Seaside Creative

We've met Martin and Alison, and now is the time to meet Kelly, co-founder and director of Seaside Creative and all-round PR and marketing expert. What do you do at Seaside Creative?  I’m a joint Director in the company and head up the Content and PR side of the business. Have you always worked in this type of business? Well, I had a Saturday job working in a specialist tobacconist when I was a teenager (hated selling cigarettes but loved weighing out the black forest pipe tobacco) and then I worked in a dementia care home while I was at university studying PR and English Literature (I could tell you some stories!). I got a job in PR almost as soon as I finished my degree, which then led to roles at full service marketing agencies and I’ve not looked back! Do you have any workplace rituals?  Not really, I think I’m fairly laid back when it comes to that sort of thing. Although I'm not sure the rest of the team would agree! Tell us an interesting but little known fact about you…  Quite a few people know that I sing and that I played rugby at a high level for a few years, but not many know that I’ve done what was then the highest bungee jump in the world when I travelled round New Zealand in 2001. You have to get a cable car out to the pod that’s suspended between two cliffs 134m above the river Nevis and jump from that. You freefall for 8.5 seconds. Yes it was scary!  [caption id="attachment_17273" align="aligncenter" width="219"] We do not want this to be our next team building exercise![/caption] Where do you see yourself in five years time?  If you’d asked me this a few months ago I would have said working with a larger team at Seaside Creative. However, the way 2020 has gone so far I’m just grateful we’re still here! I think it’s good to have plans and goals as they give you something to work for, but I don’t like to make them too rigid as it can just lead to disappointment. Have you read anything good recently, whether for fun, work or both? I’ve been reading The Testaments by Margaret Atwood; I’ve read many of her books and love her portrayal of women, especially when I was a teenager. She is an amazing role model of our time. I want to read Difficult Women by Helen Lewis too. I’m pleased to say that I’ve been described as one myself quite a few times during my working life so I’d like to find out more about my role-models! What’s your greatest achievement, whether at work or personally?  That’s a hard one! Personally I am super proud of my kids and the people they are becoming. Being a parent is tough sometimes, but there’s no feeling like the pride you have in your own children.  Work-wise I suppose I’ve achieved lots of things over the years. I wrote an article in a charity newsletter I ran that secured a donation of £100,000, which was pretty amazing. In recent years I’ve been really proud of my track record of helping clients to win business awards; I’ve helped to win over a dozen in the last few years,  across many different categories too. I’m also proud to have been running a small business for nearly 10 years now - it’s been a rollercoaster ride sometimes but we’re still hanging on! If you could invite four guests for a long lunch, who would you invite and why? Where do you go for your lunch? Only four? Hmmm, well maybe Dave Grohl because I bet he’s got some stories to tell. I love the Foo Fighters and he just seems like a really nice bloke - plus he can bring his guitar. I’d invite my Grandad Bill Beer (real name!) as I never met him and those I know who knew him tell me how lovely he was. Then perhaps a historical figure like Margaret D’Anjou. The Wars of the Roses is a fascinating period in history and she had to be an amazingly strong woman to do all the things she did during that time. Finally, I’d invite Joan Rivers. She would keep us all in our place and tell us to dress better and we would cry laughing listening to her do it - well maybe Margaret D’Anjou wouldn’t, who knows what Joan Rivers would say about her medieval outfit… I think I’d have lunch in the tiny restaurant I went to once in the beautiful old town of Taormina in Sicily. The food was delicious and we could sit on the terrace and overlook Mount Etna and the Roman Amphitheatre with the Mediterranean sea in the background - just breathtaking. If you could be transported to anywhere right now, where would it be (and without any quarantine restrictions!)? I have travelled a bit but there are lots of places I’ve not been to that I’d love to visit. I watched a programme about the forests of Cuba recently where the presenter visited the home of the world’s tiniest bird - the Bee Hummingbird. We saw it feed and build a nest the size of an eggcup. I’d love to see that for real. Thanks Kelly! We're all sitting here thinking how bonkers you'd have to be to do that bungee jump! Perhaps we'll stick to a nice nature holiday in Cuba instead...

