Launched in October 2015, Get Together is a new magazine for Islington residents age 55+. Created from a piece of customer research we undertook for Age UK Islington, Get Together magazine is causing a storm among clients and partners alike…with a readership of 10,000.
Much more than a luxury item of marketing; the magazine not only highlights the work that Age UK Islington offer, but also it acts a s vital tool to connect older people living in the borough. The content is specifically created to be credible for people in later life, featuring items of interest from the local community to high profile topics and bespoke features. Produced on a quarterly basis by a local team put together by West Creative, the magazine is one of a number of campaigns the collaboration with Age UK Islington is producing to ensure their services reach the widest audience possible.
Check out the online version GTislington.com
Featured as Time Out London’s top 10 things to do, Pallet Paradise was an event that attracted an incredible amount of participants over a weekend in October 2015. Created by a group of independent artists and architects, the event was supported by West Creative through securing a priceless editorial coverage.
Time Out London, the Evening Standard and London Live were the main PR highlights, along with coverage in all main event listing magazines and many blogs/ web listings. The event, which was experimental and informal in its nature, was suddenly put on the cultural map when over 2,400 people visited from all over London. Hosted in a car park in Tottenham, Haringey – the organisers, hosts and sponsors were blown away with the coverage gained.
Recently cited as one of five best practice case studies in a report by Dame Fiona Caldicott, we led a collaborative research and a brand identity commission for a pan-London condom distribution and sexual awareness scheme for young people.
– Over 490,000 condoms were given out last year
– One in six condoms went to a young person outside their home borough
– September 2014 saw a record number of young people sign up.
– Since the scheme’s launch, the under-18 conception rate for London has been falling faster than any other region
Over the past two years West Creative has provided consultancy to an urban live/work community in Haringey, North East London. The cluster of former textile manufacturing business parks is now home to circa 1,200 live/work creative professionals, businesses and residents. Through a series of projects with the main landlord, Provewell Ltd, and a social eneterprise, Haringey Arts, over 80+ tenants have been involved in new arts projects to help regenerate the area.
This year, West Creative has launched a new series of commissions to further engage artists in the area. Praised by the private landlord, planning officers and residents across the community – the approach to bottom up, artist led regeneration is now attracting interest from journalists, planning publications and European Union projects.
Helping charities identify growth strategies in the current climate requires clear insight into how the organisation and its services are perceived. Age UK Islington is an independent charity and is heavily reliant on volunteers to achieve its aims. West Creative created a bespoke research project to identify how the organisation is perceived across various stakeholders and especially engaging volunteers in research. Over three months we interviewed over 50 people from day centre users to funders and volunteers to partners. The results of the perception research have been shared across the organisation and with all the trustees. West Creative is now the organisations lead marketing consultant and working to roll out a series of engagement strategies to increase the effectiveness of the organisations aims.
One volunteer summarises how they benefited from our approach:
“It was a pleasant surprise to find the unusual non-techie approach of selecting photographs and giving feedback around them worked so effectively at getting a disparate bunch of people to open up and tell you what we really thought about the volunteer experience with AGE UK. Without your skills of friendly facilitation and mediation it may have ended up as one of those tedious discussions which contribute to global warming and nothing more. Well, it certainly wasn’t that.”
Yve Newbold, Age UK Islington Volunteer
Iconic arts heritage venue, Hoxton Hall, reveal their new brand identity created by West Creative. Praised by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the 10 month collaboration brings their heritage and archives bang up-to-date for their modern day audience through a new brand, responsive website with box office payment, visitor app, interpretation signage and a full suite of print. An inspiring approach to engaging non-traditional heritage audiences.
Hayley White, Group Director at Hoxton Hall, who led the new commission said:
“Finding an edgy and exciting brand to reach non-traditional audiences for an arts heritage organisation was of utmost importance. West Creative understood exactly what we needed, they were brought fresh thinking, great ideas and I absolutely love what they have created. It helped that the funders, Heritage Lottery Fund, praised the approach of integrating heritage into the brand identity”
Creative Industry Finance is an Arts Council England initiative, delivered by Creative United, offering business development support and access to finance for creative industry enterprises. James West, founder of West Creative, has been recognised for his expertise in supporting creative businesses and appointed as one of 22 advisers working across the country.
