How to Efficiently Work from Home

Unless you’re a seasoned home-worker, working from home can be tough to get used to. Getting to grips with how to efficiently work from home will be a new concept for a huge chunk of the population.

You might find yourself more distracted, you have less accountability and different methods of communication and working practices to get accustomed to. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, though. With current drastic changes to the way we all live, a lot of us will be new to the world of working from home (WFH).

Here are some helpful tips to get the most out of WFH and ways keep working efficiently:

Stick to your regular hours

If your usual office time is bound by particular hours of the day, then stick to these, if you can. By sticking to your usual working/break times, this will help to minimise disruption. Plus, it will aid in keeping work and leisure time separate. 

Plan your day

At the start of each day, create a list of tasks in priority order, or in order of your natural productivity cycles. If you know you’re more productive in the morning, then put your most important tasks during that time. Having objectives for each day can stop you from becoming distracted or procrastinating.

Get ready for work every morning

It can be tempting to simply roll out of bed and get to work in your pyjamas. However, getting up, having a shower and dressing for success as you usually do can get you in the right headspace for working. Keeping your routine as structured as possible is essential. Plus, at the end of the day, it’ll feel all the more relaxing getting back into your comfies!

Make a home office

If you have the space or facilities to do so, then set up a designated area for working in. Try to set up a desk with all the tools that you need in order to work. This way, when you’re in that designated area, it will be easier for you to get in the it’s time to work mindset.

At The Graphics Department, although we too are working from home, we’re fully operational and offering emergency services to anyone who needs to quickly update customers of service changes. So, if you’d like to get in touch, then you can do so by following this link.

Managing Marketing & Communications During a Crisis

As a business, you probably already understand the importance of being flexible and agile, to be able to respond correctly to changing customer demands and shifting trends. However, these changes often happen in small chunks and over a longer period, allowing for a thorough marketing plan to be constructed and thoughtfully executed.

Where small and gradual changes can be managed with a solid plan, a drastic change such as the one we are all facing right now (we won’t say the C-word), requires fast decisions and on-the-fly changes to how business is conducted. As a business owner, you may have questions such as; How do I effectively update my customers on changes? The future is uncertain, can I afford to implement a whole new strategy right now? How can I deliver my services during this time?

This can feel like a daunting time for business, but with the right advice, tools, and plan, you don’t have to muddle through it. You could even find yourself thriving. Here are some answers to questions you might be asking yourself right now:

How can I effectively communicate with my customers? 

Your service structure might be changing daily, in some cases even hourly, so being as clear and transparent with your customers is crucial. If you have to rectify any issues customers have encountered with your business, then communicating milestones and progress can often alleviate negative attitudes that they may have held.

Creating a communication plan can be the key to keeping your crisis management consistent and clear. Although things are happening fast, the time taken to develop a template of communication is worth it. A template could include:

  • An outline of how all staff will be updated. Daily meetings / email updates / video meetings
  • A definition of each target audience and which channels will be used to reach them
  • An FAQ’s outline and answers. Equip yourself and your staff with clear answers to people’s potential questions
  • An identified person that is responsible for communication with each audience

Ensuring everyone on your team is well equipped and informed will assist in making your communication strategy streamlined.

Can I afford to implement a new strategy right now? 

Managing costs during an uncertain time is crucial for sustainability as you work through a potential drop in revenue. To get the most out of money and keep revenue flowing through crisis control, you can make some changes to your marketing:

  • Ensure every person and program is running at maximum efficiency
  • If you aren’t utilising paid-for programs, either start getting the most out of them to deliver results or consider stripping some back
  • Get an experienced team who knows how to put money in the right places for maximum efficiency
How can I deliver my services during this time?

If you have a shop, work in the hospitality trade, or are now having to work from home when you usually have a face-to-face delivery of services, you may feel as though you have just lost the ability to deliver your service. However, these situations being thrust upon us often create opportunities to be creative.

If you are a restaurant, can you do home deliveries? You could put together a delivery menu and service, especially for the vulnerable. Market this through Social Media channels.

If you are a physical shop, a web presence could assist in replacing your footfall with digital footfall.

