psyborg® blog

Building Better Humans Podcast

Building Better Humans Podcast

Building Better Humans Podcast

Interview with Craig McGregor from Career Conversations Podcast

Building Better Humans Podcast

I recently had the pleasure to be interviewed by Glenn Azar from the Building Better Humans Podcast where Glenn interviews business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders on what it takes to achieve your goals.

Glenn operates a few businesses including Adventure Professionals and Project180 which is a new gym he has opened. I was visiting as I’ve branded this gym and was getting a chance to check it out for some murals I am creating for him.

Glenn and I speak for an hour or so on running a business, branding, graphic design and our journey in business together. The podcast is available on iTunes and Spotify which you can access from the links below.

Listen and read more at Building Better Humans Podcast

Or on your favourite podcast platform…

Listen on Apple iTunes
Listen on Google Play
Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 2000 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

My 5 Tech Hacks for Running a Business

My 5 Tech Hacks for Running a Business

My 5 Tech Hacks for Running a Business

Is Technology Friend or Foe? My 5 Tech Hacks for Running a Business

I recently shared my top 5 tech hacks that have helped me run and grow my business now for over 13 years. This video is a summary of my 15 minute presentation to the Lake Macquarie Business Chamber but it should give you an insight into my business approach that has helped me maintain a lifestyle and remain lean and agile whilst still growing in a global and competitive market.

1. Data Is King

The ability to track your own data in your business is a game changer that every business owner should be doing. When you track data on your key business metrics you can acutely understand the operation of your business.

There is an old saying, you can’t improve what you can’t measure and hence when you are aware of your business data you can finely tune your inputs and outputs to get you closer to your optimal results.

Modern software and applications and iOT devices give us access to all kinds of metrics from our business operations allowing us to be aware of it and improve it.

What is the one metric you could be measuring to improve your business?

2. Continuous Improvement

I use a system called Automate, Eliminate & Delegate to continuously improve my business through small steps that overtime can make large improvements to my business operation.

Automate is taking out the human aspect of a task by automating it. I have been able to cut time on many things by automating them which new technologies provide.

Eliminate is getting rid of a task all together. Either by automating them or finding a way so they are no longer needed at all.

Delegate is giving a task to someone else. My admin assistant was great for this at first, and now I have been able to employ a junior designer to pass things onto as well.

3. Differentiation

What is the one thing that makes your business different and how can your business stand out from the crowd?

Determining this will help you differentiate your business and can influence the design of your brand which can be expressed through technological platforms such as your website, social media, video and blogging.

You can also use branding to differentiate your business from your competitors in a cluttered market. Learn more on differentiation here.

4. Content Marketing Speeds Trust

Content marketing can help build trust and generate business. Unlike other marketing, content marketing must give customers something useful … content! It is not focussed on producing demand for a new need or product but rather focussed on giving something valuable to new and old customers.

The world of content marketing is now available because of the interactive nature of the internet through social media, websites, blogs, podcasts and video. Learn more about how content marketing speeds trust here.

5. Authenticity is the New Advertising

Advertising has taken a huge shift in recent years. In the past businesses advertised on the range of media where advertising was available. TV, radio, print, billboards etc, this type of advertising is still a large outlet but is now being replaced by social media, blogs, podcasts, youtube, websites and many more digital applications.

Due to this shift, we can not simply advertise to build an audience, we need to build connections with people in an authentic and engaging mindset where the user feels connected to the supplier. New technologies enable this. Learn more about how authenticity is killing advertising here.

In Summary

So that’s my 5 top tech hacks to running a business which are not at all frightening as they are a combination of human traits merging with technology … they are part mind, part machine utilising a combination of human know-how with modern technology giving the small business owner huge leverage in the market place.

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 2000 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

Design. The Secret Weapon

Design. The Secret Weapon

Design. The Secret Weapon.

Design. The Secret Weapon.

I have been running my design business for 13 years now and have over 2200 projects under my belt. The reason my business has been a success is because I take design seriously, and I help my clients to do the same!

Why is design so serious?

If you think about a business that does not take design seriously (and they are out there) and you contrast it against a business that does take design seriously, I think there lays some insight that is as much internally driven in the business as is externally important to that businesses customers or clients.

Design should be taken seriously. When you take design seriously you are actually taking the perception of your business seriously and when you do this you set up an expectation for your business that you become motivated to adhere to. It’s not merely about how your business looks from the outside but the culture you create within the business to match that expectation.

This expectation propels action to be taken to match that perception you are creating. And with the right consistent action applied the results then begin to be delivered and shown.

I’ve seen this process repeated time and time again and feel like this is a secret weapon to good design that could be overlooked.

Sunflowers for Jess

I have recently worked on a campaign called Sunflowers for Jess. This is a prime example of how serious design was used for a great outcome. Our aim was to attract sponsors, sell tickets to the main event and raise donations for a very worthwhile cause.

With our design campaign we were able to attract over 60 sponsors and donators, sold out 650 tickets to the event and raised over 150K in funds that were directly donated to Jess.

There aren’t enough positive words that I can say about Dan and the psyborg® team. Every aspect of their service has been nothing short of outstanding.

