is not a myth Recession or not, all organisations are looking for the best value. Sadly, many consultants either cost heaven and earth for a few hours of their time and creative agencies sometimes lack the ability to truly develop a business beyond a few promotional campaigns. Muse Development offers something that can combat the trials and tribulations of both. We are development professionals with over 35 years of experience between us, both agency-side and in-house, who have gained our knowledge and skills from working at the proverbial ‘coal-face’. And the beauty of it all, is that because we’re based in the East of England our fees are more than reasonable. £40 an hour for a consultant that’s written speeches for two American Presidents? It’s not impossible if your company values are not based profits at any cost, but actually doing work that makes a difference to people and at the end of the day, something we can take pride in. Whether it’s a small business looking to improve it’s brand recognition or a local authority wanting to make sure it’s making decisions that are supported by its constituents, Muse Development specialises in providing organisational improvement and focuses on return on investment without foresaking creativity. Muse Development. Practical inspiration.
Muse (n) One of nine classical goddesses responsible for inspiration and creativity in humankind
Muse Development (n) The consultancy that helps organisations improve, become more profitable, more engaging, better recognised, increase reputation, get better sales, generate happier customers and boost their brand.
Strategic services Strategic organisational reviews Research and funding reports Audience development Exhibition content development Internal communications Marketing planning Brand building Public relations planning Campaign management Product development Winning PQQs and tender responses
Tactical services Copywriting Design Print management CRM Awards programmes Press releases Photography Script writing Newsletters Web editorial SMS and social networking
Inspiration comes in many forms Muse Development is about doing something different. We are a consultancy built upon helping clients improve their organisation and create an economically sustainable future through long-term relationships and reasonable prices. We approach these challenges through communication - we meet with our clients face-to-face and we listen. Rather than pitching ideas into the ether, our method is to really understand the needs of the organisation in question and how each of the stakeholders' perceive success before making recommendations based on assumptions.
The Muses Sarah Dowd Senior Partner
Frank Crosby Senior Partner
Sarah has over ten years experience developing organisations both in the UK and Canada. She is the former Head of Marketing for ISG Cathedral and Managing Director of Black Orchid Marketing, which was nominated for the NatWest Start Up Small Business of the Year 2007 while under her directorship.
The former Head of Marketing for the Imperial War Museum Duxford, Frank has thirty years experience, in-house and as a consultant, of developing audiences for heritage sites. IWM Duxford is one of the East of England’s most popular heritage sites and is a complex multi-partner and multistakeholder organisation. While there Frank was responsible for the launch of a number of new developments at the Museum including the multi-award winning American Air Museum. He was responsible for the Museum’s ongoing market research programme and was involved in a number of Heritage Lottery Fund projects so has real experience of researching and delivering marketing plans that maximise access for all. In his time at Duxford, Frank grew the visitor figures to an all time high of 462,000 whilst working within the tightest budgets.
Sarah emigrated from Canada to the UK in 2002, where she worked as a journalist and production manager for Canada’s three largest children’s magazines. In the last seven years, Sarah’s achievements have been wide ranging from a Master’s degree in Global Communications and a CIM in Arts Marketing to becoming Managing Director at the age of 27. She has written for Arts Professional magazine, delivered development training programmes to over 40 organisations across the UK. Her work with the Imperial War Museum was short-listed for Best Marketing Campaign and her later work achieved one national and one international industry-leading awards on behalf of her clients. Sarah brings together not only a wealth of experience but a practical knowledge of organisational development and communications because she takes a direct approach and has deep involvement in all client projects. Sarah’s strengths lie in her ability to assist organisations in strategically reviewing their position and developing and delivering on objectives based on proven organisational needs.
For the past two years, Frank has been working closely with Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum in Woolwich, southeast London. He led an MLA-funded audience development project for Firepower and is now working with the Museum to implement the plan and reposition itself among a very diverse community. Frank’s unique experience both inhouse and agency side gives him the edge over other audience development consultants. A former archaeologist, Frank is passionate about heritage and its promotion and is also the author of sixteen historyrelated books.