Think about what your local community needs right now, and how you can fill those needs.

If you are unsure about how to adapt and manage your marketing and communication during this time, consider outsourcing to a friendly and supportive team, who are fully prepared to implement crisis management strategies. Get in touch today and let’s have a chat.

Email Greetings: Make them Count

In business, email inboxes are very full. On average, office workers receive 121 emails a day!

Every day we’re sending and receiving emails and it’s easy to fall into robotically typing up your email greetings, losing the human touch. Email communication is an integral part of building relationships with other businesses and your customers, so it’s important not to fall into this trap!

So, here are some of our top email openers for various situations, that will help get your email communications nailed and start your conversations on a good foot.

If your email is formal

Start your email with a polite and courteous message. Like these:

  1. I hope this email finds you well
  2. Allow me to introduce myself
  3. I hope you’re having a great week
  4. I’m reaching out about…
  5. I’m eager to get your advice on…

If your email is a follow-up

If you’re following up on a previous conversation, opening your emails with these will add context for the receiver:

  1. As we discussed earlier…
  2. I’m getting back to you about…
  3. Can you provide me with an update on…
  4. To follow up on our meeting…
  5. As promised…

If your email is more personal

If you have built up a rapport with the person you’re emailing or want to take a more personable approach, then these openings are for you:

  1. It was lovely to see you at…
  2. I loved your recent (article, social media post etc)
  3. I hope you enjoyed your…
  4. Congratulations on…
  5. (Mutual contact) recommended that I get in touch with you

Funny Openers

Be very cautious when using humour in your email greeting. Only use these if you know the receiver will understand, or if humour is part of your professional brand.

  1. I hope you’ve had your morning coffee
  2. Just what you want, another email!
  3. Me again!
  4. I’ll start this with the good news. Only x number of days until Friday!
  5. I’ll keep this short and sweet

These email openers are merely a guide to help you get out of impersonal and repetitive email greetings. Effective email communications between you and your clients can mean that a trusting and loyal business relationship flourishes.

One way to get more customers to connect with your business is through promotional email campaigns. Here at The Graphics Department, we can develop an email strategy that grabs your target audience’s attention and shows them content that they value, motivating them to act. Get in touch with us today.

A Change is Here: BERT

Google has recently released a huge change. In fact, it’s the biggest change in 5 years; BERT. This update is expected to affect 10% of all search queries, so there’s a good chance that your SEO tactics may need analysing and adapting.  

So, what is the Google BERT Update?


This may sound intimidating, but the basic principles are simple. So, without delving into the jargon of neural networks and algorithms, we’re going to explain what BERT means and how you can keep your website ranking highly since the update has been rolled out. 

What this update aims to do is build a fuller understanding of natural language processing, which is the artificial intelligence (AI) that works to recognise and understand human communications better.

Before the update, Google mainly judged search queries by looking at words singularly. Now, it will look at the entire phrase. Sometimes words like for, to, in etc, can really shape the meaning of a sentence. This means that Google now works to understand the context of a search.

Here is an example:




In the search can you get medicine for someone pharmacy, the words “for someone” make all the difference to the search. Before BERT, the search results would display general prescription information. Now, it understands that the query is more specific than that and displays results about getting prescriptions for somebody else. This is the kind of query that BERT focuses on.

When people make searches on Google, they are usually categorised into 1 of 3 query types:




An informational search is when a user is simply searching for information. Perhaps they want to start drinking better coffee at home, they might search for ‘good coffee at home’. The search results may take them to a blog or website that provides information about all the different methods to create barista type coffee at home. 

The next step in this process could be a search for ‘Best coffee pod machines’. This is a Navigational search. The user knows what kind of machine they might need and the search has more focus.

A further search here could be ‘Nespresso Pod Machine’. This kind of search is categorised as Transactional, as the user has a clear intent to make a purchase.

The BERT update concentrates mainly on the informational keywords and phrases so that people get answers to their questions more quickly and efficiently.

How can I keep my website ranking up after BERT? 

To keep your ranking up, you’ll need to get specific with your content. Answer questions. 

Rather than conducting keyword research on just words, focus on the long-tail phrases, and create specific content around one topic. This update means SEO is no longer just about having a huge page with 10,000 words and a range of topics covered. 

