Archive | July 2012

Talking about Scotland’s Biodiversity

If you need to talk to people about biodiversity, you may feel confused about what level to pitch things at and you may wonder where to find out all the information you need. Well, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have put together a great wee resource – Scotland’s Biodiversity Communications Toolkit.

The toolkit includes Plain English biodiversity definitions, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), images, case studies, document templates, an events calendar and practical advice on working with the media. There are materials to use if you want to engage young people, the general public and decision makers.

The Toolkit can be used by itself or integrated into your organisation’s existing communications strategy.

SNH believe that biodiversity communications should:

put people at the heart of everything,

encourage enjoyment of the outdoors,

raise public awareness and understanding of biodiversity and

secure positive action by individuals, organisations and governments.

and this toolkit will help you to achieve these aims!

As ever, bold text contains hyperlinks that take you to other pages where you can find out more.

The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book

I was delighted to win a copy of The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book by Dee Blick from Scottish Business Networks on Twitter. It’s a very good, comprehensive book about marketing for small businesses, covering the following topics, in clear, jargon free language:

How to Write Compelling Copy that leads to Sales

How to Write Successful Sales Letters

Beyond the Brochure

How to Build Yours Successful Business into a Successful Brand

How to Blog for Business Success

Promoting your Business On-line

Coming from a charity marketing background (and not having any experience of direct marketing) some of the ideas seemed very hard sell to me, but I know these are tried and tested sales techniques for business. Many people complain about the perceived expense of lumpy mail (mail that includes eg a pen) when it comes from a charity, but most are more likely to open the envelope if there seems to be something out of the ordinary in it, so it’s a proven marketing ploy, even if it’s one that causes endless angst in some charity communication teams.

I was impressed by the number of environmentally friendly tips that are sneaked into this book, from printing sales letters double sided to the environmental element of corporate social responsibility. So although this is not a book about environmental marketing by any degree, it certainly doesn’t ignore that aspect of things.

Overall, then, it’s a good guide to marketing for a small business, specially for those who have no marketing experience or who come from a charity or other marketing background. It’s also useful for those working in charity marketing,  to give you a slightly different perspective than you might be used to!

The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book by Dee Blick published by Filament Publishing

as ever, bold text contains hyperlinks that take you to other web-pages, where you can find out more.

Ethical Banking

With the banking crisis constantly in the news at the moment, there’s never been a better time to think about finding an ethical bank for your money. I’ve blogged before about Triodos bank, the sustainable bank with offices in Bristol and now Edinburgh. I’ve got my savings there and am more than happy with the way they invest my money in small scale sustainable community projects and the accessible management structure of the bank. At the event I blogged about, which introduced savers to a project funded by the bank, I chatted to the Chief Executive of Triodos over lunch, something that would seem very unlikely to happen at any mainstream bank!

More well known as an ethical bank is the Co-operative, where I have my current account. They take a responsible attitude to investments including a customer led list of things they won’t invest in (such as armaments) and  organise customer led campaigns.

Other ethical banking choices include credit unions and building societies.

I recently read Nicholas Shaxson’s book Treasure Islands, a shocking expose of tax havens and the detrimental effect they have on finance around the world, particularly in developing countries. It’s a must read book if you want to understand the web of intrigue that lies behind international finance and a very strong persuader for finding a solution to the financial crisis.

A personal first step is to choose an ethical bank. You can find out more about why ethical banking is important and find information about your choices at Move Your Money.

As ever, bold text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.