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the magazine dedicated to greeting card publishing and entrepreneurship

Gypsy Chic

magazine Issue 8 - 2016

A DESIGN BRUSH OVER! WHY SEND GREETINGS CARDS? USING PR EFFECTIVELY

BOOK NOOK

aughan The V e ll ie n a D h it w iews Inside!!! Interv nk Mountain a r F & a d n a m A st, Ripped paper ar ti abel Lang rish n n A d n a td L n of Lola Desig


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CONTENTS 3

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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INTERVIEW WITH... DANIELLE VAUGHAN / FREE PR

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A DESIGN BRUSH OVER! / BUSINESS INSURANCE

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MARKET INFLUENCERS

10 INTERVIEW WITH... AMANDA & FRANK MOUNTAIN 13 A PAINTING WE SHALL GO! / BOOK NOOK 14 INTERVIEW WITH... ANNABEL LANGRISH 17 WHY SEND GREETINGS CARDS? 18 USING PR EFFECTIVELY

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20 GET YOUR COURSE ONLINE 21 MORE FREE PHOTOGRAPHY

22 MAKE YOUR GREETING CARDS TREND

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L E fT T E R

rom the Editor

H

ello fellow artists, greeting card publishers, and entrepreneurs. I hope you had a great summer and had a chance to chill a little. I was very glad of a break – a chance to step back from my business boot camp experience, to travel locally, and do some family trips. I tried out a few Airbnb’s, a coastal tour, and a trip to see the outlaws in London! Like most of us juggling work and the demands of children off school, I identify strongly with the slummy mummies that feature in a lot of newly published novels, and the US film release Bad Moms. That untouched gin bottle tempts me through the kitchen door. Issue 8 is finally here. The patience shown by my contributors Danielle Vaughan, Amanda and Frank Mountain, and Annabel Langrish is prizeworthy. Sorry it took me so long to get this issue out. There was just a lot going on! I wanted to feature the lovely Frida Kahlo on my front cover as we jump into Autumn. I’ve painted Frida and owls together before, and wanted to clean up my basic paintings graphically. Using the genre of caricature, which I’ve done before, I got my graphics team to produce this vibrant image of her, using my primitive drafts as a starting point.

I’m sure you agree little owl looks super cute. I’m building up my portfolio of Frida images and will be adding them to a few art sites soon. It’s fun to think of my Frida design on someone’s duvet cover, T-shirt or clock somewhere in the world. Those small sums that feed into our paypal accounts from American art sites are not to be sniffed at and I’m always glad someone somewhere wanted my artwork on their product. In this issue, I cover a range of topics including PR, marketing and course creation. Watching what’s trending in the industry is always fun, and I include a freebie section that lists more free photo sites for you to use. Knowing why we sends cards at all helps us refocus so I hope my infographic is of help. Let me know of anything I’ve left off. A good few of you will be right in the middle of Autumn Fairs across the country which I hope prove very successful. I hope you return home with bulging order books, make lots of new leads, and renew old contacts. So for now, sit back and enjoy the read.

Lorraine www.lorrainestylianou.com

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Interview with .....

Danielle Vaughan The Ripped paper artist

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1. I WAS REALLY PLEASED YOU CONTACTED ME ON FACEBOOK AND THINK YOUR WORK IS UNIQUE. THE RIPPED PAPER ARTIST IS A GREAT SLOGAN. HOW DO YOU START A COMPOSITION AND WHAT IS YOUR WORKING METHOD? lll I haven’t been doing this very long (started in 2014) and consider myself to still be learning from those around me and so haven’t developed my style per se. With florals I usually have the bouquet/ bunch in front of me to work from as I enjoy bringing out the reflections in the glass. With animals/ portraits I use the grid method working from a picture.

portraits and they take much longer to complete. I alternate between a portrait and them unwind with the florals/animals.