One of the most important things to have arisen from the ‘new-normal’ WFH (work from home) Culture is the value we place on making sure we are connected. Not just on the internet, but as teams and as people. For us as a small business we have discovered many bonuses from a tool we already used in the office: G-Suite. Not to sound like the Google sales team here, but for the uninitiated, G-Suite is a suite of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products. These include; Gmail, Meet (was Hangouts), Calendar, Drive, Keep, Forms and Sites to name but a few. We were already sharing all our work through Drive and appointments through calendars but, now we’re apart, the value of being able to do things like edit this blog as a team while living miles apart has been immeasurable.  Our Top 3 Favourite G-Suite Tools and How We Use Them Google Calendar Having a team work calendar allows us all to know exactly what each of us is up to throughout the day. If it is a meeting we are all going to, adding the location of the meetings is great as it means everyone knows where to be at what time.  Google Calendar is seamlessly integrated with Gmail, allowing you to create events straight from an email. Google is really clever in how it scans through your email to find a date and time and offers to add it to your calendar.  Most recently, Google Calendar has been really good as a way to schedule Zoom meetings as you can insert the link for the meeting straight into the calendar. For our team meetings, we have been using Google Meet which has proven to be a great tool to allow unlimited talk time and great connectivity. Again, we add the link to the meet up into the event information so each team member can join with just one click.  As you can see from the screenshot, Google Calendar allows you to see who’s going to be there too.   Google Drive Possibly our most used of all of the Google tools on G-Suite is Google Drive. Not only is it great to store all of our documents, photos and videos on, but it also allows us all to share the documents we have been working on with each other.  Having every member of the team on G-Suite means we avoid compatibility issues as everyone can open the documents in Google and edit them there too - at the same time! The great thing about Google Drive (and the whole of G-Suite) is that each team member can log on anywhere and have all of the documents they’ve been working on available to them without having to download any software. Which has been great during the current situation as it means we can work at home without any fuss. To make working even easier, you can also access the Drive and documents on mobile devices as well as desktops.  Gmail Just like 1.5 billion other people, we use Gmail as our email provider and it has proved to be great as it is integrated with other G-sSuite services for a smooth experience.  As mentioned earlier, we can create calendar events straight from Gmail and it allows us all to keep our emails organised in handy threads which are then searchable using the search bar at the top. Gmail is also great for security as it  has very thorough malware and virus checking processes in place which removes more than 90% of the risk that your computer will be infected with a virus or malware through email.  One of our favourite features has to be that if you click send on an email that says something along the lines of ‘I have attached’ but there are no attachments, Gmail will ask if you wish to attach something before sending - very handy!   G-Suite has so many other fantastic tools that can be used by all business; no matter how big or small. In fact, Worthing Council have switched to G-Suite and they have been very happy with the security of it.  If your business is looking to try G-Suite, we have a code which will give you 20% off for the first year! To receive the code, sign up for our newsletter. Once you’re signed up, we can let you know when new blog posts are published. As well as offer exclusive insights, tell you about relevant events and top tips from our experts....

Welcome to the newest instalment of our interviews with the team here at Seaside Creative. Next up is Alison who may not be the newest member of the team but is certainly the youngest! Name:  Alison Thomas What do you do at Seaside Creative?  I am a marketing assistant specialising in Digital Marketing. I look after the social media accounts for our clients as well as email campaigns. Sometimes I help with other things too; such as writing press releases and providing website support. Have you always worked in this type of business? If not, what else have you done?  No, this is my first marketing role. Prior to this I worked in retail which I am still doing now especially during this time when supermarkets need extra people to help the running of the shop. Most of my time at the moment is spent on the front door and making sure there are a limited number of customers in the store.  Do you have any workplace rituals?  Not particularly. I'm probably most known for changing my desk around a lot as I like to change things up a bit every now and then! Tell us an interesting but little known fact about you...

