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  • Agile, responsive, engaging: a website fit for the future | Grist
    through creative direction Many of Barnett Waddingham s larger competitors websites have a similar look and feel professional but without clear personality or differentiation I wanted to demonstrate our increasingly broad capability while retaining the personal touch and attention to detail on which the firm is built We d used a cycling motif for a couple of years and although it was not broken it was restrictive After a series of creative workshops with Grist we developed a new theme around the concept of partnership one of our key client messages This direction together with a vibrant colour palette gave us much more freedom to source a wider range of stunning images We are increasingly thinking more visually We are developing a greater variety of content including infographics and video which help to engage our audience effectively by simplifying complex issues Thinking more visually For an actuarial firm with no shortage of statistics at our disposal the challenge for Barnett Waddingham lies in bringing those facts and figures to life and effectively communicating the story behind them Infographics help to set the scene and summarise key messages for white papers and research reports offering an ideal entry point for time poor readers And interactive online guides bring a richer understanding of the audience s needs and the opportunity to deliver bespoke content Barnett Waddingham s previous videos had covered long form technical presentations But now we are using video to support a range of initiatives successfully integrating multiple channels in a virtuous circle Video footage of client views and feedback on hot topics at industry gatherings is used to enrich partner presentations while one to one video interviews with high profile speakers at the firm s own events help to deliver key insights to a wider audience of clients and prospects We are not afraid to push the boundaries too seeing animated video as an ideal vehicle to support the firm s recent auto enrolment pensions initiative with Standard Life and the launch of Illuminate a dynamic online tool providing clarity on pension scheme strategy for trustees and corporate sponsors Plans are also in place to develop video guides for Barnett Waddingham s pensions administration systems and member communications The new website content management system enables pages with multiform content to be assembled quickly and easily facilitating a smoother user journey and integrated approach Effective project management I have been in marketing long enough to have overseen a number of web development projects and was surprised at how smooth the process was Most of the projects I have been involved with were much smaller than this but invariably took longer than expected To see this happen so quickly was impressive The team from Grist excelled in project management providing a clear roadmap for the project giving advance warning of when we needed to commit resources and were always there to offer a guiding hand An essential part of the web development process involved a comprehensive audit of existing pages prioritising

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2015/06/10/agile-responsive-engaging-website-fit-future/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Collaborative content marketing with your clients | Grist
    path through the woods The whitepaper was for an event which left us with six weeks to scope the whitepaper conduct interviews and other research and draw all the material together It was vital for DAC Beachcroft and Grist to touch base with Zurich s key stakeholders as soon as possible and corral all thoughts on the whitepaper s scope and function in the short medium and long term The topic was supply chain disruptions an often discussed subject within the risk and insurance community With such topics it is vital to identify an original angle or way of presenting the issue in order to avoid the groan factor the reader s feeling of apathy when seeing an already ubiquitous subject covered once again The way of avoiding this lay in finding a cogent story within the mesh of ideas Research told us that there was so much material on supply chain disruptions that it could be difficult for risk managers to know which information was most relevant to them why it really mattered and also how best to digest it Part of the whitepaper s function was to resolve these issues for its different readers by unscrambling the data and various ideas on the topic thus allowing them to navigate the subject more confidently in the future The whitepaper was a highly professional outcome that all participants within Zurich were very pleased with says Iwan Borszcz technical claims director and head of Large and Complex Claims at Zurich The aggregated might of all of Zurich s knowledge and experience was a major part of that But the addition of DAC Beachcroft s wider industry and legal perspective coupled with Grist s discipline flexibility editorial nous and innovative portrayal style delivered a market leading and highly relevant product which remains a sustainable read nine months after its publication Reaching every reader and listener The whitepaper was distributed at an event Zurich holds annually for its largest global clients and was sent out to other clients around the world So in addition to featuring in depth thought leadership that risk managers could refer to through the year it needed to be immediately accessible to clients reading it in an often time strapped conference environment We ensured therefore that graphs charts and other visuals featured throughout the paper Zurich also expressed a desire to use some of the whitepaper s findings as supporting material for one of their presentations at the event To help them with this we included in the whitepaper a double page infographic that highlighted top level trends that speakers and the audience could use as a springboard for live discussion If a client asks you to help them to produce content marketing you re being further entrusted with helping to bolster their reputation as industry leaders Things can go wrong But if you succeed in helping them deliver effective thought leadership that client is likely to remember your help and expertise for a long time to come Author

