Get your stockings out, Santa wants to empty his sack.

Whether you embrace Christmas with the slobbering enthusiasm of a sherry-fuelled granny, or collapse like a myotonic fainting goat at the mere mention of the word – no matter.

Shop local, live happy

One thing is past debate: the Lamb’s Conduit Christmas Shopping Evening and Raffle is simply the best thing happening this Thursday 1st December, from noon until 8 pm.

London’s finest community of shops and restaurants will be laying on food, fun and one-day only discounts.

And the raffle prizes? By the beard of Zeus they’re good. How does a £90 Huckle the Barber gift voucher sound?

Enter and win? Wahey! Free presents for your(self) loved ones. No luck? Rest easy in the knowledge that your coin is supporting Coram’s Field, a charity that runs an incredible seven acre park for children and young people in central London.

While we’re in the giving mood…

For Your Listening Pleasure

Part of our service is creating a pleasant relaxed atmosphere in each of our barbershops.

Good music is critical to this.

We spent serious coin on KEF systems so you can enjoy great tunes, how they’re meant to sound.

This playlist, also heard in store, is our gift to you. And here’s a link to Huckle barber Marshal Darling’s superb Radar Radio show.

You can tell your mates you “stumbled on these tracks while digging in the crates”. We won’t mind, and the delicious rhythms might help you digest that ill-advised fourth helping.

Happy holidays.
 
Chris Ward, Founder & Owner – HUCKLE THE BARBER
I needed content to engage with Huckle the Barber’s clients but I’m a barber, not a writer, and I’m pushed for time. Olly wrote quality marketing communications that cut through the fluff and weren’t too salesly. He got my brand straightaway and his copy hit the right tone.

He offered great advice and turned the work around with a professional and personable attitude. Hiring Olly is money well spent and I’d recommend him to any business. It’s the perfect solution for busy people who need copy: after briefing you can leave the job in his hands and you don’t have to worry – another box ticked.
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Canababes Food Sales Email

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Brief

A mail out to mark this catering company’s one year anniversary.

Thoughts

Canababes grew from using their home kitchen to needing commercial space amazingly quickly. They must be doing something right. They wanted to keep their clients and friends up to speed and give them a little something for free.

Sample copy 

Are you planning an event where there will be hungry guests to feed? If you need a unique menu for your wedding, canapés for an intimate soirée, or a three course feast to treat your staff, the Canababes offer professional, competitively-priced catering tailored to your needs.

We cannot believe over a year has passed since we launched Canababes, but we’re thrilled to reveal a little of what we’ve been up to. And as a small thank you for supporting our foodie adventures, further down the page we’re serving up a delicious Canababes recipe to help make your own festive gathering the talk of the town.

We have been overwhelmed by the response to our venture and we’ve had the opportunity to cook at some wonderful events. From battling gale force winds while barbecuing perfectly pink lamb for ninety people at Trinity Buoy Wharf, and laying on an Indian-inspired vegetarian feast for a wedding in Hackney Wick, to whipping up a banquet for 120 at the Asylum, a beautiful candlelit chapel in Peckham, working in the tiniest of spaces behind a crumbling stone wall.

Smiling diners and happy customers tell us there is an appetite for Canababes’ fresh and tasty food and we think it’s only right that we should give something back to you: those who’ve helped us turn our dreams into reality. (LINK TO RECIPE).

Thanks for reading. We look forward to feeding you soon…

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Gtechniq

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Brief

Gtechniq is a market-leading, hi-tech car care product. The brief was to create taglines and ad concepts that would set Gtechniq apart from its competitors and position it as the premium product in its class.

Thoughts

This was a fun project. I worked hard to identify interesting social truths about the car care sector, to connect this product to wider issues and tap into the emotions associated with looking after cars.

Sample Designs

Forcefields - Gtechniq Automotive care slogan - Gtechniq

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Growing Communities

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Brief

Growing Communities run an organic vegetable scheme in Hackney, London ‘changing the world one carrot at a time’. They hired me to write snappy slogans for posters to help recruit new customers.

Thoughts

A five word limit is actually quite liberating: parameters within which you can be endlessly creative. Punning and alliteration came to the fore in these two examples.

