psyborg® blog

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

What is your point of differentiation?

What is your point of differentiation?

What is your point of differentiation?

What is your point of Differentiation?

Point of Differentiation

Point of difference refers to the factors of goods or services that establish differentiation. Differentiation is the way in which the goods or services of a company differ from its competitors. Source; Wikipedia

Point of Differentiation enables businesses to stand out from their competition.

Point of Parity

Point of Parity refers to the similarities between you and the competition.

Unless you are starting a new, never been seen before kind of business with a completely new category of product or service then you will have competitors and you will have points of parity with these competitors. This is because when two like brands are serving a similar customer then some core needs of the target market will be the same. It is because of the points of parity that we need points of differentiation to make a brand stand out from the rest. Points of parity may include things such as a product functions, features or benefits, a good functioning website, location, value for money, a basic service being met etc.

Point of Differentiation Versus Point of Parity

When determining a brands position in the market place you must ensure that the business has desirable points of parity and points of differentiation. Both points are important, you need to know what makes you similar to your competitors and what makes you stand out from these competitors.

I’ll paint a picture away from the market place to illustrate Point of Parity and Point of Differentiation and why Point of Differentiation is super important.

You are after a puppy and have decided on a Labrador. You view a litter of 7 puppies. Points of parity here are huge; all 7 are labradors, same age, all healthy, 2 eyes, two ears, 4 legs, cute… I could go on and on. But you wish to buy a girl so that Point of Difference cuts the choice down to 4 puppies. One is sleeping and not interested so they get over looked. The other three are all fun, playful and cute. One jumps up and licks your face then sits on your foot. It has just stood out from the rest. Hello to the new family member. 

So a pretty easy example to use here but now lets look at these puppies as businesses. These puppies are now Law Firms. All have lawyers but only 4  (the female puppies) say they cover the type of service you are after. The sleeping puppy doesn’t have a website so you discard it. You check out the other three websites which look good (all puppies are cute and healthy) so you give them a call. One in particular (the puppy that licks your face) stands out because of the professional yet friendly person you talk to who exceeds your expectations by offering sound advice and talks to you in a way that makes you feel at ease. The decision is made. The Point of Difference here was the way they made you feel and that got them over the line from the other local firms.

In most businesses there are always going to be competitors, your job is to find those points of differentiation to make you stand out and be the ‘puppy’ they pick.

You can stand out from your competitors in many ways. Whether it be a price incentive, a loyalty program, proof of your dedication and good work, word of mouth, great reviews, a fantastic website, a good advertising program, a reliable product or a unique brand… There are many ways to be differentiated from your competitors.

Why is it important to know your Point Of Differentiation?

When points of difference are well articulated and understood, this can become a key communication point that businesses use to express there brand. It can create the unique selling proposition enabling the brand to stand out from the crowd and garnish attention.

When done extremely well differentiation can create a completely new product, service or brand that stands completely on its own and hence seem to have no competitors. Apple is one of these brands that comes to mind, while some new technologies are starting to catch up for a long time Apple stood on it’s own. Why? Because it was the most modern, up to date, almost ‘futuristic’, reliable technology available. Samsung has caught up in more recent years but I still class Apple as a cut above the rest. There was a measurable difference between Apple and all of their competitors. 

To Sum Up

So, what makes your business, product, service or brand different from its competition? Why should the next client pick you over the business down the road? How can you use this Point of Differentiation to your advantage? Could your point of differentiation be expressed across your brand and your touch points? These are important questions and will help with business growth. I’ve said it before and I am going to say it again, be consistent! Your points of differentiation will only be beneficial if you are consistent with them. 

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

Interview with Troy and Luke from the IDHTTW Podcast

Interview with Troy and Luke from the IDHTTW Podcast

Interview with Troy and Luke from the IDHTTW Podcast

Interview with Troy and Luke from the IDHTTW Podcast

I recently had the pleasure to be interviewed by Troy and Luke from the IDHTTW Podcast.

IDHTTW is an acronym for ‘I DON’T HAVE TIME TO WORK‘ which, hey we all agree on, right! No body want’s to work but if you’re lucky enough to be doing what you love, is that really work? And that’s what these guys are all about.

Troy and Luke interview entrepreneurs & business owners who love what they do and I had the pleasure of chatting with these guys for just over 30 minutes.

In this interview we discuss how and why I got into business, the hustle, Australian entrepreneurship culture, following your dreams, the reality of Networking and much, much more.

The interview was uploaded to youTube and iTunes as a podcast on the link below.

Take a listen and if you have any questions be sure to reach out!

Listen to IDHTTW Podcast on iTunes

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

Interview with Craig McGregor from Career Conversations Podcast

Interview with Craig McGregor from Career Conversations Podcast

Interview with Craig McGregor from Career Conversations Podcast

Interview with Craig McGregor from Career Conversations Podcast

Interview with Craig McGregor from Career Conversations Podcast

I recently had the pleasure to be interviewed by Craig McGregor from the Careers & Conversations Podcast.

