Case Studies

Read the Red Pencil case studies to learn about some of the organisations we have worked with here and visit our blog for more examples and news. Please get in touch for a chat if you think we can help you.

Marketing audit of local services – Alzheimer’s Society

Over the course of a year we carried out an extensive marketing audit of Alzheimer’s Society’s 3000 local services across England, Northern Ireland and Wales. We started by devising an evaluation framework to objectively assess whether marketing materials complied with brand guidelines and met criteria for marketing good practice and finished with a presentation to the Operations Leadership Team.

Along the way we analysed hundreds of marketing materials, services specifications, job descriptions and strategic plans, carried out a mystery shopping exercise and interviewed staff – from the most senior leaders through managers of regional services to the people who service users first contact.

Using an iterative approach, the marketing audit built up a comprehensive analysis of existing activity – where marketing was being carried out effectively and the incidences where resources were not used efficiently, including significant budget savings. The final report presented recommendations for changes to strategy and delivery practices that should now mean marketing supports the services strategy and is integrated into other areas of work, nationally and regionally. A central recommendation was that Alzheimer’s Society adopts a relationship marketing strategy responsive to service users’ needs and requirements over the long term.

The Society has appointed a member of staff to manage services marketing and it is really satisfying to see our recommendations providing the blueprint for that role.

"The reports and recommendations that Red Pencil produced for us were succinct, rich, deeply practical and very, very helpful. It is no mean feat to take a project of the size of auditing marketing of our local services and distil it into the strategies and actions to support our future service development." Kathryn Quinton, head of marketing and brand

Fundraising and communications strategy – Engineers Without Borders

We won a commission to work with Engineers Without Borders to carry out an audit of their fundraising and communications before writing an integrated fundraising and communications strategy. We worked in interactive session with the staff team to interrogate the operating environment for EWB-UK and its fundraising relationships before presenting a comprehensive report to the Board. Typically we would start writing strategies by looking at the organisational outcomes (the desired change) and outputs (how change will be measured) and then align fundraising and communications activities to those organisational objectives. However, Engineers Without Border was ‘between’ strategy development stages so we used a Theory of Change approach to align recommended fundraising and communications activities to established best practice in those areas.

Fundraising clients include: Adfam, Bedford and Luton Community Foundation, Camden Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Ezer Leyoldos, Choice Support, Why Me? and Women and Children First

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"We commissioned Red Pencil to comprehensively review our approach to fundraising and communications, something that was much needed in light of numerous unsuccessful funding bids, a disinterested membership and a key message that was confusing to an external audience. We still have much to do but Red Pencil's work, particularly the outputs and tools provided, have given us independent and impartial evidence to support the changes we need to make and a solid starting position from which to build." Doug Harper, CEO

Brand and strategy – Action Hampshire

We have supported Action Hampshire to write a three-year organisational strategy and carry out a rebrand to support their new strategy.

Our starting point was to analyse consultation with Action Hampshire’s beneficiaries and to take the staff team through a PEST and SWOT analysis. From this basis we were able to support the charity to write a three-year strategy to respond to the changing non-profit landscape in Hampshire and devise a new band to unify their services and communicate more clearly to their stakeholders and partners.

This has involved articulating a new vision, mission and values as well as a name change, strapline, brand architecture and style and language guidelines. We wrote the brief for the new visual identity and website, which was developed by Studio Lift.

Strategy clients include: Adfam, Bassac (now Locality), Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation, Campaign for National Parks, Community Alliance, Donald Woods Foundation, Engineers Without Borders, Myaware, National Empowerment Partnership, RedR, The Reading Agency and Skills Effect.

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"We've been impressed with the way that Red Pencil has got to grips with our organisation and this brief. You have helped us to write our three-year strategy and we are looking forward to seeing how your work to develop our brand, new website and marketing strategies will impact on the people who use ourservices." Kirsty Rowlinson, Community Action Hampshire

Interim digital brand management – The Reading Agency

We are currently providing interim digital brand consultancy to The Reading Agency leading on the online and offline brand strategy and implementation. This includes bringing all programmes into a brand architecture, including a £1m young people’s volunteering programme, a reading challenge for less confident adult readers and World Book Night. We are also supporting the development and delivery of the wider digital strategy.

During the last eight years we have researched new markets, written brand guidelines, launched an electronic newsletter and written digital communications and marketing strategies. We are currently leading the development of The Reading Agency’s digital strategy and digital development. We are doing this an an interactive exercise involving all staff teams in devising an organisational SWOT analysis of the charity’s digital strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. All staff members contributed to the competitor / complementary analysis to find charities that are delivering great digital fundraising and communications content and the most innovative digital service delivery examples.

Other digital and website development clients include: Action Hampshire, Dementia Friends from Alzheimer’s Society, entitledto, Lambeth Voluntary Action, Fair Train, fishneedwater, Kids, Protimos, PRS Members’ Fund, Skills – Third Sector (then Skills Effect), Reading Groups for Everyone, The Reading Agency, Turn2us and Women and Children First.

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"Red Pencil is a popular contributor to our team. You are very supportive of colleagues and very flexible in how you work with individuals and teams. I highly recommend you." Penny Shapland-Chew, HR Director, The Reading Agency