Organisations we have worked with Arts, Heritage, Not-for-Profit, Tourism and Local Government Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum Viva Arts and Community Group Luton Museums Service HMS Belfast IWM Duxford Ely Museum Moyse’s Hall Museum, Bury St. Edmunds Museum of Army Flying Canadian International Airshow Wild Oats Productions EEDA Witchford Parish Council NCCU Charity Performance East Cambridgeshire District Council Destination Milton Keynes
Professional Services and Commercial Organisations ISG Cathedral Aukett Tytherleigh Interior Architects Barclays Bank plc American Express Nestle Nutrition Time Play Cambridge Marketing College Talking People Ogilvy
Case Studies - The Seamstress and the Sea Exhibition
Audience development and campaign management Beginning in July 2006, Sarah Dowd assisted HMS Belfast in the delivery of an audience development plan, and subsequent marketing and PR campaign supporting The Seamstress and the Sea. This was an art exhibition featuring nontraditional textile installations. As the primary audience development project onboard the Ship in 2006, it was of great importance that HMS Belfast projected itself to people who would not normally have attended. Sarah set about delivering this in a variety of ways. The first task on this assignment was to make the exhibition as ‘visitorfriendly’ as possible, without alienating the client or the artist. As a result of research with target markets,
Sarah suggested a new name for the piece - The Seamstress and the Sea. This was a significant change from ‘For Alice Hunter Who Sewed Sailor’s Collars for a Living, a tribute by Rozanne Hawksley’. Leading a team of four including a designer, web designer, PR manager and promotions executive, Sarah created a strategy that was sympathetic to the subject matter, extremely viral and highly targeted. Rather than focusing on families and veterans on HMS Belfast, Sarah challenged tradition and went after women without children, artisans, design students, female Navy veterans, embroidery groups, online craft communities, and fashionistas. Sarah brokered a cross-promotion with the Women’s Library who distributed over 6,000 bookmarks to their members and as well as promotional weblink management with a variety of craft and needlework
sites which are accessed by a large online craft community. Sarah monitored web blogs which had discussion groups about the exhibition and even found a craft group who attended the exhibition as a direct result of the e-toolkit that was created, all a result of the viral approach to the subject matter. Consequently, the efforts achieved a high proportion of coverage for this unique exhibition, attracted audiences outside the normal visitor profile for HMS Belfast. Sarah’s work brought the exhibition over £200,000 worth of press coverage, including picture spreads in the Times, the Lady as well as much of the trade press. The Seamstress and the Sea was the most successful audience development project HMS Belfast had ever undertaken. It changed the visitor profile onboard by raising female attendees by 15%.
Case Studies - Luton Borough Council Research, stakeholder engagement and audience development Sarah Dowd and Frank Crosby were invited to provide development consultancy and internal communications support during a major period of change at Luton Museums Service, including the launch of the Heritage Lottery-funded Stockwood Discovery Centre. We were tasked with providing support to the senior management team on issues such as brand strategy, audience development and positioning so that the internal design team, exhibitions, education and outreach, curatorial and marketing could build a shared vision of the Service’s future, an increased understanding of their audiences and a stronger understanding of their positioning within their market. Our work included: Research - collating, reviewing and distilling existing research, case studies and marketing and development plans, including lottery bid to identify currents gaps in knowledge about current and new audiences. Development audit, including site visits, and recommendations for further visitor research and evaluation plan
Sector: Local Authority
Creation of a target list of stakeholders for consultation about Stockwood Discovery Centre’s brand and vision Development and implementation of a qualitative ‘live’ engagement session to stakeholders, followed by the analysis of results and full report including situational analysis, SWOT and PEST matrices and recommended future budget allocations and tactics. Focus groups – with Friends of Luton Museums, key community ambassadors, current visitors, non visitors and stakeholders. Preliminary visual identity, including three preliminary logos and final agreed artwork for ongoing development by Luton Museums Service in-house design team. Final brand guidelines showing full application of new logo and key messages for use in development of Stockwood Discovery Centre and subsequent marketing activities. Final presentation of report in pdf, hard copy and PowerPoint formats for use by Luton Museums Service marketing staff.
Case Studies - Youth Bridge Global
Fundraising and Management Consultancy Youth Bridge is a world-wide non-profit arts organisation that uses theatrical productions to help with reconciliation and development. They provide programmes focusing on: • Youth civic participation and the rights and responsibilities in democracies • The development of leadership skills • The healthy development of individual children and youth • The building of lasting personal relationships in war-torn countries Our team has played a pivotal role supporting Youth Bridge Global with PR and marketing consultancy and advice on promoting their work and gaining the attention of hard-to-reach audiences in the Balkans as well as sponsors in the UK and North America.
