18 03 2012

Guest Blog by Danny Bermant of Brainstorm Digital.

There are only two weeks to go until the Facebook Timeline changeover happens. This means that your branded Facebook page will completely change in appearance. Make sure you don’t get caught out.  Here Brainstorm Digital’s Danny Bermant shares the seven key things you need to know.

Bye bye landing pages.

Up till now you were able to automatically send new visitors to a customised page with a special offer. From March 30th, you will no longer be able to do this. All visitors will automatically be taken to your Timeline.

Instead of five thumbnail photos, you will have one large photo at the top of your page.

You will need find a landscape image that illustrates what your business is about. It could be an image of your staff, or it could be an image of your products. The ideal dimensions for this are 851 by 315 pixels. The thumbnail image that sits beside status updates is 180 x 180 pixels. If you want to find some good images for your Facebook account, go to http://www.fotolia.com. (see visuals). Images sell for as little as £1.

The section that used to be buried in the “Info” tab on your company page is now front and centre along its very top, so make sure you fill it in!

Keep it short and to the point; think mission statement rather than an entire company biography. Ensure you have a completed profile. Missing information looks unprofessional. E.g. If it’s a company page, make sure you fill in: About, Overview, Missions, Products / Services, website address etc…

Control how your posts are displayed.

With Timeline, you can pin a post to the top of your Facebook page for up to seven days to highlight popular or relevant content. You can also change post dates, which will help you prioritise up posts that you want to keep at the top of the page. e.g. An ongoing event or promotion.

You can “star” a post to feature it more prominently, increasing the size of the post to take up the full width of your Facebook page.

This is great if you want to post YouTube videos. But this means you want to use higher res photos that end up on your Facebook page; you’ll need them sized at a minimum width of 851 pixels so they can be featured as a “starred” post without pixelating.

You can add company milestones.

You’ll be able to create company milestones on your Timeline, which gives you an easy way to promote key events in your company history to Facebook. You can also feature events such as client briefings or product launches.

You can control posts on the activity log:

This admin panel lets you hide and reveal posts, “star” posts to feature them, and change post dates. For example you may have a repeating event. Rather than advertise the same event as a new post, you can resurrect an existing post.

The new Facebook layout may be harder to customise but on the plus side it’s far more visual, enabling you to post large images and videos far more prominently. For Facebook audiences, photos and video say a lot more than reams and reams of text, so I think that ultimately, Timeline will be a change for the better.

Danny Bermant is Director of Brainstorm Digital an online marketing agency that trains businesses how to profit from social media. Brainstorm Digital are members of Branduin Business Support Limited.


© Danny Bermant, Brainstorm Digital Ltd, March 2012

Helping you grow your business online
Suite 29, 4 Imperial Place, Maxwell Road
Borehamwood WD6 1JN
Telephone: 020 8953 8820
Mobile: 07958 358 793
Skype: dannybermant
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/brainstormdsgn
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrainstormDesignLtd

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/brainstormdesignltd

How can social media help me get more business?

Sign up for Brainstorm Digital’s seminar on 18th April to find out the answer!


Cowan Global Blog

Read blogs by Jim Cowan


Twitter @cowanglobal



5 12 2011

Today we are handing the Cowan Global Blog over to Cerebral Palsy Sport (or CP Sport as they are usually referred to). We love what they do and we hope you will too…….

Hello, my name is Cambell, I am 15 and I have cerebral palsy.

I am asking for your help this Christmas, and here’s why…

I remember when I was younger my disability made my life very difficult for me to do all the things normal kids do. My friends didn’t really understand me. I couldn’t join in. People were always looking at me differently. I felt inadequate.

When I was eight, I found CP Sport. They gave me a sporting chance – focusing on my ability and not my disability. With the help of their friendly and experienced coaches I learnt to swim.  With the support of my parents and CP Sport I am now swimming confidently and I am part of an elite disability swimming club, winning medals on a regular basis – it’s great!

I’ve been swimming for over seven years now but I didn’t stop there. I also gave athletics a go. In fact I was such a good runner I broke the CP Sport junior record in the 100m when I first ran in the CP Sport Athletics Championships.

Being involved with CP Sport has changed my life in other ways too. I feel healthier, happier, more confident and independent and have lots of friends – including friends with cerebral palsy. It’s great to fit in.  Now I don’t always need to explain my disability. I can just be myself.

I feel very lucky and privileged to be involved with CP Sport. However I know there are still thousands of children with cerebral palsy throughout the country who are experiencing the same problems I faced when I was younger. Children with cerebral palsy need your help now if they are to have the same sporting chances as me.