What the client said: >

Sample Designs

One - Growing Communities Two - Growing Communities

 

Richenda Wilson, Marketing Coordinator – Growing Communities

Olly wrote copy for posters to persuade people to sign up to our local organic veg scheme. He went the extra mile and offered more ideas to extend and complement the original brief. I recommend Olly for his professionalism, sense of humour and the speed he turns work around.
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Canababes Food Slogan Writing

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Project

Canababes are an East London catering outfit. They needed a sizzling slogan to complement their tasty offerings and adorn their new website.

Brief

It was a no-brainer. The personalities of Canababes’ founders Juge and Katie are what make the company shine (apart from the food of course). After I shared lots of ideas they settled on this neat slogan.

Canababes 1 - Canababes Food Slogan Writing

EVENT FOOD WITH PERSONALITY

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Ikano Bank 02

ikano 1 - Ikano Bank 02
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Brief

This new bank wanted content to help start an online conversation around people’s relationship with money

Thoughts

This blog was focused on practical advice for those fundraising for a charity challenge


What the client said: >

Sample copy

What’s harder, running a marathon or fundraising for one?

Perhaps the latter. After a week of work and training, raising money is the last thing on your mind. But there are funds to be had. In 2014 the UK was ranked eighth (out of 130) on the World Giving Index and we gave £10.6 billion to good causes. Sponsorship was the third most popular way to give (after direct donations and donated items). Take a dose of Born to Run (the song AND the book) as inspiration, and digest these simple tips for fundraising glory.

1. Ask

The number one reason people give is because they were asked. Start with your family, friends and colleagues. Kicking things off with a few chunky pledges (the average in 2014 was £10) from your nearest and dearest will influence subsequent donor behaviour.

2. Make it personal

Tell your story. Why do you want to run the length of 400 football pitches? How are you finding the training? Why is the cause important to you? Be funny, be honest. Take people on your journey with regular updates.

3. Use technology

Digital platforms can help you reach more people than ever before. But reaching them isn’t enough. You need impact. Refer to the previous tip. Take time to make your page and posts unique to you. Videos and pictures are even more powerful than words.

4. Go offline

Charitable giving was around long before social media. Many older people are not online (only 15% of donors gave online in 2014) and the most popular method of donating is still cash (55% of donors used this method). Arrange to meet face to face: it’s much harder to say no in person!

5. Demonstrate impact

Donors are primarily supporting you but that doesn’t mean the cause is not important. Understanding exactly how a donation will help is a strong incentive to give. Also, think who in your circle shares an interest in the charity, then make a personal approach.

6. Bring people together

Put the fun back in fundraising (groan). Where there are good vibes the feeling of obligation is removed. Give your friends a great time in exchange for their donation by hosting a movie night or dinner party.

7. Strength in numbers

Marathon fundraising teams raise on average 10% more than individuals. Training and fundraising partners are good for morale.

8. Delegate

As race day approaches you’ll have your plate full so ask a family member to manage your fundraising for you. They can send and answer emails, and upload new photos and videos.

9. Say thanks

The post-race high will inevitably be followed by a low. But that’s no reason to forget your fundraising. Let everyone know how you got on and thank them for their support. Up to 20% of donations are made after the event so this is more than just politeness.

10. Get inspired

By Steve Chalke. In 2011 he entered the Guinness Book of Records with the highest amount ever raised by a single marathon runner: £2,330,159.38. It can be done.

Good luck.


Lucy Witt, Senior Consultant – Claremont Communications
We needed interesting content on people’s relationship with money for the new website of our client, Ikano Bank. Olly produced a set of high quality articles and really understood what we were trying to achieve – i.e. start an online conversation around everyday financial topics. The tone of his articles was spot on – approachable, jargon free and honest, with just the right amount of humour.

Olly provided a considered and professional service. He asked lots of questions upfront, which was reassuring because it meant he was taking time to understand the brief. His delivery was prompt and he helped to promote our website by sharing his articles across his own social media platforms. He’s a reliable supplier, no nonsense (he just gets it) and fun to work with.
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Panopto

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Brief

Panopto are a tech company who make video-learning software. They have a strong content marketing strategy and asked me to contribute a blog on employee training.

