Prof. Jon Fairburn

About Prof. Jon Fairburn

Professor of Sustainable Development. EU projects have been funded under INTERREG, GRUNDTVIG, FP7, ERASMUS, TRANSVERSALS

Graduating with an award and a digital marketing business

By Andrew Dobson

My MSc in Digital Marketing Management at Staffordshire University includes the module ‘Managing a Digital Marketing Project’. This normally involves working with a company to create and implement a digital marketing strategy. I asked to take a different approach to the project and decided to create my own digital marketing agency: Track Digital Marketing. This, I reasoned, would allow me to develop my marketing and web design skills and gain an income by working with small businesses in Staffordshire.

Although I had not previously studied marketing, I felt optimistic that the skills I learned on the course and my previous experience in teaching English would provide me with the background needed to excel at digital marketing. However, the business management side of the project was something that I found more daunting.

Fortunately, Be Inspired at Staffordshire University offered business support in the way of training, a business grant and a mentor. I’ll be honest, when interviewed for the scheme I was sceptical about how much help they would actually provide (apart from the business grant). However, the combination of business training from Be Inspired, project management assistance from Professor Jon Fairburn, and business startup and digital marketing advice from my mentor Matt Clayton (owner of Build A UK Business) has been hugely beneficial.

After the initial setup of Track Digital Marketing I was ready for small businesses to queue up and bombard my email address with pleads for me to help them market themselves online. However, it only just occurred to me that my competition was vastly experienced at online marketing and probably had teams of experts in every digital marketing field. Whilst my knowledge and practical experience gleaned from the course made me an all-round professional marketer, I could not compete with huge established companies for the top Google searches. This left me with targeting a particular niche (small businesses in Staffordshire) and old-fashioned networking.

Luckily, I found that business owners (now including myself) love nothing more than telling everyone within a half-mile radius about their business. This is how Brereton Timber and I found each other: a good ol’ chin wag over a garden fence. To be more specific, a fence panel supplied and fitted by Edward Taylor from Brereton Timber.

A happy customer

A happy customer

Edward and business partner Craig Wardle had an expanding fence supplying and fitting business –  amongst a variety of other services. However, their old website did not reflect their current success, and their marketing consisted mainly of a 13ft wooden bear with ‘Brereton Timber’ plastered on it.

After discussing Craig and Edward’s digital marketing options and painstakingly explaining ‘long-tail keywords’, we agreed to complete the following:

  • An internal digital marketing and website audit.
  • Competitive research into the marketing activities of their main competitors, both regional and national.
  • Customer research and marketing preferences.
  • A comprehensive search engine and mobile optimised e-commerce website.
  • Keyword research and content marketing to bring customers in and guide them towards sales.

Although we are still in the process of designing the website and creating content, since we started working Brereton Timber’s online sales for July are higher than the rest of the year combined. The new website has a professional image befitting their professional work, has improved search engine rankings, and perhaps most importantly is customer-friendly.

Craig and Edward have expressed their gratitude in their own way (by promising me a free Christmas Tree in December) and had this to say: “Honestly, we can’t believe the change Track Digital Marketing has made to our business. Customers are always saying how good the website looks and we know that Andy is available anytime we have a query or want to change something on our website.” Despite their online success, Brereton Timber refuses to capture the Brereton Bear who continues to terrorise locals on the A50 between Holmes Chapel and Brereton.

Andrew Dobson

Business School accounts on twitter

Main School accounts

Business School @BusinessStaffs several staff and students have access to this account, the main users are Prof Jon Fairburn and Angela Lawrence. Ranked No 1 by Edurank for Business Schools

Tourism and Events – @tourismsu Prof Jon Fairburn and students

Management Team

Dr Peter Jones @pgwjones_dr Dean and ‘selfie king’

Rachel Gowers @rggowers   Associate Dean Recruitment and e-sports

Alison Maguire @AMAG45   Head of Department- Accounting, Finance and Economics

Dr Vish  Maheshwari @DrVish_M Head of Business, Management and Marketing

Academics

Tony Bickley – @tonybickley    Accounting  and #parlez-vous digital

Prof Rune By @Prof_RuneTBy Organisational Behaviour & Change Leadership

Isabel Clarke @theisabelclarke Events management

Dr Nurdilek Dalziel @NurdilekDalziel Digital marketing

Paul Dobson @PaulDobsonuk Digital marketing, entrepreneurship, SMEs, social enterprises

Dr Jana Fiserova @DrJanaFiserova Economics, DBA and European partnerships

Dr Andy Hanks @ajhanks_dr  HRM, CIPD, trade unions

Dr Andy Hirst @AndyHirst1956 International Business, Supply Chain Management, Risk Mgt Project Mgt, Strategy and Leadership

