INF9RMER #11

P9_team_nov11_web-5561square.jpg


The INF9RMER Newsletter is matt-iculously crafted, lovingly nurtured, marinated in enthusiasm and cooked at 200℃ for 15 minutes, by PLATF9RM's Membership Assistant Matt. If you have any exciting upcoming projects within your company, would like to let everyone know how your business is progressing in some way, or have a future event coming up - then feel free to email Matt, drop him a message on Slack or come find him in person for a quick chat. (Matt even has his own little section in this month's!)


Pedal People, Personal Projects and a PR Pro's Progression


Smiley faces all round this month as we step straight into the compassionate section of the INF9RMER, with Andy Bradley from Frameworks 4 Change. Andy believes that vulnerability should be met with kindness and helps businesses embrace these compassionate mentalities for within the workplace. Next up we have Jude Thompson from WDM Collective, filling us in on their mission to amplify women in the dance music industry - with a nod towards an event they are running at Brighton Music Conference later this year! PLATF9RM's answer to Bear Grylls, Kim Slade from Unlost Co. tells us about his latest venture - Adventure Club! Come along Thursday 21 February and find out more!


Brighton Third Sector Training (B3ST) fill us in on their internship in Seville, Spain - who wouldn't want to go teach languages and learn social media and marketing skills over in Sunny España?! We also paid homage to David Hillier, the Mr Miyagi that inspired Matt to write the INF9RMER in the individual style it's developed in to. David is flying the PLATF9RM nest as he utilises 2019 to focus on personal projects.

Template 9 pics.jpg

Rose O'Callaghan has taken the plunge many other PLATF9RM'ers are all too familiar with - the stride towards becoming freelance. Bringing her PR and journalism skills to the table, Rose is looking for other freelances and business owners to chat with over a cuppa whilst sharing experience and inspiring creativity. For those of you who attended Hove's Cereal Filler in December, you may remember Jason Baker of Citrus Ornge sharing his business motive of helping ex-offenders and those recovering from addiction get back into the working world. Jason shared with us his exciting news that the Forward Enterprise Fund have agreed to supply his company with all the funding the company needs - amazing news!


Elly Hargreave of the newly named Pedal People, shared with us the amazing journey that they have taken not only as a start up charity, but also their bike journeys. The charity they run supports older people and helps get them out of thei care homes and seeing the city in a way they may now find less accessible. We finished off this month with Matt plugging his very own charity cause, (because if you can't promote yourself in your own newsletter, then where can you?!). Matt is running his very first half-marathon this Sunday, raising money for a personal cause which is very close to his heart. If you would like to find out more about little Franck's story, you can find and support the cause here.


Thank you to everyone who put in the time to offer news for this month's INF9RMER, if you have something you would like to include for March then contact Membership Assistant Matt.

Member of the Week - Richard Marsden

Introducing Richard Marsden; Freelance advertising, marketing and brand copywriter.


For those of us alien to the world of copywriting, could you tell us a bit about your work and what/who it involves?

For me, copywriting at its most basic level is about giving a brand a voice. You want that voice to be consistent and authentic, and you hope it's a voice that the right people like hearing. Consistency means being consistent with the visual side of things too. You see some brands that seem to be wearing a suit jacket with tracksuit trousers - they look great but the way they talk doesn't match. I like creating the right voice. The thing I love doing most nowadays is working with smaller, younger businesses, helping them work out who they are as a company and how to express that in words.


It can be difficult to get your foot in the door in this line of work; what would you consider to be the job that solidified your career in copywriting?

I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I was lucky enough to graduate into an abundant job market but without any real idea of what I wanted to do. I remember the after day graduating, sitting with a friend and my now-wife, asking ourselves “What do we do now?” So we started looking through the Creative, Media & Graduate jobs section of the Guardian, which is what you did back then, and after a while a junior copywriting job popped up. I didn't feel like I knew what I was doing for the first three years. So I suppose the job that really made me feel like a copywriter was my first agency move. It was a big confidence boost being cherry-picked by the creative directors. I got my best piece of copywriting advice from one of them. He told me: “Write your first draft your way, go all out on it. If it needs editing, let someone else be the one to do that”. That's something I still try to do.


