Barnardo's, one of the UK's leading charities, commissioned Red Cinnamon to review its small in-house publishing operation. The aims were:
- to clarify the role of publications for Barnardo's
- to review the planning and management of publications
- to assess how publications could be more effective in helping deliver Barnardo's key strategic aim of influencing policy makers
- to review the marketing of publications and assess if any had incone-earning potential
After carrying out a detailed review of Barnardo's publishing operation, we looked at a range of other voluntary-sector operations, both for comparison and also for examples of what works well and what problems to watch out for when publishing in-house. This formed the basis for a final report addressing all of Barnardo's aims in a clear and practical way with costed options and a suggested timetable.
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Consultancy on using new technology and media to deliver services
The small charity GamCare is one of a handful of organisations providing services for problem gamblers. It runs a national helpline along with face-to face and telephone counselling.
The statistics all point to the increasing popularity of gambling. There is rapid growth in Internet gambling, and 3G phones will soon offer another new medium. Televised poker is becoming very popular and there are now opportunities to gamble via interactive television. Meanwhile, some aspects of the gambling laws have been liberalised. As the number of gamblers has increased, so has the number of problem gamblers, and GamCare faced an enormous challenge in developing its services to meet demand.
Red Cinnamon was asked to assess which services should be developed and how best to deliver those services through the various technologies available. Alongside this, we were asked to review the ethical framework appropriate for GamCare to deliver its counselling services in the new environment.
Our work took us to the cutting edge both of technology and of service-delivery methods. We scoured the world for information and for examples of effective use of the Internet, mobile phones and other technologies. We were looking not just at services for people with a problem, but at any service from which we could learn useful lessons.
Our final report gave detailed recommendations about which services GamCare should develop, using which technologies, over what timescale and at what cost. This report now forms the basis of a strategy that should enable GamCare to fulfil its aim of offering problem gamblers help when and how they want it.
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Consultancy and project management
When Red Cinnamon first got involved, TimeBank was a brilliant idea nurtured by a handful of staff in a small office. It now employs nearly 30 people and has developed into a well-established and well-funded national media campaign inspiring and enabling people to give their time as volunteers.
Red Cinnamon was taken on to help devise the overall campaign and set up the organisational infrastructure. We were chosen because of our expertise in working on national media campaigns, in particular Comic Relief.
We worked with TimeBank and the BBC to shape the media campaign. A primary task in the early stages was to gain the support of voluntary agencies, so that they saw the project not as a threat but as a means of harnessing the power of the BBC to recruit volunteers.
One of the key decisions was to use the Internet as the main method of recruitment, matching people with time to organisations needing such time. This decision proved critical in allowing TimeBank to grow into a highly successful multi-campaign organisation.
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Channel 4 science site
Educational publishing and project management
Red Cinnamon has managed the science content of Channel 4's website (www.channel4.com/science) for five years. In consultation with Channel 4, we developed the overall aims, look and feel of the site, which includes both programme-related and free-standing content. The free-standing content focuses on the science behind the news by, for example, looking at how technology may be able to help counter terrorism or how Africa can develop its own technology solutions and not rely on the West.
Our role is both managerial and editorial. Within overall editorial guidelines, we decide which news stories to cover and what approach to take, responding quickly to current developments. We liaise with Channel 4 and production companies about programme-related content. We also manage the budget and commission and brief writers and designers.
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Red Cinnamon produces a range of educational booklets supporting programmes on Five. Our role involves:
- drawing up a content outline for each booklet for approval by Five
- drawing up a budget and timetable
- commissioning the writer and developing a detailed content plan
- commissioning the editor, designer and printer
Recent titles include HouseBusters on interior design, Mad For Arts on public art and mental health, and Kings and Queens on British history.
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On subjects ranging from the science of cookery and energy efficiency at home to the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, Red Cinnamon has produced a variety of titles in different formats for Open University programmes on the BBC. In the case of the Leonardo da Vinci series, for example, the OU wanted to inspire people to join a special course. We suggested a gift box with postcards of da Vinci's works along with a booklet outlining his life and work and giving details of the course. It was a major success: well over 12,000 people requested the publication and many hundreds signed up for the course.
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Consultancy and broadcast appeals project management
Red Cinnamon's directors have worked on nearly every Comic Relief appeal, so we are able to draw on an unparalleled wealth of knowledge and experience as well as an unmatched network of contacts at major UK call centres.
Comic Relief 2005 was our biggest donation-taking operation to date. It involved nearly 200 call centres with over 14,000 lines and more than 30,000 volunteers, who took nearly one million calls and more than £20 million in donations.
Our role involves:
- negotiating with businesses and agencies for the use of their call centres, staff and volunteers, and managing the resulting relationships during months of planning
- advising on donation-taking and processing
- liaising with BT and other telephony companies to ensure the telephone network is robust and ready on the night
- briefing and advising the call centres to maximise their effectiveness in donation-taking
- ensuring the appropriate use of new technology and new media for maximum efficiency and to maximise overall revenue
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BBC Children In Need
Red Cinnamon draws on 20 years' experience of managing BBC Children In Need's central administration unit, which was involved in both grant-giving and fundraising. We now focus that experience on assessing grant applications, which range from small one-off requests from local groups to major three-year funding applications from national organisations.
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