I was delighted this month to get a chance to work with former colleague, Orla Casey, from Momentum Consulting in Leitrim.
While working on the Digital Mail concept and copy writing for a fascinating food initiative event being run in the North West of Ireland, I also took care of the Press Release and Media Distribution for the event.
Check out the event brochure below, with the text samples following.
Digital Mail Copy
Grow your profits by stocking more healthy foods and support our region! Why attend?
Opportunity to access high margin innovative foods that will strengthen your offering
Opportunity to learn about new products ready for market
Health and Wellness has become a global food trend – witness it at a local level and meet innovative Irish food suppliers
Support our region and incentivize increased “local purchasing” by working with our regional food producers
DIGITAL MAIL COPY:
Secure your children’s future, and your own profits, with the Healthy Food Initiative
Our young people are leaving us in droves, because they have no options.
CSO figures in 2015 show that over 35,000 people left Ireland this year, while it was above 40,000 the year before.
We are developing a healthy and creative food industry in counties Cavan, Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon, to ensure there are jobs and business opportunities which will not only bring substantial profits to your business’ bottom line – but also give the next generation the option to stay home.
We’re running a FREE event on Wednesday 14th October, where you can be inspired by healthy food as a driver of innovation and opportunity in your area.
Come along for the day in Drumshanbo, sample the fare, and you can explore:
Stocking high margin innovative foods to strengthen your product offering
Discovering new products that are ready to hit the market for high sales
Cashing in on the global food trend of Health and Wellness, at a local level
Working with innovative Irish regional food producers to increase local purchasing
Meet the folk who are safeguarding the future in our communities, secure your share of the healthy profits, and get involved at the roots of this forward-thinking support for the food industry in our region!
WHEN: Wednesday 14th October 2015, 10am to 5.30pm WHERE: Lough Allen Hotel, Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim
Brainstorm Suggestions for Subject Line and Social Media Headline:
Grow Your Profits while you Secure the Future
Do you think your kids will stay with you? Find out how to give them options...
Who Else wants to stop emigration from our region?
How to Grow Your Profits with Food
How to Grow Your Profits with Food, while You Secure the Future
How to Make Sure there's Job Opportunities in Your Area
Discover the Opportunities in the Healthy Food Initiative
Are you a Business Buyer/Owner who wants to Make a Real Difference in Your Region?
Press Release Copy & Distribution
Healthy Food Initiative Securing a Bright Future for Upper Shannon Region
On Wednesday 14th October, a free food innovation conference in County Leitrim will bring food providers and buyers together with experts, to develop counties Cavan, Longford, Roscommon and Leitrim as a healthy and creative food region.
The aim of the healthy food initiative is to secure business and tourism opportunities for the future economy of the area, while supporting local enterprise diversity and innovation. No small mission, but a valuable one.
Supported by Nourish EU, a European project which stimulates the development of food regions, the Upper Shannon Erne Future Economy Project, the Local Enterprise Offices of the region and Aurivo, the leading food co-operative embarking on innovative healthy food initiatives; this is a networking and showcase event delivering advice and expertise, but also highlighting real life case studies and providing practical solutions to the problems commonly encountered by small to medium rural enterprise.
Attendees can look forward to exploring creative ways to produce, market and distribute healthy food, while meeting like-minded entrepreneurs and buyers, and of course, sampling some of the innovative and healthy foods on offer in the region.
Fergal McPartland is Manager of the Food Hub in Leitrim, explains that their involvement with the Healthy Food event “stems from being a partner in the Nourish EU project which aims to create and develop a Healthy & Creative Food Region in our region and to encourage SME’s to innovate & develop ‘healthier food’ options for consumers.”
Joe Lowe, of Leitrim Local Enterprise Office expands on this: “We hope to assist companies to grow and to create new job & training opportunities in the process… We feel that there is a positive future for food in this region with a focus on the healthy and the innovative artisan. We also see significant potential for food tourism.”
The event programme includes a Spotlight on Distribution, Learning from Others, and focus on Financing Innovation. The end of programme reception sees the launch of Nourish EU’s ‘Irish Healthy Food Partnership Toolkit’, an Erasmus + initiative by the Chief Executive of Leitrim County Council, Frank Curran.
Food businesses, buyers and food service businesses couldn’t ask for a more pleasant location to spend a thoroughly educational and inspiring day; Drumshanbo is a beautifully preserved traditional Irish town, and home to the thriving Food Hub – tours are available in request.
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Nourish EU, Local Enterprise Office and Aurivo Ireland, there’s no fee payable to attend the event – just book online at www.nourisheu.com/booking to secure your place and start growing profits from healthy food!