The look and feel of the Sunflowers for Jess campaign is one of the key reasons it has been so successful.

On top of that, the fact that Dan was so moved to support our cause shows the extent to which psyborg® is involved in the Hunter community.

Samuel Djodan

Sports Presenter & Reporter, NBN News

Graphic Design

A graphic designer is a communicator, we communicate to an audience (the consumer) through images that are designed to inform, captivate and inspire a response.

When working on the Sunflowers for Jess campaign we needed to captivate the sponsors and the community to create a successful event for Jess. This took on a design strategy in the form of a website, social media, letterheads, signage and much more. We developed the campaign based around one of Jess’s loves – sunflowers. We brought this into the campaign through images and colour combining these elements to tell Jess’s story.

Perception

Perception is basically how we want our audience to think about our business, cause or event. Perception is formed by all aspects of branding. When a client or customer hears the name of your business, what do you want them to think and feel? That is perception.

For Sunflowers for Jess we wanted the sponsors and community to see Jess for what she is. An enthusiastic and fun person who has worked to help the community and through a tragedy now needed some help in return. When looking at the campaign we didn’t want people to feel sad we wanted them to feel compelled to help. Help someone in need. Our bright imagery, social media posts and videos within this campaign all worked toward this and from the overall outcome worked very well.

Expectation

Expectation is the belief that something will happen. In many ways expectation is perception in action. To create the perception we need to adhere to the expectations we set.

So for the Sunflowers for Jess campaign we set goals. What we believed we could achieve for Jess. Our expectations for the campaign. For example how many sponsors we needed, tickets for the main event, what the campaign needed to be successful. Once we had set these expectations for the campaign we ran with it. I am happy to say we reached and shot above all expectations.

Action

Once you understand the expectations you’ve set we need to put these into actions. In terms of design it is the how, how do I now go and create something to reach the expectations I have given myself, so that peoples perceptions of my business are what I want them to be. How do I now put into action what I need to get the outcome that I want? 

Sunflowers for Jess was a project that needed lots of action because we wanted to reach lots of people and wanted peoples perceptions of the campaign to compel them to help. We acted on our expectations and created a magnificent campaign. 

Results

When actions are completed results are evident. Setting up a brand or re-branding a business takes many steps. But ultimately once it is completed and if done well the results can be seen.

We had great results in the Sunflowers for Jess Campaign. We knew what we wanted our perception to be, we knew our expectations, we implemented the actions to reach these and in the end we saw the results we wanted. A very successful campaign raising over 150k for someone in need.

To Sum Up

When design is taken seriously you can create a great brand. A brand that is perceived by customers and clients as being worthwhile.

To create a good brand serious design is needed. Not just slapping together a logo and a webpage. It takes time, care and thought to create a successful business. Perception, expectation and action are all needed to get the results you are after.

Design, the secret weapon!

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 2000 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

How to Write A Media Release

How to Write A Media Release

How to Write A Media Release

Please Release Me

What is a media release?

Wikipedia’s definition is as good as any. A media release is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy. Typically, they are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to editors and journalists at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, online media, and television networks.

Media releases are an ideal advertising tool. They reacher a wide audience and can help grow any brand.

Technology advancements have changed the media release outlets. We more than often see media releases online before anywhere else and they are so easily shared over social media outlets that all we have to do is open up Facebook to see the latest media releases. Here’s some tips about media releases that will hopefully have a journalist adding you to their outgoing news.

When should I do a media release?

As they say in the copywriting trade: ” You need a peg to hang it on.” There has to be some newsworthy element, but often publication comes down to the day-to-day whims of the journalist and/or desk editor on the receiving end. Certainly some things are more newsworthy than others, and that can include quirky. It should be aligned with the business’s marketing strategy, but differentiate itself from advertising collateral. Some examples of when to write a media release include, but are not limited to, the business:

  • receiving an award
  • launching a new product or service
  • changing or updating existing products or services
  • opening a new office or refurbishing an old one
  • highlighting a particular cause
  • introducing a new partnership or hiring a new executive
  • rebranding
  • working for a new, significant client.

If you think the news is worthy and want people would want to know, then prepare a media release.

How to write a media release?

Preparation is everything. Too many people hit the keyboards without thinking about why they are writing, or indeed what they hope to achieve. It’s always good to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes. The mind tends to logically order things. “Walk a mile” in the reader’s shoes. What would you hope to receive?

I recently caught up with Darrell Croker from Halage Media and Sub-editor of The Australian. Darrell says:

Darrell CrockerThe secret is to find a “hook” or an angle. Before preparing any written material, especially a media release, you should always employ Write For Impact’s “foundational five”. They are: (1) set a clear purpose; (2) know your reader(s); (3) gather your content; (4) draft your message; and (5) edit for impact. Good writing is good editing.

It’s always best to get your information organised first rather than making it up as you go along. Just as writing notes in longhand leads to logical order, having your information at hand has the same effect. Gather it and then you can order it. Write a draft knowing it’s unlikely to be the definitive version. Read it aloud or print it out and read the hard copy. Does it scan well? Check all dates and figures. Redraft.

