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Ceri Booth - Miss Wales Finalist

Ceri Booth - Miss Wales Finalist

As a Tutor with the Institute of Copywriting, I have around 50 wannabe copywriters under my wing.  Many of my students have now completed their course, but still keep in touch.  It’s always good to know how their copywriting careers are progressing. 

There are always students who stand out … it might be their skills, or motivation … or just the way they give 120% in everything they do. 

One of these students is a young lady called Ceri Booth.  Not only is she an exceptionally talented writer, but at the age of 22, she is successfully running her own business and … is a finalist in the Miss Wales contest! 

At the time of writing, Ceri is currently in the lead in the online polls, and it only takes one look at her picture to understand why. 

So if brains and beauty are your bag … pop along to the polls and cast your vote for Ceri here.

Banbury Business Matters

Banbury Business Matters

Yesterday was one of those days when everything seemed to go against me. At 5pm I hadn’t even thought about getting ready to go to the Banbury Business Matters Networking meeting.  Given it’s almost half an hour’s drive at that time of night, I very nearly didn’t go. 

And what a treat I would have missed if I hadn’t made the effort!  We go to several networking events across the area.  In fact we’re on the organising committee of FBBC (Faringdon Business Breakfast Club), but when it comes to novel and fun ways of making sure people mingle, Banbury Business Matters are head and shoulders above the rest!  

Last night’s theme was the board game, Monopoly.  Traditional Monopoly Cards dictated where everyone would sit (no comfort zones here) and each table received a ‘cash advance’ of £500.  Working as teams and using the skills of everyone on the table, we had to come up with business propositions for either:

• House-type enterprises (buying, selling, renovating, etc)
• A hotel-orientated business
• A public utility concept

The team with the best concept would win £1,000!  In true Monopoly style, Chance and Risk cards came into play to add to the fun.  Overall, the team with the most money in the bank would win the prizes.

If you’re wondering why we’re playing games at a networking meeting when we could be roaming around handing out business cards at a rate of knots, think again.  In the 20 minutes or so we spent on our business concept, we found out more about each other than we ever would in a traditional networking environment.   Because everyone was involved, there were no ‘wall-flowers’ and, most importantly, it was FUN! 

Having organised many events in the past, I know the amount of time and effort it takes to just come up with the concepts … let alone make them work.  So a great big thank you to Rebecca Pearcy of Wise Geary and Phil Cullen of Mail Boxes etc of Banbury for all their hard work and for their talented judging abilities. 

With the inspirational leadership of Sophie Breslin and John Crutch of Banbury Broadcasting Company, I’m pleased to say our table took the prize!

Last week saw the WORD and WEB-right team at Banbury Cricket Club, exhibiting at the Banbury in Business Expo.  Despite a disappointing turn-out, it was a useful event to attend. 

Ray Avery of Bloxham Mill with David McCarthy of WORD-right

Ray Avery of Bloxham Mill with David McCarthy of WORD-right

As part of our promotion, and in honour of our copywriting services, we ran a ‘Scrabble Challenge’ for visitors to our stand.  The concept was simple: the entrants got seven letters and one go to score the highest possible number of points.  The person with the highest score would win the champagne, complete with its corporate colour bow, of course! 

While lots of exhibitors had prize draws to attract people to their stands, they didn’t involve anything more challenging than dropping a business card into ‘a hat’.  So why did we decide to break the mould?   This really is an example of guerrilla marketing.  It got us noticed and made us stand out from the crowd.  It didn’t cost us more to run, and it was a great way to introduce our services and increase our contact list.  And that’s what these events are all about. 

Although not a large event, the exhibitors and visitors were talking about our Scrabble challenge, and sending people over to take part.  Of course there was a fair bit of helping and cheating going on … but that just made the whole thing a bit more fun … and even more memorable! 

Our congratulations go to Ray Avery of Bloxham Mill Business Centre.  His great score of 30 took him to the top of the league and won him a bottle of bubbly for his efforts.  Ray kindly allowed us to pop over to the Mill to deliver his prize and agreed to pose for the camera with his well-earned prize.  Cheers Ray!

CD Automation

CD Automation

Paragon Alliance Ltd and CD Automation Srl today announce the launch of their new company, CD Automation UK Ltd (http://www.cdautomation.co.uk). As market leaders in the manufacture and supply of power switching, monitoring and filtering products, the new company’s mission is to bring true value for money and exceptional service, as well as providing innovative control solutions.

CD Automation UK Ltd is the result of the merger between Sussex-based Paragon Alliance Ltd and Italian CD Automation Srl. Paragon Alliance was established in 2001 and has an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s top instrumentation distributors. In 1990, Italian company CD Automation developed its range of Thyristor Power Controllers and quickly became the world-wide market leader in microprocessor technology.

