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15th August 2016 0

Matt

Our success in promoting Festival800, a city-wide celebration of Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary, has been recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Our campaign for the cultural response and celebration of Magna Carta, which took place in August 2015, has been shortlisted in the Best Integrated Campaign and Best Arts, Culture and Sports categories of the CIPR PRide awards, which celebrate outstanding Public Relations activity across the UK.

Organised by cultural solutions UK on behalf of Lincolnshire County Council and supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Festival800 offered ten days of live music, comedy, spoken word, street theatre, lectures and debate. Artists such as Billy Bragg and the Levellers; author, screenwriter and comedian Shappi Khorsandi; YouTube sensation Alfie Deyes; Poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy, DBE, FRSL; were joined by a host of national and international artists and human rights activists, including the family of US Civil Rights Icon, Rosa Parks, in Lincoln for the festival.

David Lambert, director of cultural solutions UK, who appointed Lava to the brief said: “With such an eclectic cultural programme we needed an equally eclectic team of professionals to reach and engage the potential diverse audiences. We could not have secured the services of a more switched on, professional agency. Lava surprised us in all the right ways. They worked with us to create an innovative marketing campaign within budget and on time. It was a fantastic relationship! I wish them every success at the awards and hope to work with them again.”

Established in 2006, Lava is no stranger to success in the PRide Awards having won eight Gold and Silver awards since 2009. “We are about to celebrate our tenth anniversary and two more awards, our ninth and tenth CIPR Pride wins, would be fantastic birthday presents,” says Lava’s managing director, Matt Hammerton. “We have a particularly strong track record of delivering effective campaigns for clients in the arts and cultural sectors. We’re really looking forward to a trip to Leeds in November and hopefully adding another two trophies to our collection.”

The CIPR PRide Awards recognise the best in public relations across the nations and regions of the United Kingdom. Over 1,000 entries were received from freelancers, agencies and in-house teams the length and breadth of the UK.

Lava, which is the only agency from Lincolnshire to be shortlisted, will find out if they’ve won either award on 24th November.

 

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16th July 2015 0

Lisa

Have you ever thought that the font type you chose for your logo could say something about you and your business? Have you ever sat next to someone who has sneered at a Comic Sans logo? I would be surprised if you haven’t been in that situation, as this is just one font that seems to be able to curl the toes of most creative types.

Choosing a suitable font for your logo is an integral part of the design process.

When designing a logo, you’re attempting to communicate multiple complex messages in the simplest form possible. When you have only limited space to write just a few words or in most cases just a name, the typeface you use can portray your company’s name or catchy slogan can say a lot, not just about your company’s motives, but your characteristics as well.

Pick the right font and it will amplify the meaning of the words, pick the wrong one and you will be sending mixed messages, which could be nothing short of disaster.

So which font should you choose? My advice is to experiment, that way you’ll quickly be able to see which style is right for you.  For those who aren’t confident knowing their Sans Serif from their Serif, here’s my quick guide to the types of fonts on offer for your business and the psychology behind them:

Serif fonts – think Times New Roman or Baskerville. These fonts are characterised by a slight decorative projection added as an embellishment to a letter. Implying a sense of tradition, respectability and reliability, they’re like old friends, but be warned, a younger crowd might see them as too ‘old school’. A company that wants to emphasise its pedigree or heritage would do well to choose a Serif font.

Sans serif fonts –think Helvetica, Ariel or Franklin Gothic. Clean, simple and futuristic, Sans Serif typefaces are very popular, especially in educational applications. They’re easy to read making them ideal for the visually impaired. These work well for companies that want to send out a straightforward message and give the impression of reliability and honesty.

Modern fonts – these fonts include Futura, Avant Garde and Century Gothic. Strong and dependable but with a touch of sophistication, modern fonts suit forward looking brands and can be good for fashion lines, companies in niche markets, luxury brands and purveyors of the exclusive.

Script fonts – cursive and handwritten fonts can be beautiful but proceed with caution! Care needs to be taken over legibility when using a font like Zapfino or Scriptina. A logo font may be reduced in size for stationery or similar, and nobody is going to understand a message they can’t read or remember an illegible company name. However, these issues notwithstanding, a script can convey elegance, femininity or creativity. A font that looks genuinely handwritten can also give your design a sense of informality or spontaneity.

