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Working practices may have changed but we are still here to help you with positive messages and pro-active campaigns to maintain and enhance your reputation.

How companies engage with their audience is now more important than ever and even small gestures can make a big difference.

At Law of the Few we never stop looking after our clients’ interests, monitoring markets and finding positive opportunities.

During this second lock-down we are happy to meet via Zoom or Teams – or simply catch up with a phone call.

If you are reassessing your company needs and using this time to look forward please do get in touch and we will be happy to discuss how we can help.

City Life Manchester..2019

A recent article in The Guardian by architect turned critic Oliver Wainwright suggests Manchester’s skyline is akin to “something you’d see on the outer ring road of a third-tier Chinese city.”

Harsh words indeed. Or maybe not. If taken in context of where the city stands today, perhaps this is more of an indication that things are moving – fairly quickly – in the direction they need to go, rather than a criticism that stands up to scrutiny.

Despite all the investment and seemingly endless number of cranes rising from the ground, Manchester city centre still has a relatively small residential population of somewhere between 35,000 and 65,000 depending on where you draw the city’s boundary.

However, compared to 1996 – the date that most seem to agree kick-started the city’s regeneration – that is a huge number.

And, according to one of the region’s most prolific architects, Ian Simpson, the vision is for 200,000 people to one day call the city their home. Quite a leap from the 400 or so who were pottering about before the fateful day Manchester’s heart was attacked by the IRA bomb.

Further criticisms of Wainwright’s include Manchester’s perceived lack of affordable homes and the feeling that Manchester is losing its identity as tall building follows tall building with the Council putting developer profits ahead of social responsibilities.

These criticisms understandably drew harsh rebuke by leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese.

Mr Leese has pointed to the fact that Manchester’s Residential Quality Guidelines, drawn up in 2016, are the most demanding design, space and sustainability guidelines of any city in the UK.

Furthermore, he points to Manchester’s target of achieving 6,400 genuinely affordable homes by 2025, including “a good chunk” of social rented housing.

For many years Manchester has faced similar criticisms of gentrification and its new residential property not being affordable to ‘local’ people.

There is almost an underlying feeling that Manchester in some way only ‘belongs’ to those 400 people who found themselves living in the city centre back in the 1990s.

Why is it so bad that a city that which wants to compete at the world’s top table for investment wants to attract new lifeblood into its arteries?

Manchester has a track record of welcoming ‘incomers’. In the words of Mr Leese, “a diverse city made great by our openness to anybody in the world who wanted to do things here.”

Young professionals moving into city centre apartments, working to boost the region’s economy are no less ‘Manchester’ than the night time economy’s service workers who made up a large proportion of the feted 400.

Manchester has to appeal to all sections of society in order to attract the people it needs to grow. Once they have arrived, and encouraged to participate in all the city has to offer, the positive knock-on effect for the region as a whole will be significant.

Many of the new apartments are, in effect, the new workers’ homes that will help the city thrive throughout its next generations.

In my opinion, Manchester must unshackle itself from the limitations of its heritage, whilst not forgetting its history.

Only by doing so will it take the next step and move nearer the inner ring road of a truly world-class city.

Never underestimate the power of print

There was an interesting report in The Times this week which revealed many students believed that employers should not look at their Facebook accounts, even if they were in the public domain.

Less than a third of the young people surveyed thought it was their responsibility to make their social media profiles private during the recruitment process to avoid discrimination for misdemeanours or embarrassing postings. Only one in six had created new ’employer facing’ social media channels to make a better impression.

But what really stood out to us in this story was that only one of the 1000 students and recent graduates interviewed said they sent a job application by post rather than email in order to stand out.

Whilst this proves beyond any doubt we really do live in a new digital age, we think this applicant really got it right. Receiving something physical in the post, especially if some thought and creativity had gone into its production, really can make a difference. Of the thousands of job applications I have received over the years and hundreds of interviews conducted, I can still remember clearly some of the more creative, hard copy applications I’ve received. Sadly that’s not the case with all the emails.

It is also a conversation we have regularly with clients. Undoubtedly digital marketing must play a part in modern property marketing but there is clearly still a space for creative, physical direct mail. Nothing conveys quality like a well designed, well written and well produced direct mail piece.  And because fewer companies are now doing it, it can really make you stand out.


Property marketing is in our DNA

There are dozens of tried and tested messages to help sell properties. Financial incentives, furniture packages, transport links and good schools all regularly feature in property marketing.

But how about the impact on your DNA? Heard that one before? No, neither had we.

A study has found that the DNA of people in the highest socio-economic groups aged more slowly than those in the lowest.

Apparently it’s known as ‘telomere shortening’ and by middle age the most advantaged were genetically seven years younger than the most disadvantaged.

So whilst moving to a desirable area won’t, in itself, slow the ravages of time, if you can afford to do so, it’s likely you will age at a slower rate.

One thing’s for sure, it creates a whole new meaning of a regeneration scheme.