Copy & Paste

Counting the cost of complaints: when social turns anti


Victoria Bartram

Victoria Bartram


Social media is one of the best ways for a brand to communicate with thousands of consumers directly, but what happens when your social platforms turn into a hotbed for customer services complaints? Our PR and Social Media Account Manager, Victoria Bartram, talks us through when social turns anti.

We’ve all been there. You’ve endured the world’s worst hold music for 15 minutes whilst waiting to speak to a human being rather than an automated voice on the end of the line during your precious lunch hour and you Just. Can’t. Cope. There’s really only one solution to this: you ‘angry type’ your problem away, making sure to @mention your target before pressing tweet/post. Ahhh, that feels better. And they’re bound to respond over social media, right?

Venting about the latest customer service #fail, shoddy product or communications disaster online has become routine for so many of us. As a result, brands have to work hard to often retrospectively manage negativity when the damage has already been done.

PR Week recently reported that a study of 500 UK businesses conducted by OnePoll for Igniyte found that more than half of those companies have experienced damaging, malicious comments and posts, even estimating the cost of complaints at £47,000 on average in lost sales and company value each year.

Companies in sectors such as travel and leisure are particularly at risk from the darker side of review culture, but all businesses need to ensure that they are prepared to commit to managing all comments, good and bad.

The threat of negativity isn’t restricted to external customers – companies’ own employees have been at the helm of several high-profile social media crises, underlining the importance of ensuring open internal communications forums for staff to share issues without feeling the need to resort to public social media communities.

The key to managing negativity online? Speed, insight and commitment. Over the longer-term, using constructive negative comments to continually improve products and services and turning up the volume on the positive, are important considerations for all businesses that have a presence online.

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A first look at agency life


Turn Key

Turn Key


As a bunch of creative experts, we know just how important it is to nurture young talent and show aspiring marketing, design, PR and digital professionals a snapshot of the industry. Last week, not one but two talented interns joined us to experience a first look at agency life. Here’s how they got on…

Ellie Duffield – PR intern

After graduating this year (I’m still getting used to saying that) I came to Turn Key to explore the possibility of PR as a career path. On Monday morning I was greeted by a sea of cheery smiles, and as I got chatting with the PR team I knew it was going to be a fun couple of weeks.

The work I’ve been doing has been the real McCoy: very dynamic and extremely varied. I was given responsibilities straight away, talking to journalists, auditing newspapers, and identifying new opportunities for clients. Throughout the week I’ve taken part in brainstorms, written blog posts, and created social media content – which has been my favourite task so far.

Another task I loved was writing a blog post on Game of Thrones-inspired hairstyles, for hair extensions brand, Great Lengths. A lot of what I’ve been doing here just hasn’t felt like work, and I’ve learnt so much already. I’m chuffed to say that I think PR is definitely for me!

Charlotte Summers – Agency intern

From digital to marketing to PR to studio; I have experienced it all this week. As an integrated agency, Turn Key provides a real taste of the different roles in the fast-paced creative industry and to my relief my experience was far from the intern cliché of constant coffee runs!

Each department took me through their client projects and the internal management processes. Shadowing and assisting led to proofing, briefing meetings and even trying to get a quote for a local bespoke dressmaker; each day brought something entirely new to me.

The whole agency was so welcoming and I was invited into daily brainstorms where I could put forward my ideas and insights into several projects. Highlights included project idea generation with the designers and digital team… and getting to ride in Creative Director, Rich’s Bentley.

This experience has been invaluable, boosting my confidence and motivating me with the hope of working in a company like Turn Key after I graduate. Watch this space!



Under The Skin of Darren Jaques: The cycling bug


Darren Jaques

Darren Jaques


With the arrival of the Tour de France at TK HQ’s stomping ground of Leeds, it’s fair to say we’re well and truly in the racing spirit. One man with a passion for cycling is Senior Designer, Darren Jaques.

It’s a snowy Boxing Day morning, Christmas 2013.

Whilst most people are waking up with their families and nursing a hangover, I’m up to my knees in ice-cold water, wading through a stream in the Pentland Hills on the outskirts of Edinburgh. I’m caked in mud with my 26lb mountain bike digging into my shoulders. While I appreciate it’s not most people’s idea of a good time, there are few other places I’d rather be.

My love of mountain biking began about five years ago. What started out as a way to get fit and lose the extra pounds I’d gained during years of working in bars, has turned into a full-blown obsession.

Over the years kit has become more expensive, the rides longer and my calves have got thicker, but the passion I have for the sport hasn’t changed a bit.

These days it’s the mental side of riding that has become the most important to me, and the exercise is just an added benefit of doing what I love the most. Riding out into the middle of nowhere under your own power helps to relieve the stresses of everyday life.

When you’re in the saddle all you think about is the next rock, root or drop, what gear you’re in or whether you’ve got enough left in the tank to clear the next hill. In a way, it’s become more like meditating than getting fit.

I like to think that what applies to cycling, applies to life. That is, you get out what you put in. You always know that if you can make it to the top of that lung-bursting climb there’s an absolute scream of a descent to reward you on your way back down. Now all you have to do is get yourself up there.