Check tenses and use all available tools such as inbuilt spellcheck or Grammarly. If you are in Word and there are squiggly red or green lines, there’s a good chance there is an error. Double-check any names. The easiest way to alienate editors is to spell names incorrectly. Always print it out and read the hard copy out aloud. The advantage of clear and concise writing in business is establishing a good reputation.

Media releases should not only be easy to read, but relevant. It should tell us who, where, when, how and why. One idea per sentence is a good guide. The introduction should be catchy and draw the reader in, and the following paragraphs ordered from most to least important. A conclusion should sum up the points.

Don’t labour over a witty headline. That might be the only thing the journalist or editor reads. If it’s too clever you risk being consigned to the trash basket.

Some points to keep in mind.

It should be labelled a media release

Pretty basic, but something that must be stated clearly.

It must include who has issued the release

This can be the company, a group of people, or an individual. More important is clear contact details for one or two people. Often journalists will want to follow up to corroborate information, or in the best result, get some more quotes. You should be prepared to deal with a phone call from a media outlet. Have the company spokesman prepped.

Included the date and time for the release (or immediate release)

You may not want an immediate release if the event isn’t happening for a while. But it always pays to get media releases out early. Don’t second-guess news desks. In the 24-hour news cycle priorities change constantly, but journalists always like to have stories “up their sleeves”.

A catchy heading is helpful but straight forward information is better

Newspapers pay sub-editors to come up with catchy headlines. Your immediate audience is a journalist or desk editor. Keep the clever stuff for the body copy. The heading should be bold and bring direct attention to the event.

Address the main reason for the release in the first sentence

Stick to the facts and keep to the point. The first sentence/paragraph should contain the most important and strongest pieces of information. This will make the journalist keep reading.

Keep it professional and structured

Good writing is good editing. Keep rereading to detect any words that are not needed. Make sure it is not only informative and interesting but also easy to read and understand. Keep it to about an A4 page of writing. If it is too long it risks being overlooked. If the journalist needs more information, they will call you.

Remember, the person reading it may not know anything about your business. Just make sure it tells the reader who, when, where, why and how. Who is involved, when will the event take place, where did it or will it happen, why is it newsworthy, how did it come about, what steps took place to make it happen?

Sum it up with a conclusion, another piece of strong written information to grab the reader and make them want to follow up with a story.

You can also include a supporting image or video. Online media stories with attached photo or video get shared much more than just a written document. But the image/video must help promote the story.

Why Bother?

Media releases help get your brand in front of new audiences. They promote your business and brand and grab the attention of new clients. With the growth of the 24-hour news cycle, journalists often need more stories. Getting it “out there” gives you great exposure to a new audience. It can help with branding and worked properly with a strategic social media approach you can reach a larger, more engaged audience. This will bring website traffic and potentially business growth.

The online social world is growing and if your media release reaches the right people who decide to share your news then the potential audience base is unstoppable. Essentially it is free advertising. For example, a photographer wins a local art award, they put out a media release, a journalist runs the story. The potential here is 20,000 shares. It could have one share from someone who has two million followers. The possibilities are endless. The artist could go from selling an image a week to selling 100 a week.

In Summary

Businesses that want to grow need to continue to spread the word of their brand. Media releases are another way to capture a wider audience and bring in more business. Once a story is out there it is easily shared and the possibilities grow as does the business.

It it important to draw journalists in with the press release so remember to make sure it is exciting, honest and easy to read. No harm in trying.

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 2000 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

My Top 5 Tech Movies

My Top 5 Tech Movies

My Top 5 Tech Movies

My Top 5 Tech Movies

I recently binged watched Maniac on Netflix over about 3 days and it got me really inspired to consider my favourite tech movies or series and hence the reason for this blog article. It’s really just an excuse to document them in case I forget but if you’re reading this and you discover something new, well that’s a great bonus too.

I love these futurist flicks because of the combination of their storyline and amazing art direction. Their storylines get me thinking about culture in fresh ways. I feel like we are living in a time of huge change where we are seeing culture shift quickly because of new technological developments and in many ways these drama’s help us to anchor ourselves in the moment to reflect on what is and what could be.

Although these stories are fictional, they give us insight into what could be, helping us to prepare for the social, ethical and cultural questions coming our way.

Anyway, if you have seen any of these flicks before or after this blog article I’d love to hear why in the comments section.

MANIAC

BIOTECH & A.I.

Two strangers are drawn to a mysterious pharmaceutical trial that will, they’re assured,with no complications or side-effects whatsoever, solve all of their problems,permanently. Things do not go as planned.

2018 | Jonah Hill & Emma Stone

EX MACHINA

A.I. & ROBOTICS

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.

2014 | Domhnall Gleeson & Oscar Isaac

BLACK MIRROR

A.I, SOCIAL MEDIA, ROBOTICS, VIRTUAL REALITY, BIOTECH & MORE

An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech world where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.

2011 | Daniel Lapaine, Hannah John-Kamen & Michaela Coel

HER

A.I.

In a near future, a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need.

2013 | Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams & Scarlett Johansson

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

BIOTECH

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.

2004 | Jim Carey & Kate Winslet

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 2000 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel