Marathon Challenge for Charity

    New Year, New Challenge, and all for an amazing Milton Keynes Charity and cause!

    Martin Carmody, has dusted down his runners and stepped up to run the London Marathon in April, helping to raise vital funds and awareness for local charity MK SNAP – and the training is already well underway.

    Martin is no stranger to Marathons having run Brighton Marathon seven years ago, and by the way, said he’d never do it again! All that changed last year after seeing the amazing work undertaken by MK SNAP, who transform the lives of adults with learning disabilities.

    Based in Walnut Tree, Milton Keynes, the charity provides a programme of education, life skills, work preparation and opportunities for work to adults aged 18+ with a variety of learning disabilities, giving them the skills to realise their full potential.

    Through many local fundraising efforts, they are able to support with computer confidence, provide a health and well-being programme covering food, physical activity and self-esteem, they have a thriving performing arts programme, plus they offer sport, dance, yoga and relaxation sessions.

    Their programme of essential life-skills helps to increase independent living opportunities and together with work training opportunities in catering, their cafe and customer service – they look to give their learners life-enhancing services and opportunities.

    Martin has already completed a few ‘warm-up’ events including the Dirt Half Challenge at the end of last year, and even though we’re in the midst of winter, the training doesn’t stop with dark and very cold runs in the schedule.

    As he takes on this epic challenge, Martin commented, “I honestly thought running the Brighton Marathon would take the urge to run 26’odd miles off my bucket list but seeing the incredible work that MK SNAP do has encouraged me to do it all again. Bring on the training, bring on the aches and pains, but also, bring on the awareness and much needed sponsorship for an amazing local cause. Thanks to everyone who has already sponsored me, and if you haven’t yet, head over to my Just Giving page.”

    We wish Martin all the luck with his Marathon Challenge, follow our social pages for a few training updates between now and Sunday 21st April.

    Visit Martin’s Just Giving page

    Reflections on a busy 2023

    Our Client Director, Katie Jenkins, looks back at a hugely busy and successful year for Interdirect.

    As well as continuing to support our existing client partners with comms and digital projects, we’ve welcomed some new ones and spent time focusing on ‘us’ as an agency, which, after 27 years, is not a quick or easy job to undertake!

    During, a sometimes hectic year, we have…

    • Refined our proposition focusing on our roots and core strengths in PR, comms and digital
    • Unveiled our new brand, saying goodbye to our old identity and ‘hi’ to a fresh new look and feel, underpinned by a solid strategy
    • Designed, developed and launched our new website to reflect Interdirect’s new branding and approach
    • Embraced a collaborative approach by strengthening our relationships with agency partner Stratos to bring more brand and creative services to our clients
    • Supported in the delivery of two ‘Picture This’ events in partnership with Stratos and Wirebox. A unique, thought provoking discussion which brings specialists together to share insights and best practice. We are looking forward to hosting further ‘Picture This’ events in 2024.

    Agency life can be fast-paced, and this year has been even busier as we have worked hard to enhance our offering and develop an even stronger foundation for our future. We believe it’s important to pause and take time to reflect, which will enable us to positively move forward into a New Year.

    So, while we head towards a much-needed festive break on Friday 22nd December, and encourage our team to properly down tools and enjoy time with families and loved ones to recharge and reset – we are also excited to start looking forward to a prosperous 2024, with some exciting projects already lined up to kick off the New Year.

    We’d like to thank all of our clients and suppliers for their continued support and look forward to working with you again when we re-open on Wednesday 3rd January.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the #IDTeam

    Unleash the power of conversions: 3 tips for building a successful website

    So, you want to build a new business website?

    The first question to ask is ‘why’?

    For many of you, you might think that change is the best thing for you and your business. Perhaps you’re not seeing the results you want, and you’d like a fresh new look and strategy?

    Or maybe you’re experimenting with a new strategy and want to signify that to your audiences with major development?

    Whatever the reason, be sure that it underpins every decision you make moving forward.

    Here are 3 tips to consider when building a professional business website.

    1. Understand your target audience

    This journey starts with us really understanding who your target audience is.

    Yes, you can create something generic that speaks to ‘everyone’ but won’t get you the results you crave. If you’re marketing to everyone, you’ll often be marketing to no one.

    It’s important to establish exactly who your target audience is – who is most likely to consume the media, products, and services that you’re providing. No matter your business, whether you have an online store selling shoes, or a business website providing advice, you will still be targeting a specific audience. From that, your web development agency can determine who is most likely to engage with the content and features we build into your website. For example, if you compare the process of designing a car and designing a website, the fundamental principles and components aren’t too dissimilar.

    Cars will generally all have the same mechanics such as wheels, an engine, and gears – however, depending on the target audience they can be two very different vehicles. If your audience is a family of four, with two dogs who live in an off-road location, you wouldn’t build them a three-door sports car with low profile tyres!

    2. Build your user profiles

    So, what do we do to ensure that you’re pointing your newly developed website towards the right audience?

    Good old-fashioned demographic research. At Interdirect, we look at a number of different factors that help us build up a profile. These can range from simple demographic information like their age range, location, job title, and hobbies, etc, through to their psychographic information such as behaviours, attitudes, lifestyle preferences, and personality types. This information creates a strong base of a marketing strategy.

    You will likely be targeting a few different sub-audiences, so it’s essential you speak to all of them throughout the user journey.

    3. Measure your metrics

    However, you need to ensure you’re also analysing your current visitors and SEO (Search Engine optimisation) too.

    Who are your most successful clients? Are you attracting the right clients to your site?

    Platforms such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console will provide you with the necessary metrics including what devices are being used to access your website, how long users are spending per session on your site, what pages are most relevant to them, and who the new and returning customers are. With this information, you can tweak your strategy over time, ensuring the website is consistently performing and converting your visitors into customers. Using SEO tools will help your website more friendly for search engines, so you’ll rank higher.

    Using the metrics gathered, we can help you to create a tailored marketing strategy that can drive traffic to your new professional site.

    Armed with all that knowledge, we would then use your research to create User Personas…but that’s a blog for another time.

    At Interdirect, we take great pride in designing and building websites for clients and connecting with them on a level that means they’re more than just another client to us. With our team of website builders, we want to create a website that achieves your business goals.

    If you would like to discuss your website ambitions and run through some ideas, we’d love to hear from you!

    Author – Marisa Harwood on LinkedIn

    Let’s talk… or call 01908 422242

    Image credit: storyset on Freepik

      Welcome to the Team – Marisa Harwood

      Marisa Harwood - Digital Project Manager

      This summer, the Interdirect team were delighted to appoint Marisa Harwood to the position of Digital Project Manager.

      Marisa has already had an incredible digital career, working for the likes of Aviva, Virgin Money, Naked Wines, and Proxama with roles ranging from a Front End Web Developer to Marketing and Client Services.

      Throughout her career, Marisa has worked on some exciting projects but has also been involved in some challenges too. Back in 2009, in her very first week at Virgin Money, she witnessed the big market crash and was also involved in a conference call with the company’s founder, Sir Richard Branson!

      So, how is our new recruit feeling about her first few months with ID? Marisa said: “It’s been going well so far. I was given such a lovely introduction and allowed to properly connect with my new colleagues and get used to the software we used. This in turn allowed me to get up to speed easily and probably quicker than if I was just thrown in at the deep end.”

      For her Digital Project Manager role, Marisa will be focusing on managing processes and helping guide people and teams through a project’s development life cycle. And it’s so far so good for our latest recruit.

      Marisa added: “The best thing about this role has to be the team. There doesn’t feel like there’s a hierarchy, and everybody has their skills that they bring to the table, the knowledge throughout the team is extraordinary and we have a range of subject matter experts. There are no weak links, and everyone has been super helpful and welcoming. The hardest part? Giving up control and relying on others to get the job done. It’s been a real change in mindset because I’m so used to just doing everything in other teams I’ve been involved with.”

      If money was no object, Marisa would love to have fun in the office, giving clients so much more on top of the already fantastic service they get from Interdirect. She said: “I’d fund more projects for fun, definitely. For example, I’d cost out a project to make a whole, interactive advent calendar, with all the festive bells and whistles, it would be nice not to worry about budgets!”

      Our self-confessed foodie loves Thai food, stemming from an incredible voluntary project in Thailand which saw her immersed in the culture of the country as she worked in an orphanage caring for hill tribe children.

      Marisa commented: “That project was incredibly rewarding. The living standards were a bit ‘raw’; it was proper bathing with a bucket and ladle type stuff. There was no air conditioning and no luxuries, but after a while, it became a way of life. It made me realise just how lucky I am, it was incredibly humbling.”

      Luckily, at Interdirect, Marisa will get to enjoy a few more luxuries and let’s hope she will find her time just as rewarding.

      Click here for further information about Interdirect and our PR, communications, and digital services or find us on LinkedIn, X, Facebook, and Instagram @Interdirect.

        Picture This – Artificial Intelligence; friend or foe?

        On 23 November, leading members of the business community across Milton Keynes gathered at the city headquarters of technology company Aiimi for the second edition of Picture This.

        What is Picture This?

        The Picture This concept has been developed by a trio of agencies within Milton Keynes; Stratos – a brand and creative agency, Wirebox – a technical development agency and ourselves at Interdirect – a PR and digital comms agency.

        It is a platform for people, our peers, friends, and partners to get together to discuss key themes and industry touchpoints crafted by that very audience. There’s no ‘hard sell’ – just an honest approach to thought-leadership which is fundamental to the Picture This ethos.

        Hot topic

        This second edition of Picture This focused on Artificial Intelligence.  A hot topic considering Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes had just hosted the Global AI Safety-Summit; a huge stage for International Governments, leading AI companies and experts in research to come together to discuss and understand how to grip and tackle any potential AI risks to ensure it develops safely in the years ahead.

        The aim for Picture This was to give a slightly different take on the sometimes controversial subject of artificial intelligence, from attempting to demystify the subject to looking at how the technology can help and enhance working practices.

        What went down?

        The event featured three industry specific speakers giving their own thoughts across a number of AI related topics including content creation, emerging tech and more.

        Phil Hill from West Herts College talked about how generative AI is disrupting his field within photography. He talked about the historical upheaval when photography overtook painting as a mainstream medium, how he’s been using AI in teaching, particularly focusing on the many ways they cross over through critical thinking. Phil has also used AI to restore images from the past and he touched upon the bias in generative AI due to the fact it is largely used within the Western World.

        The second speaker of the evening was Matt Eustace from Aiimi who talked about using AI tech as a problem-solving tool, and how having access to data via AI sources can help businesses make more informed decisions. He also talked at length about Extractive AI – the lesser-known cousin of the more popular Generative AI.

        Designer, Matthew Maxwell, shared how he has been inspired by Shakespeare and used DALL.E to create artwork which blended modern day with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. He also went on to talk about using AI to have fun within his art.

        A Q&A session wrapped up the event and was hosted by our own MD, Nicholas Mann, who opened the room to encourage attendees to get involved in the conversation. Igniting a forthright debate, insightful questions were put to all three speakers, and all provided valuable input, incorporating various approaches and points within their answers.

        What’s next?

        The third edition of Picture This will be coming in early 2024 with an all-new topic to discuss and digest. Look out for more information coming soon.

        Team Interdirect helps to break Guinness World Record

        Four people holding canned foods. In a park, in front of a hedge, with grass and trees in the background.

        On Monday 16 October, World Food Day, some of the team from Interdirect headed to Campbell Park to support long-standing client Socius unload over 250 food cans from the back of a car. Why? It was all part of a Guinness World Record breaking attempt by the MK Food Bank.

        The local charity, setup in 2004, has seen an unprecedented rise in demand over the last 12 months, and in an effort to increase their food stocks and to raise awareness of the amazing work they do across the city for families and individuals, they organised #MKCAN. An audacious attempt to smash the current Guinness World Record for the longest line of food cans.

        Local businesses were encouraged to sign up and ‘adopt’ a section of the planned 10km route around Campbell Park, which sits in the very heart of Milton Keynes. Socius, who are currently, redeveloping the Saxon Court building in Central Milton Keynes as part of the planned MK Gateway development, took up the challenge with members of their team heading to MK from around the country, and two members of the ID team went along to support.

        Each business or organisation adopted one of the 400 sections, each donating over 250 cans to ‘complete’ their section. After a long morning of measuring, counting and adjudicating – the result was finally announced at 2.30pm with the MK Food Bank officially being awarded the Guinness World Record with over 102,000 food cans being lined up.

        It was a herculean effort from the local community with the donated cans shoring up the organisation’s stocks for the next 6 months, and one which our team was proud to be part of.

        If you’d like to find out more about the MK Food Bank – go to

        Get Ready For a New ID

        A new wave of Interdirect - the team

        Exciting rebrand for one of Milton Keynes’ most well-established agencies will bring the next level of PR, communications, and digital proposition to the city.

        Interdirect is strengthening its proposition and rebranding as part of an ambitious growth plan as the business approaches its fourth decade in business.