Case Studies - Ely Museum Research and audience development In 2008, Frank led, researched and produced a marketing and audience development plan for Ely Museum. The project, which was funded by AIM (The Association of Independent Museums) was split into two distinct sections. Firstly, research to develop a situational analysis for the Museum to determine exactly where it was in the marketplace. This was essential before developing the marketing plan as the Museum had to have an understanding of its positioning before it could progress. The research consisted of collating available research from the Museum, other sources from the region’s heritage and tourism sectors and from a first-time visitor survey devised by Frank.
Having collated this information Frank then drafted a marketing plan with which the Museum could set about systematically and cost effectively developing and increasing attendance levels at the Museum in short, medium and longer term stages. The plan was developed as a ‘living document’ which can be reviewed and updated regularly as the organisation develops and expands or as market forces alter. The plan was devised to also help the Museum’s management ensure that any new developments provide opportunities for everyone, regardless of social or ethnic background, and that they are offered quality experiences that they actually want.
The aim of the research was to identify the audiences currently using the Museum and those that were under-represented then identify and assess the barriers to participation.
Case Studies - Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum
Research, audience development and campaign management In late 2008, Frank began work on a major MLA (Museums Libraries and Archives Council) funded audience development plan for Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum in Woolwich, South East London.
The Museum’s marketing plan for 2009 is driven entirely by the audience development plan. On receipt of the final report the MLA’s case manager said ‘...I found it most interesting and creative and extremely thorough.’
The resulting comprehensive report and plan was a large document with two sections. The first was a situational analysis for the Museum to determine its position in the market place. The second set out a market assessment and an extensive marketing plan with recommendations on how to raise the Museum’s profile with its current audiences and how to develop new ones that were found to exist in great numbers in the immediate region.
Case Studies - Time Play / ODEON Product research, audience development, viral marketing and campaign management In December 2006, Sarah and Frank were appointed as the leading marketing strategists for Big Screen Games in the UK, a brand new entertainment technology platform launching at ODEON cinemas. Liaising with the management team in Toronto, it was our responsibility to oversee all marketing, PR, internal communications and operational issues regarding the product launch in the UK.
This innovative technical platform brought the latest in wireless gaming technology to the cinema environment, where cinemagoers could play interactive game shows right from their seat. As the lead marketing consultants on this project, it was our role to devise and direct a complex marketing campaign for the world premiere of this product. This included research, both qualitative and quantitative, building awareness through thorough advertising across all areas above the line, direct mail, public relations, event management, SMS direct marketing, website creation, emarketing, media buying and point of sale, copyrighting, design and partnership brokering.
Crucially, we wrote the script and produced the 60 second cinema advertisement which played in every ODEON in the North West of England. Big Screen Games continued its product testing run at ODEON Huddersfield and then continued on to Las Vegas, USA.
Case Studies - The ideas exchange / East of England Development Agency (EEDA)
Event programme development, web design, PR and campaign management In June 2006, Sarah and Frank were appointed to deliver the development campaign for EEDA’s largest business conference that year, the ideas exchange. As account director, Sarah led on the development of the campaign from initial concepts through to implementation which included managing a PR account manager, a designer, a web designer, and two telephone researchers. In less than four weeks, the strategy for how the ideas exchange should be marketed, including advising on access issues for delegates with disabilities, focussing on reaching more female SME leaders, was created.
The strategy used an integrated approach towards marketing that relied predominantly on e-marketing, network marketing and word-of-mouth rather than traditional ‘print and promote’ tactics. Sarah and Frank delivered all copywriting, created the design brief and oversaw the implementation of items such as e-leaflets, e-toolkits for business groups, e-PR, interactive website, traditional advertising, delegate print packs, evaluation surveys and qualitative research. One of the key requirements for the contract was to develop an integrated marketing action plan that could be used by the communications and events teams for future events as well, rather than ‘reinventing the wheel’ every time.
the Luton Minority Business Forum, Women in Business and the Hertfordshire Young Business Professionals Network, and according to EEDA, was the first event to have such a large gathering of traditionally under-represented candidates. Over 500 people attended the ideas exchange with a large proportion from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex - the three counties in the East of England that EEDA has difficulty engaging at Cambridge-centric events.