What is the job or project you have done that you are most proud of?

DSC_0328.jpg

It was a brand identity and website for my brother in law, Andy Koval, pro-bono. He qualified as a massage therapist about 3 or 4 years ago. He’s incredible at it but didn't have a huge amount of confidence when he was starting out. I found myself mulling over what he does and how we could articulate that in an interesting way in his local area. I hit upon this idea of knots in trees, knots in ropes, which struck me as a good metaphor for what he helps with. So I found a load of stock shots to bring the idea to life, created a Squarespace for him and got a designer friend to cobble together some poster and flyer designs. It was nice to do a job for family, but also it was about helping someone to feel more professional, which is what I love. So many companies don't know how to express what they do, especially at the start. I love to give businesses a bit more confidence and a way of talking that they feel proud of. That doesn't mean I do a lot of pro-bono work though!


You’ve been at PLATF9RM for nearly a year now (woo!), what has kept you here?

First things first it gets me out of the house. I'm sure most freelancers can relate to that. I’m based in Lewes and enjoy having a bit of distance between work and home. I've worked in a few co-working spaces but this place is just taking it to another level with the decor, facilities, choice of spaces, the events and the community! I’ve also got a bit of work out of 23Digital which has been great, that happens a lot at PLATF9RM.


Have you taken advantage of any of our events?

I haven't for a while, I went to the summer party last year which was really cool, and to the 64 Degrees popup which I loved. I’d love to go to more but I have a young family which I like to get home to as soon as I can after work.


Speaking of which, balancing family life and freelancing can be a tricky business - do you have any tips?

I’m firmly in the work to live camp; I've consciously shaped my career to fit around my family. I'm a full-time Friday dad, I took two months off when my daughter Vivi was born and only went back a couple of days a week initially. It was a struggle financially but definitely worth it. If you can work out how much you need to make a year, then break that down month by month that can really help. One thing I used to do that I really liked was to set myself a target of how many days I wanted to work in the year ahead, then just count down from there and stop when I got to zero. It's called freelancing for a reason, you want to make the most of that freedom.


You can often be found changing between Floor 5 and Floor 6, do you have a favourite spot to sit in and why?

I like moving around because I don't want my brain to get stuck in one place. But at the moment I like being on floor 6. I do remember one day last summer, I was sitting in the booths by the printer on floor 6 and I looked out of the window and noticed a little family of seagulls on the roof feeding their fledgling. That was sweet and made me feel a bit better about being at work that day!


As a Man of Many Words, this may be a difficult question for you, but do you have a favourite word and why?

‘Checkmate’. That's specifically for George Buko (Acies Cleaning). I love chess, George and I have started to play on Tuesdays and I beat him handsomely in our first game last week, so that’s my favourite word right now.


What book can you read over and over again?

There’s a few that I have in my rereading pile; 'A Confederacy of Dunces', 'The Great Gatsby', anything by P.G. Wodehouse. But, the main book I go back to is the one that made me give up on any lingering thoughts of writing fiction, because it's the complete novel: 'What a Carve Up' by Jonathan Coe. I read it every 5 years or so, I’ve got a really dog-eared copy. It offers something different each time I read it. The central character is an author so it feels autobiographical, it's political, it’s polemic, it's funny. It's also quite relevant in the current political climate. Time to go back to it again!

Thank you Richard!

If you want to be a member at our space, get in touch for a tour and trial.

Company of the Week - Boost Awards

Introducing Chris Robinson, MD, Frankie, project and office coordinator and Carrie, Graphic designer for Boost Awards.


So for starters can you help us get our heads round what Boost Awards do and what your roles involve within the company?


Chris: Boost Awards is what we call an “award entry consultancy”. This is where we help businesses pick, enter, and (40% of the time) win business awards. This might sound a bit niche and most people think “I didn’t know there was such a thing”... that is because we are the world’s first - founded back in April 2006. We are on the agency rosters of loads of big brands as the provider of this specific service, mostly writing award entries, and we help loads of small businesses too - who often have the more exciting innovative stories.