Focus on quality, not just quantity. 


Don’t worry

The Google BERT update is a big one, but you should know that it isn’t going to start penalising you for anything new. The objective of BERT is simply to get a better understanding of what people are searching for and why. So you need to have content that gives answers to questions. 

If you would like a more in-depth look at your traffic and SEO rankings, The Graphics Department can analyse and report this, suggest required tweaks and implement updates. Get in touch with us today and we’ll get the ball rolling.

How to Drive People to your Website

In a recent study by HubSpot, when companies were asked “What are your company’s top marketing priorities over the next 12 months?” 54% said growing traffic to their website.


The challenge of creating a website is one step in building your online presence. Getting people to see it and act on it is another beast to tackle. There are lots of angles to hit at when it comes to driving traffic to your website, so we’ve comprised some of the most effective tactics. Take a look…


#1 Create Content

Content is the hottest thing in marketing right now. Providing relevant and interesting content to your target audience is a great way to drive traffic to your website without those over-promotional adverts. A blog section of your website could be the trick.

Developing a good blog that will attract your target audience requires a few things:

– Be clear with your message and know your audience;

– Optimise content for SEO;

– Draft and draft again!

– Get the word out through Social Media.


#2 Paid Advertising


If you have a new website, ranking high in the search engines can take time. To bypass this process, you could use paid advertising. Whether you develop sponsored posts through social media or jump the queue on the search engines through display ads, this is a quick way to drive traffic to your website.

It’s estimated that Social Media spending will rise by 90% in the next 5 years. So predictions prove its effectiveness and popularity.


#3 Social Media

Although Social Media has been around for a while now for marketing, it is constantly evolving and releasing new features.

To increase your chances of getting seen and driving traffic to your site, keep up to date and embrace these new features. Plan in advance what will be posted on Social Media, and it’ll be easier to keep on top of.


#4 Email


An email list could be one of your most valuable traffic-driving tools. An email list is full of people that have told you that they’re interested in your brand and would like to know more. Any blog updates? Email them, company news? Special offer? Email!

If you don’t have an email list, utilise your other digital channels and offer incentives to start building one.


#5 SEO


Getting your SEO off to a good start begins with on-page SEO. This involves relevant page titles, alt tags, headers, meta descriptions and more. If you’re on-page SEO is optimised, you’ll be off to a good start when it comes to ranking higher on the search engines.


Bonus Tip: Get involved!

Fostering a sense of community for your brand doesn’t have to just happen on your pages. Get involved in the community that already exists. If you come across a social media page or website that is relevant to your business and supports your message, comment! Join the people in the conversation and get your name out there.

This method won’t necessarily see your analytics figures skyrocket, but it will give you a positive stamp in people’s minds as a brand that provides insightful and thought-provoking inputs on topics that they’re interested in.


Having a website just isn’t enough in today’s world. You need to work to push yourself to the front of an over-concentrated marketplace. The Graphics Department can help you build a web presence that doesn’t just end at a website. If you’d like to get started on building a traffic-driving strategy, then get in touch with us today, and we’ll arrange a time for a cuppa!

Welcome, Gareth!

You may have noticed that we’ve recently been promoting a new job role. Well, here he is! We’ve decided to dedicate this month’s blog post to welcoming our new member to the team, Gareth. 

It’s a familiar welcome, as Gareth has worked for us before! With over 20 years experience in graphic design and video editing, he took a break to explore other avenues, but after seeing our growth and popping in for a brew, he’s back for good!

Gareth’s speciality is in print design, he’s proved time and time again that he really knows his stuff when it comes to flyers, posters, magazines and the rest. And already after just one week with us, he’s hit the ground running with posters, social media posts and web designs! 

Here’s the basics: 

Degree: Graphic Design

Specialism: Print Media

Bonus: He makes an amazing cuppa

With all his experience and skills in graphic design, Gareth will be joining the creative team in producing compelling, modern, and communicative marketing materials.

Here’s what Gareth had to say: 

So again, welcome Gareth, and we’re sure you’ll all love him! 

We’re Hiring!

