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Touch have been very responsive, they know what we are about, they were very quick to get to know our business and understand what we are trying to achieve. They are tireless and pull out all the stops - a pleasure to work with.” Jonathan Boddam-Whetham, business development officer for Adult Community Learning (ACL), Essex County Council

We’ve just been talking about partnerships here in the Touch Design office. Our focus is on achieving effective client partnerships but the conversation happened to go off on a tangent, as it’s so prone to do. It meandered to the consideration of other types of (more comical) partnerships: Morecambe and Wise, Little and Large, Hale and Pace, French and Saunders, Mitchell and Webb (including Chip and Pin!), the Two Ronnies, the Chuckle Brothers (!) – great comedy acts all, some greater than others, and, actually, some not very great at all, but each demonstrates the need for a partnership that works. Their personalities must be perfectly matched, their timing instinctively in sync, and their routines well rehearsed through years of practice and professionalism. At Touch Design we like a laugh, in fact we like a lot of laughs. Working should be fun. It should also be challenging, inspirational and of real benefit to all concerned. That’s also one of the reasons why we sponsor CommsCamp - an event which brings together some of the most creative, forward-thinking and entertaining people in not-for-profit comms. Our partnership with CommsCamp underlines all that we stand for.

“They’re very honest. You can phone them up or email and they’ll answer you in a day telling you what can be done and by when. They always deliver on time too. Scott’s always happy to meet face-to-face so he’s coming to the office next Tuesday to have a chat about some work. That’s invaluable, it’s so much better working that way than having emails going back and forth.” Craig Trembirth, communications manager, Health Education England East Midlands

Many companies have established visions and values and many have set out their organisational behaviours – ‘the way we do things around here’. At Touch we’ve created a culture for client working that just seems to work. It’s not prescriptive or forced, it’s just emerged over the past few years, an evolutionary approach that just seems to work for us, and most importantly, our clients. We truly believe the only way to do business is to have a nice time doing it; to know what we are doing; to do what we say we will do in the time we said we would do it in; to like the people we work with; and to enjoy that process of working with them. It has become our culture of working and is the basis of our entire client working relationships.

“They know the aims and objectives of the people who work in this sector, they understand our motivations, that people work in this sector because they want to make a difference, and they understand where we are coming from.” Jonathan Boddam-Whetham

“Touch are really flexible, open and easy to talk to. We’ll ring them up with an idea when we’re not sure of the approach and they will work with us to develop the creative and will always be aware we need to keep the costs down as much as possible. They will always work quickly and thoroughly and help us consider the best approach. If the brief changes, as it often does with us (!) they will take it in their stride. Sometimes we might need to put a project on hold and come back to it in a couple of weeks and Touch always respond flexibly.” Erin McDaid, head of communications and marketing, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

We’ve included a few quotes from clients here as it’s better and probably more effective to have the client telling our relationships story than us trying to explain our approach. We’ve recently worked with Jonathan on a course guide for Adult Community Learning in Essex, attractively packaging together their portfolio of opportunities from everyday courses in art and cookery to professional qualifications and apprenticeships. We’ve also developed the creative behind their #NoStoppingMe campaign, encouraging residents of all ages to learn new skills and help them achieve their aspirations. We’ve also been working with Craig on a suite of materials to help promote lifelong learning in the NHS and encourage nurses to return to the profession following time away from the workplace. A recent initiative has seen the creation of event lanyards for presenters/delegates containing small A6 information booklets that were popular among attendees as they resembled backstage passes for concerts. For Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust we have completed some recent work on designing maps of their nature reserves and producing wildlife information boards for their sites. People like Jonathan, Craig and Erin, and the organisations they represent, are ideal clients for us. They work for the benefit of the public and contribute to a better society. Like us, they’re open and honest and love to see a good job done well.

“I know Touch Design do a lot of work across the health sector and they understand where we’re coming from. In the NHS we can’t do the big bucks giveaways in terms of marketing as this is taxpayers’ money and it needs to be used wisely, you’re never going to develop a flappy banner behind an aeroplane. Touch understand the level of cost and how things should look.” Craig Trembirth

“We needed to reinvigorate the image of ACL and show how relevant we are to the community. We needed a campaign to help us resonate with our audiences and help the people of Essex achieve their aspirations. #NoStoppingMe neatly did this. We put the brief together and Touch were very responsive. They supplied four pieces of different artwork and the chosen campaign is perfect in capturing the fact that we can offer something to everyone.” Jonathan Boddam-Whetham

We’d like to thank Jonathan, Craig and Erin and all the other clients we’ve been talking to recently, to obtain feedback on our work and to see how we can further improve our service in the future. If you’re currently progressing some work in this area and could do with sourcing a potential new partner, one that has a culture that resonates with your working culture, then we’d welcome a call. In terms of forging a new great partnership, we might not be able to hit the heights of Morecambe and Wise, but we can offer you a cup of tea and a piece of cake, or go for a pint and some crisps. And what we’re sure you’ll appreciate is an enjoyable way of working and plenty of fun along the way.

Touch Design are the proud sponsors of the comms2point0 ‘CommsCamp’ – an open space ‘unconference’ for public sector communications, PR, marketing and digital professionals – see www.commscamp.com

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