2. THE BRITISH COUNTRYSIDE, FLORA & FAUNA FEATURE LARGE – ALTHOUGH YOU DO PORTRAITS, AND POP ART INFLUENCED STILL LIFE TOO. IS THAT WHAT THE MARKET SEEKS OR WHAT YOU ARE MOST HAPPY CREATING? lll Florals/ animals sell well especially as cards, I challenge myself with the

3. YOUR MEDIUM OF RECYCLED PAPER IS SO ON TREND. ARE THERE ANY OTHER INGENIUS TECHNIQUES YOU THINK YOU WILL ADOPT, OR EXPERIMENT WITH, SOON? l l l I have been wanting to learn to weld metal for a while and have finally found a teacher-watch this space! 4. THE TYPEWRITTEN STYLE OF YOUR WEBSITE REALLY COMPLIMENTS THE MEDIUM YOU USE FOR YOUR ART – MAGAZINES. DO YOU ADMINISTER YOUR OWN SITE, OR DO YOU OUTSOURCE THAT SO YOU CAN CONCENTRATE ON YOUR ART? l l l Yes I have created the website, it is good to have that control and to learn to do these things yourself. Though I also appreciate my limited knowledge and that it could improve. F

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5. LIVING IN THE MIDLANDS, AND NEAR LEICESTER, HAVE YOU DONE A HISTORICAL PORTRAIT OF RICHARD III YET? lll I have thought about it but there are so few images around that I feel I would be just churning up another one. I need to wait till I get a vision of a fresh image of him before I start. 6. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO GROW THE DANIELLE VAUGHAN BRAND IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS? lll I would like to develop my style, work on freehand portraiture (iv’e just joined a class) and although I have sold through Saatchi Art over to America I would like to see more of my work further afield. DANIELLE VAUGHAN

Web: http://dvaughangallery.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/d. vaughangallery/?pnref=story

FREE PR -

The key to unlocking doors l I’ve had to totally re-evaluate my opinion about door to door selling because I wasn’t helping myself by repeating the same negative rhetoric about my hatred of sales. I’ve found it SO much easier pitching up at a new local outlet in person with my cards with the attitude that 1) It doesn’t matter if I don’t get an order 2) I see it as a way of introducing myself as their neighbour 3) I’m actually approaching the sale without flogging anything: I simply say I produce an e-zine all about greeting card publishing and would love to feature their shop. It completely changes the dynamics of the sales conversation. Once I’ve done this a bit more, I’ll report back on its effect on the number of orders I get. I’ll share some interviews soon with store owners in my neck of the woods. Selling really is all about what value you can offer someone. You’ve got to give to get.

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A DESIGN

Brush OVER!

are a rip-off. Odd suppliers name (Lol) – but once I got over that one, I’m looking forward to testing them out.

l A helpful lady in one of my artists Facebook groups shared a good source for low cost, delicate, fine brushes – the type you need to do small detail in watercolour or acrylic ink. Who would have thought of looking at a nail art website to find them? Mine should be winging their way to me shortly. I’m so done paying a lot of money for specialist brushes in art stores – they really

BUY 12 BRUSHES FOR £2.50 WITH FREE SHIPPING. VISIT: http://www.banggood. com/12Pcs-Nail-Art-Brushes-Set-DrawPainting-Pen-Gel-Design-Brush-ToolsDIY-p-1008581.html

BUSINESS INSURANCE staff at venues, or need to use specialist equipment, so bear this in mind. A-N.co.uk gets my vote!

l When I attend markets, shows, tradefairs, or exhibitions I’m always asked for insurance certification. Here are a few links to compare prices. Variation in price will often depend on whether you employ

https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/ business-insurance http://www.rowett-insurance.co.uk https://www.hiscox.co.uk/business-insurance/ https://www.a-n.co.uk/about/insurance

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Market INFLUENCERS

H

ow much time do you spend on marketing your business? Do you have an active marketing strategy that you implement daily? And how much time do you assign to producing content about your brand, products and story? After six months on a business accelerator, followed by a month of annual leave (boy did I need that!) I am now able to return to my creative enterprise with renewed vigour. The first half of the year involved a deep dive into my business – from the luxury of free city office space. I came to understand the business speak around investment, the business landscape in general, and the marketing plays that every business wanting to grow should employ. And in a card

business like ours, everything really is a marketing play. The basic skills of a marketer will include analytics, modelling, quantitative data, understanding your competitor, copywriting and psychology. It is essential to do a competitive audit on similar businesses around you to see exactly what they are doing and then tweak your business to include some “extras� that may have been overlooked by other design enterprises. Content marketing is massively important and with outsourcing platforms like Upwork.com it is easy to hire freelancers anywhere in the world to design infographics that you could use in your blog posts to drive engagement and conversation. There are many other ways of making your business visually engaging. Knowing some of the useful

