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Follow My Lead: informing and supporting responses to domestic and family violence


Are you thinking about how you respond to someone you know who might be experiencing domestic and family violence? If so, check out this short video animation based on Follow My Lead – an Insight Exchange Foundation awareness-raising resource.

We were honoured to recently support the work of Insight Exchange by bringing to life this important resource as a short, impactful and engaging animation.

Follow My Lead speaks from the voice of people with lived experience of Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) who need the professionals and their social networks to be more prepared to respond effectively; more prepared to respond in ways that uphold dignity and build on safety. Follow My Lead is for any person who at some point may be listening to and responding to their friends, family members, colleagues, peers or to the people who use their service, who are experiencing DFV.

Insight Exchange has been established, developed and is governed by registered charity Domestic Violence Service Management (DVSM).

Helping business owners to seed, weed and lead!


Working closely with Brainbox Marketing, I recently created a short animation for Alan Green Business Coaching. The purpose of the animation was to connect with Alan’s prospective clients and help them better understand how and why he can help their business. Alan’s passion is to help business owners weed out bad practices, seed new growth and lead their teams to success. In only 60 seconds, we brought to life a short and sharp story packed with animation and effects. It was great collaborating with Brainbox Marketing who look after Alan Green’s marketing. Brainbox developed an engaging script with memorable messaging and organised the voiceover. Based in Melbourne, Brainbox works with businesses across Australia providing reliable and smart marketing services.

Commenting on the project, Michelle Le Cornu, Director, Brainbox Marketing, said: “Guy was a pleasure to work with. He quickly grasped what Alan was trying to say about his business and how I wanted to tell a story via the video from a marketing and comms perspective. In fact, he took our brief to the next level with his ideas and creativity. Guy delivered a high quality product on time, on budget and proactively communicated throughout the project. I thought his work was great but more importantly, my client was tickled pink with the result. I’ve already engaged Guy on another project and will continue to work with him.”

Sparking conversations to help improve women’s birthing experiences


It was a pleasure to work with the Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA) and script writer and voice over artist, Paul Armstrong, on the development of a film for their new Think Natal initiative. This first film is about perineal tears during birth. It aims to inform and empower women toward the best birth experience possible. On this and many other birthing issues, ABTA is doing terrific work. The animation and the Think Natal initiative (see: birthtrauma.org.au/thinknatal ) were launched recently by the heads of the College of Midwifery (ACM) and the College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RANZCOG). My illustration from the animation was also used to create an education A4 poster and Information and Discussion Guide. Here’s to the animation and associated resources sparking many open and collaborative conversations between women and their health care providers about birthing.

‘Four seasons’: a hand painted story wall

I’m delighted to share one of my latest hand painted story walls for Bambini Boutique Childcare. This is a beautiful, intimate and unique childcare centre in Tamworth (NSW, Australia) so I felt their story deserved to be told in a unique way. I worked closely with the founder and staff to plan and depict a magical story that is engaging for the kids, sparks curiosity and wonder but also includes the behaviours and values that resonate with the centre’s philosophy. Filled with eye-catching detail, the large scale mural shows a sweeping view from a farmhouse verandah. The mural is created around the concept of four trees as they change during the seasons. The feedback from the staff, parents/guardians/carers and kids has been fantastic. For more information on my story wall work, feel free to visit: guydownes.com/services/story-wall/

Struggling with WFH? Check out this daily action planner.

Working From Home daily action planner.
Working from home can be tough. You need a simple plan to help tackle each day with pace, hope and fun. Teaming up again with leadership, marketing and advertising doyen, Chris Savage, I illustrated Chris’s great checklist to make the most of working from home each day. Download the planner, keep it close and then read Chris’s brilliant explainer on how to use the checklist. You can read it here. Stay safe and good luck!

Your story matters – now more than ever

Story Builder refreshes the TPRM story

In times of massive change, sharing your story in a compelling way is more important than ever. After all, your story is unique. It deserves to be told in a unique way.

Maybe you need to stay visible. Spark conversations. Share ideas. Get people curious about how your organisation, product or service can help them. Guide people to places where they can learn more and get more information. All these are critical steps to keep your story fresh and at the forefront of people’s minds, especially now.

We’ve just launched a new, responsive story animation product called ‘Story Builder’. Created remotely by our specialist team, we can help clients share their story online with a simple and engaging animated drawing. It packs a story of up to 2 minutes with an array of illustrations and eye-catching effects – all on a single page. Critically, it can be developed quickly for you, using our story development process, script writer, illustrator and post production specialists.

With ‘Story Builder’, we can also provide you with a standalone, final image of the full black and white drawing. So, as well as the engaging animation, you will have a static picture to use as visual communication tool (often known as a ‘Journey Map’ or ‘Strategy Map’). You can use it as a discussion starter and for storytelling – with external clients and partners, or internally with your people around strategic direction, behaviours and routines.

The example above was created for the Australian company TPRM Risk + Fire. As Risk & Fire Management specialists, TPRM wanted to refresh their story – and re-connect with clients, partners and suppliers in a unique way.

The animation will help TPRM in several ways:

  • By playing on their website
  • Through use in presentations and video conferences, and
  • Via email distribution.

In future, TPRM plans to use the single, printed image in conversations with clients to help explore what they need or value most. The picture will be used internally to help their team focus on their “what, who, how and why”.