Dr Mehtap Hisarciklilar @MHisarciklilar  Economics, PhD enquiries

Dr John Hudson @brucie_rooster  Employee well being

Dr Andras Kenez @Andras_Kenez  Marketing

Angela Lawrence @IteroAnge  Apprenticeships and marketing

Dr Tolu Olarewaju @ToluOlarewaju Economics

Karl McCormack –  @KMcCormackSU Accounting

Bharati Singh @BharatiCSingh Strategy and banking

Carol Southall @cdesouthall  Tourism and Events Management

Hazel Squires – @HazelSquire Under-graduate Business Management Award Leader, Small Business Charter and Silverworkers project

Mark Wordley @markwordleyUK Accounting and finance, work placements and SMEs

Courses

MSc Digital Marketing Management  @MScDigStaffs

Projects

EU project @Silverworkers 

EU project  EUFORIA @XKeuforia

Webinar: Practical Training For Sustainable Tourism: Hints and Tips – SMARTOUR

21th Sept Tuesday, 2:00 pm (GMT)

Registration form:
http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=ED51D782834839 

The 2017 International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development is a call for action for all the stakeholders of the tourism value chain.

The “Practical Training for Sustainable Tourism” webinar will provide practical knowledge and tools to implement sustainable actions at business level and will support professionals and SMEs in defining a sustainable operational model.

The webinar will introduce 10 training modules that the SMARTOUR Project has designed  on key sustainable topics: Accessibility, Sustainable Supply Chains, Sustainable Food and drink tourism, Social media and marketing, Seasonality, Quality, Training, EU Quality Principles, Energy Controls, Interpreting Energy Bills, Indoor Air Quality.

A particular focus will be given to the module: Sustainable Food and drink tourism.

We suggest to register to the SMARTOUR platform before attending the webinar: smartour.dcnet.eu  

Duration: 40 min presentation, 20 min debate

Speaker: Jon Fairburn, Professor of Sustainable Development, Staffordshire University Business School

Facilitator: Silvia Barbone, Sustainable Tourism International Expert and PM4SD Author

Registration form:
http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=ED51D782834839    

Useful links

Project website – http://www.smartourproject.eu/

Twitter @tourismsu   #SMARTOUR

Facebook page -Sustainable Tourism in Europe https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject 

SMARTOUR logo

Free online training tourism tool now available – SMARTOUR

Thinking about going into the tourism industry ? Or maybe you work there already but have never had training?

We have a free online tool to help you develop. It was developed by and with the tourism industry – here is the list of topics available:

  • Accessibility – what is the scope and potential of this growing market for those with access needs?
  • Sustainable Supply Chains – what are the actions needed to get the most from your local supply chain?
  • Sustainable Food and drink tourism – how important is food and drink for the tourist offer? and what simple low cost actions can you take
  • Social media and marketing – developing your markets and guidance on social media
  • Seasonality – developing a plan for seasonality
  • Quality – what is service quality and how does it link to the visitor experience?
  • Training – planning and thinking about training for staff
  • EU Quality Principles – a simple and practical guide to EU Quality principles
  • Energy Controls – why you need to control energy
  • Interpreting Energy Bills – looking at energy bills and saving money
  • Indoor Air Quality – what affects customer comfort in rooms?

Each unit last between 30 mins and 1 hour – a simple test is available at the end of each module.

The tool can be found here smartour.dcnet.eu

and here is some guidance on the registration process to get started. Fill this out correctly and the tool will generate a certificate you can print out (depending on your results).

SMARTOUR Online Training Tool ppt 

Useful links

Project website – http://www.smartourproject.eu/

Twitter @tourismsu   #SMARTOUR

Facebook page -Sustainable Tourism in Europe https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject 

SMARTOUR logo

19 great events for Autumn 2017

There’s always lots going on in the region, music, comedy, food and drink festivals. Here’s my personal pick

September

October

November

December

Keep up to date with events by following our twitter feed @tourismsu

You might like our guide to Key visitor information and recommended markets

Details of our Tourism and Events courses are here 

jon.fairburn@staffs.ac.uk  01782 294094

 

Key visitor information and recommended markets

If you are studying or living in Stoke on Trent  here are the key information sources for whats on and where to visit

Our twitter feed for all things tourism and events @tourismsu 

Visit Stoke and on twitter @VisitStoke

Visit Newcastle under Lyme on twitter @NewcastleTC they also have an app

Enjoy Staffordshire on twitter @EnjoyStaffs

Visit Peak District on twitter @Visit Peak District and has an app available

Visit Cheshire on twitter @Visit Cheshire 

There’s lots of farmers and artisan markets in the region – here’s four of the best

Stone – first Saturday of every month – very popular and great food, plus great places in the town to eat as well . You can get the train from Stoke in 5 mins or cycle/walk along the canal there.