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comparison websites will help you analyse your competitor. Do you know how bigger card companies get their organic traffic? Are their blogs engaged, or something done as a second thought? Are they writing long content pieces? Do they use a PR company? How many social media platforms do they use? Do they capture emails from their website, and what jobs are they advertising (a great indicator of where their marketing focus is). Is there any newsworthy items on these businesses in google news? As part of my business accelerator I studied loads of greeting card companies accounts via Companies House. I compared their websites, and product offerings. I had detailed spreadsheets with multiple columns and came to understand what they do well,

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and how I’m different. Knowing what is going on around you can also give you a lot of incentive to plug away at your business knowing that you may have an edge over another company in your field. It is business after all!! So as we start a new “term” (those of us with kids know all to well what that feels like), we need to get our design houses in order, get those “to do” lists filling up and use every opportunity to gain sales. As my hero Gary “Vee” would say in his finest French “Fuck Gonna! Just do the work!.” Be an active desk potato – get your planning charts out, keep writing content, connect with your customers in lots of ways, and keep influencing! Oh – and don’t forget – connect with me on Instagram (my new favourite way of socialising).


Interview with .....

Amanda & Frank Mountain of Lola Design Ltd

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Each day has its highs and lows, the main low is the uncertainty we don’t know what’s round the corner, is the design right commercially ? Will the people like our work? Can we do this financially? etc. Highs are each time a customer buy the product comments and feedback we receive helps us to develop more as a brand. Also the support within the industry for new publishers has been incredible and ranges from the other publishers I work for to the fellow Ladder Clubbers and GCA.

1. TELL US HOW IT ALL STARTED FOR LOLA DESIGNS LTD – WHAT YEAR DID YOU ESTABLISH YOUR BRAND, AND SHARE SOME OF THE HIGHS AND LOWS GETTING THIS FAR. lll Lola Design Ltd started as a greeting card publisher in July 2015. However before this I had been in the greeting card industry for over 14 years working for Simon Elvin as there senior designer for nine years and the other four I’ve been freelancing as Lola Design through my art agent for other main greeting & gift publishers such as Cardmix, Noel Tatt, American Greetings, Creative tops etc. Frank, my other half, has supported me on the business side following over a decade in FMCG sales and marketing. i’m very lucky to have him October 2014 was a big turning point for myself and Frank, my dad was very Ill with kidney failure spending most of his time in hospital so I offered my spare kidney to him. After the op it left us thinking that life is too short and made us re-evaluate what we wanted to do hence why we have expanded into publishing side together. I’m a firm believer in “if you don’t try you will never know”.

2. WHAT CRITERIA DO YOU USE WHEN SOURCING PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS (PRICING, MINIMUM ORDER QUANTITIES, SPEED FOR EXAMPLE?). DO YOU PERSONALLY VISIT THE FACTORY TO SEE THE PROCESSES IN PERSON OR IS MEETING A REP. AT A TRADEFAIR OR OTHER INDUSTRY EVENT SUFFICIENT? l l l We are very particular on sourcing for example the board that we select must have a quality feel to it. Going for a board that represents your brand and compliments the artwork is very important to us. We were reassured when a new Japanese customer not only saw the designs but then inspected the board, it proved that this appreciation extends beyond ourselves. We do visit suppliers that are producing our products it’s an important factor in building a relationship with suppliers. Seeing how your product is made gives us a better understanding of lead times and possibilities with design. We recently visited our ceramics manufacturer in Stoke on Trent who screen prints and hand finishes all our UK made fine bone china products, this was an eye opener to the complexity and the attention to detail required to produce the perfect product. F

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conscious of trying to be different in the crowded market but still sensitive to commercial appeal. It’s really important for me to get feedback from customers as to what sells and what does not it’s the only way of being able to grow and develop creatively.