We’re Hiring! 

We’re looking for a Graphic Designer/Content Marketer to join our team

If you’re a creative graphic designer with a mindset for business, then keep reading…

We’re a small team who love to work together to get the best out of each other. How we work together and get on throughout the day is very important to us, so a new member to the mix who will jump into our culture would be great. We work on brands from small local businesses, to those on the path to world domination, like Fox, UFO, RNLI and Kate Humble, and we’d love to recruit someone to get involved with these projects.

The role:

We’re looking to bring on board a graphic designer/content marketer to work on the services provided by The Graphics Department and to build our internal brands.

You will:

• Create images and content for social media and web

• Design illustrations, icons and graphics for websites

• Logo design

• Create info-graphics

• Produce print media (flyers/leaflets etc)

• Assist the Marketing Project Manager with content for email campaigns

• Assist the Web Developers with design and UX/UI decisions and wire-framing

You will have a solid and confident understanding of the design process, from concept to completion, and understand what content causes people to take action. We have clients that we provide ongoing design, web and marketing services to, as well as one-off and large budget projects. You will often work to a brief and, when required, follow brand guidelines to assist the team in developing show-stopping end results. As we’re a small team, the role will see you wearing multiple hats, so this is an opportunity to grow your wider skill-set as well as your specialised qualifications and experience.

Essential Skills:

• A relevant degree and at least 1 years’ experience in a similar role (we’re open to candidates with no degree, and more experience)

• Confidence with Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign are priorities)

• A keen eye for design and detail

• An understanding of design for marketing (what makes people tick)

• You must be comfortable building solid relationships with ongoing and new clients

• Ability to organise yourself and meet tight deadlines, whilst still meeting ongoing clients’ needs

• A positive attitude to work and enthusiasm to take on new challenges

• An ability to switch between projects with different styles at the drop of a hat

• Ability to read, understand, and work to briefs and strict timelines

• To be able to confidently justify your design decisions, whilst being open to opinions and criticisms


• An interest or basic understanding of motion graphics and animation

• An understanding of CMS (mainly WordPress and Magento)

• An understanding of HTML and CSS

• An interest or understanding of the DTG design and printing processes

• An interest in photography / video would be a real bonus

Work Perks:

• Competitive Salary

• A relaxed office environment

• Unlimited tea and great coffee (you must make a good cuppa)

• Fat Fridays

• A small team who get on like a house on fire

• Potentially an office dog (we’re working on it)

• A  really comfy desk chair

If you think you’re up for the job, then send your CV, covering letter and portfolio to This is a creative role, so don’t be scared to do something out of the box to get noticed.

The Changing Buyer Journey

Many business owners may have heard of the sales funnel or buyer journey before. Both are very similar, just looked at from different perspectives. 

The buyer journey has changed in today’s digital landscape, and we should be accommodating to that. At its basic level, the buyer journey is the process that people traditionally have been thought to go on, when transforming from strangers to customers.

The traditional journey starts at awareness, where a person is exposed to your brand and it is no longer unknown. Awareness has been achieved through billboards, leaflets, or creative PR campaigns. Ending at retention, the traditional buyer journey model of marketing has had proven results when businesses guide people along it and utilise each stage through specific and targeted marketing.


Today, the buyer journey isn’t as linear as it once was. People could be approaching their journey with many variants of knowledge, needs and competencies. The foundations remain, but the way that each person is targeted and communicated with must be tailored specifically to each chapter of the journey. Building trust and (more importantly) not abusing that trust is at the core of guiding potential customers down a path that ends in retention. The new buyer journey follows a model as follows:

Attention –

Gone are the days of a person simply being exposed to a brand via a billboard. Today, people are aware of their needs, and are searching for ways to fulfil them. The first stage of the digital buyer journey is to gain their attention in this search. This can be done with clear messages and realistic representations of your offerings. The objective of your marketing here should be to assist in this search, not to dominate it.

Interest –

Once you have gained a person’s interest in your products or services, you need to impress them. More often than not, people are looking for reasons not to choose you, they will be looking at reviews, forums, your website, and any other customer feedback (Twitter’s a big one). It’s important here to ensure that any negative feedback you may receive (nobody’s perfect) is dealt with positively and appropriately.