Nantwich – last Saturday of every month in the town square – again good produce, nice independent shops in the town

Leek – Sunday supplement in the town centre– arts and crafts and food, first Sunday of every month

Rode Hall – first Saturday of every month

Details of our Tourism and Events courses here

Erasmus International Staff Week – 13th to 17th Nov 2017- Employability, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

For the week of  13th to 17th November 2017 Staffordshire University cordially invites, to our Stoke-on-Trent Campus, academic/teaching and professional staff from our International Partners with special interests in the following:

  • career services and entrepreneurship in Higher Education with emphasis on employability skills for students,
  • how Erasmus+ mobility impacts on employability and
  • professional development for staff gaining new perspectives on supporting students in the job market.

This year our international week will coincide with Staffordshire University’s CareersFest and Global Enterprise Week #GEW2017 – an annual, week long careers, employability and entrepreneurial festival, designed to ensure our students are future fit for their chosen career.

During this period the campus is transformed into a career-focussed festival, buzzing with jobs fairs, seminars, networking events and workshops.

We hope you can join us at this time, to engage with the activities, network and form alliances with colleagues, share best practices, judge competitions, run workshops, and see what Staffordshire University can offer.

Please register by completing the form on this link Erasmus Training Programme Application Form (004)

The accepted participants can book their accommodation in any hotel of their choice located close by. More detailed information of special rates and recommendations will be given directly to the participants via email.

NB! Do not book hotels or flights before your participation has been confirmed!

The participants are expected to cover their travel, accommodation and daily allowance expenses independently from their own funds, e.g. Erasmus+ staff mobility or other funds.

Organisers Wendy Pollard and Prof Jon Fairburn

Wendy Pollard – Erasmus Coordinator

Institute for Research and Knowledge Exchange

+44 (0) 1785 353404

erasmus@staffs.ac.uk 

Prof Jon Fairburn, Business School

+44 (0) 1782 294094

jon.fairburn@staffs.ac.uk 

Funded by the ERASMUS + PROGRAMME

Training and the hospitality industry – don’t get left on the platform !

The UK hospitality industry contributed an estimated £57 billion to UK GDP in 2014’ (BHA 2015) and still, in my opinion, we can’t seem to be able to train our employees. Is training too expensive, does it take too much time or is it due to our industry’s high staff turnover. When an employee is recruited and gets their ticket isn’t that a guarantee to training?

I was working behind a bar once and I asked an employee to cut a lemon (I was making a gin and tonic). The employee came back and had literally cut the lemon in half! Lesson learnt – communicate precisely and don’t assume that they know what you know! Just because someone is on the train it doesn’t mean they know where they’re going. All employees need training; it makes them feel part valued and part of a team and in turn we’re getting the best out of them. Investing in someone could mean a simple five minute lesson on till procedures or a full day of health and safety.

I often compare the hospitality industry to the music industry. Many people think they can sing- but how many can actually sell records? Many people think they can work in our industry but how many people can be motivated and passionate about their customers and team during the first hour and the 13th hour of a shift? Employees are predominately practical people and this is why on the job training works. Training should be a continuous activity throughout an employee’s journey. Training on the job is about observing others and doing, it doesn’t always have to be formal and structured.

Our service industries are essential; not only to the economy but also to communities, commercial business and relationships! We create opportunities for people to dress up, meet up, relax and enjoy whether it’s latte or lobster! Each service is unique and our employees create that uniqueness to achieve a stand-alone experience that someone will keep coming back for. But we can’t create those experiences without truly investing in our people.

Training is just like being on a busy train – once you have your ticket you have to fight your way to the front to get trained and a seat. You know the journey is going to be long- so let’s make it comfortable. It doesn’t matter if your train isn’t on the fastest or direct route what matters is that you’re heading for the right destination!

train picture

By Tonia Barrett

UPDATE – The SMARTOUR Tool is now online and covers this topic if you want to learn more 

If you are interested in training issues as a manager or want some training yourself then sign up to our FREE half day event on 17th May at Staffordshire University

Reference -The British Hospitality Association (2015) The Economic contribution of the UK hospitality industry. A report prepared by Oxford Economics for the British Hospitality Association. [Online]

Useful links

Project website – http://www.smartourproject.eu/

Twitter @tourismsu   #SMARTOUR

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject/

SMARTOUR logo

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Pottery Places in the heart of England by Kelly Jansen (Final year student)

 

Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire is the capital of Potteries in the UK. Stoke on Trent is the home of several international household names such as Emma Bridgewater, Wedgewood, Middleport Pottery (home to Burleigh Pottery) and Royal Stafford who all produce china and earthenware. Famously, these pottery places attract tourists to Stoke to visit the brand they know and love.

I was eager to learn about the different visitors and their reasons for wanting to come to Stoke on Trent, so I carried a Visitor Survey at Emma Bridgewater on behalf of their Marketing Team, as primary research for my dissertation.

