Balls2Marketing up for award

Bondholder Balls2 Marketing will be flying the flag for Derby as the city’s only representative in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Midlands Pride Awards 2019, having been named as finalists in not one but three categories. And to top it off, Senior Account Manager Lauren Doyle has also been nominated for Outstanding Young Communicator.

The prestigious regional PR awards recognise outstanding work delivered to clients and employers across the UK and winners are selected by a team of leading industry experts. Balls2 Marketing is up for Outstanding Small Public Relations Consultancy, Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy, and Construction, Property or Infrastructure Campaign.

“It’s always great to be a finalist for a PRide Award,” says Sarah Ball, Client Strategy Director at Balls2 Marketing. “It really does prove that we offer a highly professional service to our clients, and to be on the shortlist for three awards is just fantastic!

“We’re particularly pleased that Lauren is a finalist in the Outstanding Young Communicator category. She really is a very talented and hard-working member of our team and it’s great that this has been recognised.”

Lauren started at Balls2 Marketing as PR Assistant in October 2014 and has advanced to her current position through ongoing training with the CIPR’s CPD scheme and advanced certificates.

“I’m really chuffed to be named in the top 3 young communicators in the midlands,” says Lauren. “PRide awards celebrate the best in PR and communications and it’s brilliant that I’m on the list, as well as Balls2 Marketing being named finalists in the other three categories.”

Winners of the CIPR Midlands PRide Awards will be announced at the awards ceremony on Friday 27 September at The Birmingham Conference and Events Centre.


Balls2 Marketing Grows with Talented Apprentices

Bondholder Balls2 Marketing has promoted apprentice Callum Alton to Digital Marketing Assistant following impressive success in his Level 3 Social Media and Web Development apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship scheme, run by fellow Bondholder 3aaa, gave Balls2 Marketing the opportunity to find exciting new people to bring fresh ideas to its range of PR and marketing services.

Sarah Ball, Client Strategy Director, said: "Marketing is a really fast paced industry. So, when we first looked at hiring an apprentice, we were looking for a young person who had a natural affinity with using up-and-coming social media platforms and identifying digital trends."

HUUB named joint-winner of Chamber Awards

Marketing Derby Bondholder, HUUB Design, capped a hugely successful 2016 after being named as joint-winner of the Derbyshire Business of the Year category and also Small Business of the Year, at this year's East Midlands Chamber awards.

Derby Museums and Purpose Media were proud winners of The Social Impact Award and award for Outstanding Growth respectively.  

Anoki, Balls2Marketing, The Advert Man, Sky Recruitment Solutions and Foundation Derbyshire were all runners-up.

HUUB Design, the innovative sportswear brand, received the accolade following a move into the city with the opening of a new showroom, helping Team GB achieve triathlon success at this year's Olympics and were also instrumental in bringing the Jenson Button Triathlon to Derby.

Dean Jackson, CEO at HUUB Design, said he felt "fantastic" to be a winner after collecting the top award jointly along with Penny Hydraulics. Managing director Robin Penny from the Chesterfield-based business, said he was "proud to be associated with HUUB Design."

Chamber President Jean Mountain said: "The Chamber's congratulations go to all of this year's winners.  We had some really good entries and the judging process was extremely tough, but all of the winning businesses thoroughly deserve their success."

Marketing Derby Bondholders were also runners-up in the following awards:

  • HUUB Design - Business Improvement through Technology  
  • HUUB Design - The Social Impact Award
  • Foundation Derbyshire - The Social Impact Award
  • Megan Morris (Sky Recruitment Solutions) - Apprentice of the Year
  • Balls2Marketing - Small Business of the Year
  • Derby Museums - Small Business of the Year
  • Anoki - Excellence in Customer Service
  • Ed Hollands (The Advert Man) - Entrepreneur of the Year

HUUB Design CEO, Dean Jackson, receives the (joint) Business of the Year accolade at the East Midlands Chamber Derbyshire 2016 Awards

Finalists announced for Chamber Awards

The annual East Midlands Chamber Business Awards is back with a range of Bondholders competing as finalists.

We have a good cross-section of businesses represented this year and they all deserve their place on the list.
— Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber

Bondholder finalists include Anoki, Balls2Marketing, Derby Museums (shortlisted for two categories), DrivenMedia, Foundation Derbyshire, Purpose Media, Sky Recruitment and HUUB, which is a finalist for four categories.

Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber, said: "As always, we had a bumper crop of entries and our sponsors had a difficult task in whittling entrants in each category down to a final three. We have a good cross-section of businesses represented this year and they all deserve their place on the list."

Many Bondholders are also sponsoring categories including: East Midlands Trains, PKF Cooper Parry, RDS Global, Rolls-Royce and Mazars, which is sponsoring three categories across the region.

The East Midlands Chamber Business Awards 2016 for Derbyshire will be held on 16th September at the Roundhouse with the gala dinner being hosted by ITV Weather presenter, Emma Jesson.

Bounce-hit: the art of precise language

Thank you to Sarah Ball from Bondholder Balls2Marketing for this wonderful account of the Dave Alred event, as part of Derby Book Festival.