The programme is designed to assist creative and cultural enterprises in securing the finance and investment needed to develop and grow into sustainable businesses. Offering tailored business support to a wide range of creative enterprises, with a focus on supporting them through the process of applying to a lending partner specifically open to supporting creative businesses.
To apply, visit https://www.creativeindustryfinance.org.uk/
Creative Islington, like many networking based businesses, sometimes struggles to identify when their support started making a difference to members. Keen to capture a better way to articulate the impact they have had on their members, the team at Creative Islington have been linking West Creative up with loads of members, from award winning opera producers to education professionals within the borough. Through an interview based process, we have been able to capture solid examples of how members have been benefited and create a wider set of communication material that can be of benefit across the whole organisation.
Case studies are a a tried and tested method for quantifying impact and promoting benefits to different customer groups. At West Creative we bring case studies to life, making the reader sit up and take notice.
Following a funded programme, Creative Careers, in which the Royal Opera House helped shape the support offered to unsuccessful apprenticeship applicants, the team at West Creative were invited back the following year as a direct client of the Royal Opera House. This was both testament to the commitment of the Royal Opera House in supporting the creative career paths of their applicants and testament to the value they placed on the support provided by West Creative.
Our programme of straight talking, peer-to-peer mentoring is greatly valued. Participants often express real excitement from finding access to advice from people who understand creative career paths. To find out how you could benefit from ‘Creative Careers’ coaching in your learning and development, do get in touch.
A ‘starring’ brand for one London’s top talent managers. Ben West Mgmt. had built up a strong reputation offline, but online was struggling to demonstrate their core values for nurturing fresh talent. We worked with the team at Ben West Mgmt. to identify their core audiences, the messages they wanted to promote and developed a new brand identity that communicates effectively across various digital media platforms.
Developing a full suite of actor profiles through the website design has allowed Ben West Mgmt. to demonstrate the breadth of the ‘talent’ he represents, offering a video content and media galleries. The home page sliders showcase his clients across a variety of roles from productions with Channel 4 to Universal.
Pleasance Theatre Edindburgh, one of the biggest Edinburgh Festival Fringe venues, approached West Creative to help change how audiences and stakeholders view the organisation. Following an extensive piece of market research, our team provided a variety of strategic options to position the organisation closer in the minds of various stakeholders.
Launching a book to celebrate 30 years of the Pleasance is the first of these strategies. The 50 page magazine was co-produced by West Creative and The List. 80,000 copies were distributed to both local residents and as giveaways during the Fringe Festival. Appealing to the reader’s fringe nostalgia, the content also aimed to give the reader unique insight into the organisation behind one of the fringe’s leading organisation.
It was the first time the Pleasance had explored presenting such a level of detail about their organisation. Our team worked with the staff through workshops and collaborative meetings to ensure everyone felt the way they do business was represented accurately. The result is a fact packed, testimonial publication that promotes the Pleasance as the home of new ideas.
Flick through the book here http://issuu.com/thelistltd/docs/pleasance
To celebrate West Creative’s first year in business we commissioned some people in our creative network to create an animation.
At West Creative we believe that it is always worth exploring new ways to approach a challenge. Our challenge is often sharing the various approaches we use as a company.
Instead of reading an essay from us…grab a coffee, treat yourself to a chocolate biscuit and watch this short animation.
The Pleasance, one of the biggest Edinburgh Fringe Festival venues, approached West Creative to help change how audiences and stakeholders view the organisation.
Starting with Market Research, the West Creative team interviewed 60 customers from audiences in Edinburgh and London, to The British Council and the Deputy Leader of Edinburgh Council. The insights discovered are now informing a 30th Birthday campaign led by West Creative and shaping future strategies.
“West Creative was imaginative in the way they approached the research and the insights provided are worth their weight in gold. But what I’m really excited about is continuing the collaboration to turn the insights into compelling campaigns…now the real magic starts.”
The Pleasance Theatre Trust
Producing a triple bill of live events for one of two remaining East London Victorian Music Halls.
To celebrate its 150th Birthday, Hoxton Hall approached the team at West Creative to produce a triple bill of concerts; cabaret, classical and comedy. Each event aims to raise profile of the heritage music hall to a new theatre going audience and contribute towards the fundraising target to restore the theatre.
West Creative have provided artist management for performers contributing in kind, including the world famous Immodesty Blaize who’s worked with the pop stars Scissor Sisters and fashion house Dior. To support the promotion of each event West Creative have also worked closely with the staff at Hoxton Hall, advising on the application of Facebook competitions to generate ticket sales and how to use twitter to reach new audiences.