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2014/11/05/collaborative-content-marketing-your-clients/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Writing for your online B2B audience | Grist
    what they want almost at once Don t just follow the crowd Heard about how more people are reading content on smartphones You ve seen them on the train and bus right But what percentage of your target audience are using these devices And are you ready to create regular bespoke content for digital channels rather than just replicate print material By following the latest trends you might not actually be serving your readers as well as you think Nobody should know your readers better than you so really think about what they do and want not what fads suggest they do and want Speak their language Use the same vocabulary phrases and industry references that clients often use but steer clear of excessive jargon This makes them feel that the content provider understands their specific circumstances and challenges For example in the recession many clients bemoaned reductions in resources and an inability to influence the board Slipping such issues into your text helps to show you understand them their needs and their business How people read online Online readers don t start at the top and read all the way down they have roving eyes People tend to read a web page in an F shape pattern according to various web user studies They look across the top down the side then read further across when they find what they need So put the most important information at the start of titles sub headings and bullet points Make sure your bullet points are all in the same tense and verb form with any common information in the preceding sentence Consistency is comforting and helps comprehension Inconsistency does the opposite Good example At our latest workshop you can learn about International arbitration Reputational risks IT outages impact on supply chains Bad example At our latest workshop You can learn about international arbitration You can learn about reputational risks You can learn about IT outages impact on supply chains Keep it simple Short and common words are easier to recognise and understand Clients might typically be intelligent and well educated but that doesn t mean the text needs to be an intellectual challenge When you use longer words 9 or 10 letters users are more likely to skip shorter words that follow words of 2 or 3 letters The more complicated words you use the more words your readers will skip Look at this sentence The recently made revisions to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors insurance core principles will not be applied before 1 January 2015 It s just an example but you can imagine people missing that not This is a big deal How about Do not use the IAIS s new standards before 1 January 2015 Less really can be more Your digital content should be tailor made to the needs and habits of your digital readers Don t make it a dumping ground for whatever material you can get your hands on Over time it will resemble

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2014/08/20/writing-your-online-B2B-audience/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Using image briefs for stunning design | Grist
    a subtle twist or humour before briefing an illustrator A recent cover commission for Insurance Adviser used Kerry Lemon whose work has featured prominently in UK and US broadsheets as well as high quality magazines She produced a range of interesting ideas around the concept of increasingly strict regulation affecting multinational insurance programmes From initially uninspiring sounding subject matter she came with diverse ideas from a fantasy composite creature to demonstrate the need to combine disparate ideas and processes into a global product to knitting with multi coloured wool to reflect the weaving together of different insurance policies and procedures A tree with flag leaves to demonstrate the organic and complicated nature of combining global rules and regulations into one product was chosen a simple yet effective expression resulting in an undeniably attractive cover A similar process is used to come up with the other images inside the magazines For a recent issue of the complementary Health Adviser a story about NHS reforms was particularly tricky During a discussion around reform the word re cast came up sparking associations of bronze casting specifically Roman techniques to produce busts After some exploration the initial concept was deemed too specific A trawl through high end picture libraries turned a dynamic image of a modern foundry replete with glowing molten bronze and leaping sparks However more work was still required changing the channels of molten bronze to form the letters NHS firmly tied the image to the story concept stitching together pictures and words as the complementary halves of a virtuous whole Author Richard Wise Richard is creative director at Grist responsible for the creative conceptualisation and execution of all of our projects He is the driving force behind our studio leading an experienced and committed team of multimedia designers with a passion

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2014/06/04/image-briefs-engaging-imagery/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Evolving brand guidelines through the publishing process | Grist
    mock ups are often used for you to feed back on Everything from a front cover to feature pages of different lengths image types possible illustrations contents pages editorials and news pages nibs will help you formulate your thinking After tweaking colours fonts and furniture such as pullquotes contacts and captions until you are happy you will have a comprehensive template to make your thought leadership shine Drawing on the best practice from the exacting publishing industry you may find this evolutionary approach offers a revolutionary vision for your other collateral Some magazines are so striking that they encouraged the company to rebrand all other client communications Robust editorial The editorial side can also benefit Building on the foundations of your existing collateral and preferences on date formats and job titles etc you can craft a wide ranging editorial styleguide that covers not just grammar but brand messaging and tone of voice As well as providing a robust platform for your magazine s this style guide can be rolled out for other publications web content and more Everyone in your organisation and any external agencies will immediately understand how your content needs to be written drastically cutting the time you need to spend on briefing and project management It should also be a living document updated as and when necessary On their own client magazines offer a range of benefits Factor in the potential to improve your other marketing collateral and the case becomes even stronger Author Richard Wise Richard is creative director at Grist responsible for the creative conceptualisation and execution of all of our projects He is the driving force behind our studio leading an experienced and committed team of multimedia designers with a passion for B2B Richard is an award winning creative director with over 20 years