As a grandparent, the words four-year-old child get me every time. This is because my oldest grandson Alfie, is precisely this age. It immediately puts me into super listening mode.

Children, and the way they learn, were at the centre of a superb talk today by Dr Dave Alred MBE. Before his talk, I'd not heard of him, or his work. What attracted me along with 150 other members of Marketing Derby to University of Derby was the parallel he made between sport and business. 

Dave’s talk was part of the Derby Book Festival and he was brilliant. He had all the examples of a highly successful coach and mentor for when things go brilliantly well, but it was his explanation of when things don't go so well that made his talk exceptional.

Take a four-year-old child. He's playing tennis, which Alfie does, and he's told - keep your eye on the ball. Positive language, that's always good, but without direction it's pointless. As Dave so astutely said, the child can be following all the rules but simply watches the ball fly past his racket. Is the child wrong? Of course not, they’re following the instructions to the letter.

I had a recent experience of this with Alfie. Taking him on a cycle ride my husband Andy asked him to go around the potholes. The first he managed brilliantly, a full 360 degrees around it, but the second he looked up and said: Pops there's not enough space to go round this one. Andy and I laughed so much because he had completely understood the instruction and carried out exactly what he was told, but his understanding of 'going around' and ours was very different. 

To coach someone well according to Dave, is the precision of the instruction. You want to remove any doubt from the action you want someone to take. Take Rob Andrews the former rugby player for example, Dave's instructions to him were to look at the stitching on the ball. Why? Because it's difficult to think of anything else while you are concentrating to that level. What happens is the task becomes all-consuming and whether you're doing it on the practice field, or in the final of an international competition, is almost irrelevant. 

I've made it sound rather simple. And I'm not convinced it's complicated. What I think is that it takes a special person to explain this. Dave started his talk with a quote from Rudyard Kipling: The most powerful drug known to mankind is language. 

Dave didn't use jargon or talk about a system he's created. He keeps everything he does simple. Negative language highlights the exact opposite of what you want. If I want someone to take a positive action, I cause confusion if I start talking about what I don't want you to do. So keep your arm straight is better than don't bend your arm. Anyone in the room today would have gotten the importance of this instruction as it was the example we put to the test. 

The task was to find a partner and put your hand on their shoulder facing up. The other person had to try to bend the straightened arm. Sounds simple, and it was. We all managed to follow the instructions. Then one from each pair was asked to leave the room. The remainder were given a technique to make them stronger.

The second time around it was much more difficult to bend the persons arm. We were then all let in on the secret. The placing of the feet, the core connected, look past your opponent, the fire in the belly and the pointed finger to the wall all played their part. We had to concentrate to do it, but I'm sure the trust we had in Dave also helped. 

I have taken three lessons away from today. First I will help Alfie with his tennis. I will use the bounce, hit method where you say bounce as the ball bounces and hit as your racket connects with the ball. At four Alfie is already better than me at this, but I reckon using this technique I can say bounce and hit at the right times. I'll keep you posted! 

The second is to use language that's more precise and positive. We love language. We like words just because they're beautiful. But humans love negatives, they dwell on them so positive actions sometimes get overlooked. For marketing we are always aiming to simplify messages so that they're relevant and pertinent to readers, and that's what Dave was saying. 

The final lesson is to maintain focus, you need to be occupied. This additional business means that you can concentrate on the task in hand. I'm writing this. I'm on the train, and every time there's a stop or an announcement it takes me away from my task and my train of thought (sorry about that one!). When I come back to focus I continue. My environment is creating confusion and it affects my performance. It's good to know because I can see there are times in the office where I allow myself to be distracted, and I can do something about it to make myself more effective. 

I know that we already use these techniques because working with many technical products and components means we have to distil the tech speak into language for humans. We spend a lot of time creating these messages so we really understand the theory and we see this as an important discipline within marketing. Now, having listened to Dave, I need to extend this to the rest of my life... 

Balls2Marketing secures DEGF funding

Bondholder marketing agency Balls2Marketing has increased business income by one-third in just six months after a successful bid to the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund (DEGF) allowed them to build their business.

The part loan, part grant funding of £33,000 enabled the agency to purchase equipment, expand its premises and take on more staff. The funding has allowed Balls2Marketing to launch affordable social media and search engine optimisation packages for SMEs and a total of five full-time posts have been created.

New recruits include Simon Kinnear, Director of Communications; Callum Alton, Apprentice; and Lynsey Bowen, Marketing Manager, who brings with her a Master's degree from the University of Derby to her extensive marketing expertise.

Additional office space was provided by restoring rooms within Balls2Marketing's existing base; a converted chapel with lots of period features.

Owners and directors, Sarah and Andy Ball, believe the job creation stimulated by the DEGF does not stop at Balls2Marketing: "We want to help businesses to realise their own growth potential. It's particularly exciting when we can help them to benefit each other. One of the businesses we work with grew from a standing start to 39 employees in just one year. Even our smallest client has been able to create two new posts."

Councillor Martin Rawson, Deputy Leader of Derby City Council, said: "It's great to see the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund supporting this local business with an international client base. What a great example of how the fund has brought extended benefits, putting other companies in a position to grow or diversify."