This will only be possible with your help.

Thank you.


How to help

Please make a donation on the CP Sport Big Give Christmas Challenge Project web page at 10am on any day from Monday to Friday next week and whatever you give will turn into twice as much!

It is all part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge Week 2011 – an unmissable chance for you to double the value of your donation to CP Sport this festive season, making sure more children with cerebral palsy like Cambell can enjoy the life-changing benefits of participation and competition in sport at any level.

We can only achieve our £10,000 target if you can help us to raise £5,000 in donations next week.

If you want to be sure that your donation is doubled you need to do all three of the following.

  1. Make your donation via the dedicated weblink
  2. Make your donation on any day from Monday to Friday next week (5th to 9th December)
  3. Make your donation at 10am or as close as possible after 10am because limited doubling funds are available each day and once the allocation for that day has been used, no more donations will be doubled.

It is really important to realise that if you make your donation via any other webpage or means, on any other day, or too late in the day, your donation will not be doubled.

Please visit our website for more information to ensure your donation packs the maximum punch this Christmas.

For those of you living in  the nottingham area, we will be hosting a donation station at our office, so you can come in and get some help to make your on-line donation.

If you would like any additional information or advice on how to make your donation to the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2011, please call Jo on 0115 925 2620 or email jmathieson@cpsport.org 



15 11 2011

For once, a Cowan Global Blog which is not about strategy!

Nottingham based events company Sapphire Events are holding their annual Winter Wonderland Charity Ball on 25th November and it promises to be a fantastic event. In support of the Alzheimer’s Society and Marie Curie Cancer Care, it promises to be a fantastic night.

Due to a prior commitment, I can’t make it but thoroughly recommend the Winter Wonderland Charity Ball as it will be a fantastic night out and supports two great causes.

(Click on the pictures to expand them or to print them out)

While Cowan Global are not involved in organising the Winter Wonderland Charity Ball we have no hesitation in recommending this and all events staged by Sapphire Events.

If you do make it, have a great time!

Jim Cowan, Cowan Global Limited, November 2011

Read more blogs by Jim Cowan


Twitter @cowanglobal



11 06 2011

It seems barely a week goes by without another ‘business event of the year’ being shouted about before disappearing into a sea of sameness. If you are like me, I’m sure you find it  gets a little difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff.

The danger this presents is that when a new event comes along which really is ground breaking your business might miss it.

Business Prehab 2011 promises to be just such a ground breaking event. Read on to find out more…..

Once in a while, a new event comes along which breaks new ground. Business Prehab 2011 promises to be just such an event.

The concept is a simple one, that of ‘Prehabilitation’, which is taken from the world of sport. But what is Prehabilitation?

In elite sport injury used to be considered a necessary evil, an unavoidable part of pushing the limits without breaking them. When the performer did, injury resulted in the inevitable down-time, rehabilitation and time spent regaining fitness. To an extent, injury still is an unfortunate by-product of training for elite sport however not to the extent it used to be.

Over the last decade leading coaches have looked closely at what measures could be employed in the preparation of sports people which would
reduce the risk of injury thereby opening the door to more consistent, higher quality training and the resulting improvement in performance. The search has been all-encompassing and the modern-day elite performer has not just training but diet, sleep, social life, psychology and more placed under the microscope. One leading football club has even gone so far as examining the positions players sit in when driving!

This whole process of reducing the down-time needed to rehabilitate from injury has become known as Prehabilitation, or Prehab.

So; what is Business Prehab?

It is taking the concept from sport and applying it to business. It is looking now at what can and should be done to avoid problems later. It is
checking the early, often invisible signs, of a sick or merely underperforming business and taking prompt action to return to peak performance. It is also taking healthy companies and ensuring that not only do they stay healthy but they improve that health.

At Cowan Global we are excited by the concept and I am extremely pleased to be among the top quality speakers lined up for the event which takes place at Donington Park on 28th June.

I will be joining global leaders Lloyds TSB and Microsoft on the platform along with international law firm Gateley, leading accountancy Cooper
Parry as well as leading regional brands Octopus PR, The Alternative Board and Redline Digital.

There will be a range of clinics for delegates to attend and a Q&A session with the whole panel plus the opportunity for follow-up questions post-event.

Taking the concept of learning from elite sport further, in addition to myself* the panel will be joined by double Olympic cycling medallist Bryan
Steel who will also deliver the key-note speech.

