Taking the leap of faith and joining Dare..

So there you go, I’ve said what I wanted to say for a reasonably long time now, I’m joining Dare. For anyone that knows me, a secret like that is hard to keep. As the ever wise Tom Fishburne shows above, we don’t always know entirely what we’re letting ourselves in for but isn’t that exciting. There’s obviously the fear of the unknown, the change of surroundings and the new people, but leaps of faith have to be taken to move forward, to better myself, to keep me on my toes and to take myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve had a fantastic time with my boss @pbizzle, so this was a tough decision but nonetheless the decision has been made.

Tom describes the image like so:

Most careers are not rung-by-rung linear paths. Instead, they involve a series of flying leaps, not knowing whether those leaps will take you up, down, or sideways. Or if you’ll miss the trapeze altogether. Or if there’s even a net.
It takes courage to take each leap. And patience when you’re not headed the direction you’d like.It takes courage to take each leap.
Thinking about your career in purely a linear way focuses you on all the wrong things and blinds you to the actual experiences along the way. Worst of all, it can make you risk-adverse.

It’s much easier to stand still and be happy where you are and doing what you’re doing. Hey, I am happy where I am and doing what I’m doing. But i’ve always wanted to be constantly developing, being adaptable, taking risks, moving onwards and upwards and making my own destiny. And I guess you only do that by taking leaps of faith.

Risks sometimes don’t pay off. That’s why they are risks.

‘To expose to a chance of loss or damage; hazard’

Here’s one example: The first ‘proper’ job out of Uni that I took didn’t work out. I naively accepted it while I was still at Uni thinking I was clever not to have to worry about months of job hunting. In hindsight I didn’t give myself the time to appraise whether it was the right thing to do. I had a week time difference from finishing Uni to starting work. Within months of starting I was desperately unhappy and found myself questioning what it was I wanted to do, where I wanted to go and how I was going to get there. I’d studied a Marketing degree for 4 years at University which lent itself to the job I was in, within the Marketing team of a large retailer, where I was told that jobs didn’t exist to do with social media. I disagreed. When 4 months later I had quit, I wondered if what I’d studied for my degree was completely useless. Of course it wasn’t but at the time I thought differently.

Licking my wounds I moved to London without a job, just before the economy imploded.  Everyone asked me what I was smoking. My parents said I needed to stick at it. But I knew it wasn’t right. It didn’t *feel* right. So I trusted my instinct and took a risk. To thrust myself in to uncertainty in the country’s capital. Even though the job didn’t work out, the life lessons it taught me were invaluable and accelerated my thought processes to get me to where I am now, I firmly believe that.

After a short and highly enjoyable stint at Splendid, working with some inspirational people, I joined the fold at Consolidated PR where I’ve been involved with some brilliant projects, which Paul mentions here in the inaugural company blog post over at Thatsgreatand.com

I’ll paraphrase the post:

In the last twelve months we’ve set up our digital and social media stall here in the Covent Garden office, commenced an agency-wide social media education and training programme and started integrating social media activity into project and retained campaigns for clients in both London and Edinburgh.  In this short space of time we’ve delivered digital and social media work for a whole range of brands and organisations – MTV, several parts of the Scottish Government, The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, learndirect and Mishcon de Reya just to name a few.  On top of that we’ve got lots more exciting work on the boil with a number of other clients, and an appetite for more in 2010.

So as is evident, in a year we’ve made great progress.

However, I’ve always held a great curiosity and interest in adland. Paul gave me stick for having a subscription to Campaign magazine. But I always felt at some point I’d move in to it. Don’t ask me why, it was just one of those fate type things I felt would happen. Which leads me wonderfully to my next leap of faith. Dare, the digital agency of the decade.

I’m excited about the new challenge, settling in to the role of Social Media Planner and mixing it up with the web trendies.

Let’s hope it’s an upwards leap on the career trapeze. Wish me luck!

What do your brand colours say about you?

Is there an art or a science to choosing the ‘right’ brand colours? Well, it’s generally not just something that is based on guess work.  More often than not, expert consultation would have been sought and an incomprehensible amount of hours spent on choosing the right identity for a brand.

Colour is massively important but each has a different feel, identity and number of associations. There are also cultural differences when using colours, something that will always need to be thought about when doing global campaigns transcending different regions.

