Enjoy traffic-free cycling in the heart of Lancaster

Cyclists of all ages are invited to ‘Ride Lancaster’  as part of the Bay Health Festivals organised by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.  

The event, supported by Rosebank PR & Communications, will see a section of Lancaster’s one-way system reduced to one lane on the morning of on Sunday July 10, allowing visitors traffic-free riding from the Lune cycletrack to Dalton Square.

In Dalton Square, visitors will be able to explore the Bay Health Festivals event, including a number of cycling-related stalls and activities.  

UHMBT Lead Chaplain Ian Dewar, the organiser of the festival, said: “Cycling is great way to travel and brings massive benefits in terms of physical and mental health.

“Our cycling village aims to bring people together united by the simple pleasure of riding a bike, and hopefully encourage non-cyclists to give it a go.”

“Many newcomers to cycling can feel intimidated by traffic on the roads, which is why we’ll be creating a temporary segregated cycle route as part of this event.

“Traffic will still be able to move through the centre of Lancaster, but cyclists will be given exclusive use one of the lanes of the one-way system for a few hours to encourage beginners and families to join us.”

The event in Dalton Square will run from 9.30am to noon on Sunday 10 July. The segregated cycle route will be in place in Water Street, Chapel Street, Rosemary Lane, Stonewell and Great John Street throughout the event.

Find out more at www.thebayhealthfestivals.org.uk

Pioneering digital signature platform Videosign announces sponsorship deal with South African golf pro Oliver Bekker

Videosign Chief Executive Steven Tallant with Oliver Bekker

Digital security software specialist Videosign has become an official sponsor of international golfer Oliver Bekker.

Videosign Chief Executive Steven Tallant met with the South African player via the company’s unique meeting software to sign the sponsorship contract.  

Tallant said: “We’re proud to have become Oliver’s newest sponsor and look forward to seeing the Videosign name on the fairways.

“South Africa is a country that has really embraced Videosign, and I’m really happy to be able to say thank you by supporting one of the country’s top sportsmen.”

Videosign is an online meeting service that uses artificial intelligence-powered facial recognition software to compare an individual with their passport or driving licence photo to confirm their identity when they sign a contract or legal document online.

The platform offers users the facility to record video and other evidence like IP addresses and timestamps when remotely witnessing signatures of legal documents.

Facial-recognition software is used to verify the identity of signatories before tamper-proof electronic signatures are made, witnessed by everyone in the meeting and backed up with video and metadata evidence.

Oliver Bekker is a seven-time winner on the South African Sunshine Tour, and was second in the 2021 South African Open.

He said: “Using Videosign to agree this new partnership was a great experience.

“There was no need for printing documents or waiting for the mail – I met Steven on Videosign, we had a conversation, and signed the contract there and then.

“This must be the easiest contract sponsorship contract I’ve ever signed.”

Videosign, with bases in Liverpool and Glasgow, supports businesses in a wide range of sectors, including financial advice and conveyancing.

The company recently released a new instant-access version of the platform, allowing small businesses to sign-up and start using Videosign immediately.

Cyclists of all ages invited to summer time trial series

Cyclists of all ages and abilities are invited to join Lancaster’s summer time trial series.

Organised by Lancaster Cycling Club, the weekly events offer a choice of two-, six- and 10-mile courses on the traffic-free cycle race circuit at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre.

Riders race against the clock to set their best time for their chosen distance.

Father and daughter team Tim and Bex Norton share the role of Racing Secretary at the club and organise the weekly races.

Tim said: “We get riders of all abilities taking part, from serious racers to complete beginners.

“Our choice of three distances means that if you can ride a bike you can give it a try.

“The great thing about time trialling is that you’re racing against yourself – the challenge is to improve your own personal best as the season progresses.”

Lancaster Cycling Club, which was founded in 1924, aims to provide a welcoming environment for newcomers to the sport.

Bex said: “There’s a fantastic atmosphere at the events each week. We get whole families coming along to take part and a huge spread of ages from young children to people in their 70s.

“Everyone is really friendly and supportive, and the emphasis is on enjoying being on your bike and being part of a community of cycling enthusiasts.”

The events take place at Salt Ayre from 7pm every Thursday from Spring to Autumn. The club also organises hill-climb races during the summer.

Participants will need their own bike, a helmet and front and rear lights in order to take part.

