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How to be creative in the age of Covid-19

Q&A with Richard Pearson, Creative Director, BJL It’s clear that the coronavirus crisis is forcing businesses to rethink their approach to advertising and communications at such a challenging time. Amid all the disruption and the restrictions of lockdown, Manchester-based creative agency BJL has been busy adapting its processes so that it can remain as reactive to the needs of clients as possible. Here, BJL’s Creative Director Richard Pearson explains how brands can remain relevant during the crisis, and why advertising is still an essential growth driver during a downturn. Has the role of creativity shifted during the coronavirus crisis? RP: [...]

2020-07-23T11:11:38+00:00May 28th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

How and why I gave up the career I loved by Roger Ward

Roger Ward is former MD of BDH/TBWA and now owner of Manchester’s independent chop houses L-R: Andy Hamilton, MBE, Mark Hamilton and Roger Ward in Studio Egrem, Habana, Cuba, Dec 1999 I was with my dad, Norman, for three weeks before he died in September 1999. I still miss him everyday. The last question he asked me was why I was still working for other people. BDH (as I still call us) had just won Agency of the Decade. After his funeral, I went back to work and finished chairing the IPA’s area Advertising Effectiveness Awards. We held a dinner [...]

2020-07-23T11:11:38+00:00May 21st, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

‘Lockdown learning’ by Phil Cookson, director at Creative Resource

By Phil Cookson, director at Creative Resource & co-founder School of Thought It’s fair to say that the last few weeks have been challenging for all of us in the creative and marketing industries, whether we are working from home, on furlough, running businesses, seeking jobs or freelancing. At Creative Resource, we’ve been working with universities, brands and agencies for some time with events like Handle This, School of Thought and Two+Two.  Using those contacts we have been able to pull together a programme of virtual workshops, masterclasses and webinars for industry folk and this year’s graduates.  The creative and [...]

2020-07-23T11:13:36+00:00May 20th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

Property advice from Cheetham & Mortimer

The MPA team are working hard to provide support for the many challenges we are all facing. One issue that is currently driving a lot of debate among our members revolves around property. Whether landlord, tenant, leaseholder or desk-renter, many are looking for support to alleviate financial or relationship tensions. Cheetham & Mortimer are a respected firm of chartered surveyors here in Manchester, well placed and happy to help our members in what can often be a baffling, frustrating ... but vital ... aspect of agency life. Here’s Stephen Perrett, Partner at C&M to introduce how they can help. MPA [...]

2020-07-23T11:13:36+00:00May 19th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

Pandemic puts placements under threat

By Jeff McCarthy, Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing and Employability Lead, Manchester Metropolitan University During the MPA Board meeting last week we discussed how student placements are under threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. MPA Board members had been openly talking about the impact of the pandemic on either their own organisations or the many partners they collaborate with. In work terms, this period is testing us beyond anything we have previously experienced in our careers. No surprise given how many organisations are putting staff on furlough or having to make redundancies. Others are busier than ever before [...]

2020-07-23T11:13:36+00:00May 18th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

When everything changes but one thing stays the same.

Lisa Morton, founder and CEO Two months ago today, the Roland Dransfield team watched the Government’s Coronavirus press conference at 5pm in silence. When it finished we all looked at each other blankly. Everyone’s always got something to say in our office – it’s a competition to get the best line out all the time, but nobody uttered a word. It hit us right then that this was serious - that things were going to change very dramatically, very quickly. We had put a proactive COVID-19 plan in place already which included IT changes, video conferencing, team back ups and [...]

2020-07-23T11:13:36+00:00May 13th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

Rethinking service delivery

by Mark Kelly I’ve been rethinking how I deliver what I do for clients. Hopefully some of my musings here spark a thought with you. I work in both digital strategy and agency management and pretty much all my work is delivered face to face. I get the occasional international gig but that's been via Skype and Slack (hello LA and Melbourne, the view out the agency window looked great). For the training element of what I do, I work with agencies, client teams, individual agency and business owners and students. Most of that has been on-site, face-to-face. Phil Mitchell [...]

2020-07-23T11:13:36+00:00May 10th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

Fighting back: How Covid-19 is making brands and consumers take on fake news

By Roxanne Vure, Associate Director, MediaCom Manchester Chloroquine is a proven cure, children are immune, and the virus is spread via 5G – oh, and don’t forget to eat garlic for proven infallible protection... Back in February, the World Health Organisation announced that accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic was an ‘infodemic’ of misinformation. Formerly, considerations around misinformation and ‘fake news’ propaganda have centred largely around politics, Russian electoral interference and celebrity scandals. But now with Covid-19, the first major global health emergency within the era of fake news, it could have sombre implications for public safety and unsurprisingly, has accelerated conversations [...]

2020-07-23T11:13:36+00:00May 7th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

What does the future hold for freelancers?

Let’s face it, it’s been a pretty challenging few months for our industry. I’ve heard lots of people saying “It’s fine, everyone is in the same boat” But are they, I ask? Admittedly, the Government’s support package is world class and we are very fortunate as a nation to be presented with the programme of activity to help boost our economy at speed post Covid-19. That said, there are also a lot of people out there that are not eligible - especially freelancers and Company Directors that are in fact very exposed and worried about what the future holds. I have [...]

2020-07-23T11:13:36+00:00May 6th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of places, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Albus Dumbledore

by Sandy Lindsay MBE, chair of Tangerine Group Anyone who knows me will know I’m a complete geek for anything dystopian, fantastical or magical. Give me Lord of the Rings, His Dark Materials, 1984, and most especially Harry Potter and I’m happy. I love the premise of good triumphing over evil; a plot where the good guys win and live happily ever after, while the bad guys die a deserved (and ideally dreadful) death. The basic outline of these stories is that, there you are, plodding on with your safe and happy life, worrying about things like homework, looming exams, [...]

2020-07-23T11:13:36+00:00April 30th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|