“It was no mean feat. The cabaret show alone had three acts, 28 performers and an audience of over 150. West Creative gave us total peace of mind throughout the whole process.”
Creating a compelling new digital strategy and website for professional company that uses theatre to unlock history.
West Creative worked with the Theatre Merchants to identify how they want to be perceived and what their brand story should tell. From these collaborative meetings, we were able to identify a focus on unlocking history through theatre, which led to the creation of a digital strategy.
Launching the first phase of the strategy, a new website was created to allow customers and audiences a better insight into the breadth of their work. Utilising striking photography, the show reel is now more explanatory and vibrant. Other features include tagging searches for productions, sliding images on the homepage to explain the companies approach and embedding of video.
“Not only are they excellent at marketing, they also understand our creative work and translate it effectively. I’ve really enjoyed working with West Creative.”
Supporting creative and digital businesses in London, West Creative has been diagnosing the challenges faced by small and medium sized businesses to build a package of fully subsidised support.
West Creative have an extensive network of creative and digital professionals and is excellent at brokering new relationships. This has helped us effectively engage a number of businesses who have hugely benefited from the support available. Working on behalf of Queen Mary University, one of the partners in the London Fusion business support programme, West Creative will be taking over 50 businesses from film makers to mural artists through this exciting programme.
“James has an excellent manner with creative businesses. He has linked us with a wide variety of creative professionals. We’re really pleased to work with him as part of the team.”
Queen Mary University
Commissioned to create an innovative programme which supports London’s young people to get more Apprenticeships in the Creative & Cultural sector, we developed a vibrant youth campaign, hosted energetic events and connected with leading employers.
We worked with 100 young people aged 16–24 years old who had previously been unsuccessful in an apprenticeship application or interview. Instead of delivering more traditional interventions around CV Writing or Interview Skills, we created a model based on findings from interviews with 30 creative and cultural employers.
To find out more about how this approach can benefit young people, get in touch.
“The Royal Opera House is committed to making the recruitment process for our apprenticeships as positive an experience as possible for all applicants. We were delighted to be able to offer these workshops as an extra way of fulfilling that commitment.”
Involving over 30 marketing professionals from across the creative and cultural sector in Islington, West Creative has been facilitating a Marketing Network for Creative Islington.
Based on the premise that ‘the whole is better than the sum of its parts’, the Marketing Network has over the past year pooled together ideas and resources to create campaigns that ‘Promote Islington’, one of Creative Islington’s strategic aims. Amongst the backdrop of funding cuts, this increased approach to collaborative working at every level of an organisation has had some very positive results.
Through our facilitation the members of the Marketing Network have hosted a cultural trail to encourage new family audiences to discover hidden aspects of venues in the borough and a #discoverislington campaign encouraging twitter users to post their best insights in the borough.
Members of the Marketing Network include Sadlers Wells, Kings Head Theatre, Kings Place, Islington Giving and many more.
We have been providing strategic direction for an urban arts organisation based in one of North London’s most vibrant live work warehouse communities. Through West Creative the Community Interest Company has been able to secure £20,000 worth of sponsored project funding to host a range of activities that regenerate the area.
Projects delivered by West Creative with Haringey Arts include a ‘Connecting Communities Commission’ for new sculptures, murals and visual installations, alongside secret events which demonstrate the skills of various creative professionals within their studios.
The ‘Before I Die’ installation is a literary experiment, spread over a 3m chalk board that allows passers by to explore their ambitions in public view. Displayed as a twist on a village noticeboard, the wall also hosts a giant frame for guest artists to display their work and a digital gallery. Live work residents and neighboring communities have been united through the project.
“James offers more than advice. He mentors us, really listens and really cares about the work we do. Without him we wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much last year.”
12 courses, 30 people and a very unusual dining experience.
A private commission, West Creative hosted a pop-up restaurant in a disused warehouse. Drawing on themes from Alice in Wonderland we developed the whole concept and managed the event to ensure it was a memorable celebration for the client.
The 12 course degustation featured a varied mix of cuisine, from a vibrant Thai Beetroot Soup served in tea cups to a Tiramisu twist on a Chocolate Orange.
Hosted for 30 diners on a continuous table, each guest also enjoyed a hand-drawn cartoon place mat as a momentum of the night.