Novelty fonts – a novelty or display typeface is any typeface that’s a lbit different from the norm and generally one that you wouldn’t want to read a whole body of text in. These can work well for logos and singular words, however, staff and customers alike may quickly tire of something overly childish (unless, of course, it is for a brand that is aimed at children).

Custom fonts – can’t find what you really want in a typeface? Then you could always have a custom font designed. For companies like Coca-Cola, Disney and Pinterest customised fonts have become synonymous with their brand. It’s an expensive option but one that will give you everything you want; text that stands out, a recognisable and unique typeface, consistency and above all the freedom to do what you want.

So remember think carefully before you choose your font. What subliminal message will it put across to your customers? Experiment with different fonts and you’ll quickly be able to see which style is right or wrong for you.

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8th January 2015 0

Matt

Something happened yesterday that doesn’t happen very often around here. We turned down the opportunity to pitch for what would have been a very interesting client. We don’t tend to decline opportunities but on this occasion I’m convinced that it was the right decision this time. Why? The prospective client treated Lava as a clairvoyant not a consultancy.

The initial email asking us to pitch to become their exclusive PR company contained just a three line brief, which we had to respond to in a 45 minute presentation followed by questions. If we were up for the challenge, we needed to confirm our interest by email ASAP (whenever that is).

A quick look at the company’s website revealed a bit more about the prospect and confirmed that we had some relevant previous experience of delivering effective campaigns in their sector.

So, why did we walk away? Well, it’s pretty simple. The director who approached us refused to meet us and talk about this business, the company’s products, approach, competitors, USPs and objectives.

Can we meet up and have a chat about the brief?

 Sorry, you are in a mix of the best PR companies in Lincolsnhire… and you all have the same brief.

It is easy to see from our website… B2B, Food industry, etc.

Can’t give any more away I’m afraid.

How could we possibly develop a meaningful proposal based on three bullet points? Yes, we could look at the company website again, undertake hours of desk research to find out more, but there’d be no guarantee that we would be on the right track. The last thing anyone wants to do is deliver a presentation based on guess work and get it wrong.

In short, we thought that if the director didn’t have time or a desire to talk about his business, then neither did we.

If you are responsible for marketing and undertaking a pitch process to appoint an external agency, surely you want those agencies to deliver the best proposals possible? It makes it a lot easier to develop a creative, costed strategy and effective creative ideas if you’re able to identify:

Who you are, who you want to talk to and who else is talking to your audiences

  • What do you do? What makes you different? What current marketing activity do you undertake? What do you want to happen as a result of the campaign?
  • Why are you looking for help? Why now?
  • Where are your target audience?
  • When do you want to start?
  • How long do you want the campaign to last? How much money are you willing to invest in the campaign?

Despite scouring the prospective client’s website, we couldn’t find this information on there and when we were told that the company couldn’t give more away than that we declined the opportunity. As the saying goes, if you assume something you only end up making an ass out of you and me.

Was it the right decision to turn down the opportunity to work with ‘the fastest growing company in Lincolnshire’? We’ll never know. As I say, we’re consultants not clairvoyants.

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8th November 2013 0

Ed

After recently writing a post about PR evaluation and the death of Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE), it got me thinking about measuring success for wider marketing campaigns.

In such a creative industry, planning and measurement is often pushed to the bottom of the pile, while actually doing is seen as a much more attractive role.

I like to think that planning and measurement are part of a journey. If you don’t know where you are, how do you know where you’re going? If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there?

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29th November 2013 0

Matt

The effectiveness of a Lincoln integrated marketing agency’s campaigns has been recognised twice in this year’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) PRide Awards.

Lava, which offers design, digital, public relations and social media marketing services to clients in the public, private and third sectors picked up two Gold awards at last night’s prestigious black tie ceremony in Leeds (28th November).

The Lincoln-based agency’s integrated marketing campaign for SO Festival 2012 on behalf of East Lindsey District Council was judged Best Event. Lava also received a Gold in Best Use of Social Media for its work for Milk4Childminders, part of Cool Milk.