Tasked to increase representation from BME communities, women business leaders and attendees from Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, we successfully engaged members from
Case Studies - Nestle Nutrition Internal Communications Campaign Branding
Nestle Nutrition Strategic Development Programme Communications
In 2007, Sarah and Frank were asked to lead on the development a new sub-brand for a global internal communications and awards campaign. Working in conjunction with Ogilvy PR, the objective was to create a logo and style that was motivational, classy, stylish and worked well with the parent brand, Nestle Nutrition.
As a result of this success, we were appointed again to develop the creative campaign to communicate the merger of two healthcare giants, Nestle Nutrition and Novartis. Again, this was an extremely complex job that had to be fulfilled internationally across 40 different countries. We succeeded in developing a communications concept that transcended linguistic barriers, communicating not only in eight different languages, but communicating in a way that answered the key questions staff had about the merger and what it meant for them in this extreme period of change.
After taking the brief we were able to respond with eight highly varied options for the original Must Win Battle logos. This appealed both to our Ogilvy partners and Nestle Nutrition because it showed our ability to think creatively and develop a style that was sympathetic to their global requirements. We later supplemented this campaign with A5 booklets, awards certificates and multi-language printing in English, French and Farsi.
Sector: Health & Pharma
For this project, Sarah and Frank led a team of ten including the logistics manager to ensure that the campaign was delivered globally on time. To our credit, we turned around the materials and delivery of the campaign in less than two weeks, from initial sign off of materials to arrival of the materials in over 30 different countries and over 100 individual offices.
Case Studies - ISG Cathedral
Sector: Construction & Architecture
Communications and brand development strategy and implementation The Muse team has been working with ISG Cathedral since January 2008, helping this leading UK contractor to establish the brand positioning of the entire retail and shopfitting offer across the ISG group. Our role has been to protect, enhance and make understood the complexities of the ISG Cathedral brand not only with clients, but more importantly with internal staff, key influencers, directors and partners. Our work has included top level development work such as the analysis of bespoke market research and making recommendations on strategic business objectives in context of the current and developing markets. We have helped identify potential clients and projects in line with the contractor's business goals and create specific marketing action plans in order to achieve deeper market penetration and brand recognition.
cross promotion. Our role extended to writing and implementing the company's communications strategy, including key messages, how to guides, FAQs, brochures,website, e-marketing, press releases, and advertising. We have helped organise and host large corporate events such staff conferences and client entertaining as well as advising on Customer Satisfaction strategy. We have influenced the complete revamp of the web and e-marketing strategy, including introducing e-bulletins and SMS updates on new developments, particularly for staff based outside of the office. We have helped advise on new systems for better internal communications and the introduction of a multi-site intranet and have made recommendations for further group integration through communications.
As well as develop the marketing strategy for ISG Cathedral focusing on multiple market segments, Muse also created and delivered the PR action plan, including â€˜thought leadershipâ€™ and editorial
Case Studies - American Air Museum
PR and development planning and implementation Frank was responsible for devising and implementing a co-ordinated PR plan in association with funders, including Heritage Lottery Fund, the architects, Foster and Partners, and a number of subcontractors and suppliers to achieve maximum exposure for this prestigious project. It was vital to understand the needs and the expectations of the numerous audiences. International consumer and trade media exposure was achieved, including primetime network TV coverage across the USA.
The key to this success was Frankâ€™s ability to take technically innovative designs and projects and make them interesting and digestible for the general media and public. For example, the American Air Museum broke new ground with pre-cast concrete technology which was packaged and successfully featured on BBCâ€™s Blue Peter.
Case Studies - Aukett Tytherleigh / Barclays Bank Awards programme and copywriting Working with this prestigious interior architecture firm on behalf of Barclays Bank plc, Sarah advised on and delivered an award programme strategy that led to genuine results.
Sector: Construction & Architecture
This development-driven approach lead Aukett Tytherleigh to win both the National Association of Shopfitters Design Partnership Award 2009 and the RLI Most Innovative Design Concept 2009.
As part of this project, Sarah undertook research into market-leading awards alongside the design team, adapting the strategy for winning the awards, setting the submission timetables, site visits and stakeholder interviews. Sarah wrote the copy for all the awardsubmissions and designed the entries.