When: Wednesday 14th October 2015, 10am to 5.30pm
Where: Lough Allen Hotel, Drumshanbo, County Leitrim.
Changing Face of Work Means Outsourcing may be the Future for Most Businesses
Outsourcing - hiring a freelance partner to provide a specific project delivery or service for your company - could help your business... writes Lora O'Brien for the Sunday Independent
In 2011, just 25pc of business was outsourced. That's risen to 31pc this year, and will continue to grow - up to 40pc of the global workforce will be outsourced freelance workers and consultants, according to the 2015 Hiring and Working Trends report by Expert360.
Though the outsourcing trend is definitely upward, there are certain potential pitfalls that should be taken into consideration before you decide it's right for your business.
You're giving an outside individual or company access to your business data, anything from accounts to customer mailing lists, so security and confidentiality should be written into the contract agreement you enter into.
Terms and specific responsibilities will have to be carefully thought through to ensure that there's no hidden costs cropping up mid project or contract that you hadn't thought to negotiate for. And there's the issue of quality control and company ethos - though a good freelancer will work hard to make sure they capture and deliver your company's standard, or better, it's important to look at their portfolio and previous client testimonials to ensure you're signing up with a good freelancer in the first place.
Derrick Bell, whose Wicklow-based company Toby Wagons operates primarily through outsourced labour, is frank about the downsides to freelance hiring.
"Some freelancers require you to enter a contract, so you do have a certain gamble to take to ensure you get ROI (Return On Investment), and one recent hire has been slow to deliver so it might be time to look elsewhere. Other than that I feel the positives outweigh the negatives.
"I have an external company who hold my stock and then send it directly to customers. I do not get involved with any of this. I also outsource a web developer to do work on my websites as this is technical.
"I also outsource some work like SEO and advertising. I am proficient in both, but it's good to get a specialist who can add their depth of knowledge. I also use quick outsourcing methods like (the freelancers website) Fiverr.com to help with lots of small things, and even just to review my sites regularly to see if there is any improvements I could make."
So what are some of the benefits he found?
"I might only need a couple of hours here and there on certain projects and outsourcing allows me to avail of specialist services without the need to hire anyone and pay PRSI, training, office costs. With the main part of my business outsourced I could effectively run my business from a beach, which I suppose is the dream."
The Expert360 report estimates that as much as 76pc of businesses surveyed are experiencing a skills gap. This can be dealt with very effectively by outsourcing particular projects or services without the long-term costs or hassle of a traditional hire, while on-site outsourcing will bring that expertise to your existing employees, who can work side-by-side with the freelancer to acquire a whole new skill set - if that demonstration or training is made part of your contract agreement.
Ciaran Curran is a business systems analyst who works on contract to companies such as Coillte, with his Kildare based business ILGRIN Consulting.
He faces the challenge of learning a new industry with each contract, as he moves between a lot of different industries from the government sector, semi-state and private sector - all of which have different ways of doing things and different challenges.
He notes that contracting staff are not eligible for benefits which are offered to permanent staff, like holiday pay, sick pay, health insurance, pension contributions or bonuses, while there are also significant bottom line cost savings for his clients' payroll with outsourced contracts as there is no need to calculate PAYE, PRSI, or USC.
As the cost of a contractor is fixed for a project, this enables the contractor cost be included in the overall project costing and comes out of the project budget.
Of course pros to the hiring company can be cons for the freelancer.
"As a self-employed contractor you don't have the luxury of paid holidays or sick leave so it can be very challenging to find the time to take proper holidays; excluding bank holidays I have only taken 10 days vacation in the past two years.
"In Ireland the tax system penalises people who work for themselves both with additional USC rates and no social welfare supports for when self-employed people are not working.
"Since a significant amount of work moved to contracting during the Celtic tiger years a lot of the workforce are now effectively self-employed and bear all the risk themselves, often working without any savings or health insurance."
Tina Mulhearne is the Tipperary-based owner of HR Direct, an outsourced human resource solution for micro and SME companies in Ireland. As a self-employed business owner, Tina herself outsourced specific skills she doesn't have - such as accounting and IT support - and she values the independent opinion and expert advice she has to hand as and when she needs it.
As it's estimated that a skilled professional like Tina can earn up to 275pc more as a freelancer, it makes sense to explore this option from both sides of the equation.
Common freelance services include customer services, PR and social media management, accounting, IT in both hardware and software systems or support, human resources set up or management, business data management, and copywriting on everything from white papers and reports to marketing brochures and content creation for company blogs or newsletters.
If you need it done, and you don't have the skills or time to do it internally, there's a professional freelancer waiting to do it for you.
In the past, 'Direct Mail' might have meant a start up company buying a list of 'leads' or 'guaranteed prospects' and posting flyers or offers directly through their front door (if the 'prospects' still lived at that address). To you and I, this meant the daily junk mail we all know and loathe.
