Engaging Proof Communications was definitely an investment in me and my business – not an expense.
Cathy Brown, Founder & Director, Activ8
Cathy Brown, Founder and Director of boutique mortgage and finance practice, Activ8 Finance, is a woman on a mission. She is determined to help clients achieve their financial dreams, whether that be buying a home, building a property portfolio, or even becoming a property developer, and make a difference through education. Cathy genuinely cares – and this is what sets her apart from her peers in the highly competitive broker industry.
In just a few short months, with the support of Proof Communications, Cathy has received the sort of industry recognition she could have only dreamed of a couple of years ago:
- Winner – Best All-Round Broker in NSW and ACT 2018 (Connective Excellence Awards)
- State Finalist – Residential Finance Broker Award 2018 (MFAA Excellence Awards)
- National Finalist – Best Independent Mortgage Broker 2018 (Women in Finance Awards)
- National Finalist – ANZ Brokerage of the Year (1-5 staff) + FBAA Broker of the Year – Independent (The Australian Mortgage Awards)
This incredible success is a true reflection of Cathy’s passion and hard work. ‘My motivation to enter these awards was always very personal. I’ve put my heart and soul into my business. For me, these awards symbolise all the hours I’ve put in and the sacrifices I’ve made along the way.If you’re thinking about entering an award, ask yourself what’s driving you and what you want to achieve,’ Cathy advises. ‘Then get in touch with a professional for your best chance of success.’
Cathy initially set aside a weekend to write her first award entry. ‘On Sunday evening, I had no idea what I was doing and was plagued with self-doubt,’ she says. ‘Was my business really that different? Was I even worthy of an award?
The whole experience reminded me that I’m a numbers person, not a words person. I knew I didn’t have the time or the skills necessary to put together a decent entry.’
Cathy received a few recommendations for award writers through her network, but nothing felt right. Then she stumbled upon Proof Communications and was immediately impressed.
‘After reading the testimonials and case studies, I knew Proof Communications was the company for me.
Glynis (from Proof Communications) made the process incredibly easy. She quickly understood me, my business, and my passion for making a difference and getting more women involved in the industry. She really helped me articulate my strengths.
Glynis wrote one entry on my behalf, which I was able to adapt to enter another three separate awards. There is so much value in the work she produced! Engaging Proof Communications was definitely an investment in me and my business – not an expense.’
Cathy is already benefiting from a huge profile boost as a result of this industry exposure. ‘My existing clients have all been so gracious and congratulatory. My business referrers have been amazing; they’re now introducing me as ‘the award-winning broker’ – an endorsement that has completely repositioned me in the eyes of potential clients.
I’m also getting a lot more attention from the banks and media trade journals, who now see me as a thought leader. Again and again I’m being asked for my expert opinion on the challenges facing the industry. I’ve also been invited to participate in roundtable discussions with other industry leaders and specialists on topics I’m truly passionate about, such as opportunities for women in finance.
Entering these awards has definitely opened up doors for me. I only wish I’d done it sooner.’
The building industry is ridiculously competitive….Proof Communications gave us the edge we needed to stand out in a crowded market…They are excellent at what they do.
Daniel Logue, General Manager, Fairmont Homes NSW
Sydney-based Fairmont Homes takes great pride in the quality project homes it builds and the industry recognition it receives for the team’s hard work and strong customer focus.
‘The building energy is ridiculously competitive,’ says General Manager Daniel Logue. ‘For a family owned and operated business like Fairmont Homes, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) industry awards represent a real opportunity to stand out from the crowd.’
In 2018, Fairmont Homes entered the awards for the third time, determined to make an impression.
‘We were selected as a finalist in 2016, but didn’t make the cut in 2017. This year, we wanted to put our best foot forward.
I did some research and learned that Proof Communications writes submissions for other award-winning builders we respect and admire, but don’t compete with directly. This helped me make my decision.’
Daniel admits that putting together an award-winning entry is not easy. ‘We’re builders, which means we know the ins and outs of building. When it comes to entering an award, we wouldn’t have the first clue. We have the answers to all the questions, but putting our thoughts into words is a big struggle for us. Proof Communications really helped us out with that.
‘They also put forward ideas we never would have considered. The end product resembled a coffee table book – it was so impressive.
When I look back now on our previous entries and compare them with the entry Proof Communications put together, they are like chalk and cheese.’
And the outcome? Daniel and the team at Fairmont Homes received the recognition they deserved; they were thrilled to be awarded Winner – 2018 HIA NSW Professional Medium Builder / Renovator of the Year.
‘It was an absolute breeze working with everyone at Proof Communications,’ says Daniel. Every part of the process was seamless, easy and well-scheduled. We’ll definitely be using Proof Communications for next year’s entry. They are excellent at what they do.’
Proof Communications has absolutely helped us nail our strategy from a content marketing perspective. Whenever something comes up that involves communicating in the written form, the only company I’d consider going to is Proof Communications.
John McVicker, Founder and Managing Director, Best Technology Services
Best Technology Services
Standing out from the crowd can be a challenge – particularly in the highly competitive field services industry. For Best Technology Services (Best TS), compelling content that clearly demonstrates knowledge and expertise has proven to be a key differentiator.
‘Our industry is all about trust,’ says Founder and Managing Director, John McVicker. ‘We work for vendors of technology solutions, installing and repairing a whole range of devices, from desktops and laptops to wi-fi hotspots in fast food chains and point of sale systems for the large supermarkets. These vendors need to trust that we know what we’re doing and will do a good job on their behalf.’
The Best TS content marketing strategy is all about building this trust through thought leadership and expert opinion pieces. Every six to eight weeks, the company engages Proof Communications to write articles that consistently add value and open doors for new business opportunities.
‘This content has become critical to our business development strategy,’ explains John.
‘Rosemary (from Proof Communications) has such a great writing style. She takes my jumbled thoughts and crafts these beautiful articles that are always very well-received. The articles do exactly the job we need them to do; soon after each article is published, at least one/two people want to talk business with us.
Proof Communications plays an invaluable role: translating what’s in my head into something that people want to read and find of real value.
We now have an online archive of concise, well-written articles that speak to the quality of our business and our knowledge.
On top of this, Proof Communications has also written the copy for our website, as well as a number of award entries on our behalf. We’ve been named a finalist each and every time, and this all comes down to the quality of the submission.’
For Best TS, the results that Proof Communications delivers are tangible. ‘We’ve got a really good presence in the marketplace now. We’re known as experts at what we do, and clients appreciate the way we share our knowledge,’ says John.
‘Proof Communications has absolutely helped us nail our strategy from a content marketing perspective. Whenever something comes up that involves communicating in the written form, the only company I’d consider going to is Proof Communications.’
The team at Proof Communications stepped in when we needed them and did such a good job at filling a gap in our internal communications team that we’ve continued to work with them to this day.
Shauna Milani, Design Manager, SCIA
For Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA), delivering compelling, informative content that has the power to engage people with spinal cord injury (SCI) is crucial when it comes to communicating with its members.
SCIA is run for and by people with SCI. The organisation works tirelessly to break down barriers for people with SCI by providing a broad range of services, from exercise therapy and employment services to help with navigating the NDS and peer support services for newly injured people.
Proof Communications has been supporting SCIA will its official quarterly journal, Accord, since 2016, when Proof Communications first offered to provide SCIA with pro bono proofreading services.
It wasn’t long before SCIA engaged Proof Communications to help with sub-editing and writing magazine articles from scratch, during a critical time when its communications team was understaffed.
‘The team at Proof Communications stepped in when we needed them. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to continue with the magazine at the same level during that period,’ explains SCIA Design Manager, Shauna Milani.
‘They did such a good job at filling a gap in our internal communications team that we’ve continued to work with them to this day – even with staff levels back on track.’
Being able to quickly adapt to the tone, voice and style of an already established magazine has been very important to SCIA.
‘We are providing advice and information to people within the physical disability sector and people with SCI. We are sharing stories to help combat feelings of isolation and build connections. Language is therefore really important,’ reiterates Shauna.
‘Glynis (from Proof Communications) has been really successful at not only adapting to the tone and style of the magazine, but also improving it in terms of content ideas,’ says Shauna. ‘She has fit seamlessly into our team. In fact, it’s like she’s one of the team.’
It's the collaborative way Proof Communications approaches tender writing that I enjoy the most.
Louise Hughes, Director, TRANSITION
TRANSITION knew they were on to a good thing when their tender response was described as flawless by the evaluator.
It was the first time Proof Communications had assisted this Sydney-based relocation consultancy with their tender writing. Since then, TRANSITION has called on Proof for help with several tender submissions.
“The evaluator told us there was nothing to critique about the tender response, that it was perfect”, recalls Louise Hughes, Director, TRANSITION.
The positive response confirms the value of bringing in professionals, explains Louise. “I had been writing tenders myself for many years, but I reached the point where I realised that I wasn’t getting over the line. I needed a professional to help me articulate my expertise in a way that would make my business stand out.”
As an experienced relocation planning specialist and leader in her industry, Louise has a strong sense of what her business has to offer. Proof Communications has an easy ability to take my ideas and move them up the next level, Louise says.
“I love Proof’s collaborative approach. It’s not like handing something over and hoping they’ll get it right. I know what I want to say and how to answer the questions, but I don’t know how best to word them. Proof drives the process, combining their expertise and my knowledge in the best way possible. It’s true collaboration.”
For more about TRANSITION, go to www.transitionconsultants.com.au
Proof Communications’ expert advice has helped us refine our responses to clearly communicate our brand and benefits.
Petricia Augustus, Head of Communications, Marketing and Operations, MS Research Australia.
MS Research Australia
In 2017, MS Research Australia has scooped a trifecta of awards, positioning it firmly as a leader in its field. Winning the Telstra Business Awards 2017 NSW Business of the Year and the Telstra Business Awards 2017 Australian Charity Award, and named as the Winner, The Australian Charity Awards, 2017 Outstanding Achievement.
Having previously written their award submissions in-house, this was the first time the MS Research Australia marketing team had sought professional help. “We’re a small team and we were finding it increasingly difficult to have the time to put together award submissions,” explains Petricia Augustus, Head of Communications, Marketing and Operations.
“Working with Proof Communications was an easy process. They were able to add value and be part of our team for the weeks leading up to the submissions. I was in the habit of looking at our organisation with an internal focus, so it proved really helpful to get advice from a fresh, external perspective. It enabled us to look at how we could refine our responses to clearly communicate the incredible work our organisation has done.”
A not-for-profit, MS Research Australia is dedicated to funding and fostering collaboration into multiple sclerosis (MS) research. Wins like these are an important part of raising awareness for the internationally coordinated effort to find a cure for MS.
It’s important that the organisation is recognised in this way, says Petricia. “These awards show that we are transparent in our processes, and this is an important drawcard for donors.”
“We chose Proof Communications to work with because we could see they had a high success rate with their award entries and had worked with charities before. It was important to us that our provider understand the not-for-profit sector.”
Proof Communications had the expertise we needed and choosing them meant I was working with someone who took a very genuine and personal interest in seeing Artlivemedia win.
Michelle Bourke, Founder and CEO, Artlivemedia, Winners of the 2016 New Business Award (Victoria).
The announcement of Artlivemedia as winners of the prestigious 2016 Telstra New Business Award (Victoria) is glowing testament to this dynamic digital agency’s runaway success after a mere 18 months in operation.
Founder and CEO Michelle Bourke believes that recognising when you need to bring in the professionals was a major contributing factor in creating a winning award entry.
“When you’re writing about your own company, it can be difficult to gain perspective. I had the internal knowledge, but to have another professional with a different perspective look over what I’d put together was really invaluable – making an investment in this was a very important business decision.
“I worked with a member of Proof Communications who had personal experience with winning an award, so she had insights into the process that I couldn’t have gained from anyone else. By asking ‘What would winning this award really mean to you?’, she helped me give far greater thought to the broader implications of what winning would mean, not just for my own business but as an inspiration for other businesses doing the same.”
But it’s about more than just words, according to Michelle. “It’s about taking a really strategic approach and recognising everything has its own specialty. Proof Communications had the expertise we needed and choosing them meant I was working with someone who took a very genuine and personal interest in seeing Artlivemedia win; she was like my personal awards mentor, giving me great practical advice which made all the organisation around the award really easy. When we became finalists, she took the time to take a call from me and discuss in depth the best approach to all Telstra’s questions. We simply didn’t have access to a resource like that before.”
Michelle sums up her feelings on choosing the right provider. “You have to be genuinely passionate about someone’s journey, no matter what you do. There’s nothing worse than working with a provider who simply doesn’t care; who doesn’t really get what your business is about. An authentic interest only comes from working with those who have passion – and Proof Communications has got that. In spades.”
For more about Artlivemedia, go to www.artlivemedia.com
They understand our brand and know how to talk about our solutions using the right brand voice.
Canon’s Corporate Program Manager, CBS Marketing, Canon Australia.
Proof Communications writes regular customer case studies for Canon that are well-researched, meticulously accurate and professionally executed.
Canon uses customer case studies as proof of success. Case studies are a powerful marketing tool because they give real-life examples of how Canon satisfies its customers’ needs and helps them accomplish their goals. When a potential customer reads a case study, they are more likely to believe that Canon understands their specific business requirements and can offer a successful solution.
The case studies are published on various media platforms, such as the Canon website, content hub, Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as adapted for print media. For this reason, it’s important that Proof Communications writes in a way that reflects their brand.
“There is little effort required on my behalf now because (Proof Communications) are so incredibly easy to work with.”
The thorough approach taken by Proof Communications includes first interviewing the Canon Account Manager. Why? To gain a full understanding of the solutions put in place, so that the interview with the customer can focus on the ‘results’ gained by using Canon.
It also helps Cate that Proof is able to write expertly about topics, drilling down to the most important information about why customers benefit from having their business needs fulfilled.
“I like work to be accurate and achieved without a fuss – there’s no doubt they fulfil this brief”
Proof is brilliant at getting the job done without needing too much guidance or management.
Marketing and Communications Business Partner – Infrastructure, Aurecon
Time is in short supply at busy global engineering consultancy Aurecon, which is why they turn to Proof Communications.
Proof works with Aurecon to reduce their workload, easing the pressure on the engineering teams to write award submissions, when their time is better spent achieving project deadlines.
Our ability to work successfully with minimal supervision is an essential part of our time-saving benefit for Aurecon.
“I was travelling a lot earlier this year and was very hard to contact but I felt very confident that the work I left for Proof Communications would be taken care of while I was gone,” says Shannon Gillespie, Marketing and Communications Business Partner, Aurecon.
“Proof was very quick to pick up on the engineering sector and its terminology. Our award submissions can be quite technical but Proof had no problem in pulling out the standout innovations and identifying the expertise of our projects and people.”
“The awards help position us in the market. We can win all the jobs we want but if we’re not being recognised as a leader in our field it is hard to keep winning the best projects and working with the best clients.”
It is her ability to communicate at all levels of an organisation that makes Rosemary a standout copywriter. Whether talking to an apprentice or manager, she has a way of making people feel confident that she ‘gets’ what they are saying.
Sonia Brown, Marketing Manager, Eden Brae Homes.
Eden Brae Homes
In a crowded market of home builders, it is important to Eden Brae Homes that it continues to reinforce its point of difference. One of Eden Brae’s most important business development activities is its continual success in winning the coveted HIA Professional Major Builder Award.
In the last two years, Proof Communications has compiled detailed and high quality submissions for this award that clearly articulate Eden Brae’s compelling value proposition. We have also streamlined copy for the company’s website and marketing projects, ensuring customers understand the Eden Brae competitive advantage.
“In the past we’ve had a mix of style and tone to our messaging so we needed someone to come in and create a consistent voice that could be understood by everyone,” says Sonia Brown, Marketing Manager, Eden Brae Homes.
“Rosemary does this very easily. She constantly surprises us with how quickly she picks up on our processes and ‘builder speak’ and is able to translate this into a message that is clear and easy to read.”
“On projects where other creative agencies have been involved, Rosemary understands how to match the copy to the visuals for maximum effect. She has also proved herself an expert at streamlining large volume of written material to create a universal message.”
Rosemary is absolutely worth her weight in gold. She’s been instrumental in helping me establish my reputation as being a high profile, professional and articulate speaker, rather than being branded as just that mad woman on the hill!
Natasha Cann, Founder, NM Cann, Mining Mentors and Mining Mums.
Proof Communications worked with NM Cann on various award submissions and website copy.
By working closely with NM Cann’s Founder, Natasha Cann, to continually refine her writing and public speaking performance, we put the spotlight firmly on the message, not the messenger. Our focus was for her to deliver quality presentations which combined a strong factual framework that readily and fully engage her audience.
“The industry I work in is fickle and male dominated. I needed practical help and guidance for my message to be heard.” Natasha Cann, Founder, NM Cann, Mining Mentors and Mining Mums.
“Initially, being a woman in the mining industry was often a hindrance in the typical sense, but was positively detrimental for me in terms of trying to be a trailblazer. When I didn’t get a coherent message across, it was really bad. But I put my trust in Rosemary and listened when she advised me on how to write concise, clear and powerful presentations and articles and it’s really paid off.
In fact, the response has been nothing short of amazing. I’ve been nominated for numerous awards for Women in Resources and Business, including Mining’s Woman of the Year Award, and have won two of my five category nominations for the Women in Industry Awards 2014.”
Rosemary is absolutely worth her weight in gold. She’s been instrumental in helping me establish my reputation as being a high profile, professional and articulate speaker, rather than being branded as just that mad woman on the hill!”
Proof has changed the way we present ourselves to the market. They have been instrumental to us understanding not to direct clients to what we offer, but to turn around our offer so that it outlines the benefits of doing business with us.
Brad McDougall, Managing Director, Springboard Health & Performance.
Springboard Health and Performance
Proof Communications worked with Springboard Health and Performance on tenders and capability statements.
By working closely with Springboard HP to understand their business and underlying drivers, we were able to recommend tender writing strategies to engage the potential client. We also provided new and different angles to their tender content, and set and met strict deadlines.
Not only was the resulting 40-page tender successful, it was Springboard HP’s largest ‘win’ as a business.
We also worked with Springboard HP on proposal opportunities, creating and organising content, and sharpening existing information into client-friendly copy.
“After coming second many times in the past, we were sick and tired of being the bridesmaid.” Brad McDougall, Managing Director, Springboard Health & Performance
“Proof Communications provides the professional edge to our written communication, and gives us the confidence to know that we’ve given it our best shot.”
“Proof has changed the way we present ourselves to the market. They have been instrumental to us understanding not to direct clients to what we offer, but to turn around our offer so that it outlines the benefits of doing business with us.”
Rosemary is the best tender writer in the market.
Business Development Director, Hunt & Hunt Lawyers.
Hunt & Hunt
Proof Communications worked with Hunt & Hunt on various tender opportunities.
Hunt & Hunt Lawyers required help from a specialist tender writer when their in-house business development experts, who handled the majority of the firm’s tenders, workload became especially heavy.
We enjoyed a collaborative relationship with the firm to consistently and reliably provide them with efficient, high quality tender writing and editing services.
“Rosemary is the best tender writer in the market.” Clementine Scahill, Business Development Director, Hunt & Hunt Lawyers.
“With Proof Communications, we know what we’re going to get.”
“The beauty of working with Rosemary is that she is just like a permanent team member, a high end one at that.”
Proof Communications worked on a monstrous government tender for us, and was able to convey exactly what we wanted onto paper. It’s an advantage to have Proof on board.
Nicole Turner, General Manager, Insight Services Group.
Proof Communications worked with Insight Services for tender writing and editing.
Having previously compiled their tenders for new business in-house, the company realised that there must be a better way.
Not only was writing tenders time-consuming, the process had the effect of diluting their focus on the job at hand.
As a small organisation, they simply did not have the internal expertise or resources to roll out tenders with professional flair that conveyed everything they wanted to say in an engaging way. Further, they had noticed that their tenders needed to be far more professional and detailed if they were to succeed.
“Proof Communications made our life easier and more profitable because of their tender-writing expertise. It’s the best thing we could’ve done from a business perspective.” Nicole Turner, General Manager, Insight Services Group.
“Proof was able to communicate our information and ideas in a more eloquent and presentable manner then we could. Our tenders became more an all-encompassing story than just answering questions.”
“Proof Communications worked on a monstrous government tender for us, and was able to convey exactly what we wanted onto paper. It’s an advantage to have Proof on board.”
It’s sometimes difficult to sell your own business, and having someone who understands the business looking from the outside in can give you a better picture of your strengths and weaknesses.
Peter Thomson, Director, Contact Centres Australia.
Contact Centres Australia
Proof Communications worked with Contact Centres Australia on tenders and sales and marketing material.
When tenders became too large and pushed against Contact Centres Australia’s ability to respond in a timely way, Proof Communications was a reliable partner.
We worked with them to arrange and organise large amounts of information into flowing, coherent tender proposals and client documents that resulted in excellent opportunities for success.
Along with copywriting and proofreading, we facilitated and collated tenders ensuring a universal message was conveyed.
“We’ve had a high (tender) success rate with Proof Communications.” Peter Thomson, Director, Contact Centres Australia.
“Rosemary and her team’s edge lies in assembling documents written by various groups within the company, which are often expressed in technical language, and almost always written in different styles, and then turning the copy into an end-user-friendly document.”
“Rosemary brings smart people together. It’s sometimes difficult to sell your own business, and having someone who understands the business looking from the outside in can give you a better picture of your strengths and weaknesses.”
Tender writing is an art. It’s useful to outsource because it saves us time so that we can fully focus on other aspects related to the tender, and it’s good to have someone look at it from a different perspective.
Andrew Hanigan, Managing Director, Lee Kelly Commercial Investigations.
Proof Communications worked with Lee Kelly on tenders.
Lee Kelly wanted to be sure that when tender opportunities arose for new and existing business they presented in the best possible way. At the same time, the company wanted to streamline the whole tender response process so that writing tenders would take less time.
We constructed their tenders in language anyone could understand, using a narrative that was crisp and engaging and leaving no doubt as to the full range of Lee Kelly’s capabilities.
“Proof Communications delivers a highly professional, value-for-money service that made a real difference to the quality of our tenders.” Andrew Hanigan, Managing Director, Lee Kelly Commercial Investigations.
“We knew when we submitted the tender that it was of high quality.”
“Tender writing is an art. It’s useful to outsource because it saves us time so that we can fully focus on other aspects related to the tender, and it’s good to have someone look at it from a different perspective.”
“Our responses to tenders have improved so that they are presented in a more meaningful, succinct and practical way.”