Thursday, 20 October 2011

Nelson, Trafalgar and Copper Phoenix

On 21st October 2011 it is the 206th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar where Vice Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson triumphed over the combined Franco-Spanish fleet by employing his new fighting methods christened "The Nelson Touch".
He looked at existing Naval tactics and thought he could improve on them to his advantage and so simply turned his line of battle ships through 90 degrees to attack the Franco-Spanish fleet. Coming in at right angles was a brave and dangerous move, traditional naval doctrine dictated that both sides lined up against each other and traded broadsides: attacking head on meant his lead ships were exposed to enemy fire for a long time without being able to fire back.
His plan, though risky, worked - he won a great victory that made Britain the "Ruler of the Waves" until the beginning of the 20th Century. At the Battle of Jutland in 1916, over one hundred years on, Nelson's tactics were still to the forefront of the Royal Navy's battle plan.
So where does Copper Phoenix, a marketing company, fit into this scenario?
Apart from owner Tim Davies' love of history, he believes like Nelson in looking for new solutions to existing marketing scenarios, exploiting both digital and traditional means to do so. Clients of Copper Phoenix benefit from their existing or proposed marketing plans being analysed, improved upon where necessary and then implemented, either through Copper Phoenix or overseen by the company.
Tim says "Nelson's famous signal 'Engage the enemy more closely' can be taken by marketeers as a call to action. Substitute "enemy" for "client/customer" and we have  a good formula. Engaging with clients we find out what they want and need from the marketplace. Engaging with the customer builds trust and relationships, plus good customer service. It creates dialogue, understanding and ultimately relationships of great mutual benefit. The clients get awareness of their products and services out to a wider audience, the customer has greater access and empathy with the supplier."
The most famous signal at Trafalgar was "England expects that every man will do his duty" - Nelson originally wanted to signal "England confides [i.e. is confident] that every man will do his duty." But Pasco, his Flag Lieutenant, suggested that expects be substituted for confides, as the former word was in the signal book, whereas confides would have had to be spelt out letter-by-letter. Nelson agreed to the change (even though 'expects' gave a less trusting impression than 'confides'!): so, as you can see, even the best occasionally need a consultant's view!
Nelson was a great strategist, and marketing strategy is essential for any business. Without it your business is rudderless, drifting about on the commercial currents.
If you need help with designing a marketing strategy, or want a marketing "health check", Copper Phoenix is able to help out with no obligation.
Tim Davies
Digital & Tradititional Marketing

T: 07919 914512
E: tim@copperphoenix.co.uk
Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/CopperPhoenix

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Menin Gate: Looking towards Ypres (Ieper)

The Menin Gate: Looking towards Ypres (Ieper)
Originally uploaded by CopperPhoenix

The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing is a war memorial in Ypres, Belgium dedicated to the commemoration of British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are unknown. Carved on stone panels are the names of 54,896 Commonwealth soldiers who died in the Salient but whose bodies have never been identified or found. On completion of the memorial, it was discovered to be too small to contain all the names as originally planned. An arbitrary cut-off point of 15 August 1917 was chosen and the names of 34,984 UK missing after this date were inscribed on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing instead. The Menin Gate Memorial does not list the names of the missing of New Zealand and Newfoundland soldiers, who are instead honoured on separate memorials.

Following the Menin Gate Memorial opening in 1927, the citizens of Ypres wanted to express their gratitude towards those who had given their lives for Belgium's freedom. As such, every evening at 20:00, buglers from the local fire brigade close the road which passes under the Memorial and sound the Last Post. Except for the occupation by the Germans in World War II when the daily ceremony was conducted at Brookwood Military Cemetery, in Surrey, England, this ceremony has been carried on uninterrupted since 2 July 1928. On the very evening that Polish forces liberated Ypres in the Second World War, the ceremony was resumed at the Menin Gate despite the fact that heavy fighting was still taking place in other parts of the town.

The ceremony is a solemn occasion, and therefore not intended as entertainment or a tourist attraction. The buglers usually remain at the scene for a short while after the ceremony, at which point appreciation can be expressed in person; it is not considered appropriate to applaud during, or after, the ceremony.

Copper Phoenix is preparing a talk on Ypres and the battles, if you'd like to know more or book please email hello@copperphoenix.co.uk


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