3. OUT OF ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES AN EXTENSIVE PRODUCT LINE OFFERS IN TERMS OF THE NUMBER OF TRADEFAIRS TO BOOK, PR ETC, DO YOU HAVE A PREFERENCE BETWEEN HOMEWARES OR STATIONERY AND IF SO, WHY? lll Blimey thats a question we are asking ourselves. We are still quite new to the publishing side so deciding on what works for us is still a big learning curve. Managing cash flow is very important so we are only doing what we can afford to do but we do believe that you have to invest ahead of sales in the start-up phase and most of our spending outside of product goes into trade shows. PR is all done by ourselves via social media, you don’t have to spend lots of money on this. Other than this, we invest in our product and as other small publishers will know, when you are small, you have to be careful not to spread yourself too thinly. Moving into new designs, product areas etc can tie up cash very quickly and it is often a struggle to make small productions commercially viable. We don’t really have a preference to homeware or stationary. It’s all about the design and which product it would suit but again, we are still at the learning stage so trying different things and seeing if we get traction.

5. DESCRIBE YOUR WORKING ENVIRONMENT – DO YOU HOLD A LOT OF STOCK, AND WHAT HOW DO YOU STORE CARD STOCK? lll Both myself and my husband Frank work from home and we have one employee Rocky the French bulldog who is head of security and over sees most important daily decisions smile emoticon Our office/spare bedroom is quite open and airy with some amazing wall paper from a company called Beware of the Moon, two desks and two second hand computers.We hold stock in the other spare room of our house. The greeting cards are mostly in plastic stackable storage bins on shelves labelled up with series numbers, so we can easily pick and pack what the customer requires. 6. IT’S FEBRUARY 2018 – WHAT DO YOU HOPE LOLA DESIGN WILL HAVE ACHIEVED IN THE NEXT 24 MONTHS? lll That’s a very good question to ask, one I haven’t really thought about as we tend to take each day as it comes at the moment. It would be nice to see that we are still able to sustain a living and that Lola Design becomes an increasingly recognised design and lifestyle brand.

4. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR BESTSELLING CARD RANGE IS? WHAT DO YOU THINK CONTRIBUTES TO ITS SUCCESS. lll Our floral dogs are our best selling card range, however our recent launch at the spring fair NEC of the wildlife botanical is showing promise. I’m very

LOLA DESIGN LTD

W: www.loladesignltd.com E: sales@loladesignltd.com T: 07456 488595 F: https://www.facebook.com/LolaDesignLTD

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A PAINTING WE SHALL GO! l Handbag sized, this gorgeous little mini travel

coffee and

set by Daler Rowney (my favourite paint supplier)

croissant, or

is perfect for designing your next greeting card

wherever you

whilst you travel on

happen to be.

public transport, sit

With a tiny

in the café with your

brush, detachable palette, and thumb ring, it is perfect for those spontaneous moments when you just want to break out the art! With 10 pan colours, [it could really do with a white in the mix] this sweet mini paint set is perfect for making idle moments productive. I’ll be packing this for my forthcoming flights, train journeys, and coffee stops.

The Book Nook The Art Factory: “Mad Men” meets the Greeting Card Industry Kindle Edition l l l Worked all week on your greeting card

business and want to read around your industry for fun, or insight? This very affordable novel on kindle (currently £2.14) follows the life of the largely female workforce of artists and designers working for their corporate bosses in a 70’s American greeting card company. As the Amazon description reads, “In 1979, when this story begins, greeting cards carried almost the full weight of society’s urge to be social: to love,

to flirt, to tickle and to console.” The story describes the clash of two cultures - the profit orientated business managers of Heartland Greetings, St Louis, and the hardworking women artists who had to be grateful they had a job. Read and enjoy! https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00C8FOHMC/ref=rdr_ kindle_ext_tmb

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Interview with .....

Annabel Langrish

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1. IT WAS LOVELY MEETING YOU IN DUBLIN AT SHOWCASE IRELAND, MY FIRST VISIT TO THE CITY IN DECADES, AND A FIRST FOR THE RDS. I’M REALLY INSPIRED BY YOUR SUCCESS AS AN ARTIST WITH MULTIPLE PRODUCT OFFERINGS, STOCKIST OF LADIES FASHION AND GIFTS, AND IF I’M CORRECT, A MULTI-GALLERY OWNER. YOUR ART WORK OF WILDLIFE, SEA AND GARDEN BIRDS, FLOWERS, AND FARMYARD ANIMALS IS EVOCATIVE AND FULL OF CHARACTER, TEXTURED, AND WITH A SENSE OF MOTION. HOW DID YOU FIRST START YOUR ART JOURNEY AND WHEN DID YOU START PUBLISHING CARDS? lll From a very young age, I always knew I would study art. Failing becoming an artist, I wanted to marry a vet or a farmer! We always had pets at home in Barbados - Irish Wolfhounds, assorted cats and a donkey. I studied fine art in Cheltenham, Wolverhampton and Sligo. Winning the Iontas National Small works competition, inspired me to paint again after taking time out to raise my family . I started getting excited by animals as subjects with them being so much a part of my life on a smallholding - we had goats, chickens and a donkey. I’ve always lived in the country and now in West Cork, I am surrounded by wildlife, farm animals and seabirds, so no shortage of inspiration. I work in different media, but find that my monoprints on textured handmade paper lend themselves best to being printed.

