Take the afternoon off…

Friday, July 13th, 2018
We're protesting Trump's visit with Friends of the Earth.

We’ve taken the afternoon off to protest Trump’s visit with our friends (no pun intended) at Friends of the Earth.

So grab a placard, print your own Trump slogan, and meet us near Portland Place.

The Open team x

The protest so far…

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Back to the future

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018
Institute of Fundraising Awards - winning fundraising campaigns for Terrence Higgins Trust and Unicef

It’s been a funny year in fundraising. By which I mean it’s been difficult and often deeply unfunny. So, even more so than the previous event, the IOF Awards do last night started out feeling a bit like a much-needed support group meeting.

But, once the wine started flowing and Stephen K Amos found a way to make even the pre-records funny, everyone got a bit silly and our partners won some awards. Phew.

First up was some work that we all love and which has been a bit of a beacon at Open over the last couple of years – Terrence Higgins Trust’s Be Proud. Be Sexy. Be Safe. campaign.


Terrence Higgins Trusts' Be Proud. Be Sexy. Be Safe fundraising campaign tote bag
If you didn’t see our very own @fiona_pattison and @aliwalker84 presenting yesterday, this campaign uses laser-sharp targeting and Facebook Lead Ads to engage people with the cause and then seals the deal with a bit of (dare I say it) good old fashioned Direct Marketing. The end result of all this cleverness is a very, very cost-effective fundraising programme that’s brought a ton of new, engaged supporters to THT.

There was then (for team Open) a bit of a frustrating interlude where Scope’s much-lauded Mindful Monsters was pipped for three awards. Ouch.

But then, thankfully, Unicef bagged the award that, as a DM dinosaur, I’d really been hoping for – Best Use of Insight for its GDPR work.

Unicef's GDPR Consent campaign won at the Institute of Fundraising Awards and IoF Insight Awards


This project – which also won the IOF Insight Group Award – combined a bunch of data analysis, modelling and qualitative research to create a campaign that made sure a huge chunk of UNICEF’s supporters weren’t snatched away by GDPR. 

The whole thing was absolutely textbook in its conception and execution – and absolutely critical in its results. And as an agency that’s often known for its creative and/or tech, it’s nice to show that, at our heart, we’re all about the data and the audience.

So there you are. Old techniques, new channels and more ways forward.

Cheers!

James

 

 


My week copywriting at Open

Monday, July 2nd, 2018
Kirsty Marrins' week of copywriting experience at Open.

For a while, I’d been contemplating doing some work experience in copywriting. But not just any copywriting, because I write copy all the time. I wanted to write as a charity.

I bet you’re thinking I should have just volunteered my time at a charity and helped them write emails, social media copy, website copy – the list goes on. But what I really wanted was critical feedback, and I knew a charity was unlikely to give that to me.

So, I called upon an old friend Paul.

I’ve been a huge admirer of Open for years. They’ve worked on some amazing campaigns, many of which I’ve covered in sector press. I knew that I would gain so much experience, if they were willing to offer it to me. But would they say ‘yes’?

I was nervous.

By contacting Paul, I was putting myself out there. Even though I’ve known Paul for years, I honestly wasn’t sure if he would say ‘yes’ – but I had to take the chance. I explained that I was looking to do work experience and that there were two things I was looking to get out of it: experience of copywriting as a charity and to experience what it’s like to work for an agency. Paul spoke with the creative team and thankfully they said ‘yes’.

Fast forward a few weeks later and I arrived at Open on a Monday morning in June, eager and willing to learn although also slightly terrified. What if it turned out that I’m not a good writer? What if my ideas were boring or cliché? Would I fit in?

Mid-weight copywriter Alfie took me under his wing and I instantly felt at ease because he was so lovely and likeable and clearly passionate about what he does. Over the week, I worked alongside Alfie, James, Anna, Liz and others on a couple of charity campaigns. I got to write some emails for a client, brainstorm for a pitch and write some concepts for a DM campaign.

In that time, I also got walked through the process from brief to final product and sat through a presentation with the British Heart Foundation to celebrate the launch of their Champions campaign. There was lots of cheering, clapping and beers afterwards – it was clear that when you work with Open, they become part of your team.

With the explicit understanding that everything was confidential, Open allowed me to look at past campaigns – from inception through to delivery. I really got a flavour of agency life. And I rather liked it.

Throughout the week, Alfie gave me helpful, constructive feedback on my copywriting. And it was a relief to know that I am a good writer. According to Alfie, I’m ‘a natural’. PHEW. Take that, Impostor Syndrome!

If that weren’t enough, my week was made even more enjoyable with the daily walk along the canal to the office, the lovely weather (bar Tuesday, which was freakishly cold), having Arlo the dog in the office on Wednesday and spotting the HotTug – a floating hot tub (yes really), pizza with Paul and salad with Sarah (which are non-intended alliterations…)

I’d just like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Open for offering me the opportunity to come in and absorb, learn and reflect. I loved every minute of my week with you.

Kirsty Marrins