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Meet the team – Ellen

Ellen Ridsdale

What ideas do you have for Transform Communications?

Transform Communications is the most ambitious agency I’ve ever worked for. I hope to see us grow to be one of the most renowned agencies in the South West in the future.

What three things should we know about you?

  1. I signed up to run the 2020 Bristol 10k for Women’s Aid as my first road running race. Then the pandemic happened. Nonetheless, I still ran 10k around Clifton Downs in Bristol during the first lockdown and ended up raising over £500 for a great charity!
  2. I have a Level 1 Award in Wines qualification from the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) from my first job in marketing with a fine wine investment firm. Who knew that a day out learning about and tasting wine could class as a professional activity?
  3. I make the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

What is your favourite thing to do for fun?

Pre-pandemic, I loved to dance the night away with friends on a night out or have games nights. Nowadays, my fun mostly takes the form of a mixture of running, yoga and long muddy walks.

clifton suspension bridge and a cow field

In one word, what is your ideal workplace culture?

Dog-friendly.

Joking! Definitely “supportive”. I’ve worked remotely with Transform since I joined back in September and yet the environment has been incredibly supportive, friendly, and warm. I can’t wait to get back into an office environment where I can experience these things in person (bonus points as it’s dog friendly…).

Are there any brands that you love for their brilliant tone of voice?

I feel like many marketing professionals would say the same, but Innocent drinks. I think they were one of the first to introduce a more casual, informal way of communications within both B2C and B2B. Following them on LinkedIn is an absolute joy; a mixture of puns, witty wordsmithery and great video content. A highlight was following their Super Smoothie rebranding debacle in which apparently public response to their rebrand (a design including dreaded Comic Sans) was so outrageous that they had to re-rebrand. And then re-re-rebrand. They finally settled on a Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Rebrand, which essentially circled back to the original design. A genius way of driving hype and consistent interest in a rebrand that, whilst initially impressive, may have had its time in the spotlight and consumer interest would have moved on.

Their job ads are even funnier. Rather than including technical language and snippets of actual job descriptions, they use short and snappy captions normally containing a joke or two to grab the scroller’s attention. A job advert for a “packaging technologist”? They’re looking for someone “with the ability to (literally) shape the future of [their] drinks”. Genius.

They have over 110,000 followers on LinkedIn. And for good reason. They are role models on how consumer brands can do corporate communications.

Innocent smoothies rerere brand

What are some of your favourite current trends in content marketing?

I have a few different favourite trends. When planning and writing content for clients at Transform, we make sure that we focus on maximising our content exposure and on being very SEO-led for our online content.

The former is a great strategy for both us and the client. It provides value for money, rather than writing multiple campaigns, and helps us get as much reach and awareness as possible for the content. For example, writing a White Paper on a subject, which can then be turned into a series of blogs, which can then be turned into infographics for social media. All the while promoting the original White Paper.

SEO is a huge trend in content marketing. It’s not a new one but the consistent Google algorithm updates mean that brands need to be constantly evaluating their content to see if it’s ranking highly on Google and driving traffic to their site. It’s important to always pick a keyword to plan your content piece around, but one that doesn’t have an excessively high search volume. Your chances of ranking are higher if you choose a more niche keyword. While SEO is seen as a very technical process, it’s actually surprising human. One of the SEO metrics that Google accounts for is “readability”, i.e. writing like a human. If you’re too robotic, your audience might not resonant with it and may click off from your content.

My personal favourite that’s more in the B2C realm is the increase in community groups. I’ve joined a number of Facebook groups in the last year all centred around my hobbies. It’s a lovely way to find others who are interested in the same things as you and, from a consumer perspective, I take any and all product recommendations as more authentic. As other real humans are recommending them!

What attracted you to working in PR and communications?

PR and communications has always been a fascinating industry for me. My mum works in production and advertising so, growing up, I’d get to see her working on big projects and commercials. Telling stories on behalf of the client. I found it fascinating. I even got to see pre-release cuts of Christmas ads and our dog was used as a model for a reindeer a few years ago!

dog with reindeer ears

Doing an English and French degree at university and being a voracious reader, I’ve always been interested in telling stories and shaping narratives. Trying to understand and create subliminal messages and symbolism. I was aiming to be a journalist whilst at university but then learnt that marketing and PR would also mean I could help project manage campaigns and be involved in not only writing content but strategising it too. This is possibly my favourite aspect of my job.

PR and communications is just that for me. A perfect combination of storytelling and strategising.

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