Darren Jaques Under The Skin


Logo parodies, Turn Key style


Turn Key

Turn Key


Inspired by one of the creative industry’s favourite graphic designers, Viktor Hertz, who famously published a series of ‘honest logos’, the Turn Key studio team attempted their own logo parodies. Here’s what we came up with. 

Creating an iconic brand logo doesn’t happen overnight. It might happen over the course of a decade, but it’s unlikely and an instantly globally recognised logo is unlike any other marketing tool in terms of its power, reach and influence.

So when we read about Viktor Hertz’s tongue-in-cheek take on some of the most iconic logos in the world, we had to find out more. According to his website, Viktor says he’s “revealing the actual content of the company, and what they should really be called.” What’s more, he admits that “some are cheap, some might be funny, and some may be brilliant.”

We couldn’t agree more, so much so, we had a go at some of our own.

Needless to say, our lawyers made us tell you that these are just a bit of fun and in no way represent our opinion on the companies and brands mentioned.

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Yorkshire Grand Départ, Turn Key Style


Abi Camwell

Abi Camwell


With the arrival of the World’s Greatest Cycle Race just days away, Yorkshire is well and truly geared up to welcome thousands of tourists, competitors and supporters. To get into the racing spirit, our designers took to their Macs to create Turn Key’s very own fantasy cycle strip…

Inspired by traditional road cycling apparel, from the days when athletes would wear thick, heavy tweeds, Team TK’s strip includes a vintage style leather utility belt that can hold a water bottle.

Featuring our company mantra and estimated finishing position – we couldn’t resist – our designers have gone beyond boundaries to bring the highly anticipated Yorkshire Grand Départ to the agency.

Next stop, our very own cycling team!


Tour De France - blog

Social just got serious


Emma Stanham

Emma Stanham


PR and Social Media Account Manager, Emma Stanham, talks us through why social media is a serious business, and shares her insights on how you can make it work for you. 

It’s a common misconception that social media is a fad, offering businesses nothing more than a time-intensive task. Before we continue I have to tell you, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Social media has become the biggest thing to do online and the opportunity it offers brands is exceptional. This communications tool allows brands to get in front of their customers and engage with them on their level and on their terms, which is becoming increasingly important.

If you’re a business owner embracing social media and it’s working for you – congratulations. You’re officially in the club. If you’re yet to venture into the social realms, yet to get your tweet on, the insights I’m going to share with you could hopefully lure you to the dark side, which, actually, is pretty damn bright.

The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55 to 64 year age bracket. Yep, you heard it. No longer a young person’s game, this demographic of Twitter users has grown around 79% since 2012, hitting home that we really are living in a digital age. When working up social media strategies for clients, we always consider the older demographics and how to talk to them. The prevailing idea that Twitter is for teenagers really couldn’t be further from the facts.

189 million Facebook users are mobile only. As our busy lives show no sign of slowing down, it’s a fact that Facebook has millions of users that access this social channel on the go. This should be considered carefully when setting social strategies, as online dwell time is an important factor in how we consume information.

The phrase, ‘a picture tells a thousands words’ should be adhered to when creating social media content, as we know that visuals are easier to consume and more shareable than written text. With stats claiming that we consume around 61.4 hours of content each week, through mobile devices, it’s crucial that brands are producing engaging visuals as well as written posts to help capture their busy social savvy audiences.

Even though the stats are clearly stacking up, people are still reluctant to engage with social media and their reservations are somewhat understandable. Social media is time consuming, it does require a quick response, and it never sleeps. The PR and Social Media team at Turn Key know this all too well, and expertly manage numerous social media feeds all day every day, as well as creating engaging content based on target audience research and insight.

If this has sparked an interest, or we’ve convinced you that you’re missing out, get in touch with our PR and Social Media team to understand how social can work for you.

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Under The Skin of Abi Camwell: From pom poms to PR


Abi Camwell

Abi Camwell


Although you won’t find a megaphone or pom poms residing in her desk drawers, PR Junior Account Executive, Abi Camwell has ‘cheer spirit’ running through her veins. Now putting her tenacity and teamwork skills to good use here at Turn Key, Abi shares her sporting journey.

As far as I can remember I have loved to dance. After graduating from ‘good toes, naughty toes’ toddlers’ ballet class, and discovering that not all little girls watched Saturday morning cartoons whilst sat in the splits, my parents soon realised I needed a challenge. At the tender age of seven I was accepted into a competitive Aerobic Gymnastics squad and I can honestly say I’ve never looked back.

Years of training paid off when at the age of 14 I was invited as a ‘wild-card’ gymnast to try-out for the National Team. I’ve never felt a prouder moment than receiving my acceptance letter through the post and to this day I’ve never been more excited to order gym clothes – we’re talking Union Jack embroidery, with matching scrunchie and everything.

My gymnastics career took me from Austria to Japan and the experience of meeting all those international athletes was something I’ll never forget. Of course nothing lasts forever, competing on a national stage became too much whilst studying for my A-levels and as I packed up and headed to university I was ready for the next challenge – making it as a university cheerleader.

