Successful PR – it’s all about good relationships

By | Marketing

A few years ago, I was at a business event where I got talking to the owner of an Essex printing firm.

He’d built his company up over 20 years, employed over 30 people and enjoyed a turnover of well over £3 million. On the face of it, he seemed to be doing extremely well.

So I asked him whether he was optimistic about the future, and was surprised to hear that he wasn’t. He told me that he was worried because his firm was reliant on a small number of high-value contracts. If any one of them decided to take their business elsewhere it would not only mean redundancies, but also price rises – which would make his company less competitive.

I asked the owner what he was doing to attract fresh business. He said that he had recently invested heavily in PR, but it wasn’t getting him results. Read More

Is it time to give your company’s marketing an MOT?

By | Marketing

If you own a car, you’ll know how difficult it can be to spot when things stop working.

You can drive around for months without noticing a problem. Then, when it’s time for your MOT, you find out that your tyres don’t have enough tread, your front suspension is loose and at least one of your brake lights isn’t working.

It’s a similar story when it comes to marketing your business. It’s easy to fall into the trap of just booking the same advertising year after year. But because there’s no law that says you have to prove your marketing is ‘roadworthy’ every 12 months, the temptation is to not check how it’s performing.

At Garda, we’ve helped many businesses take stock of their marketing and get their sales figures back on the road. We help them measure the return on their existing marketing, negotiate better deals, find new avenues for online and offline promotion, not to mention create opportunities for valuable press coverage.

Read More

Make your sales figures dance in 2019!

By | Marketing

Take the Stage founder Amy Burrows is jumping for joy after Garda helped the company double the number of children it helps from 300 to 600 – in a single year!

The new Southend-based production company makes it affordable for performing arts schools to give children the chance to perform at nationally recognised venues.

The brainchild of actress and TV presenter Amy, she not only hopes Takes the Stage will give children much needed opportunities, but that it will help to launch some glittering careers.

However, Amy also knew that she needed help to get the word out to as many people as possible, so she asked Garda to get involved. We worked closely with her over a year to market the event and win valuable PR, as well as designing eye-catching items like event programmes.

Read More

Bike jumping over a ramp, train. Retro black and white image.

Ready to ramp up your marketing?

By | Marketing

So, you’ve got your marketing objectives identified and your marketing plan ready to go. You’ve got the website, you’ve got your brand guidelines, you’ve got the blog all set up and running.

You’re a walking lesson in Marketing 101 and you’re finally feeling in control of this marketing malarkey. Well done! You’re a Star Pupil and you’ve got a lot further than most!

“So what now?” you’re probably thinking. “How can I ramp it up a notch?”

Firstly, can we just say how much we love people like you?

And secondly, hold on to your hat, because here come four fool-proof ways to help you take your marketing to the next level!

Read More

Lady trying to sell false teeth. Retro black and white image

What does your branding say about you?

By | Design, Marketing, Web

“Determine who you are and what your brand is, and what you’re not. The rest is just a lot of noise.” So said Geoffrey Zakarian, chef-turned-restaurateur-turned-TV-host.

There’s some truth in what he says. Getting your brand right is an essential foundation for your whole marketing strategy – but how do you ‘get it right’? What is your brand? What should it achieve? And what does yours say about your business at this point in time?

If you’ve not spent much time thinking about your brand recently (in amongst everything else on your to-do list!), take this blogpost as a little nudge to do so. We’ll talk you through it step by step, and in a few minutes’ time, you’ll know whether your brand is working for you, against you, or just not doing much at all!

Read More

Confused man with large book - attempting to write. Retro black and white image.

Why does your business need a blog?

By | Marketing

Does your business have a blog? If not, why not? And if so, are you using it to its fullest potential?

Blogging isn’t just a passing trend. It works.

In fact, a 2015 survey suggested that B2B marketers who use blogs generate up to 67% more leads than those who don’t! That’s huge! So what makes it so effective? And how can you blog to your best advantage? Read More

TWO Services Advertising news item

Advertising and PR services from Garda

By | Design, Marketing, News, Print, Web

Garda’s team write editorial features and advertising content that really tell the story of your brand. We add value to your business by copywriting, finding images, and creating artwork. What’s more, we really get to the heart of your company by telling the stories that matter to you.