There are 20 of us. Mostly on payroll, and spread around the country. Our Platf9rm address is now our head office address though. I’m the founder and MD.

Carrie: I’m graphic designer here and responsible for making our award entries and marketing materials look pretty. I also send out our email marketing as well as setting up and maintaining our CRM. I tend to muck in with lots of things!

Frankie: I look after all the admin needs across the company alongside coordinating projects with our consultants. I dabble in a bit of everything really which is nice, no two days are the same.

What are the most satisfying elements of your jobs and what are the most exciting?


Chris: Unsurprisingly we get a massive buzz when clients win awards. Particularly when the win is either super competitive, or when they experience a win for the first time and get ‘that’ walk up on stage in front of up to 1,200 people. I love getting a “we won!!” text around 11pm (when most dinners finish). Clearly not all clients win, but we try and make them have more than one shortlisting at any dinner to reduce the chances of them going home empty handed. Also we love finding a killer angle for a story, something we know the judges will love. The other thing we do a lot of is measuring the impact of a project, campaign or initiative, and we can present new findings to the client to quantify just what a difference they made. It makes them glow with pride - a win whether they get the award or not.

Carrie: I love all things design and really enjoy the challenge of designing award entries and aligning them with clients’ branding (usually at break-neck speed!) My favourite things are creating icons and infographics but I do love a bit of document layout!

Frankie: Last year I had the opportunity to be a judge for a Customer Experience award scheme, I had so much fun and it was so exciting to see loads of our clients going up to win awards at the evening event, you normally don’t get to experience seeing your clients win first hand!

DSC_0310.jpg

What lead you both to doing your current roles (for example if you studied at university what did you do etc)?


Chris: I was driving back from the Dentists one day, returning to a marketing job I didn’t particularly enjoy and it came to me as a lightbulb moment. You see I had a bit of a reputation for writing winning award entries. I jacked in my job and set up Boost. The rest is history.

Carrie: I’ve been involved in lots of different aspects of the business over the years, but gradually got involved in prettying up our award entries and became driven to improve the standard of design across the business. A few years back I studied graphic design at Brighton City College and haven’t looked back!

Frankie: I have a very mixed background… I started out at as a ballet/contemporary dancer, then I became a hairdresser. Once I moved to Brighton, I fancied trying my hand in something quite different and here I am!

Who are the people in your life that you find most inspiring?


Chris: My granny was simply incredible. So positive and clever, forgiving and sensible. She was my inspiration as I grew up. When she sadly passed away it was my inheritance from her that I used to set up the business. I hope she supports that decision - I expect she would as she always stood by even my most odd life choices.

Carrie: My mum for her work ethic and being a role model for me and my sisters as a strong woman! Also Beyonce because Beyonce.

Frankie: My Mum without a doubt. She brought up five children on her own and she’s a total babe, she’s my hero!

What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?


Carrie: Death Valley, Nevada!

Frankie: My baby nephew!

If you could summarise your attitude to life in a catch phrase what would it be?


Carrie: Call me what you like, but don’t call me late to breakfast!

Frankie: My Grandpa always tell me to not worry about the things that I can’t control. Silly and simple but it helps to remember that sometimes.

You have just moved in to PLATF9RM, are you managing to feel settled?


Chris: Yes, all settled in now. Very happy with everything about the space (although can I please request a shower?) A great buzz about the place too.

Carrie: It’s lovely here, big change for us but we’re settling in! Looking forward to going to few of the socials :)

Frankie: Absolutely, I really love it here. Everyone has been so friendly, I felt settled on day one.

What drew you to PLATF9RM, where were you before?


All: We had our own office in Hove before, but as we are a flexi-working company and we’re based all over the country, it quite often ended up being a couple of us or just me rattling around an office on our own. We looked into shared office space and found PLATF9RM, we were head over heels as soon as we stepped in for a tour!

You may be aware but we’re opening up a new space in Hove Town Hall - which will have offices and coworking and a cafe - will you guys be hopping over to Hove come and check it out?


All: Absolutely, Hove Town Hall is really near our old office, so we know and love that area. We can’t wait to see it!


