Creating effective CRM communications for college
The client: Gloucestershire College, Cheltenham/Gloucester
Based in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire College is a leading local provider of further and higher education. The college provides a wide range of courses, from GCSEs and A Levels to foundation degrees and diplomas.
Gloucestershire College was implementing a major new CRM system to unify and bring structure to the way it communicates with students. They wanted a suite of clear, hardworking CRM communications that would form part of the new system.
The college had been using a range of letters and emails written by different people within the organisation. Some of the letters were wordy and confusing, and there was no consistent tone of voice to enhance and build on the Gloucestershire College brand.
Using a handful of existing letters and emails – and with a good understanding of the client’s need for clear, compelling and consistent communication suitable for a student audience – I wrote a total of over 60 letters, emails and SMS messages.
I also suggested simplifying the materials required where there was duplication, and creating new ones when I identified gaps in the communication process.
The new materials benefit from an approachable yet professional tone of voice, a coherent message, and a clear call to action.
In the client’s words…
“We worked with Sarah to fully review our complex application and enrolment communications. Sarah took the time to research and understand the process, enabling her to write clear communications with multiple audiences firmly in mind. We are delighted with the results – thank you.”
Michelle Cant, Head Of Communications, Gloucestershire College
Thirteen years of copywriting support for a global entertainment network
The client: RTL Group, Luxembourg
RTL Group is the leading European entertainment network. With interests in 60 television channels and 31 radio stations around the world, this global business employs almost 12,500 people around the world.
Its content production arm, FremantleMedia, is one of the largest international creators, producers and distributors of TV content outside the US – think The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and I’m a Celebrity…
With 26 billion monthly video views, RTL Group is also the leading European media company in online video.
The corporate communications team at RTL Group aren’t native English speakers but it’s vital that the language they use has a natural flow, and is grammatically – and factually – correct. The team produce a huge range of publications and marketing collateral, all of which needs to be accurate and well written, and to support the professionalism of RTL Group’s global brand.
I started providing marketing support for RTL Group in 2006, when I was hired to proofread their annual report, and I’m now in my 13th year.
During this time I have written, edited, rewritten and proofread a huge range of publications, including newsletters, exhibition materials, and even CEO speeches. I work closely with their team to produce work that reflects the company’s professional image.
In 2017 I decided to pay a visit to Luxembourg, to meet RTL Group’s communications and marketing team in person, in their new corporate headquarters. I can safely say, 475 miles is the farthest I’ve travelled to meet a client!
In the client’s words…
“I have the pleasure of working with Sarah on the RTL Group Annual Report. She is very passionate about her work and the English language, and always does a fantastic job of reviewing and editing the content.
“Sarah gives us the safety that very important text and articles are reviewed in the utmost professional manner. She finds even the tiniest mistakes and typos within lengthy and complex text, and is very quick and precise in the work she delivers. She is extremely friendly and working with her is a great experience!”
Isabell Ostermann, Senior Communications & Marketing Manager, RTL Group
“Accuracy, reliability, flexibility, always on time – these are the reasons why RTL Group has worked with copywriter and proofreader and Sarah Townsend since 2006, on many annual reports, brochures and projects.”
Oliver Fahlbusch, Executive Vice President Corporate Communications & Marketing, RTL Group
Introducing a consistent tone of voice for an IT company
The client: Priority IT, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Priority IT has over 10 years’ experience of providing expert IT support for small businesses in Wiltshire and beyond. The team help businesses in all kinds of sectors to get the best out of their computer systems.
Priority IT were using a wide range of materials to communicate with their customers and prospects, most of which were too long, too technical, and didn’t work hard enough to convince customers of the benefits of professional IT support. Because these documents had been written by various staff, they lacked a consistent tone of voice and a coherent message that supported the company’s strong, jargon-free brand.
I rewrote a range of materials used by Priority IT to communicate with their customers, from emails to proposal documents. I also wrote blog posts for the company’s website and case studies that the team could use to promote the work they do for local businesses.
In the client’s words…
“Sarah has transformed the way we communicate with our clients. She has a great understanding of the marketing process, and how the right words can persuade potential customers to take action. She’s worked her magic on everything from case studies to emails, proposal documents and blog posts. I highly recommend her.”
Kieran Thomas, Managing Director, Priority IT
Creating sizzling web copy for an oriental cookery company
The client: Pamela Chen’s Asia, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
ChenMoore Chopsticks – now rebranded Pamela Chen’s Asia – provides oriental cookery demonstrations and cultural talks at events and shows, and for audiences on board luxury yachts and cruise liners.
Like many small business owners, Pamela had written her own web copy and it wasn’t performing hard enough to attract customers. The copy was too long, the navigation around the site was confusing, and the key messages were lost.
Though Pamela’s English is great, the fact that she isn’t a native English speaker came across in the copy. I wanted to communicate her wealth of experience and love of oriental food while telling her story in a compelling way.
I wrote Pamela’s web copy following a face-to-face brief, in which I made lots of notes about her approach, personality, and the way she spoke about her business. She emphasised a number of issues she wanted to avoid, and things that weren’t working for the business, and I suggested a number of improvements to the current layout, keywords for SEO, and the structure of the site.
I created an informal, friendly and welcoming tone of voice that reflects elements of Pamela’s enthusiasm and personality. I pointed out inconsistencies and opportunities to introduce calls to action throughout. The resulting site communicates clearly and persuasively, and lets Pamela’s story shine through.
In the client’s words…
“Sarah’s experience and knowledge in how texts work in this digital world has been quite an eye-opener for me. Yes, she edited and wrote the content for my entire website, but she does much more than writing the words: she thinks about the way the website will be used, taking SEO, the user journey and user experience into account.
“Having seen the difference her careful crafting has made, it has really made me realise the importance of using a good copywriter. Sarah took the time to understand my business and needs. She’s clear thinking, thorough and consistent. Above all, she’s put the sparkle in my website content! I love it.”
Pamela Chen Moore, Owner, ChenMoore Chopsticks
Writing brochure copy to launch an IT service
The client: System 15, Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Gloucester-based IT company, System 15, create clever custom-built software, develop beautiful, functional websites, and provide reliable, jargon-free IT support. Their expert team help Mac and PC-based businesses get the best out of their IT.
System 15 had an idea for a great new product – Business in a Box. This simple, affordable IT solution contains everything a small business needs to get started, from anti-virus protection and cloud-based email to a reliable backup system.
They needed a brochure that enabled them to promote this technical solution to non-technical business owners in a clear, compelling and persuasive way.
The project involved working closely with System 15’s designer, Adam Vines from www.loungedesign.co.uk. We began by meeting to establish the benefits of the solution, decide on key messages, and start thinking about taglines for the product.
Adam produced a great design, which System 15 loved, and I wrote the copy to fit the approved design, making the process very efficient.
Communication was clear from start to finish, and the result is a great looking brochure that promotes the benefits of a technical product in a way that any small business owner can understand.
In the client’s words…
“Due to the technical nature of Business in a Box it was vital to ensure the brochure copy was easy to understand and would appeal to decision makers. Sarah’s brief was to translate this technical concept into a clear, benefit-led message.
“It’s extremely difficult to create copy that reads well and conveys a clear sales message about your product or service. It doesn’t matter how good your offering is – if the copy isn’t right you will lose potential clients.
“You have such a small amount of time to grab the attention of your customer and deliver your message, and if your copy isn’t clear, persuasive and appealing then your client may never know how good your product really is.
“Sarah took the time to understand our requirements and produced carefully crafted copy without any technical jargon. I strongly recommend her services and will certainly be using her again in the future.”
Nick Rowntree, Director, System 15