Royal Ascot book & what we do to keep you informed

June 3rd, 2016 | Rebecca's Spotlight

After many years speaking to clients I often get asked how we work together.

Despite Marten and I living in the same town we actually work from seperate offices which may surprise some people.

The truth is that Marten is a writer and needs his own space. I am noisy to work with! I take deliveries of parcels, I play music the majority of the time and on top of that I sing and dance when it’s late and I am motivating myself.

Clients ring a lot which is nice but it means more often than not a phone is ringing which can be intrusive if Marten is trying to write a book.

Here’s some insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

Marten starts his day popping into town to collect the papers. I start my day walking to work with my dog. I then get down to checking emails and opening the post. I tend not to speak to Marten in a morning – to be honest I never think of contacting him prior to noon as it’s his time to prepare and record his phone lines and send the daily emails and text messages.

If it’s a day when we record a podcast I schedule a time to go to Marten’s office where we sit and chat for a few minutes. Quite often I have my son with me who edits the podcasts to earn pocket money. Truth be told he takes it very seriously and gets frustrated by my relaxed style and says my laugh sounds fake despite the fact it isn’t. Marten runs through what he would like to talk about and I make some notes. Occasionly I like to add my own question that he doesn’t know about which he likes as well. It doesn’t take long to do a podcast – maybe around half an hour in all. I then go back to my office where we edit and upload it to both Soundcloud and our website. Once uploaded I start sharing it on the various social media sites.

Marten records all the racing and watches as much of it when it’s live as possible. He has three televisions in his office and two computers – his main one has two monitors so he can work as well as watch the markets. Jodie and Marten work together on a Thursday looking through the racing and making notes.

Tasha works with Marten once a week sorting through the newspapers and filing what needs to be kept and referencing articles for ease of use for Marten.

One day a week Juliet works with me who does our book keeping – we’ve been working on a big project recently and it has taken up a lot of our time. it will be nice to get it finalised in the next couple of months. We are attempting to streamline a process which is taking too long.

At some point every week I will log on and fall out with Google! I have really struggled to bond with Google+ and am trying to get along with it. I believe that everyone should have a social media favourite that they focus a lot on but at the same time nowadays companies have to offer continuity and have something on each of the main players which in my mind are Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ We are also on Pinterest which seems an odd choice taking into account our business but it works well and I believe is interesting. Recently I have been dealing with the Google support team and I am spending far too long most days trying to resolve an issue with them. I’m hoping it gets sorted over the next week or two. Somehow I have ended up with two Google accounts and one has some Marten Julian info on and the other account has the other content. I would like one account…. You’d think this would be easy for them to solve but apparently not!

Every week I speak to some of our regular clients. Currently I am spending a while talking to a long-standing client who is experiencing a nightmare with a book maker. He won £1,000 on a new account and has been battling to get his hands on his winnings ever since! Before they would release funds they wanted proof of his ID which I understand. He sent everything they requested and it was rejected! He then sent more details and it was rejected! One crazy example was they asked for a copy of his birth certificate which he had enlarged to A3 and paid for recorded delivery. They then rejected it and said it had to be a colour copy. He went to the police to get advice who said it is illegal to request a colour copy of a birth certificate. Then they wanted six months worth of bank statements which I believe is a disgraceful thing to ask for. He got so annoyed that he told them if he didn’t receive the funds by X date he would take legal action against them. The night before the deadline guess what? They emailed to say they would release the funds. I am waiting to hear if they actually credited his bank account this week. Jodie and I are writing an article on betting stories soon so please get in touch with anything you’d like to add. Some of our clients can’t even get their small Saturday bets on which really frustrates me. I’ve had reports from clients saying they don’t buy as many of our publications anymore since there is no point as they can’t bet.

One of the roles I have which I love is planning marketing and coming up with ideas. With this in mind I have started converting what was our accounts office into a marketing office where I can stick up all my ideas and have planning boards. Apparently tidy desk tidy mind but not in my world! I love pictures, memos, notes from clients, thank you cards, marketing ideas I’ve seen and loved, pictures, cuddly toys and flowers. My office area is crammed full and I love it! I will be sharing pics of my new marketing space over the coming weeks. Here it is currently as I am part way through archiving past publications and doing a stock count. There is also a picture of the new meeting suite.

New marketing suite before work
New marketing suite before work
Chaos as archive and stock is arranged
Chaos as archive and stock is arranged

Jodie and I have done a lot of research this week and have given ourselves fizzy heads researching racing stats. Gosh it is hard – like being back at school and the hell I was in when trying to learn a new language. I love technology and utilising it to make our lives easier especially if Jodie and I can do more to ease Marten’s workload so we will keep going and studying. Already it has proved successful and when we have done something that has worked – we both squeal with excitement (Jodie being more into horses than me is the most excited).

Weekly Jodie updates the results on our publications and services which is vital to our work especially when I am preparing marketing.

Today Jodie has been busy dispatching letters to clients to let them know that they will now receive two Royal Ascot books not just one due to an idea I had. For Marten writing about Ascot is really hard due to the entry system. It means when the book goes to print he is writing without truly knowing how things stand. I spent a while thinking about things and it dawned on me that we don’t have to do just one book. Why not do two smaller ones? With this in mind I frantically ripped apart an Ascot book (harder than you’d think) testing the weight of it and what the postage would cost. I contacted our printer who came up the very sensible solution of making me some dummy books with different paper weight and cover weight so I could actually weigh a real one and be 100% Why didn’t I think of that?

Rebecca desperate to tear a book & then with solution!
Rebecca desperate to tear a book & then with solution!

Anyone who knows me will vouch for my LOVE of all stationery. I love stickers and have had these done to attach to the envelopes of the letters Jodie sent out about our Royal Ascot Book. I am not sure what lovely envelope stuffers think of always having to attach stickers but personally I think they add that little something extra! I know my lovely Lucy won’t mind – she’s a secondary school pupil who helps in holidays and weekends to earn pocket money.


Marten Julian stickers

Marten is really cramming work in this week so I haven’t hassled him too much for photos or updates for this blog. He has been working flat out on his Epsom Online Preview with the deadline fast approaching for his Royal Ascot Bulletin Book.Thankfully he does now have two extra days to write the book – this is probably the thing I am proudest of so far this year. Giving Marten extra time to work on a book while still meeting a deadline is a great feeling.

Steve and I had a couple of meetings today about new marketing plans for The Weekend Card and I have ordered the lush black envelopes to send out the marketing in. Marten and I have also ordered some lovely gifts to send to clients who order a series of 20 editions. Exciting!

Weekend Card launch date header

I have done a video of some of our day but it is having some issues uploading to our site but it will be available soon.

Thanks for stopping by.