And Business Prehab 2011 doesn’t just take from sport; it will also give back with all of the event profits going to support local sporting charities in
addition to holding a draw with some fantastic prizes for the winners.

Donington Park, the venue, has been the scene of some legendary sporting performances over the years and they will be adding to the incredible line up by holding a driver awareness talk and putting on their renowned skid pan demonstration for everyone attending. One of the prizes for our prize draw will even offer the lucky winner the opportunity to sit alongside the driver during the demonstration!

In case that little lot isn’t enough for you a buffet lunch and open networking also feature with all of the days speakers being available throughout the lunch and networking session.

Business Prehab 2011 promises to be a truly ground breaking event for businesses with aspirations of high performance.

Oh yes; before I forget, tickets to attend are only £25 and are already on sale on a first come, first served basis. To book, click on the Business Prehab 2011 logo below.

I hope to see you there!

© Jim Cowan, Cowan Global Limited, 2011


Twitter @cowanglobal


 *As well as being a corporate strategy consultant I have a long history within elite sport including coaching a world record holder and acting as a consultant to elite sporting organisations around the world as well as advising world-class events such as the Asian Games.


25 05 2010

The UK Sports Network (UKSN) is still a very young organisation (less than six months) but founder Daniel McLaren is already achieving great things with nearly 1000 members and ground breaking events in London, Preston, Ipswich and Reading suggesting the group is necessary, in demand and here to stay.

Now McLaren is bringing UKSN to Nottingham for a half day summit on social media and its uses and applications in the world of sport. Sports people and clubs are waking up to the doors which clever use of social media can open and the benefits of attending this UKSN summit will be enormous.

Such is the breadth of the business of sport that professionals from many walks of life will be attendance, the thread that unites them all being sport.

Each speaker alone is worth the price of admission (£75.00); such is the wealth of experience which will be shared. With one speaker yet to be confirmed, the others are:

Ben Thompson –  Media & Communications Manager at Macesport

Ben has played rugby for Nottingham Rugby and Exeter Chiefs in National Division One and joined Macesport as Media and Communications Manager.  He has helped successfully develop the online presence of Robbie Savage, Stan Collymore, Kate Dennison and many other Macesport clients.  His case study will be thinking behind bringing Derby County FC midfielder Robbie Savage onto Twitter and the challenges/successes that has brought.

Ed Hartigan –  Founder of Spearfish Labs

Ed is founder of Spearfish labs who help organisations use the latest emerging and social technologies to communicate better, internally and with their customers. Ed will be looking beyond the technology at why sport should embrace digital communications and how they should listen and develop a strategy before deciding on the technology to use.

Andy Barber – National Communications Officer at England Athletics

England Athletics are very active in Social Media and will be giving us an insight into why they embraced the various new media including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  A fascinating journey from first making the decision to work in the field, what challenges/fears they have faced, how they have overcome them and what work they still have left to do.

The Social Media & Sport Summit takes place at the Meadow Lane home of Notts County FC on Thursday 1st July.

For more details see the UK Sports Network here or book your place here.

WE RECOMMEND ….. Mustard Merchandise

22 05 2010

Here at Cowan Global we believe that when people exceed expectations, when companies go the extra mile, it should be recognised. But how?

Well, we’re going to run an occasional feature in this blog under the title ‘We Recommend’ featuring those who we feel have done a great job. Such a good job infact, that we recommend them to you!

Our first ‘We Recommend’ is Mustard Merchandise of Leicester.

What have Mustard done to deserve this accolade? They’ve saved our bacon and a few quid for charity along the way.

When we needed new polo shirts for the volunteers who help us to run the Scalextric Challenge in support of Help for Heroes we approached a number of companies for quotes receiving one exceptional one which we decided to pursue. Unfortunately they dragged their heels, upped the price and then told us they would not be able to deliver by our deadline.

Beth then volunteered the guys at Mustard as a team who may be our life savers. She contacted them and they agreed to pull all the stops out and produce the polo shirts for us, matching the exceptional price previously quoted by the company which let us down. They also made sure that our original deadline was met and did a brilliant, quality job into the bargain.

Our Scalextric Challenge volunteers will now be suitably kitted out thanks to the guys at Mustard. Why not check them out and see what they can do for you?

Contact Damien Davinson at Mustard.

Tel: 0116 261 6895

Mob: 07921 501388

Email: damien@mustardmerchandise.co.uk

Web: www.mustardmerchandise.co.uk

   Beth models the new Polo shirt which arrived in the nick of time thanks to Mustard.