One of my findings was that for 60% of visitor’s at the factory, the main reason for visiting Stoke on Trent was the Emma Bridgewater site. So how has it become a destination venue?

There are plenty of things to do whilst at the Emma Bridgewater Factory, although they get really busy so where possible, I recommend booking the activity prior to arriving.

Activities available include:

The Decorating Studio – Pick your choice of item to decorate (from a mug to a dog bowl). The price of your decorating experience is dependent on the piece you choose to paint and a £2.95 studio fee. You can either collect your master piece 2 weeks later or pay a £5 postage fee.

In the decorating studio

Factory Tours – Tours around the factory to see how everything is made for a small price of £2.50 and Under 16’s are FREE.

Experience Days – Includes a behind the scenes tour, Afternoon tea, a session in the decorating studio and it includes 10% off at the gift shop. All for £30 per person!

Afternoon Tea – A great price of just £12.50 for amazing sandwiches, soups and beautiful cakes.

Café – Great homemade food that was fresh (I would recommend the Pesto chicken sandwich). The café is open to the general public, so you don’t have to be taking part in any activities, you can just enjoy the daily specials.

Secret Garden – It’s a secret… you’ll have to visit and find out yourself.

Special Event activities – for example at Halloween they had Owls, a pumpkin counting competition and fancy dress. More detail for further upcoming events available on their website – http://emmabridgewaterfactory.co.uk/

Another bonus is the factory offer FREE parking and great transport links for example it is a 10-minute walk from Stoke train station and a 2-minute walk from Hanley bus station.

Factory Website – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

Kelly Jansen is in her final year of BA Tourism Management she tweets at @KellyJansen95 and is on Linkedin 

Kelly Jansen and Danielle Barnsley

Kelly Jansen and Danielle Barnsley on site at Emma Bridgewater

 

Event – Tourism Management the ‘Smart’ Way 17th May

SMARTOUR logo

UPDATE – The SMARTOUR Tool is now online ! 

 

Do you have staff that would benefit from some training? Maybe you would like to develop some knowledge in a new area such as social media or service quality? Would you like to strengthen your links in your region?

We carried out an international survey with managers and staff in the tourism industry to identify the topics that the tourism industry wanted to produce a set of learning materials, workshops and an online training tool. On the day, we will also demonstrate the online tool that has been developed so that after the event you or your staff can do the training at a time that is suitable for you.

Come along to this FREE event to network, update your skills and learn about future opportunities.

Venue: Ashley Building, Staffordshire University, Leek Road, Stoke on Trent, ST4 2DF

Schedule

9.00 Registration (teas and coffees) LT111/3

9.30 Introduction and welcome Prof Jon Fairburn

9.50 – 11.00 Workshops

Workshop 1 –– Managing service quality in tourism – Carol Southall and Tonia Barrett LT14

Workshop 2 – Saving money on your energy costs – Neil Packer LT 111/113

Workshop 3 – SMARTOUR Online learning tool – Prof Jon Fairburn and Tom Ward LT 12

Workshop 4 – Food for thought – Tom Pridmore LT11

11.00 – 11.15 Time to register for online tool or network

11.15  Promoting and sustaining your business with Ron Lawrence owner of Colton House, Lichfield and Gillian Thomson from the Green Tourism Awards LT111/113

12.15 Lunch LT111/113 and LT 115 if needed

1.00 Close

Please register on the link https://smartour.eventbrite.co.uk if you have any queries about registration please contact Tom Ward t.ward@staffs.ac.uk or 01782 294902

About the presenters

Ron and Gay Lawrence have won many tourism awards including Green Tourism Gold Awards and Gold Tourism Awards from Enjoy Staffordshire and Visit England. Colton House is a luxury 5* Gold rated B&B, with awards for breakfasts and dinners from VE and the AA. Colton House is the highest rated accommodation provider in Staffordshire, with the facilities of a boutique country house hotel. www.coltonhouse.com  Tel: 01889578580

Prof Jon Fairburn leads the SMARTOUR project, teaches on the MSc Digital Marketing Management and runs the No1 twitter account for Business Schools in the world (according to Edurank) @BusinessStaffs

Carol Southall is a senior lecturer and the Award Leader for Tourism Management courses at the University she has also worked extensively in the tourism industry over the last 20 years. @cdesouthall

Tonya Barrett has previously worked in the tourism and hospitality industry and current lectures at Staffordshire University

Neil Packer is a Senior Lecturer in Engineering he has previously worked in the private sector and public sector on energy issues before joining the University.

Tom Pridmore has worked in the tourism industry for over 30 years. He is currently a Ribble Valley Tourism Officer and a director of TEAP Associates and a leading member of the Tourism Management Institute 

If you are a member of a professional organisation then attendance should count as 4 hours CPD accreditation (more details to follow soon)

Useful links

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