INVOLVED WITH EMPLOYMENT OF STAFF, STOCKING SEVERAL STORES, SUPPLYING PRODUCT TO ALL YOUR STOCKISTS IN IRELAND AND UK, AND ATTENDING TRADE FAIRS WITHOUT WEARING YOURSELF INTO THE GROUND? l l l I couldn’t do all this on my own - I get fantastic support and help from my husband Klaus. He was happy to make the move to Cork with me although it was really my own dream to live near the sea. I knew my work was diverse enough to open my own shop, as I had my originals, raku ceramics and recycled range . He helped build up our home into a gallery and cafe and we share a love of gardening and growing our own produce for the table. We found it very quiet at home in Ahakista, so we opened another gallery in Schull. This is staffed by Klaus, my sister and my friend/ housekeeper. I never do a day in the shop - I hate sitting in front of F

2. YOU ARE AN ART GALLERY OWNER WITH LOVELY SPACES IN SEVERAL LOCATIONS IN THE REPUBLIC. TELL US HOW YOU MANAGE ALL THE CHALLENGES

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the computer, but I love ordering beautiful things for the shop. Klaus does all the book keeping and we are still trying to get our heads round it all. I am usually at home in the mother ship, in the studio, garden, or in the cafe. Sometimes it does get a bit overwhelming and we do work really hard, but it is so rewarding and we absolutely love what we have created.

drawings as loose as possible. Most of my images are from my own photographs. I have a fantastic zoom on my camera - it’s like looking through binoculars. 6. WE ALL HAVE THINGS WE NEED TO DO TO TAKE OUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL – WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO DO TO DEVELOP THINGS FROM WHERE YOU ARE CURRENTLY? l l l I am about to apply for a grant to get my own printer. At the moment I get all my prints, frames and cards done locally. Having my own printer is very exciting, as I can try out far more images, and print on demand. I am designing a set of mugs, which is a new project for me. I have had my cards with a distributor in Ireland, and am now doing it myself, so hope to get them in a lot more outlets, as I feel they are my best advertising as far as leading people to my website. You get not only the person who bought the card, but also the person they send it to. I hope to find a lot more customers online, as I think this is the way of future retail.

3. IF THERE IS ONE CARD RANGE MORE POPULAR THAN OTHERS, WHICH IS IT AND WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS? lll The most popular image of all my cards is the hare. Everybody loves hares. 4. MY READERS WILL BE CURIOUS TO KNOW IF THERE IS “MORE JUICE” IN PRINTS, CARDS, ORIGINAL ART, OR OTHER BUSINESS ACTIVITY LIKE CELEBRITY EVENINGS (IN YOUR GALLERY) OR CLOTHING AND JEWELLERY? lll We have our own 3 retail outlets, our wholesale customers, and our online shop. My products include cards, tablemats and coasters, tea towels, table runners and napkins and cushions. We also have 2 exhibitions a year, opened by a celebrity if possible. We go to Christmas craft fairs and Bloom garden show. It is really a combination of everything that keeps us ticking over - I sell all my originals eventually, but the prints make for a quick turnover, and I like to see my images on different products.

ANNABEL LANGRISH

Email: annabellangrish@gmail.com Web: http://www.annabellangrish.ie/

5. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO PAINT ONE OF YOUR LARGER PAINTINGS, AND DO YOU ACTUALLY GO OUT TO SEE WILDLIFE IN THEIR NATURAL HABITAT? lll I am a quick painter, as my style is spontaneous and I like to keep my

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P USING R

EFFECTIVELY

A

lmost every greeting card publisher will need to use PR to build their reputation at some point in their business. It is one of the ways business owners increase support and awareness around what they do, as well as influencing ideas. It is a great tool to promote you, the thought leader. PR helps to connect you, and what you do, with your target audience, potential customers and fans alike. It can be one of the most useful tools to keep your company in people’s thoughts in a positive way and to grow fruitful relations with them.