For example, a lesser known fact may be that in China, red is the colour of happiness and central to the wedding theme, signifying joy, love and prosperity. However, interestingly enough, the very same colour should never be used for text as when written it signifies death.

Let’s take the colour orange. It’s famously used by easyJet, Orange and… the dutch.

easyMobile

Orange

Dutch

A few years ago now, Orange objected to easyMobile (easyJet’s attempt at dominating the mobile market, and failing) Stelios’s answer to that was, “I’ll see you in court.” and “It is our right to use our own corporate colour for which we have become famous during the last 10 years. We have nothing to be afraid of in this court case. They are clearly worried about the competition.” At the time, they also planned to add a disclaimer on the website saying that EasyMobile is not connected to Orange Personal Communications, arguing that the colour is an essential part of their iconic brand. More here.

How did it get to that stage? Who owns the colour? Is that even possible? Here’s a great article on the topic from back in 2005. Can you own a colour?

Then you’ve got T-Mobile who thought they ‘owned’ the colour magenta.

T-Mobile

Engadget, the brilliant consumer tech site, launched a mobile arm, imaginatively titled Engadget Mobile and used a colour similar to what T-Mobile use in their brand messaging. They weren’t too happy about this and T-Mobile “requested the prompt discontinuation of the use of the color magenta on Engadget Mobile.”

Engadget Mobile

Hilarious. They had no idea the backlash that was going to follow soon after, here, here, here and here. Not to mention the the 549 comments on Engadget’s post on the topic. The word I’m probably looking for is FAIL.

None of this would have happened if they used the rather superb Cymbolism. I lied, it probably would have, but check it out, such a brilliant website. It’s “the ultimate tool a designer has at his or her disposal to communicate feeling and mood. It’s a new website that attempts to quantify the association between colors and words, making it simple for designers to choose the best colors for the desired emotional effect.”

Cymbolism

Using Cymbolism, Dmitry over at Usabilitypost worked through a series of colours, provided real life examples and the words that Cymbolism came up with linked to the colours. I’m sure you’ll agree that this is awesome.

At work, the branding is largely red. According to Cymbolism, this means that at Consolidated PR we’re passionate, powerful, bold, radical and excited. I’d say that’s entirely accurate too.

What do your brand colours say about you?

Brand Colours

The Top 10 in PR listed in The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies 2009.

49th It’s with great pleasure to announce that for the 8th year running Consolidated PR has been named as one of The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies 2009, the 49th to be precise! It’s a particularly notable achievement considering no fewer than 565 small companies sought a place in the top 100. Of that, only 10 were classified as being in the ‘Public Relations’ sector. You can see the full list here.

To be “the industry’s hottest property by 2011” is the goal we’re all striving to achieve and it’s an exciting time at the moment with some brilliant clients, great people to work with and a forward thinking MD who really gets all this new fangled online stuff.

Along with being ranked 49th overall, we were ranked as 28th in ‘Giving Back’, 33rd in ‘Belonging’, 66th in the ‘Leadership’ ranks, 68th in ‘Personal Growth’ and 86th in ‘Wellbeing’.

So what does that even mean? How do you define belonging for example?

Giving BackHow much Companies are thought by their staff to put back into society in general and the local community in particular

Belonging Feelings about the company people work for as opposed to the people they work with

LeadershipHow employees feel about the head of the company and its senior managers

Personal Growth – To what extent staff feel they are stretched and challenged by their job

WellbeingHow staff feel about stress, pressure and the balance between their work and home duties

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The top 10, in fact, the only 10 from the ‘Public Relations’ sector are:-

(18) Blue RubiconNew entrant

(20) Nelson Bostock Communications

(23) Brands2LifeNew entrant

(29) Text 100New entrant

(33) Shine CommunicationsNew entrant

(41) The Red ConsultancyNew entrant

(49) Consolidated PR

(94) Golin Harris

(96) Trimedia

(100) Lexis Communications

Interesting to note that of the 10 entrants, there are an equal amount of new entrants compared to agencies who have consistently remained in the runnings. Well done to Nelson Bostock, Consolidated PR, Golin Harris, Trimedia and Lexis Communications along with all the new entrants!