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Welcome to Oddsocks: innovative corporate communications Uncategorized « Oddsocks Corporate Blog
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  • “Oddsocks understood what we wanted and got it across for us very well.” - Keith Venebals, Derbyshire County Council

    Handling the Media

    Over recent years, we have worked with Warwickshire County Council on many topics and in many formats. But none had been quite as much fun as creating a new DVD aimed at training councillors and council employees to better handle the media.

    The DVD contains scenes using professional to create examples of best to do an interview and the perfect example of how NOT to do an interview.

    The overall product, though very amusing and entertaining, hits home the vital importance of hoe one can come across in the media and highlights techniques and tips of how best to represent yourself.

    Making Derby Work

    At the moment we are working with a local organisation called Making Derby Work who focus on the employment sector in Derby. We are collaborating with them to make a short film about the subject which aims to raise awareness of the statistics, life stories and employment opportunities for young people in Derby.

    The film has been a lot of fun to work on, the style is very akin to that of the BBC sitcom The Office, and with Andy Barrow playing the David Brent style leader it is proving to be very funny too. Throw into that mix Carrie Hill (Puck from last summer’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) playing his young apprentice and you have a bowl of comedy jelly that one cannot help but take a bite of. It is always fun filming with Oddsocks, the team of cast and crew we use are all friends so there is a camaraderie but also the very highest level of professionalism and skill. Combine these and you have a product that is not only very well made, of high impact and effectiveness but also a lot of fun to watch.

    When finished, the film will be screened locally in Derby to council officials, executives and employers to highlight the improvements being made in the area and also the effect that Making Derby Work are having in the industry.

    Communication Skills

    A major part of what we do here at Oddsocks, is provide learning tools for organisations who want to invest a bit of time, energy and resource in a specific area of their development. These opportunities excite us because of the creativity involved in the process, from meeting the client, discussing their requirements, getting together as a team here at Oddsocks and coming up with a solution and presenting back to the client. If only all our working life was focussed upon being creative, coming up with ideas, thinking around a problem… alas, an huge amount of our daily work is paperwork, processing and book keeping… the same with any business. We have had lots of exciting opportunities over the years, creating development training for, H.M. Prison Service, various P.C.T’s, many housing associations, Specsavers, Derbyshire Constabulary, Nottingham City Council, Renaissance East Midlands to name but a few, and each project has been very different. Quite often, we are called in to assist with development in an area such as: Customer care and celebrating diversity and what the issue really ‘boils down to’ is communication. One area where communication is a key factor and sadly often overlooked is in health care. To quote Robert Winston: “…we have produced generations of doctors who can’t (because of time constraints or bureaucracy) or won’t (because of the way they’ve been taught) actually communicate very well with their patients, and communication is a fantastic healer.”

    Oddsocks is now offering an Advanced Communications Skills course opportunity to G.P’s, Psychiatrists and those in business who would like to improve their negotiating skills. We have already run a successful day with a group of Doctors who were about to take their final exams in psychiatry, have a look at the page dedicated to it and see if it is something you or a colleague might find useful. The day is fun, gently challenging and very, very useful. We love running the day too, so that’s a bonus.

    Renaissance Update

    In August 2008 we were approached by Renaissance East Midlands to produce a training package that would encourage museum staff across the region to assess their processes and improve their communication skills, internally and externally. This Monday saw Elli deliver the first training session which is the culmination of a very long and progressive journey over the past two years.

    We started off by going into various museums and heritage sites and delivering the training ourselves to the staff which invloved Andy, Elli and myself sharing various communication techniques and skills and dressing in various silly wigs and costumes.

    Renaissance were so pleased with this part of the process that they then asked us to develop the workshops into a DVD package that could be used to train higher level staff to deliver the training to their colleagues. The DVD includes scenes that we used in the live workshops that were adapted for film and include Andy Barrow dressed as the tooth fairy and a French waiter and Elli Mackenzie as a Health and Safety conscious administrator in a rather fetching wig.

    This labour of love has been a hugely worthwhile project for us and Renaissance and is ongoing with more sessions planned for later in the year. To view some of the films used on the DVD please visit our portfolio page and look at “Plague Museum” and “Personality Typing”.

    Some AQA vitae! Ho!

    This month we completed a project with the examination board AQA that saw us creating a DVD of Shakespeare scenes for use in classrooms all over the country to help make the Bard more accessible to students.

    The DVD includes scenes from “Much Ado About Nothing”, “Julius Caesar”, “Twelfth Night”, “Macbeth” and “Romeo and Juliet” and we utilsed some of our archive theatre shows in the package. So, scenes from our 2003 tour of “Romeo and Juliet” and 2006’s “Twelfth Night” were used.

    The aim of the DVD was to show students the varying interpretations that can be applied to Shakespeare’s writing and we therefore had a gritty “Eastenders” style take on “Much Ado” and had Marc Antony from “Julius Caesar” as a sleezy, corrupt politician performing his funeral oration at a press conference.

    The project had to be put together fairly quickly so it was fortunate that we knew all of the scenes and plays very well in order to be able to quickly create several different interpretations.

    It was huge amounts of fun to combine our expertese in Shakespeare and film making and the project continues to be a huge success with over 4,000 of the DVDs being used in schools today. To view some of the scenes please visit our portfolio page.

    Rennaissance Staff Training DVD

    Happy New Year everyone! Hope you have all enjoyed the festivities this holiday season and are settling back in to the rigorous patterns of the working day!

    I am certainly settling back into the swing of things…one of my current and most exciting projects is for Rennaissance East Midlands and involves producing a series of videos for a training DVD. The DVD will be used an educational tool to help staff in areas such as:

    Customer Service
    Internal Communications
    Creating Raving Fans
    Raising Awareness of Customer Expectations

    This DVD will train entire workforces and will only require one person to learn how to use it thus maintaining an efficient staff training system but also adding an element of dynamism.

    The videos themselves use our trademark style of highlighting an important message while also being hilarious…today I have been editing our company director Andy Barrow to make him appear as a 1ft tall tooth fairy in a tutu, a look which actually quite suits him!

    We have combined several methods of film making to make the DVD including green screen technology, motion graphics, digital composition and HD technology. Clips of all the videos will be available for viewing on this website later this month!

    Better get back in the edit suite! Kee

    Rob Harris - Lead Guitarist for Jamiroquai

    I recently worked with Rob Harris, the lead guitarist for Jamiroquai! There is very little to report on this, I just wanted to tell someone!

    We had a fantastic day on the campus of Northampton University working with young people, helping to inspire their business ambitions. We collaborated with the uni, Rob and an artist called Mike Skidmore to provide an interactive, entertaining and inspiring day for approximately 200 youngsters from the region!

    It was great fun and Rob gave me a signed copy of Jamiroquai’s “Live in Montreux” DVD…those guys are just awesome!