I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve been asked that question, on and off camera. It’s great to have the support and interest of so many villagers in Tideswell, and indeed friends in my “home” village of Easton on the Hill and beyond. I know lots of my professional colleagues and clients are taking an active interest too, so I hope the recent furious “blogging in bullet points” below gives some idea of the work that’s going on, and this gives you a feel for the job I’m doing.
It’s busy- that’s an understatement. It’s not only the volume of work that has to be done , but the diversity of it. I’m not complaining, and I’m certainly not the only busy body around. I’m amazed how so many committed villagers on the “core team” are managing to hold down a day job while putting in many hours of discussion and delivering on the project.
Personally I constantly bounce between tasks that are in my comfort zone and those that aren’t.
The briefing and selection of an agency (“Peter and Paul”- seen here visiting for a briefing) and working with them to develop the clear thinking behind the brand and the great designs they have produced in double quick time is familiar ground, but it’s what I’m primarily expected to deliver, so the pressure to get it right is pretty obvious. This week we had a massive turning point on the branding, when we presented to the Marketing Group and the Board, and we came away with the right decision on a really striking but simple logo. I confess to going into “sales mode” in the meeting and when we got the right result, I further confess to celebrating a little too hard at the George afterwards.
It’s the experience of things outside my norm of Corporate Marketing Consultancy and NPD that make this job even more rewarding though. I can walk out of my cottage front door on the High St to buy a loaf from Tindalls, some mince from Gibbs the Butchers, some apples from Peaches, or maybe a saddo’s ready meal from the Co-Op. Some days that can take a couple of hours! Talking to people in the real life setting of their own retail businesses, with real customers there deciding on whether or not to part with real hard earned cash- that’s real marketing. I hope that the principles of marketing can be applied to Tideswell and show how real marketing can benefit communities as well as companies.
Even further away from my comfort zone I’ve been on cookery courses, helped to select granite worktops and kitchen equipment, (although Juliet Waugh has made the important decisions), puzzled over architects drawings, looked for brewing expertise and equipment, choosen phone systems and computers (almost), begged for help from suppliers, friends, and business contacts (thanks to all!) written job descriptions and advertisements, discussed many new business ideas, and pushed newsletters through several doors. All of this gets punctuated by the arrival of our good friends from the BBC, Jane and Mandy, (or Hinge and Bracket as they are better known) and the opportunity to try and say the simplest things correctly on camera. I do ramble on, and there’s going to be quite a bit of me on the cutting room floor before we’re done. Why do I always think of the clever phrase just after they’ve left?
Hope that paints a picture for you- watch this space for developments!