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Oh Really Great Business Values

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Notes from Oh Really on marketing, publicity and publishing…


I recently did a business coaching session with the excellent Rebecca Bonnington who asked me what my business values were. Now I thought this was just something you had a vague idea about in the back of your mind. Of course as with all vague ideas it helps to write it down. Your business values help guide everything about your business from the kind of work you do, to how you handle difficult decision making. So after some thought, here’s mine. I hope they make you consider your own and if you’d ever like to work with me you can  see if we’d be a good fit.


1. Interesting engaging work that I can have fun doing

When I look back on the past 8 years of Oh Really, I realise how lucky I have been to work on some fabulous projects. From festivals to fashion shows, amateur boxing to TV shows on Britain’s geniuses. Everything I’ve worked on has been exciting, engaging and always a rewarding experience. These projects aren’t all in one industry or just for one client but every one has been driven by passionate, creative people and it’s a privilege to be able to play a part in promoting their work. In short, I’m keen on anything that makes me go: “Oh Really…!?”


2. The financial reward is equal to the work delivered

Shoestring projects need not apply. With over 10 years experience in PR and marketing and five years in publishing the number of projects I can take on for small budgets are very few indeed. If you’re looking for a budget publicist or marketer then there are plenty of enthusiastic newcomers who will be a perfect fit. There’s a greater risk but as someone who has been there, sometimes you just don’t have a choice. If you have a choice and reasonable budget then we can plan a way of delivering more than your money’s worth.


3. Working with inspirational people 

The biggest benefit of working on a wide range of projects is the opportunity to meet and learn from some great people. In the past they have been artists, designers, business people, great writers and performers. It’s what makes working on a project something you’re keen to get your teeth into when you know you are dealing with people who are at the top of their game. Even just for the chance some of it might rub off!


4. Sharpening the saw

As a business owner you’re constantly learning on the job. It keeps you on your toes and gives you something to crack.  It could be  honing a particular skill or working in a new industry, but nothing whet’s the appetite like a good challenge! For a business owner it is closest thing to career progression you can have.


5. Asset building opportunities 

Whether it’s a spreadsheet or an opera I believe we’re all in a position to create great things. Any creative project that would benefit from an Oh Really input and that could grow to something special will always be welcome.


Not every Oh Really Creative project will fit all five business values but those with most of them make for Oh Really great partnerships. If you haven’t sat down and thought about your own business values I can’t recommend it enough!

Five things I’ve learned this week: w/e 28/09/12

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Notes from Oh Really on marketing, publicity and publishing…


Round Tower working anybody?

1. Act on every lead

Ok, so it goes without saying that publicists are natural born chasers, but this week brought some pleasant surprises from acting on a sales opportunity lead months ago. It was a nice reminder that even a quick phonecall or an email sent while waiting for a coffee was worth it. The outcome might not always be what you expected but acting on every opportunity pays off in the end.  The small actions matter!





2. Great people = Great Work = Great ££££££

It was bonus to get to see Tim Billing speak in Edinburgh on the 25th.  Formerly of  San Francisco based innovation giants IDEO, Tim spoke at an IPA Scotland and BIMA event on innovation and agency success. There were tons of takeaways but the simple formula of Great People = Great Work = Great ££££££ said it all for agency success. As a solo entrepreneur, it’s even more important to team up with great people to deliver great work. The other memorable point was about a study on how much working time we spend doing things a junior could if instructed properly. Go on guess… 50%! Wow. Food for thought. Also, was nice to learn about the book on the IDEO story. The Art of Innovation. Check it out here:


3. Cutting your To Do List in half helps get more done

I have filled whole notebooks with To Do Lists that were over ambitious and my most productive day this week had just two things on there. They were important though and the feeling of completing those two tasks was better than the days where I completed 15 tasks but not the ones that really mattered. Trying to do it all leads to burnout and as recovering ‘Trying to Do it all in a day’ junkie I can’t describe how good it felt to cut down the to do list, focus on what mattered and go home feeling like you’ve had a productive day. Further reading on it here: Eat That Frog


4. The are no closed doors that effort and attention can’t open

Recently I did some PR work in an industry that seemed like a complete closed shop and struggled to make headway as I wasn’t part of the scene or knew who to connect with. I was going to put that down to experience and know that working in that field might not be for me. The thing was though looking back at the campaign there were a few glimmers of light, chances that arose through creative pitching, diligent research and ideas that reframed the offer to add currency to it. What the glimmers pointed to was that there was a way in and it was going to take more work and more time to crack. There were two important lessons here. 1. There are no closed doors hat effort and attention can’t open. 2. Before you start knocking take time to assess the time and effort needed. The best PR and marketing finds the quickest route to great results. The project is only viable if you want to develop your skills and contacts in this field and are willing to accept this as a loss leader time wise.


5. Your working environment can be an energy drain or an energy boost

I’ve started the search in earnest this week for a new office space. The current space isn’t working and it made me stop and consider what I need from an office, what types of people would be good to work near and how it fits in with my working week. Since the early days of Oh Really I have worked in all kinds of spaces, in open plan offices, cramped desk spaces and of course a host of cafes and hotel lobbies. The interesting thing has been realising that the ideal space needs a bit everything. A mix of people nearby to bounce ideas off of, but quiet spots to get things done, a location that feels great to go to every day as well as one that feels enough removed to make you feel like you can leave your work behind when you go home. It’s a privilege to be able to choose but even small improvements to a space or situation can make a big difference to how you feel in work each day and I believe that is the difference between getting good work done and great work done.