A New Site for Journey Networks
We recently undertook to redesign the website for our new customer, Journey Networks, the people who inspired our post on Metro style and flat design themes. They are a search, recruitment and strategic consultancy business typically working with clients in the marketing and creative industries, including agency, advertising, branding and insight, but they have also been known to step out into other areas when the challenge has been right. At the end of the project we caught up with Louisa Parkin, one of the firm’s Managing Partners, and she explained “We’re not really a recruitment company, as such. We basically find very high end, senior people. Often we are briefed by the people right at the top at these companies to find the specialist people that they need. We probably only work on 10 to 15 briefs a year but some of those are quite tough to fill, hence why they employ us because if they could do it themselves, they would.”
HWH: Why is it important for a business such as yourselves to have a website?
Louisa: I think it is important for two reasons. It’s important for our clients to see that we have a presence – it says that we’re a real company. But more importantly, sometimes our approach comes completely out of the blue for the people we’re contacting, so we always cite the website in any correspondence. They can then go and check it out, find out who we are, what we do and on that basis have the confidence to get back to us. It’s interesting that since we’ve gone live with the website, I’ve had quite a lot more people come back to me than before. I think you need that credibility otherwise you could just be anyone whereas when they go to the website they think, “These people sound good and authentic and proper. I’ll give them a call.”
HWH: So, what made you decide to sign up with helpfulwebhosting?
Louisa: Because you were recommended and when we had a look at some of the stuff you’d done before it seemed very good. It was a personal recommendation more than anything.
HWH: Did you know what WordPress was before you spoke with helpful?
Louisa: No, absolutely no idea!
HWH: And what do you think of it now?
Louisa: I think it is brilliant. It’s demystified the whole thing and it’s nice to have that element of control, particularly when your business is constantly evolving and growing and changing. You can add to it, you can develop it and build it and keep it moving along rather than it being a sort of static thing, which I think is great.
HWH: Some people find that WordPress can be quite a steep learning curve. Did you find that?
Louisa: It is, I suppose, but it is always great to learn and I think you have to know about these sort of things now. It’s part of our world. My kids wouldn’t find it difficult because they’re digital natives, but I think for someone my age it’s great to learn a new skill. It’s one of the points I put on my profile on the website. I think once you stop learning you might as well give up! The irony is that when you’re at school, you take it all for granted but as you get older I think you get quite hungry to learn new things. I think it is a real privilege.
HWH: Was there anything in particular that you wanted your new look website to accomplish?
Louisa: It had to communicate what we do, who we are and to give us the credibility that we need. Moving further down the line hopefully we can do something to get it talked about a bit more – do a bit of blogging, maybe a newsletter… something like that. It’s all about getting your name recognised in the market place that we operate in!
HWH: Was there are particularly painful part of the process for you?
Louisa: Not with you guys, no. You understood the issues and came back with solutions which was great, because we went through a patch where we were a bit stuck trying to work out which way to take it. There was too much information and you came back with “Right, we’ve had some thoughts this is what needs to be done” and that’s what we did. You understood what we wanted and the brief perfectly. Sometimes you get to the stage where you can’t see the woods for the trees and you need somebody to clear the decks and say “Right, here it is!”
HWH: Is there anything, looking back, that you’d do differently?
Louisa: I think we’d probably try to be a bit clearer about the message before starting. More single minded. We were trying to communicate too much at once and it needed paring back. But sometimes you need to go through the process, don’t you, to get to where you got. The journey, if you like, excuse the pun. Sometimes you need to see what you don’t want in order to know what you do want. It’s almost like eliminating things.
HWH: Do you have any particular favourite thing about the website?
Louisa: I love that it is quite different to most other websites out there. I love the mechanics of it and the colours. It is obviously picking up on the Windows 8 interface and I really, really like just playing with it.
HWH: You spoke about blogging and potentially linking in with social media. Why do you think that’s important?
Louisa: We’re so busy at the moment that it is having to take a bit of a back seat, but I think we definitely ought to start doing those sorts of things, and if and when we do we’ll be talking to you to get your help with it. We’re not a transactional recruitment company so we don’t need to attract a lot of new business, it seems to come to us, but it would be good to attract different candidates and to build our credibility. It will probably be more important for our management consultancy offering. We’d look at posting opinion pieces and bring in the wider network of people we work with to contribute as well. The people in the industry we tend to operate in − they’re very, very bright people. I mean it blows me away some of their CVs, you just wouldn’t believe their qualifications. I think they’d real appreciate that sort of content because they’re the people who read that sort of stuff.
HWH: Is there anything else you’d like to add before we end?
Louisa: Only that it was great working with you guys. You’re really nice people and you’re very good at what you do as well. It was great that you read through my anguish and frustration and sorted it all out. I’ve only ever been a client a couple of times but, having run a company and always been in client service, you recognise and appreciate when someone comes back with proactive solutions!