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2013/08/27/evolving-brand-guidelines-through-publishing-proce/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Judging a book by the cover | Grist
    interpret the text and draw the story A book cover is a distillation he says It is a haiku of the story It s a very funny performance but his lecture raises a serious point it doesn t matter how compelling your business proposition if clients don t read or listen to you You need to capture their imagination and make a good first impression No matter how brilliant the text in novels or how compelling the insight in magazines annual reports websites any corporate communications for that matter if clients don t open the cover they can t read what s inside Chip Kidd doesn t judge books by their cover he creates covers that embody the book and he does it with a wicked sense of humour Author Richard Wise Richard is creative director at Grist responsible for the creative conceptualisation and execution of all of our projects He is the driving force behind our studio leading an experienced and committed team of multimedia designers with a passion for B2B Richard is an award winning creative director with over 20 years experience working with blue chip global organisations and agencies in the areas of branding publishing and corporate communications across online off line events and print View bio Contact details 44 0 20 7434 1445 Email LinkedIn Profile Related Articles How to choose topics for B2B thought leadership The best thought leadership campaigns can build awareness trust and quality leads for B2B firms But poor planning and topic selection can undermine your chances of success Optimising B2B content for search and social alchemy The quality control of content marketing remains a major challenge Discover the dark arts of online editing that can help you turn base content into digital gold A resolution for B2B content marketing in 2016

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2013/03/29/judging-book-cover/ (2016-02-15)
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  • How will a content marketing agency add value to your publishing process? | Grist
    should maintain a strong current knowledge of your market This means they can develop your intellectual property into for example articles videos or blogs that have a topical hook or angle that makes them compelling for clients They will generate their own ideas based on the objectives of your organisation and what is happening in the market and use specialist journalists to develop them An experienced agency will usually organise an editorial meeting where they will work with you to whittle down the long list into a solid core Then they will flesh out ideas and discuss with you the best format for each article such as opinion piece Q A etc as well as recommend the most effective channel for delivery print magazine email podcast etc They should also agree deadlines for each element of the programme and draw up a schedule for you to agree and sign off After the meeting the editor should craft briefs that specify a topic angle and storyline and draw up the content marketing calendar that shows the proposed contents at a glance Specialist journalists You may have writers that you wish to use or the editor can source journalists with subject expertise These journalists can interview your thought leaders and where appropriate clients and other third party commentators to pull the stories together The editor will then manage the writing process giving you as much or as little involvement as you like Usually edited draft stories are approved by the marketing and communications team before being sent to the contributors from the practice then to any external contributors Again the editor can take on as much or as little of this work as you are comfortable with Throughout the production process an experienced agency should maintain work in progress documents so they can update you at any given point either via the editor or your dedicated account manager The schedule will also have agreed touchpoint dates for meetings conference calls or email summaries The aim should be to give you maximum control and minimum stress Teamwork Another advantage of using a content marketing agency is the concentration of various skills in one place The fresh insights of an art director can push the boundaries to create an innovative and exciting design A professional picture editor can really make a difference and avoid clichéd stock images An experienced sub will make sure that the text and images are in harmony and the programme has a single coherent voice And a proofreader will ensure consistency eliminating errors They will work together to produce iterations to circulate allowing you to feed back and have the agency refine An effective content marketing agency should be able to fit around the skill sets and resource you have internally On the one hand they can offer you a turn key service where your only involvement might be to put names against ideas and approve drafts Or you can contribute throughout the whole process Either way the result should

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2015/09/21/how-will-content-marketing-agency-add-value-your-p/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Ignite your content marketing strategy with the right agency partner | Grist
    in from senior decision makers will help get the project off the ground Now is the time to draw on the expertise of your agency They will be able to craft a clear and eloquent business case to present to the board explaining how and why content marketing will work for your organisation Professional production Once you have secured the green light you are ready for production Before this phase can begin your agency will draw up a plan for the project including detailed briefs for each segment of content Once you have approved the proposal on the basis that it will deliver on the necessary objectives the agency will begin to liaise with the relevant people at the practice end of the business Your agency will be handling the end to end production of content so maintaining a clear path of communication with you the client is vital at all stages of the process They will keep you informed about commissions handle the writing process and any demands for professional photography Your next input will be feedback on the initial draft which will be tweaked until you are happy before it is sent to the contributors either by you or the agency Creative excellence A good agency will be able to shape the design of the project based on your input and vision but ultimately should deliver a creative layout that exceeds your expectations Always give your agency as much freedom as you feel comfortable with and encourage them to push creative boundaries if you want your content to stand out in the market The final stage is fulfilment either in terms of printing and delivering print publications or getting digital content to the right readers on the right platform all of which you can expect your agency to

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2015/07/31/Ignite-your-content-marketing-strategy-with-the-ri/ (2016-02-15)
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