Greg Wakeham, the Managing Director at TPRM Risk + Fire takes up the story: “We love the animation and static picture as it gives us a unique way to share our story and stand out in the marketplace. I also feel the real value happened in the development process and the personal input Guy and his team delivered when helping us think about our story. Guy’s team has a way of listening to people talk about their business and then help them achieve real clarity around their messaging. I think that is just as important as the end product itself”.

The static drawing helps TPRM spark conversations

The static drawing helps TPRM spark conversations

If you’re keen to learn more about the Story Builder product, process and pricing, please contact me at guy@guydownes.com

Cartooning Tips and Tricks on Virtual Working

Working from home can be challenging and complex. The way we get stuff done has changed and there’s lots to learn in this ‘new normal’. To that end, I was invited by Soji Learning & Change to illustrate some virtual working top tips seen through their leadership development lens. We created a short story-based series of 7 audio-visual posts that highlight some of the challenges and opportunities of working at home. I used my www.officeguycartoons.com drawing style to create simple, clear and eye-catching cartoons to help re-enforce the main messages from each short story. Each story was written and voiced by actor and writer, Paul Armstrong.

Providing light relief with practical tips, the series (all which can be found here at our showcase) looked at the following areas:

  • Find a Place
  • Focus Attention
  • Create Routines
  • Embed Tools
  • Elevate Wellbeing
  • Keep Commitments
  • Improve Meetings

With the next series of short clips we create, we’ll be taking a deeper dive into wellbeing so stay tuned and stay in touch! To check more of our other visual collaboration work, go to www.sketchspeak.com.au

Free Business Action Plans in Time of Crisis

Free Business Action Plans in Time of Crisis

In times of massive change, a simple plan and structure can sometimes make a difference. So, here are two free ‘Business Actions Plan’ worksheets designed to help you and your business navigate through these very rough times. Feel free to print them out and get cracking.

I worked with Chris Savage to turn his headline tips from 37 years of agency leadership experience into these visual one page plans. It’s a free guideline chart to help you take the right actions – today and tomorrow. One is for Internal actions – getting your business ‘house in order’. The second is for External actions – keeping super-close to existing clients, driving the pipeline, etc. Develop your own plans and actions for each section. Take action every day. Update as required.

If you’re interested in proven ideas to help manage agencies and teams through massive disruption, you can view the Business Action Planners by clicking on the link below. Please feel free to share these Business Action Planners with your clients, colleagues and wider business network if you think they can be of value.
 

Download the Business Action Planners here:

thesavageco.com/free-business-action-plans-in-time-of-crisis
 

Chris Savage is the founder of Ogilvy PR, a former chief operating officer of STW (now WPP AUNZ), and today is CEO of growth advisory firm, The Savage Company. Chris has been part of teams that successfully led agencies through the 1987 crash, 1990s recession, and tech bubble burst of the early 2000s. He was chief operating officer of the 4,000 people strong STW (now WPP AUNZ) following the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC).

A race against time: an animation about cardiovascular disease


Cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of death in Australia for over 40 years – and yet most of these deaths are preventable. With rising chronic disease and obesity rates, heart disease is an increasingly urgent concern for Australians. It’s a race against time to prevent these unnecessary deaths. We must do things differently – but how? Dynamic simulation modelling can help.

This was another rewarding project that we worked on with Amgen and the Sax Institute to create a premium-style video scribe animation to share the story and outputs of their systems modelling work around the topic of cardiovascular disease in Australia.

Using a Sketch Speak visualisation process, we worked with their multi-disciplinary team and initially ran a Story Mapping Workshop that helped the team to articulate key messages in a short and engaging story arch. Using our facilitator, Jarrod Siegertsz, the workshop delivered a creative, rigorous and fast-paced half day shared team experiences where ideas could be shared and voices could be heard. Post workshop, our writer, Paul Armstrong, pulled together the voice over script and working closely with my film and production team, we crafted the video scribe animation based on my illustration and storyboard ideas.

The final animation included hand-drawing, voice over, digital and sound effects as well as sound tracks. To see the best results, view this animation on full screen with the volume turned up.

Mapping better health pathways for the population


Video scribe animations can be a great way to share detailed stories in a fast-paced and visually engaging manner. We recently did exactly this to help broadcast the important work being carried out by The Australian Geospatial Health Lab (AGeoH-L) in Australia and beyond.

AGeoH-L will map the way forward for a healthier population, drawing on a combination of geospatially-expressed environmental and health data to improve overall population health and wellness. The Lab’s ground-breaking approach will provide insight into and analysis of population health patterns, supporting healthier lifestyles and helping to prevent chronic illness – which will ultimately reduce demand on hospitals and the health system in the future. The Lab is the result of a partnership between the University of Canberra and Esri Australia, the global leader in the Geographic Information System (GIS) technology underpinning its work. For more information, please visit: canberra.edu.au/research/institutes/health-research-institute

In terms of the video scribe animation development, once the script and voice over had been created by the AGeoH-L team, we devised a series of hand drawn storyboards which in turn came to life as the final video scribe animation when we filmed live in the studio. One of the key aim’s of the animation was to drive curiosity and get viewers leaning forward so we used a selection of digital animation and sound effects in post production to help achieve this.