Consideration –

At this stage, the person has decided that after their research, their preference is you (hopefully). The deal isn’t done yet, though. Now, they’ll be looking at your delivery/refund policies and prices. You must build trust through clarity here about your refund costs and delivery times and prices. If a customer is given any surprises later on their journey, they’ll be leaving negative feedback, which will make future potential customers drop off before they reach this stage.

Purchase –

At this point, you still haven’t sealed the deal. Online payments can still be a drop-off point. Secure payments and a professional image are absolutely crucial here. It’s also important at this stage to make your usage of information policies clear and give people the option to opt-in to you holding any of their information (GDPR).

Retention –

This is the modern equivalent to re-purchase. They now must receive what they have paid for, on time, and with no damages. You can build brand loyalty here by following up and keeping up good (but not spammy) communications with your customers. Today, brand loyalty and engagement is as important as repeat purchase.


Your marketing strategy must include tactics that work for each stage of the buyer journey, and it must guide users down a gradual path with quality information, quality services, and management of expectations.

If you’d like us to help with your marketing, website or branding, give us a call and we’ll have a chat.


Any infographics and copy in this blog belong to The Graphics Department. Any re-use of this should be pre-approved by The Graphics Department.

Long Live Email Campaigns

Email marketing campaigns have been around since the dawn of the internet, and as many different marketing trends have come and gone over the years, email has stood the test of time. When developing your marketing strategy, it’s important to consider that it’s estimated that people send and receive 281 million emails per day throughout 2018, and 95% of professionals use email as their central communication tool.

The power of email is not to be mistaken, but getting your email opened is another beast to tackle. Looking at the numbers, over half of an average consumers emails are marketing related, so you’ll be heading into a crowded sea. In a study, 53% of users tested said they’d either unsubscribe or delete their email address altogether because of receiving too many irrelevant emails, you don’t want to be a part of that.

Email Marketing

Putting together an email campaign that is personal, relevant, and offers genuine benefits for opening can gain your business return on investment greater than any other tool. Here are some of our top tips for a successful email campaign that won’t leave your unread email in the trash:

Personalise without over personalising

– It’s important that your subscribers feel valued, but they’re not stupid. Address them personally without showering them with clichés.

Get rid of any spam words

– Because there are so many emails that have viruses or are attempts to hack, there are certain trigger words that will send your email straight to a users spam file. The list of these words is endless, and once you’re in the spam file, you can pretty much guarantee your email isn’t getting opened.

Keep it relevant

– Your customers will appreciate being provided information that is relevant to them, sending them junk will eventually result in the dreaded ‘unsubscribe’ button being furiously clicked.

In today’s age, email is still as successful as it has ever been, but to achieve this success you have to be much more strategic in your communications via email.

If you’d like some help with developing your email strategy and defining your objectives, get in touch and we can get the ball rolling.

Allow us to Introduce Ourselves

Hello, and welcome to The Graphics Department’s first blog post! We thought it’d be nice to give you a little run down of who we are, what we do, and why we do it.

You can think of The Graphics Department as your new partner for pushing your business forward through marketing strategies, creative branding, and an attractive website that communicates your brand values to your exact needs and more.

The Graphics Department has been born out of PC1 Limited, a long-standing IT and digital agency that has delivered digital solutions for over 18 years. This experience and knowledge is what has allowed a new division to be created, that focuses on a combination of strategy and creativity to not only deliver marketing solutions that meet and exceed our clients’ objectives, but to provide continued support to ensure you don’t get lost in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

PC1 Ltd is still here and is continuing to grow as a company delivering IT and CCTV solutions to its ever-growing client list. This evolution is simply a way for our brands to match our service offerings.

Building, nurturing, and growing your brand is a process that takes creativity, strategy and a lot of coffee. Our team have the perfect combination of tactical thinking and creative flow to do just that, plus a great coffee machine. That’s why our clients don’t treat us as just a one-stop shop, but as a team of experts that they can put their trust in.

Have a look around, see how we can help you, and get in touch to have a chat about what sort of solutions you could benefit from.