PR FABLES n Before you launch a PR exercise it is worthwhile knowing what PR is not: It should not be thought of as advertising on the cheap, nor that you can dispense with it altogether in your business. Neither should you believe that you will see instant results the moment you start publicising your products or services. Probably the worst faux pas you can make is to believe that there is no bad press. You’ve got to ensure your reputation is not blighted by a flippant comment or off the cuff remark that can be totally misconstrued. At best PR should be monitored and measured so you can improve on its results. A lot of PR can be done yourself but if you use an agency it is really worth remembering to compare different companies in terms of their clientele, their own press-worthiness, and whether or not they hold awards in the industry. A good PR company should be experts in a variety of fields

that span consumer, public and corporate affairs. In fact, a good PR agent will have experience in public affairs, client and event management, the media, marketing and sales.

SO HOW CAN PR EXPERTS HELP YOU? n Firstly they can improve your communications with customers, other businesses, and large corporates. They help bring your message to consumers through great copywriting and photography. Thirdly they can take a lot off the stress of dealing with the media by liaising directly with them on your behalf. Following on, they can engage in clever ways with all of your clients, and the public in general though clever editorial, creative communications, and cutting edge design. They can oversee the management of business events allowing you to host networking events in a seamless, professional way, and encourage sales though promotions, storytelling, and clever campaigns. One of the most beneficial roles a PR agency undertakes is that monitoring of Media communications though their analysis and evaluation of all publicised “noise” around your brand.

THE ADVANTAGES OF CONSIDERING A PR AGENT n Keeping you in your clients’ mind is the top reason for hiring PR services. We all need that visibility boost, and help make everyone who comes into contact with our brand aware of the promotions and products on sale. An agents primary focus is to position you as the go-to

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person in your field, over and above all your competitors. They should work tirelessly to increase your sales turnover, influence customers of the strengths and benefits of your product lines and to keep them informed of all new developments in terms of business growth, or innovation. They are there to place a spotlight on your business activities when you need it most.

My reasoning was that I’m sure she (Arlene Foster) would love some encouragement in what must be a very difficult job. She responded several weeks later by thanking me for my encouraging message and good wishes, and wished me every success. A mutual swapping of best wishes which only cost the price of a stamp and was a great conversation piece at a seminar I attended last week around innovative ways of getting local recognition. PR can also be highly effective in putting the record straight or help avoid a crisis. By acting as an alternative voice when things go pearshaped can help prevent a major backlash or loss of consumer faith in what we do. I’m sure you’ve noticed large editorial and advertising campaigns by tour companies immediately after a negative event in a specific country e.g. Turkish Airlines promoting flights to the country immediately after the recent Coup.

Good PR will most always involve the use of great photography, clever use of logos and typography, and clever editorial in the press. No matter how small your publishing business is, it is important to think like a corporate and seek out creative editorial in business and trade press. Industry and service awards are an excellent think to promote in articles about your business. The easiest way to get free PR is via editorial in business magazines, or through clever wordsmithing ie. copywriting. Words are important, and we all remember carefully crafted slogans, headings, and advertisements years after. Think of grocery van’s for example: You shop, we drop, or You click, we pick. Other beneficial PR opportunities can be hand through sponsorship or working closely with other ambassadors of your business such as charities, for example. Highlighting forthcoming events, and creating a story around them is something we can all do to bring attention to what we do. How many of you have written to your MP? Building relations with local decision makers is a great way getting some attention. I sent cards recently to a number of politicians and got a lovely response back by email from our First Minister.

Digital PR is of huge importance today and we must embrace video in all that we do. Any PR that includes video today get far more views than copy on its own, is easily shared with others, and is effective for increasing back links, and in-linking with other websites. To conclude, use all the free PR out there – writing to editors in trade magazine telling them of new ranges, dropping a card in the post to your local MP, and contacting your local radio, or newspaper with a carefully worded press release reminding them of what you do. Hard work and creativity isn’t always enough – you need to make what you do highly visible, and to be heard above your competitors’ noise.