Craig conducts recorded interviews with business owners, entrepreneurs, high level managers and experts where he shares the insights into each persons career journey through the lens of a HR professional. Craig has a very natural and professional interview style so I was thrilled to be a guest on Craig’s show and had a heap of fun chatting.

Craig also runs a Hunter Valley based recruitment business, Hunter Recruitment Group where he helps businesses recruit and manage employees.

In this interview we discuss my career pathway from the world of engineering to graphic design and the work we do at psyborg® where we solve problems through graphic design and branding.

Please take a listen via the links below.

Listen and read more at Career Conversations 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

Keep Your Trail Clean

Keep Your Trail Clean

Keep Your Trail Clean

Keep Your Trail Clean

Clients of mine not only hire me for more work but they refer my business to others, it’s how I have run my business for over 12 years. The reason for this I believe is because I have a clean trail and because I am completely aware of it.

Keeping a clean trail means keeping a positive reputation for your business. You want the trail to be clean so people feel confident to employ your business. If the trail is messy and obstacles are in the way then this will be reflected in the growth of your business.  

So as you move down the trail of life, in doing business, you need to be aware of the reputation you are leaving behind you, or the cleanliness of your trail. All businesses should aim to have a clean and tidy trail.

 

Why Should you be Managing your Reputation in Business?

Lets pretend that every time a client or customer has a negative experience with your business, symbolically they leave a piece of rubbish on your trail. The more negative experiences, the more rubbish. Unless that experience turns positive then the rubbish will stay there forever, and even worse, with each year that goes by, it grows a little. This causes you to have a trail with obstacles. If someone wants to use your business they must get around this mess to get to you.

This is why you need to manage your reputation. In business the rubbish is a negative experience. Once a customer has a bad experience with a business they won’t use the business again. For a business owner this one lost client probably doesn’t have an impact on the business. The problem is that just one client has the power to sway others, like their family and friends, from using your business. The reason the rubbish grows each year is because those family and friends may then sway their family and friends from using your business and so on. To make things worse if someone decides to slam your reputation on social media then more people are learning negative things about your business, making your trail a mess!

Now on the flip side lets look at a positive experience. Every time someone has a positive experience with your business the trail widens, vegetation is less overgrown and the path almost shines and lights the way right up to your door. Your path is perceived positively and people have a spring in their step as they walk along it, to your business.

Businesses should not only aim for positive experiences with clients but for enjoyable and memorable ones. This will ensure they have a path that is desirable to walk down. A clean path is that of a business where clients are painting a good picture. They are telling friends and family of their positive experience and this is bringing in new clientele and in turn making the business grow!

 

Personal Branding

Managing your reputation relates to personal branding as personal branding is defined by the memories, values and impressions that others have of you. Your personal brand has the most impact on your trail because it will directly effect the perception that people have of your business. Read more about personal branding and the importance of it here.

 

What can I do to Ensure a Clean Trail?

A clean trail can be achieved by ensuring customers have a positive experience with your business and brand. There are different ways you can ensure that this happens.

I find one of the best methods to ensure my clients are happy with me and the work I am producing is by being approachable and allowing them to have constant input or by creating a culture of open communication. Customer feedback along the project process helps to keep your trail clean as it engages the customer in the design process. For me this is a constant process not just a one off feedback form but in the constant meetings, phone calls, emails and even social media posts used in the consultative process. You must make sure throughout the working relationship that they are happy with what is being produced. Not all clients are as straight forward as others or know exactly what they want and these clients need to be given opportunities to voice their opinions throughout the process. Being aware and acknowledging this will ensure that they are happy with the end product.

I also give out customer feedback forms at the end of the design process to help me manage my brand. If a client comes back with a negative comment or scores me at a lower then desirable place then I work to rectify this. I do what I can to make their experience a positive one, as I don’t want a messy trail.

 

Exceeding Customer Expectations

A way to ensure your trail is the best it can be is to not only meet the expectations of clients but go above that. I aim to exceed my customers expectation to create a trail not only clean and obstacle free, but one that has a working travelator that allows customers to be brought right to my door! Read more about how you can exceed customer expectations here.

The flip side of this is also setting & defining appropriate customer expectations at the start of the customer journey. This is done by setting your brand up appropriately and ensuring that this brand is further reflected in your culture. These values are then projected into your customer on boarding process so that they clearly understand what is expected of them and of your service at the outset.

 

To Sum Up

Keeping your trail clean is a way to ensure you are accountable and credible. It fuels word of mouth referrals and repeat business. Do the best job, make sure your customers are happy and exceed expectations and your trail will be full of clients waiting to get though to your door!

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