Thoughts

I carried out research to find relevant, recent developments to peg the post to, and chose the top five format as it works well for the web. The tone and language are authoritative and factual.

Sample copy

As business leaders reflect on last year’s results and implement improvement plans, the bottom line continues to be top priority. Yet as firms embrace new revenue streams and roll out new cost-savings initiatives, all too many overlook another internal investment that has proven to boost results — their people.

As a recent Deloitte survey shows, developing a business culture focused on purpose along with profits can help give companies the edge over their competitors. A strong sense of purpose boosts business confidence and confidence is infectious, attracting talent, encouraging investment and fuelling growth.

But how do companies create a ‘culture of purpose’?

Effective training is vital, to ensure employees understand your company’s mission. 77% of employees surveyed by Deloitte believe ongoing training helps to achieve that all important sense of purpose. But not all training methods are created equal — research suggests as much as 11% of employee training may be “unproductive learning”.

Traditional training methods are often ineffective (manuals fall out of date soon after they’ve been produced), expensive (upwards of half the cost of off-site seminars is spent on travel alone), or incomplete (as senior employees are not always available to share their expertise) — and sometimes all three. Add to this a cubicle culture in which workers feel disconnected from management decisions and you have a recipe for disillusionment and high staff turnover.

Technology, especially video, is addressing these challenges by revolutionizing the way knowledge is shared and used. Using new software Learning and Development professionals can reach more people, more effectively than ever before. Improving access to information not only equips staff with the skills needed to achieve personal and organizational goals, but also fosters an open culture with a shared sense of purpose.

Here are 5 ways using video in employee training can help your company build a culture of purpose.

1. Speed up onboarding

For new hires to hit the ground running, managers need to quickly communicate large amounts of information. But with remote working and packed schedules, it’s not always possible to get recruits in the same room for face-to-face training. Instead, webcasting training sessions offers a cost-effective way to reach a large audience, offering the ability to communicate values and share up-to-date knowledge so that employees reach productivity quicker. Likewise, an on-demand video training library can help boost new employees’ confidence by giving them instant access to refresh and deepen learning.

2. Improve staff development

In most organizations, every position has at least a handful of unique requirements and expectations. But most traditional training programs don’t incorporate tailored learning, and often, company experts are often too busy to deliver sessions and outline all those particular details. By using video, forward-looking businesses allow employees to learn at their own speed and focus on areas of weakness. A video content management system like Panopto also modernizes the concept of social learning — employees can record presentations and best practice demonstrations, then store them securely where they can be shared and discovered by colleagues whenever needed.

3. Motivate and enable top talent

Experienced staff are a company’s most valuable resource — and keeping them on-mission is critical. Technology can help, by providing tools to help bosses manage their time and employees effectively. Briefings and updates can be recorded ahead of time and shared more widely on-demand, reducing the need to spend time in meetings. Maximising the contribution of your most talented employees raises the bar for all, creating brand ambassadors with a strong and infectious sense of purpose.

4. Promote transparency

A more open culture allows an organization’s sense of purpose to thrive. Staff need to be kept abreast of developments in order to feel part of the team. Video can improve corporate communications, connecting employees to decisions made at a senior level. Video is even beneficial for day-to-day communications — in a world where Forrester Research reports employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read text, a video can be a more effective means to share a message and stand out in an overflowing inbox.

5. Encourage innovation

Closed-door cultures often stifle innovation. And who says only executives know what is best for a company? Video can be used to harness inspiration by creating a forum where employees share their thoughts on company policy or strategy changes. Software like Panopto allows videos to be searched to pinpoint details in the feedback. This is important on two levels — first, by giving the organization a means to seek collect and preserve ideas from any department or level all across the company, and second, by demonstrating to staff that the organization values their thoughts and contributions (itself a proven technique to increase employee loyalty and morale).

The positive impact made by empowered staff on company performance is one that leaders are already well aware of. According to this 2014 Forbes report more than 70% of organizations believe the problem of employee “capability gaps” is one of the most important they face. The digital revolution continues to advance the way information is shared and used and platforms like Panopto offer powerful solutions to business training and development challenges.

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Ikano Bank 01

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Brief

This new bank wanted content to help start an online conversation around people’s relationship with money

Thoughts

The blog was written from personal experience and is an irreverent commentary on the risks and rewards of going freelance

What the client said: >

Sample copy

From 9-to-5er to pen for hire

What I’ve learnt from becoming a freelance copywriter

If you had to interview before going freelance it might run something like this:

‘You’ve got the job. But we can’t pay you. The workload is…unpredictable; a fourteen hour day will be followed by 2 weeks emptier than the Gobi desert. There’s no sick or holiday pay and no pension. Take the desk in-between the toaster and the kettle. You’re on your own.’

This scenario illustrates some realities of being your own boss. But in my experience, nearly 1 year in, the benefits far outweigh the risks. By following my dream and becoming a copywriter I’ve joined the ranks of more than 1.5m people in the UK who class themselves as freelance. I’ve sacrificed job security and subsided canteen slop, but gained creative fulfilment and control of my career. My work life balance is healthier than ever and my relationship with money has changed dramatically for the better.

A freelance copywriter pays his dues

My monthly pay cheque bred complacency; easy come, easy go and the wheels of drudgery kept turning. Now every pound is hard won and paid invoices land in my account like manna from heaven. Understanding the value of money, and my ability to earn it, is an important motivator as I teeter on the cusp of an exciting life stage. I’ve ticked the mortgage box (secured before leaving my job – banks don’t like lending to the newly self-employed) and soon my girlfriend and I want to try for kids. In my romantic vision of the writer’s life I stand at the edge of a boiling sea pondering big questions, like:

‘Can I afford Pampers or should I go own brand?’

Perhaps an ensemble of knotted dishcloths will do. I expected, optimistically, my earnings to soon equal my previous salary. Wrong. There were plenty of copywriters doing a good job before I lobbed my pen in the ring; why should anyone hire me? So, I knuckled down to endure regular rejection and months of unpaid work. When morale was low I took inspiration from the words of Benjamin Franklin:

‘Energy and persistence conquer all things.’

I persisted because the responsibility of providing my unborn child with appropriate underwear is not one I take lightly.

Going rogue is a gamble but the rewards are great; finding and owning your sense of purpose is a huge boost to happiness. Thinking about becoming freelance? Do it. You can never be prepared enough and you might spend your whole life waiting for the right moment. But remember…

Be ambitious – it’s all on you so you have to give 100%.

Be realistic – your income will start low and fluctuate. You’ll need backup savings.

Get out – meet people in the same field; interaction keeps creative juices flowing and prevents conversations with plants.

Get dressed – do this first. If working from home, maintaining sartorial standards puts you in the right frame of mind and stops the neighbours talking.

Lucy Witt, Senior Consultant – Claremont Communications

We needed interesting content on people’s relationship with money for the new website of our client, Ikano Bank. Olly produced a set of high quality articles and really understood what we were trying to achieve – i.e. start an online conversation around everyday financial topics. The tone of his articles was spot on – approachable, jargon free and honest, with just the right amount of humour.

Olly provided a considered and professional service. He asked lots of questions upfront, which was reassuring because it meant he was taking time to understand the brief. His delivery was prompt and he helped to promote our website by sharing his articles across his own social media platforms. He’s a reliable supplier, no nonsense (he just gets it) and fun to work with.

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Knock On

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Logo i 1 fae25120c950c6a81cfcffa81ba66b38 - Knock On

Brief

I was hired to write the promotional copy for this new online magazine.

Thoughts

Mainstream media can be depressing. The same stories are recycled across many outlets. There is a need for fresh, inspiring stories. The type that never make the front pages. My aim was to highlight that need and encourage contributions.

Sample copy

What does it mean to live in the UK in the 21st Century? Where might you turn for answers? The regurgitated parade of soul-crushing bleakness known as mainstream media? Perhaps not.

This new online magazine will share the stories of real people; far more inspiring than those on the front pages of newspapers. Because it’s not politicians that make our island nation great, and its certainly not our football team – it’s us.

We’re looking for writers and photographers to contribute thought-provoking words and images, and help us bring to light the lives of fascinating human beings.

If you have discovered an interesting aspect of UK culture, community, tradition or travel, and you would like to reach a curious audience, drop us a line today.

Knock-on: beyond the news.

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