In my first week as a Northumbria university student I auditioned for the Northstars Cheerleading Squad, and luckily I made the cut. Being part of the Northstars is where I really learned that teamwork is everything and I made some lifelong friends. In my final year and under my captaincy, we went on to take home 2nd place in the BCA University Nationals and 1st place in the region. Here we are performing the routine at a home game for the Newcastle Eagles basketball team.

Cheerleading for the Northstars is also where I realised my passion for PR. In a bid to secure sponsorship and increase awareness of the team, I secured gigs at Newcastle United’s Sports Direct Arena, the Newcastle Falcons RUFC home games, as well as a weekly slot performing for professional basketball team, the Newcastle Eagles – I even got my creative juices flowing to design a smart new squad uniform.

Like a true PR professional, I kept the Uni newspaper updated with all of our successes, set up social media sites for the squad and I even went on a local radio station to promote the club.

For now it’s more PR than pom poms from me, but as they say, where one road ends another begins…

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Kirsty Oliver

Kirsty Oliver


Being a team full of creative designers, wordsmiths, and marketers – we’re more used to directing photo shoots rather than starring in them. So, when Business Support Executive Kirsty Oliver asked everybody to don their favourite outfit and practice their pose for new TK staff photos…we reveled in the chance to be in front of the camera! Here, she explains all.

Staff photo day always reminds me of being back at school, the excitement and nerves of sitting in front of the photographer, the heavy cloud of hairspray and make up in the air, the familiar clicking of the camera as it captures a split second moment.

For one day last week, the Turn Key office turned into a studio, and with military precision I had to get 40 people in and out of the studio whilst working around meetings, conference calls, lunches and busy work schedules. At times, prizing people away from their desks was the hardest task.

Our theme was Mad Men – suave, sophisticated, sexy, and unquestionably cool…. much like us. The girls wore lace, satin, and pearls, the boys looked dapper in sharp suits, bow ties, and braces.  With our finance assistant come hairstylist and make up extraordinaire, Molly Kellet, on hand to fluff up our hair and reapply our make up – the team never looked better!

The photographer Steve Sharp and our Creative Director, Richard Colvill, worked their magic, putting people at ease in front of the camera, giving them props, telling them to smile, be serious, look proud, glare into the distance and to laugh raucously at absolutely nothing – all in the quest for the perfect collection of shots.

The results are yet to be revealed, but here’s a behind the scenes snapshot of what’s to come.


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Phil Dean


First impressions count, and that’s exactly what our designers had in mind when coming up with the concept for our cool new business cards. Here Managing Director of Turn Key London, Phil Dean, tells us about his penchant for company cards and why he loves them.

There’s something about getting a new set of business cards. I’ve always loved it. The signed off proofs, the multiple checks because if the mobile number is wrong, it’s your own fault.

Back when I used to actually design stuff, I treasured a business card brief. Carefully prodding the client to see if the ambition was to do something interesting.

All the designer tricks are employed on the business card and it’s interesting to see that the business card still retains its standing as a physical symbol of status in the world of business. In markets like Asia and India of course the business card is still the only calling card to leave and I love the many traditions about it, even down to how it’s presented.

I think a fantastic business card delivers even more cut through in the sloppy corporate world of 2014. Big companies have become careless with their cards: they have to be centrally ordered via a procurement commissioned online hub where the lowest common denominator rules. Corporate types I meet jealously eye up smartly designed cards with resigned shrugs.

If you needed further confirmation of  how important the business card is, check out the classic scene in American Psycho where Christian Bale’s character Patrick Bateman engages in a bout of serious business card one-upmanship with his colleagues.

There is still a business card expectation with clients when a creative company comes calling. At a recent pitch, the client was actually using the business cards as a measure of how interesting and creative each business was. Good job ours were cool.

So when my new cards for London arrived a couple of weeks ago, I opened the box carefully sliding a knife down the plastic seal. The gold edges glinted expensively as I slid them out of the box, the double thickness duplex cards stacked rigidly on my desk, lustrous and extravagant, shining deep in the table surface.

You know it’s a great business card when you can’t wait to give it out…and that’s exactly how I feel.


Hot off the press


Carl Holderness

Carl Holderness


As a team of people with creativity running through our veins, we love nothing more than to share our latest glossy print work. Designer, Carl Holderness gives us a sneak preview of some hot-off-the-press print work he’s proud of. 

For me, one of the best things about being a designer is seeing your work come to life through print. Unlike the ever-changing digital form, getting down and dirty with print can be challenging to visualise and specify, but when you get it right, it leaves you with an incredible feeling of satisfaction.

Most recently I’ve been lucky enough to get involved in the design of some fantastic print based work for one of Turn Key’s longest-standing clients, Ideal Boilers. The finished product, a large format high specification brand brochure, will be used to represent the brand globally.

For a sneak peak of the finished brochure see our montage below which includes a few snaps of some brochures we’ve just completed for financial services provider, Grosvenor too.


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