Riders can pre-register or sign-up at the event.

Entry fees are £6 for members of Lancaster Cycling Club or Salt Ayre Cog set and £8 for non-members (£3 for under-16s). Membership of Lancaster Cycling Club costs £10 per year and is required after participating in three time trials.

For more information or to pre-register, visit facebook.com/groups/lancastercyclingclub or email racingsecretarylcc@gmail.com

Digital signature pioneer Videosign secures £1.15m investment 

Videosign Chief Executive Steven Tallant

Pioneering electronic signature developer Videosign has secured new investment of £1.15m as it continues to develop its innovative online security platform.

The company, with bases in Liverpool and Glasgow, has developed a unique electronic signature platform that uses artificial intelligence-powered facial recognition and video technology to verify the identity of document signatories.

Videosign Chief Executive Steven Tallant said: “Videosign already offers unprecedented levels of security and confidence for anyone using electronic signatures.

“This new investment will help us to continue Videosign’s development and offer even higher levels of security to our clients.”

The investment has come from the Moonstone Group, which provides a portfolio of compliance, education and fintech solutions to the financial services market in South Africa.

Hjalmar Bekker, Chief Executive of Moonstone, said: “Use of Videosign is well established at Moonstone, and it is a platform we trust for a range of business applications, from remote contracting to exam invigilation.

“Use of electronic signatures is only going to increase, and we believe that Videosign will play a pivotal role in its growing acceptance among users, bringing document-signing into the 21st century.”

Videosign is an online meeting platform with the facility to record video and other evidence like IP addresses and timestamps to allow for e-commissioning and remote witnessing of signatures on legal documents ranging from affidavits to contracts.

The platform’s AI-powered facial recognition software compares an individual with their passport or driving licence photo to confirm their identity. It also has the ability to link to external identity databases for further checks.

Tamper-proof electronic signatures can then be made, witnessed by everyone in the meeting and backed up with video and metadata evidence.

Videosign already enjoys popularity among financial advisors, thanks to the improved customer experience it offers and its integration with the widely-used Iress Xplan advice software.

Steven Tallant said: “This investment is an indication of how integral the Videosign platform has become to Moonstone’s operations.

“This is an exciting time for Videosign, and we have plans to continue improving our security features to offer even stronger levels of assurance and compliance to our customers and lead the way in this evolving way of doing business.”

New businesses can win free networking for a year through grant scheme

Entrepreneurs launching new businesses in north Lancashire and south Cumbria this year have chance to secure a grant worth £894 for a year’s free membership of a worldwide networking organisation.

Business Networking International (BNI) has active groups all over the country, including the LA5 group, covering north Lancashire and south Cumbria.

Lancaster-based financial planner Peter Walmsley, a founder member of the LA5 group, said: “The pandemic has made 2020 incredibly tough for businesses, so BNI has introduced this grant scheme to help give a boost to a new start-up.

“We are seeing many people losing their jobs or finding their existing business is no longer viable, which is why we want to help people launching a new venture this year to get access to the support that BNI offers.

“We want to hear from anyone interested in applying for the grant so they can come along to one of our weekly online meetings and find out what we’re all about.”

BNI offers a structured approach to networking that encourages and trains members to work together to generate opportunities for each other’s businesses.

Local groups provide a valuable source of income for businesses as well as offering the chance to benefit from the collective knowledge, experience and support of other members.

Peter said: “Starting out in business can be daunting, but if you’re a member of BNI you don’t have to face the challenges alone. We’d love to help someone to get their business off the ground this year.”

Owners or employees of businesses launched in 2020 are eligible to apply. The business must be the applicant’s main work activity. One free membership is available for each BNI group, and grants will be awarded following an application process.Deadline for applications is December 8, 2020.

LA5 meets via Zoom from 9.30am to 11.30am every Tuesday.

To find out more and arrange a visit to the LA5 group, email BNILA5@outlook.com

The importance of reflecting on your success stories

What great thing did you or your business do last week? And who have you told about it?

Sometimes we all feel a bit shy about shouting about our achievements, but it’s important for so many reasons.

Celebrating your successes and talking (without boasting) about your deeds is a great way to build your reputation.

And as well as helping to raise your profile and impress new customers, it’s important for you too.