Name:  Martin Bloomfield What do you do at Seaside Creative? Make tea and be annoying?  Ok, I head up the visual content side of the team.  Having had many years in photography and, more recently, video production I still enjoy getting a buzz out of taking a photo or shooting a video.  I also get to work with a bunch of associates who have complementary skills, like drone photography, corporate video production, sound engineers etc.  I also manage and develop websites, working again with some very clever techy people for the more advanced sites our clients have asked for. Have you always worked in this type of business?  If not, what else have you done?  No, prior to setting up Seaside Creative with Kelly, I had my own business Bloomfield Digital, offering mainly photography and video.  In 2014 we became Google Certified Street View Photographers producing quality 360 degree virtual tours of business premises across the South East of England.  We started to do websites as clients liked the convenience and support we gave, along with running social media accounts.  Our expertise in visual content certainly does help with creating content. In 2016 Bloomfield Digital won the Adur and Worthing Small Business Award which just blew me away.  We faced a lot of competition with over 14 other businesses, some of which were quite established.  This gave me a massive boost of confidence to leave my home office and move into a shared studio space on Lancing Business Park.  Prior to Bloomfield Digital I worked for a short while at the Home Office as a specialist advisor for forensic science quality standards. I worked with Police Forces across the UK to gain UKCAS accreditation.  In 2012 I was made redundant from Sussex Police when the Scientific Support Branch merged with Surrey Police’s branch.  I had worked my way up to being Head of Imaging and Crime Lab at Sussex.  I worked with 16 very skilled and talented people using the latest forensic techniques from Lasers, Quasers, alternative light sources, to using cyanoacrylate (superglue to you and me), DFO, Vacuum Metal Deposition (VMD) using gold and zinc, Ninhydrin etc, for finding fingerprints and other forensic evidence on all types of surfaces that might have been handled by suspects and offenders of crime.  We used liquid latex to remove soot from fire scenes (to see if there was any types of evidence on the walls beneath) to using liquid nitrogen to freeze split number plates again for fingerprint evidence.  I had the best trained and equipped lab in the South East of England.    Do you have any workplace rituals? When I started my career with Sussex Police (1987) I was a photographic technician. In those days we had to handle some pretty smelly and dangerous chemicals to develop films and process photo paper. So every day the photographic team of eight would take a break at 10am and 3pm for coffee and tea.  Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon, quite often with a biscuit or cake.  Still can’t get out of the habit…  Tell us an interesting but little known fact about you.  I feature in two of the Peter James Roy Grace novels.  Peter came to visit the team and I showed him around the lab facilities and a few of the techniques we used for detecting fingerprints and other forensic evidence.  The VMD technique is good on surfaces that may have been wet and Peter subsequently used this in a story line of a submerged outboard motor.  First I was Mike Bloomfield and then in the second book I was Martin Bloomfield.   Where do you see yourself in five years time?  Good question!  I find my aspirations change on a yearly basis. A week before Covid hit the UK we were just about to put our house on the market; we had chosen and spoken to the estate agents about a live date.  This has now been shelved for at least a year to see how the market pans out.  I must admit I don’t plan that far ahead in life, I take life a year at a time.  It would be great to see Seaside Creative thrive and grow.  Have you read anything good recently, whether for fun, work or both?   I do have a stack of books on my bedside cabinet.  Currently there are four: The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, recommended by Gillian Fielding (Secret Millionaire and patron of the Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce)  Six habits that will transform your life before 8am. In fact my copy appeared courtesy of my youngest son, who’d bought it for his own development.   I’m definitely not an early riser, so this will be quite a challenge!         Make the most of your time on Earth  Rough Guide 1000 Ultimate Travel Experiences.  I always enjoy a good travel guide.  I have the whole collection of Michael Palin travels. This is one of those to dip and out of.       Brain Rules for Aging Well by John Medina - my wife Alison bought this for me at Christmas… no comment...

