Not quite the Young Ones

If you are of a certain age you will, no doubt, fondly remember The Young Ones TV programme. Rick (with a silent ‘P’), Vyvyan, Neil and Mike who were all studying at Scumbag College and who lived together in squalid conditions. Their landlord, Jerzei Balowski, did little more than turn up to collect the rent. These days, students are a little bit more demanding (in the main) in terms of their overall student experience and especially with respect to where they live during their time at university.

Our work with a number of student accommodation companies, Downing Students, Yara Students and Axo Student Living, has given us a huge amount of experience developing marketing material (leaflets, signage, adverts, site hoardings, promotional items, etc) and websites specifically aimed at those looking for student accommodation. We have a clear understanding of the student recruitment cycle (from application through to their first day at college) and we know when money should and should not be spent on trying to get students into accommodation. Not only ‘when’ but how – we bring a whole range of techniques and tactics to bear when trying to get tenants into our client’s student accommodation including pay per click campaigns, email marketing (direct and via third parties) and traditional paper-based mailshots. Different tactics work at different times of the year, largely depending on whether it is term time or not.

The most exciting development of the past couple of years is the student accommodation system that we have developed. This system, quite simply, manages the students relationship with their landlord from initial enquiry through to the day they check out of their room. Our system makes it very easy for students to find and apply for accommodation, receive their tenancy agreement immediately, as well as making payment of deposits, rent and sundry items a very simple and seamless process. On the administration side, the student accommodation system makes it easy for the building owner or manager to control the relationship with their tenants and ensure tenants are up to date with all of their payments. The system we have developed works seamlessly with our websites and we are certain it will save landlords and tenants time and money.

So, if you manage 20+ student beds (across one or many buildings), then why not give us a call and see how we can help you fill and manage your accommodation more effectively.

Get your website redevelopment back on track

Over the past year or two, more and more, we have had new clients come to us to redevelop their website having had a bad experience with other website developers. Bad advice, bad design, bad customer service and bad application of technology are just some of the reasons sited for seeking us out to help. Often as not, the need to get the website redevelopment back on track is combined with a tight deadline that must be met. When faced with this for the first time, being honest, we were more than a little nervous about how we might tidy up someone else’s mess. Now, many months and many websites down the line, we have a clear process that is applied for all of these types of web jobs.

It helps that the web development team at Clarity Creation have, between them, delivered in excess of 200 websites and also that, on a number of occasions, we have never actually met our clients face to face but, instead, delivered them a website based upon email and telephone communication (particularly the case with many of our London clients). The fact is, that most websites are very much alike in terms of site sections, navigation and features and it is largely the design that differentiates one client from another.

Having said this, part of the problem is that a lot of web developers make the process more complex than it has to be and they try to justify their over inflated project management fee by asking irrelevant questions or undertaking pointless activity. Many fail by forgetting that, ultimately, they are their to serve the needs of the client and the best interests of their client’s target audience rather than proving their own intelligence.

So, there you have it, if you want to work with straightforward, honest and skilled web developers who really want your website to succeed then give us a call on 0151 293 0505.

Well done Stu!

We would like to wish our very own Stu Parry a big well done!

Stu recently entered a Channel 4 talent competition tasked with designing an eye catching rave poster for the upcoming ‘This is England 90’ television series. He managed to come in the top 6 worldwide winning a cash prize and was acknowledged by Channel 4 as an Highly Commended Artist.

Stu’s work will now be showcased across Channel 4’s digital and social channels.

Big, massive pat on the back Stu. Well in!

#TIE90

THISISENGLAND

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Our Latest Work

Take a look at what we have been getting up to recently!

Below you will find examples of our latest work including signage we have designed and installed, flyers we have designed and printed, events we have managed and responsive websites we have created:

For a more detailed look at each individual job featured have a browse through our portfolio.

Clarity Charity Day Out

On Monday 4th May a team made up of Clarity Creation and MGL took part in the annual Dragons and Flowers Charity Dragon Boat festival held at Liverpool Watersports Centre.

The aptly named ‘Up Ship Creek’ boat came a respectable 10th out of 18 teams, helping to raise funds for Pool of Life, a breast cancer support group, in the process.

(We weren’t racing on our own, or that slow, the helm had fell off so we had to start again!)

 

Is your website responsive?

Businesses must have their websites mobile-friendly by 21 April, or face a significant drop in their online revenues according to a piece by Gareth Evans of Equator on The Drum.

With Google statistics stating that over the course of the next year internet browsing on mobile devices will overtake the traditional desktop viewing is it time to ask whether your website is responsive?

More and more, people access the internet using devices other than a desktop computer. Smart phones, tablet devices, even smart televisions, all mean that guessing, let alone managing, how a user might access your website becomes tricky.

If you are interested in ensuring your website is seen by as many people as possible across a range of devices get in touch…

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Person Centred Care Tools & Resources

As part of South East CSU’s extensive communications and engagement offer to put patients and the public at the heart of commissioning, an online solution was required to host a number of resources to help Clinical Commissioning Groups and Area Teams embed the patient voice in health service planning and delivery.

View our portfolio piece on how we helped South East CSU achieve this.