We’re all great at dwelling on what went wrong and the things we could have done better, but we often forget to take the time to remember what went well.

Make it a part of your routine to reflect on the problems solved, the clients supported and the people helped.

At the very least you’ll get a morale boost, but talking about and celebrating these successes can also have a positive impact on staff and make other people and organisations want to be a part of what you’re doing.

It’s not always easy to recognise the good stuff or find time in our hectic working lives to celebrate successes in a way they deserve.

There are probably amazing things that you do all the time, but you might see them as routine. Remember that something that’s an everyday occurrence for you could easily be a newsworthy story or engaging social media moment.

Rosebank Media can help you to recognise and share these positive stories to enrich your internal and external communications.

If you need help to identify and share the things that make you stand out from the crowd, get in touch to find out how we can support you.

‘Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’: How resilient is your crisis planning?

‘Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’

This quote from the boxer Mike Tyson got me thinking about planning for when things don’t go according to plan.

It’s inevitable that things will go wrong every now and then, and the severity of issues can vary from minor inconvenience to full-blown crisis.

When crisis strikes, it’s obvious that we need to move swiftly to get things back under control. 

But what’s often forgotten is the importance of communicating with the right people in the right way to explain what has happened, address concerns and minimise reputational harm.

Having a communication plan in place and ready for use in an emergency can be crucial, especially in larger organisations or those where risks are greater.

Every crisis is different and places different demands on you and your team. And emergencies can also impact organisational capacity, diverting your attention and energy from day-to-day activities.

So it’s worth investing the time in planning to ensure you can respond as quickly, effectively and efficiently as possible when the time comes.

Communicating at times of crisis can form a challenge for organisations of all sizes. Whether you’re a one-person business or a large company with an in-house communications team, the challenges increase exponentially the more serious and sustained the emergency is.

Whenever crisis hits, communication is going to play a role in solving the problem.That may be internal communications, sharing important messages within your organisation. It may be external communication, getting key messages out to key audiences and potentially liaising with the media.

In all likelihood, it will be a combination of the two. Your planning should identify key people who will need to be updated, how that will be done and who will be responsible for doing it.

So you’ve got your plan, but can it withstand a punch? Having a plan in place to deal with an emerging crisis only the first step. 

Will you be ready if something else happens, like a second emergency, negative media coverage or a social media storm? What’s the escalation plan if the initial emergency turns into a long-term problem?

Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but there’s a good chance that taking the time now to get a robust and comprehensive crisis plan in place will save you time in the long run.

  • Has your business got a plan in place for when crisis hits? And is the plan robust enough to withstand a punch? If you need help to get a crisis plan in place, or if you need someone ready to handle your communications during challenging times, Rosebank Media can offer support. Get in touch to find out more.

Great communication is key to leading through challenging times

How are people in your organisation doing? No, how are they really doing?

Not sure? Then you’ve got a communication issue you need to address.

Whether you’re still able to work together, you’re working remotely for the first time, or you normally work apart, everyone is experiencing uncertainty and change as never before.

Outwardly, people in your organisation may seem to be coping well, but there’s a good chance at least some of them are feeling unsettled and anxious.

If you’re in a position of leadership – whether that’s formally part of your role or not – taking the time to check in on people to make sure they’re doing OK is invaluable.

Communication is a two-way process, and listening is the most important and also most frequently overlooked aspect.

Actively gathering feedback, listening to it and acting on it will help to make the people around you happier, healthier and more productive.

Depending on the structure of your organisation and the adaptations you’ve made for the Covid-19 pandemic, you’ll need the right communication methods in place to foster a meaningful and authentic conversation with the people you lead.

  • Not sure where to start? Need to improve what you’re already doing?
    Contact us to book a free half-hour consultation with Rosebank Media to find out how we can support you to boost your internal communications in these challenging times.

Communication is key to successful change management

How do you feel about change?

We’re all living through a period of rapid change the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

It’s challenging and can be uncomfortable. But it also presents opportunities.

Change comes in different ways. Sometimes it’s forced on you. Sometimes you recognise the need for change and take the initiative.

Communication is key to successful change management and the one thing that will be crucial to the success of any new practices, policies or procedures in your organisation.

Adapt and evaluate

In the case of the Covid-19 crisis change has come in waves, each requiring a different approach and mindset.