Although it is said a lot, video content really is the holy grail of social media content. As easy as it is to just type a post or include a photo, having a video really boosts engagement. In fact, according to a report by Animoto, videos are consumers favourite type of social media content.  At Seaside Creative, we strive to create video content to suit every client because we understand that no two businesses are the same and what works for one client may not work for another. We can create a variety of video; from short GIFs to longer films, the possibilities for video content on social media are endless. Working alongside and understanding clients helps us create video content that helps your business increase engagement and reach social media goals faster. As part of the social team, I work closely with the visual team to ensure that every client’s social media feed is full of engaging content. Bringing two experienced teams together to work on each and every client’s social media schedule means that only the best content is used  There are a few ways that we recommend you create video content:   In this day and age, most people are able to produce quality video footage with the equipment that they already own. That’s why we offer a halfway service so that clients who already have the footage can have it turned into a professional video. Here is an example of a video we created when a client met us halfway. With this particular example; another company owned the footage of our client’s product being made, but we managed to get permission to use it for our client’s promotional purposes. Once we could use the footage, our visual team then added text, a logo, music and transitions to really bring the footage to life. Once the video was created, it was posted on LinkedIn to help people become aware of just how the client’s product is produced. A different client came to us with a vision, but no footage of their own to give us. The client wanted to promote the award-winning pizza that they serve and so we created a stop motion animation to capture consumer’s attention on Facebook. There are many ways that we can work with you to create the perfect video content for your social media channels.  Contact us today to find out how we can help your business excel on social media with video content. You can also sign up to our newsletter so that'll get updates on the new blog posts we add, giving you helpful advice and pointers like this one!   ...

At this time of year it's great to think about others a bit more, especially those who might more help. We've done this at Seaside Creative and we are proud to say that we are now officially recognised as a dementia friendly company by the Alzheimer's Society. This means that each team member has done online learning about dementia, as a company, we have a better understanding of the condition. Although we are only a small company, we feel that is it very important to integrate the dementia friends programme into our staff policy to ensure everyone that works for us, currently and in the future, is dementia friendly. Director, Kelly O’Haire, said, “My very first job was working as a carer in a nursing home and I have since had much personal experience of the condition and how cruel it can be. When I did my own personal ‘Dementia Friends’ training I thought it would be brilliant for the whole company to do it too, so we signed up Seaside Creative to the initiative. We have clients in the care sector and its only right that each team member has an enhanced understanding of the condition and what it can be like for those with it. I am so proud that Seaside Creative is now a dementia friendly organisation and I hope many others see that and sign up too”. Dementia friends is not just about understanding, but also applying that understanding by doing small everyday things that offers help to a sufferer. Just by being more patient with someone or asking if they need any help can mean a great deal, making them feel less alone and isolated from society. Sadly, so many people are impacted by dementia, whether it is themselves or someone they know it is both heartbreaking and still incurable. It is estimated that around 850,000 people in the UK have dementia and that 1 in 3 people will care for someone with it at some point in their lifetime. With such a massive presence in so many people’s lives, it’s important to at least have some understanding of what dementia is and how people in the community can help people suffering with it. Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity, not just providing support to people with dementia and their carers, but also investing in research into dementia care, cause, cure and prevention. The dementia friends programme is Alzheimer’s Society’s initiative and has been the biggest one to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about dementia. Becoming a dementia friend is simple, doesn’t take long and means that you’ll have more consideration for dementia sufferers and how to help someone in need. For more information on the dementia friends programme, visit their website, check out their Facebook page or ring the national dementia helpline on 0300 222 11 22. If you'd like to hear from us, you can sign up to our newsletter....