The merger between the two companies means CD Automation UK Ltd will become a major force in the manufacture and distribution of power controllers. The company will be based at Selmeston, East Sussex and its extensive product range is rated as one of the best in the world today.

Predicted Growth

CD Automation UK Ltd will be making new appointments throughout 2009 and 2010, to enhance and support its existing operation. The company’s network of distributors and agents will also be increased. The new appointments will play a vital role in offering technical advice and in-depth product knowledge to CD Automation UK’s growing customer base. The company’s engineers are available to answer queries and provide help where required. In addition, extensive product information and selection tools are available online and can be accessed at any time, from anywhere in the world.

CD Automation UK’s Mission

CD Automation UK’s mission is to provide exceptional products and service as befitting one of the world’s leading manufacturers. The company’s philosophy is based on an exemplary level of customer service to companies of all sizes. It will provide simple ordering systems, short lead times, fast and flexible deliveries, and technical expertise.

After-sales Support

In the event of breakdown, CD Automation UK Ltd guarantees dispatch of a replacement product within 48 hours. The company also provides support anywhere in the world with its unique product support tools. Every comms-enabled product comes with a free CD configuration tool, which will help determine and identify any problem areas. CD Automation’s engineers will provide remote support for immediate evaluation and trouble-shooting. All the Thyristor products come with a 7-day free trial and exchange service and carry a 30-day money back guarantee.

Managing Director Jeremy Watson comments, “The launch of CD Automation UK Ltd means we can draw on extensive manufacturing skills and our service and distribution experience. The company is set to become a leading force in the international power switching market. From the initial enquiry through to after-sales, our vision is to provide true value for money and exceptional service to all our customers, no matter what size the company.”

Anyone wanting more information on CD Automation UK’s range of products, should visit the website: http://www.cdautomation.co.uk or phone +44 (0) 1323 811100.

– ends –

Notes to Editors

CD Automation UK Ltd’s head office is on Mays Estate, Selmeston, East Sussex. Manufacturing of the Thyristor Power Controllers will continue from the Italian plant. A new, 4,000 sq metre purpose-built plant was opened in 2008.

As well as Manufacturing the Thyristor Power Controller products, CD Automation UK Ltd will distribute an extensive product range which includes: • Temperature Sensors including Thermocouples and PT100 Probes • PID Temperature & Process Controllers & Profilers • Temperature & Process Indicators, Panel Meters & Displays • Solid State Relays (SSR) • Cartridge Heaters • RFI/EMI Powerline Filters & Power Entry Modules • HMIs & Energy / Power Quality Meters • Thermometers & Testers

For more information, please contact:

Jeremy Watson, Managing Director

Tel: +44 (0) 1323 811100.

Email: jez.watson@cdautomation.co.uk http://www.cdautomation.co.uk

We recently had a leaflet put through our door from Oxfordshire County Council telling us about its local services.  Included in this exciting missive was the news that Chipping Norton was a ‘No cold calling’ zone!   Clearly this is a well-guarded secret as we’ve had 2 cold calls in the past 2 days! 

We decided to investigate this one, particularly as anything to do with marketing is very relevant to our clients.   If no cold calling zones are going to be popping up around the country, businesses working in the B2C market need to be aware of it.  We all know (or should know if we’ve done our homework) calling phone numbers listed on the TPS can result in a substantial fine, as can mailing householders registered with the MPS.  But what about this new embargo?

Well there are a lot of sound reasons for establishing these no cold calling zones and doorstep crime has to be top of the list.  There are a lot of unscrupulous and dishonest people about who use cold calling as a way of preying on the elderly and vulnerable in the community.  A recent survey by the Trading Standards Institute showed 96% of householders didn’t want sales people knocking on their door. 

It would seem this initiative is in its infancy.  There is a Trading Standards Fact Sheet on the subject which tells you how to set up your own ‘no cold calling zone’.  The way forward at the moment seems to involve community groups, lamp post signs, and door stickers.  

If the local authorities are going to champion these schemes, they need to put their money where their mouth is and bring in some proper legislation!  All they need to do is set up a register of opt-out areas.  If this works for the MPS and TPS, it shouldn’t be that hard to do for streets, villages or even towns!  At least that way, the ethical companies who still use cold calling as a marketing tool will know where they stand.  Of course, this will only work if the householders know what they can do to report people who flout the law and the offenders are taken to task. 

As for us … well it would stop us having to answer to door and deal with ardent sales people when we’re busy, but in a way I’d be sorry to lose a golden opportunity.  No casual cold caller gets away from our front door without a handful of our company literature and we make sure they know all about our services!

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