In the initial phase we all did what we had to do to adapt – working from home, socially distancing, paying more attention to hand-washing and changing their way we shop.

With lockdown restrictions lifting we’re changing again, with many organisations returning to operation with new practices.

With the initial panic and confusion behind us, we’ve now arrived at a place where we can evaluate the changes we’ve made and decide how to move forward.

Making temporary changes permanent

A recent survey revealed that 91% of people don’t want life to return to the way it was before lockdown.

That’s an amazing mandate for change and a chance to take decisive action to improve our lives.

If we’re going to get this right, strong and effective communication is vital.

Many organisations think they’re communicating when they tell their staff and customers what they’re doing.

But communication is about listening as well as speaking. It’s about fostering the right dialogue with the right people and taking on board what people have to say.

That doesn’t happen by accident.

Communicating well – and, therefore, effective change management – hinges on establishing who you need to communicate with, understanding their point of view, and knowing how their interests interact with those of other parties.

This is the basis of stakeholder analysis.

People, not ‘stakeholders’

‘Stakeholders’ always seems like one of those bureaucratic buzzwords, and that can act as a barrier to spending time thinking about the effectiveness and impact of the way you communicate.

So let’s not think of them as stakeholders, and lets call them what they are. People. People with hopes, fears, commitments, and concerns.

Who are the people who will be affected by the change that’s taking place?

Will they be affected positively or negatively?

Will what’s happening have a large or small effect on them?

Taking the time to understand the individuals and groups who will be impacted by change is crucial.

Put yourself in their shoes. Who will be most interested in the change that’s happening, and why? Who is in a position to enable or disrupt progress?

Do this work before communication starts and you’ll be one step closer to success.

Communicating about communication

A big change many organisations are currently facing is the adjustment to our working lives that has arisen from the Covid-19 crisis.

Will we ever go back to working the way we used to, and if not how are we going to interact with each other within teams and organisations?

Many organisations will have some work do around this – an occasion we need to communicate effectively about how we’re going to communicate in the future.

Getting this right means happy, productive organisations filled with people motivated by having had an input into the future of their life and work.

  • Let Rosebank Media support through these uncertain times with change management consultancy services geared towards making your communication hit the mark in these challenging times. Get in touch to find out more.

What Sir Isaac Newton can teach us about building a successful public relations strategy

World-famous scientist Sir Isaac Newton changed the way we think about physics when he published his Laws of Motion way back in 1687.

And if you apply these famous laws to promoting your business, they can change the way you think about that too…

First Law

Every object in a state of uniform motion will remain in that state of motion unless an external force acts on it

Is your business moving in the right direction? Is it moving at all?

Newton’s Laws tell us that if you want to get your business moving or change the way it’s heading you’ll need to apply a force to make that happen.

If your organisation is in a state of ‘uniform motion’ it will stay that way unless you do something to change it.

That might mean introducing a new product or service, or changing what you do to meet the needs of your customers.

And whatever you do, it will mean changing the way you communicate with your audience. Developing a strong public relations strategy will help you to harness the ‘external forces’ of the media, digital communications channels and word of mouth to get you moving in the right direction and at the right speed.

Second Law

Force equals mass times acceleration

Having decided you need to get out of your ‘state of uniform motion’, the next question is how are you going to do it?

In this case let’s think of the ‘mass’ as your key message. It might something small that’s only of interest to a select few, or it might be something huge that everyone will be talking about.

Good public relations is all about knowing how to craft that message and then applying the right amount of ‘acceleration’ by choosing the appropriate communication methods to propel the ‘mass’ towards your audience.

The more powerful the message and the broader your audience the more force you’ll be able to apply to achieving the change in direction you’re looking for.

Third Law

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

In life as in physics, every action you make will get a reaction of some kind, but sometimes it might not be the reaction you want.

Strong, empathetic public relations will help you to ensure that the actions you take get the reaction you’re looking for.

Public relations is the art of using persuasion to change people’s behaviour. It’s about working out what reaction you’re looking for and then choosing a range of actions that will meet your goal.

Newton’s Third Law tells us that doing nothing isn’t an option. If you want to change the direction you’re heading in or the speed you’re travelling, action is needed.

  • If your organisation is in a state of uniform motion, Rosebank Media can help to get you moving in the right direction. Contact us to find out how we can help you turn your actions into positive reactions.