Warning - this blog may blow our own trumpet! Last November we were biting our nails as we had four clients shortlisted for eight awards at a business awards ceremony. On the night we we over the moon to see our clients win five of of the eight awards and be highly recommended in two others. One of our clients was even named 'Company of the Year'! Fast forward to this year and we are once again biting our nails as we ourselves are shortlisted for two awards and also have two clients shortlisted in four separate categories. Furthermore, we have another client shortlisted for a completely separate industry award. Understandably, various limbs are being crossed at nearly all times. Why enter business awards? Business awards are a great thing to win - who doesn't want to be known as 'award-winning'? The positive publicity to be garnered from winning such a thing can last for years and we always recommend to clients that they look at entering either local business awards or industry relevant ones. Over the past six years, we have worked in the background supporting clients with their award entries and we have been quite successful at it. Until last month we had achieved 17 finalists, resulting in ten winners, four highly commended and three regional winners in the Adur & Worthing and also the Southern Business Awards. Pretty good stats, even if we do say so ourselves. This success has built up a bit of a reputation for us locally - and we are now approached by companies to help them with entries. We usually turn away any that clash in categories as we don't feel it is right to have clients competing for exactly the same award. Of course, there's never any guarantee of winning - but when success is achieved - we are still chuffed to bits with that for our clients. Judging panels often take hours and hours going through finer details on entries that interest them, so all you can do is include as much relevant detail as possible and hope they like your entry the most. Top Tips So what is our process when writing award entries? We discuss, encourage and research what we think will work for that particular award/category. We then produce written and visual content, there is always straight text involved, but more often than not entries now include, photography, infographics, maps and even video too. Draft and draft again! Finally we put it all together in a concise entry that fits the brief. It's not an easy thing to do. Quite often the client wants to win a certain category and doesn't see that perhaps their story is more relevant for a different one. Some clients don't even see how they could even enter - let alone win! So do wish us and our clients luck and if you need any help with award entries then we would love to help you too #keepingeverythingcrossed Contact us for a chat, and sign up for our newsletter so you can keep in touch with our news as well as our marketing advice....

Well after just over a 3 month break from college, I am going back. Except this time to a higher education college instead of a sixth form so it’ll be a new experience for me. I’m excited to meet loads of new people who are also on the same course and hopefully share the same passion for the subject. From speaking to my new tutor, I understand that GBMet College has a relaxed approach to delivering the course. Being a more independent learner that appreciates having freedom, this is an approach that I feel will benefit me more. Especially since I am doing a course that I have great ambition to be successful in. The Digital Marketing apprenticeship framework itself has both mandatory and optional units, some based in the workplace and others in the college, which I’ll be keen to utilise to my full advantage by making sure I learn about the key elements that apply to my role at Seaside Creative. During the introductory meeting at my workplace, my new tutor gave me a full folder with all the units within the framework. Many of which interest me and I am looking forward to studying - which is a good start! There are a diverse range of students currently on the apprenticeship scheme, all from completely different companies from website developers to garden tool suppliers. There will be lots of interesting people to meet and talk to regarding their experiences in their work placement- there are two apprentices actually in the same building as me. Many of the people on the course have made more progress than me so this will mean I’ll have the opportunity to seek help from my peers - something that my tutor appears keen for me to do as he has said that he likes to build a sense of community within his classroom.   So what have I been up to? I’ve been getting increasingly involved in the design side of the agency, working with one of our designers to provide a restaurant client with new menu designs for the festive period… yes we really are thinking about Christmas! The process of going from an idea to an actual menu that a restaurant can use is very interesting and all new to me so I am thoroughly enjoying getting involved in this project. Instruction manuals have been at the forefront of our minds this last couple of weeks, with our Director of photography and video, Martin working hard on creating multiple manuals and video tutorials for an outside storage space client. Watching projects like this unfold make me realise that products like manuals also go through an extensive process to make, something I never considered before. Manuals and leaflets are all pieces of print media that many of us just pick up and read without any thought about how they were made or even who made them. Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce held a Business Awards talk which myself and Martin attended. It was the first time I had gone along to an event with my camera to snap some photos and actually had someone ask me for my photos and even took our business details down. Working with Seaside Creative means that I get to really look at the production of these kind of products and start appreciating where they are from and the skill that goes into creating them. I’ve kept a weekly development log since my first week at Seaside Creative and I would highly recommend doing that as it really helps you keep track of how much progress you’ve made. Jotting down everything from, a big project you helped with or a small task you completed on your own, means that you can get a holistic view on the progress you’ve made and how much you’ve developed since starting the log. Sometimes the smaller, more seemingly pointless things at the time, become the bigger achievements in the long run and develop into more useful skills later on. I’m excited about the next few weeks and what they hold for me in terms of starting college and progressing even more with my skills and knowledge surrounding  Digital Marketing. Everyday presents new challenges and people to meet so I look forward to the ever-growing experience I am gaining with Seaside Creative. If you'd like to hear updates from the Seaside Creative team in general (including news, useful information and training events), sign up for our newsletter.  ...