Case Studies - Professional Services Recruitment Agency* Research, PR, copywriting and brand development Sarah and Frank were taken on to provide this leading brand name in recruitment in the East of England with an annual PR campaign that helped build brand recognition in the region. The project began with a stakeholder engagement day where the company’s brand values were defined, as they had just completed a period of significant change. Once this was completed, we created and implemented a region-wide survey of businesses and clients in order to develop a roster of story ideas.
Sector: Recruitment & Professional Services
Our excellent relationship with the targeted media and trade press brought in coverage with over three times the Estimated Advertising Value of the consultancy fees monthly. Our pieces were so well researched and written that nine times out of ten they were used by newspapers verbatim and according to one journalist, our work was ‘some of the best quality PR they had ever seen’.
As a result, we developed on average between two and four releases per month, targeting the Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge and Peterborough areas with timely news items, ‘thought leadership’ pieces and factbased articles.
* Unable to name agency due to confidentiality
Case Studies - Viva Arts and Community Group PR, organisational development, branding, design, fundraising and product revenue streams Viva Arts and Community Group is an award-winning charity based in East Cambridgeshire. The charityâ€™s centre of operations is The Viva Centre, a converted former chapel in the centre of Soham.
Sector: Arts & Education
Since Frank took over Vivaâ€™s PR, their local PR coverage has increased 400%. Viva is an excellent example of how limited budgets can be used to great effect.
Frank has been working with Viva since July 2009 and is responsible for raising the profile of the charity and its activities. He is also tasked with maximising the effectiveness of its current fundraising while also seeking and securing new funding streams.
Case Studies - Their Past Your Future Internal communications campaign design and implementation Their Past Your Future, was a national learning programme funded by Big Lottery and the MLA and run by the Imperial War Museum. The programme reached over 2 million non-traditional museum users and developed new audiences from hard-toreach communities. Sarah personally provided training on audience development, visitor profiling, brand awareness and campaign planning to over 30 different organisations across the UK. She developed the project branding and undertook stakeholder engagement and promotions planning around the country, with organisations such as the Northern Ireland Museums Council, Scottish Museums Council and the National Library of Wales. The PR campaign directed by Sarah resulted in £2 million Estimated Advertising Value and 20 million opportunities to see, with coverage around the globe.
Sector: Arts & Education
One particular area of interest was the development of a tactile book to accompany the nine simultaneous touring exhibitions, outreach learning kits and student travel programme. Working with education team and RNIB, a tactile book and specialist promotional campaign was created using a tactile Christmas card that understood the varying levels of visual impairment. With a soft, touchable cover, embossing of images, braille and large-print, this piece of collateral targeted specialist organisations and encouraged them to share the materials with their visually impairment members. Responses to the campaign were excellent, with comments such as ‘we’ve never had such excellent materials sent to us that really understands how our members experience learning’.
Case Studies - American Express
Internal communications campaign design and implementation Sarah led this project as a sub-contracted marketing specialist for American Express' internal communications team. The extensive global campaign included a range of initial creative concepts which led to branding, collateral and e-marketing.
The concept we developed for this campaign featured famous thinkers in unusual travel-related situations to represent the benefits of working as part of the greater AMEX global community. Einstein was for example shown in a London bus, but we also placed Churchill in a Venetian gondola, Shakespeare on a train and Amelia Earhart in a New York taxi.
Case Studies - Witchford Parish Council Facilities audits, individual and group quantitative and qualitative research, recommendation reports, funding bid support Our work for Witchford Parish Council included facilities audits, community research and development reports for a major funding bid. We wanted to help improve the lives of people in Witchford by making sure their voices were heard and their needs met.
Sector: Local Authority
The second stage of the project included interviewing group organisers, setting up meetings with the District Council funding department so we could to target our recommendations appropriately and finally, working with architectural designers to put forth a bid for a community facility improvement project.
In July 2009 undertook in-depth audits of all the village facilities to assess usability, state of repair, group usage rates and then made recommendations for improvement.
Get a feel for what Muse Development can do... our team has over 35 years experience helping organisations improve in a wide variety of ways...
Published on Oct 22, 2009
Get a feel for what Muse Development can do... our team has over 35 years experience helping organisations improve in a wide variety of ways...