February 9th 2012 – By Leonie Holder | Copy Writer
Busy schedules...looming deadlines...seemingly endless phone calls, emails and meetings...the everyday life of an Account Manager already sounds like quite a bit to contend with, so you'd expect a holiday to be the time to kick back and relax.
Not for our intrepid Account Manager, Sarah King. She's left the advertising and marketing world behind for a week or two to conquer the one and only Mount Kilimanjaro!
Sarah's off up Kilimanjaro's mountainous slopes and tricky terrain with her family for a 'holiday' with no frills; 9 days of sleeping, eating and walking under the open sky. Her quest will take her higher than she’s ever been - physically and mentally – hoping to reach the near 20,000ft summit; contending with temperature extremes from +37°C to -30°C and battling altitude sickness.
Sarah's doing this for a very admirable reason - she's raising money for the charity TWIGS (Therapeutic Work In Gardening Swindon). TWIGS do amazing work helping people suffering from mental health problems regain their self-esteem and confidence to help them get back into work or further education.
All of us at Halesway are incredibly proud of Sarah's determination and we're supporting her all the way. If you'd like to hear about Sarah’s amazing feat and donate a sum for a very worthy cause, click here:
We'll keep you posted on Sarah's progress so look out for future Breeze posts.
January 26th 2012 – By Chris Choules | Digital Media Developer
There’s a growing tradition among the Digi media team of re-living our youthful fascination with Lego when celebrating a birthday. And Tony’s (Captain of Digi) recent milestone was no exception with a flaming racing bike being added to our collection. Whilst I watched him building his Lego technic masterpiece, in between work of course, I began thinking of how amazingly timeless those magical little blocks are and the infinite possibilities for the future of Lego!
Since their humble beginnings back in the 1930’s in Billund Denmark, they have been pioneering their idea of ‘systems of creative play’ which clearly strikes a chord deep within children and adults alike, appealing to our imaginations and desire to express our own individuality. Whether it’s a huge container of spontaneous potential creations or a detailed technic set with instructions like Tony’s, there’s room for those who enjoy thinking inside and outside ‘the box’. And no I don’t have shares in Lego, haha, but I wish I did!
December 16th 2011 – By Mark Brough | Senior Copy Writer
... and says to the assistant “Please help me - I have 48minutes before the shops shut and I still need to get another seventeen Christmas presents!”.
That was how I used to spend pretty much every Christmas eve – running around shops like a disorientated looter, drunk on the high of too many possibilities. But no matter how many options there were, I could never find anything that seemed like a good idea to buy for any of my friends or relatives.
Apparently I wasn’t alone; I often used to catch the sympathetic eye of a fellow frantic shopper (inevitably male), looking like he’d just been told that earth was about to dry up and he had to transport the Atlantic ocean to a safe house in Scotland. Using a thimble.
When I eventually did make it home with my presents (usually after an evening of Christmas merriment in my local pub), the worrying task of wrapping began. This is not a job that comes naturally to me. And at 2am, sleep deprived and after several celebratory pints, it became damn near impossible.
Sellotape became an adhesive enigma, wanting only to stick to itself and paper that wasn’t ready for sticking. Presents gained jaggedy-edges and changed shape and size while I cut the paper. Labels disappeared and creating bows required skill I simply didn’t possess... not that that stopped me trying of course.
And then, when I finally managed to wrap a present, I couldn’t for the life of me remember what was in it. So it had to be unwrapped and the whole process started again. Many a Christmas morning I awoke slumped in amongst a pile of semi-wrapped presents, tape and paper stuck about my person.
Then, a few years ago something happened. I bought a Christmas present in November. The feeling of relief and organisation was phenomenal. By December 16th I’d done all my shopping. It was the best Christmas I’d had since I was a wee boy.
And then I discovered online shopping. Christmases will never be the same panic-fuelled hysteria ever again.
Of course I do still pop out to the shops on Christmas eve, but not to buy anything. I simply go to watch with fond nostalgia the men running around, trying frantically to find a present for someone special.
Have a Happy, relaxed Christmas.
October 20th 2011 – By Ekta Jain | Digital Strategist
The W3 awards honour the best of the web. This year we are thrilled to be the only European company to win gold for self promotion.
We love winning awards. To win when the competition is consumer (and not solely healthcare) is particularly gratifying, especially in today's environment, in which pharma has moved beyond dipping its toes in digital and is all set to take the plunge!
W3 winners continue to push the limits in web development and design, and in advancing web creativity; we are proud to be one of the few agencies worldwide to help set the bar.
August 25th 2011 – By Liz Rawlingson | Managing Director
The site looks stunning, the functionality is slick; it's delivering valued content and the user experience is superb...and then somebody says 'Does it work in IE6' and everyone's heart hits their boots. Because much of what works wonderfully well in IE7 and above, simply may not perform in IE6.
The browser Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) has been around since 2001, and in the fast paced world of the internet it's no wonder things have moved on. IE9, Chrome and Firefox set the standard nowadays. But when you are promoting in the healthcare market, you ignore IE6 users at your peril.
As of March 2011 just 3.3% of the UK's internet users were viewing sites through IE6. So why does it present such a problem in our healthcare environment? Well, over the past year we have found that IE6 was being used by, on average, at least 1 in 5 visitors to our healthcare professional sites, and sometimes substantially more. Overall the figure is declining, but not as fast as the market in general.
So, despite the drive to send IE6 to a long overdue grave, it appears that companies promoting into the healthcare market (and those dealing with other Government departments) will need to make their sites IE6 friendly for a while yet. Click here for more on what's wrong with IE6 and how to cope in an IE6 environment.
April 21st 2011 – By Ekta Jain | Digital Strategist
In today's world of instant coffee, instant karma and instant gratification we now have instant access to complex information at our fingertips.
QR codes are similar to bar codes – but where bar codes can hold up to a mere 20 numeric characters of information, QR codes can store thousands of alphanumeric characters of precious data – all of which can be accessed in a split second with a simple ‘zap’ from your SmartPhone! Couple that with 65%-95% of healthcare professionals using their SmartPhones to access information, and BOOM things just got interesting!
The potential is mind boggling – QR codes can link to websites, activate a number of phone functions, fundraise on-site during charity events and have also been used to subvert regimes!
From journal adverts to congress panels, on detail aids, invites, mailers, and even on your business cards – QR codes can be everywhere and will soon become indispensable in spreading the word.
We've got our own QR code generator and scanner in development but in the meantime if you don't have one yet – click here to download one.
March 2nd 2011 – By Liz Rawlingson | Managing Director
The last Friday afternoon in January at the 2010 PM Society Awards was another one for the Halesway history book because, to our delight, we won two of the biggest categories:
- Nursing Journal Advertisement — judged by nurses — on behalf of MSD
- GP Journal Advertisement — judged by GPs — on behalf of Lincoln Medical
We’re on a bit of a roll at the moment, because in late 2010 at the PM Society Digital Media Awards the website we created for Durex won Best Healthcare Professional Promotional Website. The target audience judged that one too.
More often than not the winning work chosen by the target audience differs markedly from the work selected for craft awards, so it got me musing on which type of award I’d prefer we won.
'Both' is the obvious answer, but if I had to choose then it would be to get awards for work which delivers the best commercial value to our clients.
And that's why I'd plump for target audience awards every time, because if your customers rate us as no. 1 – and the sales figures back up their choice – then I believe our creativity is delivering real commercial punch.