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GET YOUR COURSE

ON LINE!

l You are sitting on a mountain of information that could be made into a course. Check out some of the greeting card related courses on Udemy... I’m sure we could all come up with something from our own personal perspective.

THERE IS ROOM FOR US ALL AND NO-ONE HAS A MONOPOLY.

LEARN HOW TO START YOUR OWN GREETING CARD BUSINESS

It may involve some preparation, some video skills, and planning, but the hard work only

https://www.udemy.com/how-to-start-a-greeting-

needs to be done once.

card-company-for-beginners/ Here are some greeting card related courses on

The elements of any course will include your

Udemy you may wish to reference as a comparison.

offering, and how you will change the lives of your prospective students in terms of learning outcomes.

LEARN BASIC CARD MAKING

Your content will need to broken into sections and

https://www.udemy.com/learn-basic-card-making/

varied between video, text, and great photography.

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Freebie

! y z n e r F

MORE FREE PHOTOGRAPHY! NEGATIV

http://negativespace.co/photos/

PIC JUMBO

https://picjumbo.com/

PEXELS

https://www.pexels.com/

START UP PHOTOS

http://startupstockphotos.com/

SIDEKICK BY HUBSPOT

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/75-free-stock-photos-im-ht

LIFE OF PIX

http://www.lifeofpix.com/

UNSPLASH

https://unsplash.com/

GRATISOGRAPHY

http://www.gratisography.com/

STOCK SNAP

https://stocksnap.io/

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MAKE YOUR GREETING CARDS

“TREND”

L

ike the fashion industry, the predicted trends in greeting cards are already in the public

designs at the moment. But design is always counterbalanced to suit all tastes, and more flamboyant floral

domain as far as spring and summer

designs are equally present - colour is

2018. The dominant looks for the

attention grabbing and stores know only

Spring and Summer of 2017 are still

too well that a bright, energetic palette

strongly influenced by minimalism with a

will draw customers through the doors.

professional “work-inspired” appearance.

From Poundland to Paperchase, neon

I popped in to quite a few greeting card

hues mixed with eco-buff are everywhere.

stores last week on my trip to London and noticed

It allows stores to maintain their eco-credentials whilst

many very detail-free cards on the shelves - less

adding some interest to otherwise uninspiring neutral

made more by hints of copper foiling, and simple line

shades. Put together, the buff backgrounds works

drawings. Clean, pared down, sketches dominated in

magically to highlight coloured detail.

stores like Oliver Bonas and Scribbler. The minimalist trend was reinforced through

The flamboyance of Rio is still trending, as is our love of the safari. The British public have had a long

designers’ concentration on structural shapes and

affair with the natural colours of wild cats, animal

modernism. So where has this all come from? A lot

prints, and sandy beaches. Mix this with nautical

of this pared back, barely there trend is influenced by

elements and the draw of the sea, and you can appeal

sport and architecture. With the Olympics just over,

to almost anyone.

and the Paralympics in progress, sport, speed, and

I’ve kept geometrics in mind when designing some

precision is at the forefront of our minds. Strength and

male birthday cards for a stockbroker friend of mine.

refinement are juxtaposed in fine, complex geometric

I sent them to print knowing they would be a hit with

shapes. The minimalist trend is pared back in simple

his male clients and am pleased to say he loved them.

shapes with an emphasis on structure that retains a delicate appearance. Seeing through shapes,

To order my new “Paler Shades” range email me at

and feeling the airiness of a piece dominates many

lorraine.stylianou@gmail.com


ORDER FORM

ROMEO CARD RANGE. £6 for 6 cards CODE SHA1

I MISS YOU

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MAKE A WISH

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THANK YOU

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BABY BOY

SHA6

SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS

SHA7

BABY GIRL

23

AMOUNT

TOTAL


A window on the world of a greeting card publisher

Gypsy Chic magazine

Gc issue 8  

Gypsy Chic Magazine Editor Lorraine Stylianou - a window on the world of greeting card publishing, art and entrepreneurship.

Gc issue 8  

Gypsy Chic Magazine Editor Lorraine Stylianou - a window on the world of greeting card publishing, art and entrepreneurship.

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