I’ve been at Seaside Creative for over a month now and I have to say that is feels like yesterday that I walked through the scary double doors of the office building and waited to be interviewed. Now I’m sat at my own desk in that same office building, busy working on various tasks to help the running of multiple clients’ social media pages among other things such as blog writing, database handling and working towards completing my Google Digital Garage course online. Being an apprentice in a small, fast growing agency allows me to work closely with the Directors who have a combined 50 years of marketing experience on the photography, video and content writing and PR side of things. With such a huge amount of experience around me I feel I am developing a holistic view of marketing which I would not be getting if I had a placement in a narrow-fielded agency or business. Seaside Creative deals with a wide range of clients who all have different needs – I could be looking at magazine writing one minute and photo editing the next, or anything in-between. Being exposed to so much diversity everyday truly opens my eyes, allowing me to take in so much information about so many different types of marketing campaigns and how an agency goes about running them to make them efficient for that specific client. It’s surprising to see how each client is completely different in how they want things run, even booking ads with a magazine can be executed completely differently depending on the different targets and goals of the client. I have learnt that marketing is unique to every business and in order for an agency to be effective in delivering a campaign, they have to be able to fully understand what a client wants and what their goals are. This has increased my appreciation of all the experience I’m surrounded by on a daily basis and how long it takes to get to that level of knowledge and professionalism. I feel that I am in good hands with the Seaside Creative team, who always point me in the right direction and encourage me to learn in active and practical ways. What have I been up to? One thing I’ve been reading up on this past couple of weeks is the algorithms behind every social media platform. Algorithms are mathematical equations and the ones on social media sites are based on two factors; algorithmic quality (so the quality of the content in question) and the previous history of the user (actions and reactions users have had to specific content before).  The infamous Facebook algorithm considers over 100,000 factors. All in those few seconds it takes to load your feed, how crazy is that! These algorithms determine what users see on their feeds when they first open the social media app, or website.  There are different algorithms taking care of different aspects of the social media experience, but the most influential kind of algorithm is one that controls the flow of information people receive as it helps shape their thinking and understanding of news and events. Research carried out by the Pew Research Centre found that in 2017, two thirds of American adults (about 166 million people) said they get at least ‘some of their news’ from social media. Understanding these algorithms is fundamental to a social marketer, who’s main aim is to get engaging content seen by as many relevant people as possible and build up a following. Which is why when I have some spare time in between my usual duties, I feel that it is vital for me to read up on topics that are ever-changing, such as social media algorithms, to expand my knowledge. The better my social marketing skills are, the more I can improve my contribution to the Seaside Creative team. If you'd like to receive updates and marketing advice from Seaside Creative, sign up for our newsletter. It'll come to you every month and will include all sorts of information you'll find useful.  ...