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Geoff Harrison

Over the last 6 months I have been working on a small documentary project with Geoff Harrison called Me – Complete – You.

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The Relaunch of the Factory Media Website

Factory_Media_Site

For the first half of 2013 I have been focused on working with a small team to redevelop the Factory Media website. The goal was to create a new site that describes the wealth of action sports experience within the company, as well as illustrating the enormous brand heritage we have. We also wanted give the new site some company personality and highlight what Factory Media stands for; creativity, great brands, talented teams, ambition and determination.

The company has developed a lot since it’s formation and I have been lucky enough to be involved with expanding the number of brands both on and offline, through acquisitions, new launches and innovative product development. We have managed this whilst remaining true to our core values to the sports, with passionate teams who have the most knowledge about their sports and who are truly committed to their markets.

The final site is the perfect platform to tell people more about our Company, our staff, our brands, our culture and our depth of experience. The site is also designed to help internal communication, as well as being a platform to help support our next stage of growth.

Already the site has won a number of Design awards including the CSS Design Awards, as well as being well received by the industry.

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2012 Media Pioneer Awards

MediaPioneerShortlist-(1)

It’s nice when some of your hard work get’s noticed. It’s not the reason why we do the things we do, but being recognised is always unforeseen boon! This year I have been quietly labouring away on a new section of Mpora, called Mpora | Gear. The idea was to build a product comparison site for the action sports market. If I had only known what I know now! I may never to started in the first place.

From a technical perspective I think it is the most complex projects we have ever undertaken. The data project alone, took longer than to build and redesigning some of our sites two or three times. The complexity comes with taking multiple data feeds from over 16 networks, each with on average 2o odd retailers. Each data set is different, no SKUs, that would be too easy, add in IP targeting, matching products, and multi-currency and you’ve got yourself a monolith of a project.

I can say that now, because we launched Mpora | Gear on 6th October 2011. There’s still a couple thousand refinements to make, more categories to roll out, and new sports to include, but we did get the project over the line. And before you think of asking, yes it was late!

But I was more surprised than anything else that someone had noticed it, and actually liked it. When I received a call from the Specialist Media Show saying that they had shortlisted us for the Media Pioneer Awards 2012, I was amazed! We had intentionally soft launched the site, because we wanted to gauge the reaction of advertisers and users like. The feedback so far has generally been good, but we are working on ways to support independent retailers more within the site. They are the lifeblood of our sports, so we need them as much if not more, than they need us.

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Factory Apps Launched on Newsstand

Newsstand Sidewalk

It’s was a busy couple of weeks getting all our apps ready to launch on Apple’s new Newsstand platform. There were lots of close calls, and just when I thought I had finished, Friday night at about 10pm I got a call from Apple marketing UK.

Could we provide assets for three of our titles to be part of the Apple launch campaign in the UK and potentially the US? Er, let me think about that… Hell yes! So I started making calls from the bar in Soho I was sitting in at that point. By twelve noon the next day, the lovely woman at Apple marketing was in possession of logos, the last three covers and some hastily designed banners for Sidewalk, Dirt & Kingpin. It’s not easy persuading magazine designers to give up their weekends for marketing tasks, but I think, in this case it was worth it.

The net result is that in the first seven days of the launch of Newsstand, a little hard work and some Apple love meant that we had over 300,000 App downloads. Our app provider’s servers almost when down on a number of occasions and they got a call from their hosting company to say that they thought they’d been hacked because of the volume of traffic. It has been a great success for us, and I think even the most sceptical critics in the company now have to concede that App publishing is a viable business model for Factory.

The moral of the story, “Never underestimate the power of the Apple marketing machine!” My ITC app still isn’t showing any signs of levelling off.

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Factory Media Shortlisted for AOP Digital Publisher of the Year 2010

AOP_2010

I am delighted to announce that Factory Media has been nominated for the AOP’s Digital Publisher of the Year, Consumer. Having put together the entry, it is a great privilege to be nominated along side some of the UK media giants, such as; BBC Worldwide, Guardian News and Media, ITV and the Telegraph Media Group. It’s a great credit to our small team that we managed to be shortlisted, and we are all  looking forward to the gala evening at The Roudhouse. To get the full shortlists in all the categories, read more at the Press Gazette.

 

 

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