Today, your business should be working to build a specialised, efficient, easy to organise (and target), mailing list - both postal and digital - which means you can reach your ideal prospects directly at any time. In today's world of SPAM invasion and tightening privacy laws, Copy Write Ireland will help your business to access those customers who are expressing current, direct and valid interest in your product or service, every time. This will save you time and money on your marketing budget, and increase the return on your investment.
Advantages of Direct Mail (either Print or Digital):
Campaigns can be highly targeted; reaching any buyer profile or market segment on your list.
You use a personalised address; so you're communicating with your customers on a first name basis.
Compliments your media campaigns; can direct to or highlight your other advertising.
Fast to produce, so its an excellent idea for time sensitive campaigns.
Easier for customer to respond; also makes for excellent tracking of your marketing spend and efficacy.
Promotes 'word of mouth' marketing; enables customers to pass your marketing materials through their own networks, and work for you!
We will guide you through the laws governing data collection and storage, as well as crafting the marketing materials that your customers want to see. Copy Write Ireland will help you hit the right targets, for great return on investment.
Digital Direct Mail & Newsletter Samples
Here is a selection of digital samples of Direct Mail and Newsletter work we have achieved for some of our clients (links open to webpages):
When Trojan IT were launching their new website design in early 2015, we worked on over 25 pages of technical product and sales content copywriting for their business.
SAMPLE COPY - 'What We Do' page....
What We Do For You at Trojan IT
“How can I reduce my information technology costs, and improve efficiency to save my business time and money?”
These are difficult times to be in business. Do you feel the pressure to reduce costs and improve efficiency across the board? Are you expected to do more with less, day after day? We’re here to help you.
We partner with the industry’s leading hardware and software providers (e.g. HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, Sophos & Intact IQ) to offer our clients Business Solutions that will streamline your processes, improve performance and drive efficiencies. We enhance these solutions with fully managed proactive service contracts that are delivered by our team of consultants and certified engineers.
Visit our Business Solutions page to register for a FREE consultation on software solutions that suit you.
With our Cloud Solutions we offer you predictable monthly costs with minimal up-front infrastructure expense. You can access your files and systems securely and effortlessly from anywhere. Working in the cloud unlocks the full potential of your employees and IT systems, offering the best solutions for productivity, collaboration, communication, and worry-free IT.
Our customised IT services support you 100% - from equipment set up, to contacting our friendly help desk, to certified engineer callout for professional repair, networking and infrastructure support. We also provide a proactive managed service for your IT systems, including equipment monitoring, back-up support, security patch management and antivirus update verification.
Visit our Contact Us page to register for your FREE consultation and review today!
Our client, Trojan IT, wanted to include introductory content for B2B (Business to Business) presentation pack. The content went as follows...
How can I reduce my IT costs, and improve efficiency to save time and money?
These are difficult times for business.
Do you feel the pressure to reduce costs and improve efficiency across the board? Are you expected to do more with less, day after day?
We're here to help you.
‘Making IT Work’ is not just a line we use to advertise Trojan IT. We have the experience and knowledge to understand that Information Technology should work for you, conveniently budgeted and reliably maintained, so that you can get on with doing what you need to do for your success.
The Trojan team make sure your IT works for you.
We partner with the industry’s leading software providers to offer our clients solutions that will streamline their business, improve performance and drive efficiency. We enhance these solutions with fully managed proactive service contracts that are delivered by highly professional and committed personnel.
When you work with Trojan IT you are assured of quality, reliable products and services, where and when you need our support.
Why not contact us today for your free IT consultation and review?
Our Lead Copywriter, Lora O'Brien, is a full time journalist and freelance feature writer for many national and international print and online publications.
What's your favourite book? A simple question, and one that most of us can answer, especially if we go back to our childhood. You may look to the left - off into the past… your eyes mist over, and a small smile breaks across your face as the title, cover image, and even the author's name come back to you.
Alongside happy childhood reminiscence and warm tinglies about certain books is a very clear desire, shared by many people worldwide, to know more about those books, their favourite characters, and particularly the authors' lives and places that inspired their writing.
Our Lead Copywriter, Lora O'Brien, is a full time journalist and freelance feature writer for many national and international print and online publications.
Are Irish Companies Setting the Technology Trends... Or Lagging Behind the Hi-tech Curve?
WHAT are the big trends in business? In early 2014, a poll of 8,000 industrial-organisational psychologists by the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology predicted the key trends for companies and start-ups.
So are Irish businesses ahead of the curve? Or are we lagging behind global changes? We crank up the trend-o-meter to see how Irish companies are doing...