TWO Services commercial cleaning company is just one of our clients that have several high-profile articles in trade magazines.

In addition, PR and advertising will build your company’s reputation, attract customers, and even new employees.

Are you telling your business’ story? Contact us to find out how we can help.

Read More

Is your website scaring customers away? Retro image - lady screaming

Is your website scaring customers away?

By | Design, Marketing, Web

Let’s face it, the first thing potential customers do during the buying process, is to check out a company’s website design. Even if you don’t sell your services online, your website is your shop window. With just a few seconds to make a good impression, how do you feel about yours? Does it fill you with horror and give you nightmares? Do you get chills just looking at it? Read More

A group of men huddled round a plan, confused. Retro black and white image.

Is your marketing joined up?

By | Design, Marketing, Web

The number of potential marketing strategy methods for your business seems endless, each one a golden opportunity to develop great relationships with your customers. However, without a joined-up approach, you risk the opposite: confusing them or, even worse, alienating them!

So what do we mean by a joined-up marketing strategy? Well, put simply, it’s ensuring that every element of your marketing ties together and works to achieve the same goal. It’s about visual and tonal consistency to reinforce your overall brand. And it’s about avoiding a ‘patchwork’ approach – such as putting all your efforts into social media one month, only to drop it the next.

Read More

6th November 2018 in Design, Marketing, News, Print, Web

Advertising and PR services from Garda

Garda’s team write editorial features and advertising content that really tell the story of your brand. We add value to your business by copywriting, finding images, and creating artwork. What's…
Read More
6th November 2018 in Design, Marketing, News, Print, Web

Build your brand right from the start with Garda

Want to build your business on strong foundations? Garda loves to work with start-up businesses to get branding, websites and image right from the start. That’s why we were excited…
Read More
10th July 2018 in Design, Marketing, News, Print, Web

Successful Encore for Take the Stage UK

On July 8th dance and performing arts schools from across Essex took part in the second fantastic show from Take the Stage UK, held at the Cliffs Pavilion. Garda were…
Read More
9th May 2018 in Design, Marketing, News

Garda strikes gold at the Essex Digital Awards

On the 3rd May we attended the much anticipated, Essex Digital Awards at Hylands House, Chelmsford.
Read More
15th February 2018 in News

Adding value for 15 years

We often advise clients to take stock of their achievements and celebrate their success. It’s a tough out there and no mean feat to keep a small business afloat. So…
Read More
3rd May 2018 in News

A passion for print

Print. We encounter it everyday, but it’s easy to overlook the complexities involved in producing first class quality items. When the guys at DB approached us for a new website,…
Read More
3rd May 2018 in News

Take the Stage UK

When a young actress from Southend needed some branding for her new venture showcasing and inspiring local performers, she created Take the Stage UK and booked the Cliffs Pavilion. (more…)
Read More

Reviews like this are a pleasure to receive!
#customerfeedback #customerreview

In this day and age every business (no matter how big or small) needs a website, but where to start? To help, we’ve boiled the process down to four simple steps, so you know everything that goes into a great website!
#website #webdesign #gardadesign
https://t.co/W0JC1gtC6U

What does Garda offer as a full service marketing and design agency? Take a look at our services to find out what many of our customers have contacted us on over the past 15 years...
#branding #print #webdesign #advertising #socialmedia #GardaMarketing
https://t.co/vHFhoDV08I

Does your company's marketing ever feel a little disjointed? Our blog provides some great tips on how to realign your approach.
#marketing #marketingstrategy #marketingplan
https://t.co/PRZETTsqcB

If you want to get the best press coverage you can, you need to build strong relationships with journalists. Our latest blog post shows you how to get it right by creating the stories they’ll love to cover.
#PR #advertising #marketing
https://t.co/mkJCxE6fPy