Tweets Now Searchable on Google

Source: AddME.com

More than 60 percent of all Internet users opt to use Google for a search engine compared to less than 10 percent of users who opt to use Bing. This became problematic when Twitter and Google discontinued their relationship in 2011 to show Twitter posts in Google searches. This practice, of not indexing tweets prevented many users from getting “live” tweets in their searches, unless they elected to use Bing. This is about to change.

Rebuilding agreement between giants
Beginning in the first half of 2015, Twitter has now reached an agreement with Google to have tweets automatically indexed versus having them go through the manual indexing process they have been using since the agreement between the two Internet giants failed to renew their agreement in 2011.

The numbers matter
Twitter has more than 248 million active users who send out thousands of bits of information hourly in 140 character bites known as micro-blogging. The social media network has worked hard to establish themselves as a social media giant and to learn more effective ways of monetizing the information their users share. With this agreement, both Internet giants benefit in significant ways:

For Google – Google benefits from this agreement simply because it improves their overalls search engine performance. Having immediate access to tweets sent out by users allows them to provide real-time data about what people are talking about. Anyone who has any doubt about how powerful this could be should keep in mind that during the recent Super Bowl, more than 28 million tweets were generated. Clearly for Google, having access to this information at the same time it is posted means better results.

For Twitter – a number of faithful users jumped ship with a disastrous rollout of the iOS8 integration, costing the micro-blogging platform nearly 4 million faithful users. The benefit for Twitter with this new agreement with Google is it gives them nearly immediate access to thousands of potential new users on a daily basis. Not only that but many believe this will also encourage those current Twitter account holders to log into their accounts more frequently which can only be a positive move for Twitter.

What does this mean for users?
For those who use Twitter regularly this new agreement offers an opportunity to get more users reading their tweets. For many, this means an opportunity to sell their products and services to an increasingly large marketplace. Before mid-year, those who are searching for specific information on Google will also be able to get the latest tweets that relate to their search. It is currently being reported that this deal goes into effect nearly immediately and that we should start seeing live tweets in our Google searches before the middle of 2015. For bloggers and others, this could also mean an increase in website and blog traffic as more people who share these sites on Twitter will now have them shared by Google as well.

This new agreement is good news for many, and provides a number of new opportunities for these two Internet companies as well as for the users of both services. Users will now have broader access to more real time information provided by Twitter users. While the terms of the overall deal have not been disclosed publicly, there is little doubt that this will be a welcome development for the company as well as for users of both platforms.

Talent taken to new heights

by Wayne Stuart

The last few weeks have reminded me just how lucky we are in this industry to work and be around such talented people. I’m not just talking about my colleagues, friends and various suppliers, but the clients and individuals we are fortunate to meet who become part of the story we tell through our creativity.

LIPA is a perfect example of this. We design and produce their prospectus and a chunk of marketing collateral that surrounds it. As part of the design process we regularly come into contact with the students and staff who make LIPA what it is. For those of you who don’t know, LIPA is a multi disciplinary performing arts university in the heart of Liverpool. Here they teach everything from Management to Musical Theatre, to students from all over the world. As part of the students’ education, experts from all over the globe regularly give a master class that will focus on one particular aspect of the performing arts. And that is how I was lucky enough to spend an hour in the company of Woody Harrelson. It was fascinating to hear first hand how this huge Hollywood star nearly froze, starved and was about to give up on his acting dream – saved only by a phone call and with no thanks to an overly paranoid girlfriend. His advice and encouragement to the students was priceless. Their reaction to him was also eye opening; there wasn’t any star struck fawning nonsense (that came from me) they just wanted to get every bit out of the session they could. The question and answer session was the best I’ve ever heard, I really got the impression that every student in the room thought “one day I’ll be in that chair!” An added bonus to all of this was that we could use a good friend and fantastic photographer, Deana Kay, to capture his visit (some of my favorites from the day are shown below).

 

The following week we were asked to art direct a photography shoot of a dancer the images from which would be used for a banner stand and within the new prospectus. This was no ordinary shoot and as you can see from the images above, no ordinary dancer. Jonny is an expert in aerial dance, this involves using the silks and wirework you may have seen in large theatre productions. The silks and the technique are hugely impressive; Jonny will wind them around parts of his body so he is suspended at various heights and angles held only by the loops and ‘knots’ he has created using his feet!! The moves were captured perfectly by Pete Carr in very tricky conditions, low light, and limited time with no chance of using a tripod. It was Jonny who controlled the shoot from 15 feet up!! It is time’s like these that you can easily forget that you have a job to do and just get caught up in the moment. It’s also very easy to feel guilty asking a guy suspended, upside down held only by his feet and thighs to “hold that for a few more, just a couple more, one more…thanks”. Not a problem for Jonny who was eager to push the shoot ever further. So, next time you see a show like Cirque du Soleil with the cast performing 30 feet above you, think of Jonny and the many students who are trained at LIPA, they may be one of the people astounding you with their skill, athleticism and, let’s face, a huge dose of bottle.

Thanks to Wired Aerial Dance, Cotton Street, for the use of their facilities and thanks to Jonny for just being Jonny.