Thank you so much guys for taking the time to chat with us!

PLATF9RM Reveals Plans For Latest Hove Town Hall Development

Brighton & Hove’s largest independent coworking and business community, PLATF9RM is turning a previously vacant area of Hove Town Hall into the company’s first semi-public venue. The new ground floor development will connect to PLATF9RM ’s existing space on the second floor of Hove Town Hall, which has been home to more than 200 members and 50 businesses since 2017.

Artist's impressions have today been released of the latest PLATF9RM venue, which is opening its doors on Friday 1st March. With space for up to 200 people, the bold ground floor development of more than 4,000 sq foot will breathe life back into the building, accentuating its original soft-brutalist features and exposing shuttered concrete previously unseen for over 25 years.

The development follows an £11 million renovation of the iconic Brutalist building in 2016. The Church Road undercroft that PLATF9RM is converting was last open to the public as a walkway more than 25 years ago. In the intervening years it was divided into separate spaces that were used for council offices, parking permit collection, a toy library and even a wedding room.

PLATF9RM ’s new members-only coworking lounge and informal meeting area will benefit from an adjacent cafe and bar space that will also be open to the public from spring 2019.

The mezzanine floors will feature four meeting rooms available to members and non-members, including a 12-person boardroom with elevated views across the atrium. Downstairs will house showers for cycling commuters, artwork, bar seating and a 100-person plus event space with a full community programme of social and cultural events. The outside will also be opened out into a cafe working space.


Seb Royle, CEO and founder of PLATF9RM , said: “Brighton & Hove has the most incredible blend of talented people and businesses, but they have long lacked a home that matches their ambitions.


PLATF9RM exists to support new and exciting ways of working and enable freelancers and businesses to spark new connections. This venture is a physical representation of that vision. “It will be the first PLATF9RM venue with a high street presence and public access. We’re bringing this right into the community to support our city’s unique working culture, while rejuvenating the high street at the same time.”


Council leader, Daniel Yates, said: “Brighton & Hove is at the forefront of new ways of working, and it’s great to see an unused part of Hove Town Hall being brought back to life, offering co-working space for people wanting to work, network, host meetings and do business.


“Collaborative workspaces that foster connections between small businesses and freelancers are an essential part of the ecosystem for this thriving part of our economy. We’re very happy to be supporting PLATF9RM in transforming this space to serve our diverse business community.”

platf9rm cowork hth.jpeg


PLATF9RM ’s two existing venues at North Road’s Tower Point and the second floor of Hove Town Hall on Church Road are already home to 650 members across 200 businesses ranging from startups to larger employers. The new venue, especially aimed at freelancers, will have room for 200 more members.


Anthony Prior, Director of Bagelman, added: “As a local high street business owner it’s encouraging to see this aspirational development bringing together the trends for freelance working and cafe culture. We need people with new ideas to evolve the high street and this hybrid between work, leisure and community could be part of the puzzle.”


PLATF9RM members use a blend of private offices and collaborative working environments among beautifully fitted surroundings. They can choose various packages ranging from unlimited access or a set number of hours per week starting from £99 a month. Packages above the entry level 40hr/per month membership allow members to move between venues as much as they like, with the latest venture at Hove Town Hall being no exception.


More than 50 new members have already signed up to join once the building opens. To book a tour of the space contact jess@platf9rm.com or visit www.platf9rm.com/groundfloor.


About PLATF9RM

PLATF9RM is a thriving business community in Brighton & Hove, creating contemporary workplaces for its members. From freelancers and contractors to local businesses of any size, members have access to a range of desk space, from collaborative and shared working environments to private office rooms. PLATF9RM also runs a programme of educational and social events encouraging members to connect and reinforce the collaboration the space is designed for.

Set up in 2016, the co-working space has grown to over 600 members across both the Brighton and Hove sites. The company’s latest venture, a renovation of Hove Town Hall’s ground floor into the first publicly accessible PLATF9RM space, has already begun and is due to complete in Spring 2019.

For more information and interview requests please contact:

Mila Brazzi/Vicky Welstead at Fugu 01273 327 514 PLATF9RM@fugupr.com