         Along with a fresh new brand identity, Interdirect has promoted some of the key figures within its business to create a new leadership team and enhanced its offering by collaborating with trusted partners, who specialise in brand and creative marketing disciplines, complementing Interdirect’s offering.

        This new approach is already delivering significant added value to existing clients, creating new opportunities for all involved.

        Founded in 1995 by Nicholas Mann, Interdirect has been offering its clients invaluable service from PR and Communications to digital solutions and marketing, with a proactive, customer-centric approach that delivers successful campaigns and projects to brands across all sectors.

        With a progressive attitude and appetite for innovation, Interdirect has a breadth of industry knowledge; it is renowned throughout the Milton Keynes business community and has a credible and valuable portfolio of long-standing clients, that it cherishes.

        The new wave of Interdirect is being underpinned by a fresh rebrand and website which was launched this week. The distinct look clearly depicts Interdirect’s brand narrative, and the familiar fingerprint logo is being superseded by speech marks to symbolise the clarity the agency provides on digital communications.

        Collectively, the agency’s team offers more than 140 years of expertise, and it is this experience that underpins Interdirect’s people-first, values-based culture that pulsates throughout the business.

        Katie Jenkins, newly appointed Client Director, has 13-years-experience with the agency and is ready to help realise a new vision for the future of Interdirect.

        Katie said:

        “We’re a forward-thinking agency and this new brand and direction – taking more of a partnership approach – will allow us to offer brands a stronger proposition. This is thanks to the valuable knowledge that our team and our trusted partners offer to every project. We’re excited to see where the future takes us.”

        Picture This…An Ideas Event

        Picture This - A Collaborative Event

        Milton Keynes has long been thought of as a home of innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurial savvy. So it was no surprise that a recent Picture This event included all three.

        Held at the Sky Room at Milton Keynes Gallery, the event was the first of its kind in the city and came about through a collaboration between three city based agencies – Interdirect, Stratos and Wirebox.

        An ideas event, it took visitors through the journey of producing a creative project and featured thought-provoking, expert speakers covering topics including Creative and Brand, Content and Film, Marketing, and PR and Online Comms.

        The informal, social event attracted a number of like-minded individuals who all shared a passion for marketing, creativity and digital disciplines and the speakers balanced each other perfectly. It worked to give the audience a flavour of how collaboration can work perfectly and how integrating parts of each discipline into a business can help you push the boundaries and connect better with your customers.

        The evening started with a talk on Creative & Brand from Stratos’ Marc Smiddy and Ryan Taylor from Wirebox. Marc started the evening off with an interesting talk on brand emotion – the importance of a brand creating a connection with its audience – which included a thought-provoking video about sportswear giants Nike (Have you ever seen Nike sell you their products by telling you anything other than how you’ll feel wearing them?) This was followed by a more technical discussion from Ryan who delved more into the ‘why’ of what a brand offers its customers.

        Mat Finch, from Caffeine & Machine, then told the audience about the importance of clear and concise marketing strategies before Laura Alfred from Network Rail and Interdirect’s own Emma Scott gave an incredible insight into PR &Communications and the role of the leader in creating a brand consistency in vision.

        The final speaker was Alex Lawrence from Clearhead, who spoke fantastically on the topic of producing content with a purpose that helps to tell a compelling story. The point of the evening was to show that individually, done well, these elements can drive a business forward but actually, we need to collaborate with others to be able to offer clients the ‘full package.’

        It’s interesting to see how attitudes are changing in this space and how nowadays businesses aren’t seen as rivals but actually, fellow professionals that can be learned from and collaborated with. And actually, it’s OK not to be great at everything, as your specialism may be someone else’s weak point.

        Interdirect is proud to announce that it will be working collaboratively with Stratos and Wirebox moving forwards and in the process offering customers a more complete business solution.

        As for Picture This we’ll be eagerly awaiting the next instalment of this unique thought leadership event and hope that anyone reading this will be intrigued enough to sign up in the future.

        Meet The Team – Kemi Sangowawa, Account Manager

        Despite joining our team in the middle of the Covid lockdown, one member of Interdirect hasn’t slowed down, in fact, a global pandemic seems to have spurred her on as she keeps dancing, eating delicious food and travelling all over the world.

        Kemi Sangowawa has studied music as well as having a degree in architecture and a dream of being an interior designer (her fabulous clothes are a testament to this talent!) On top of that, she also has a master’s degree in design studies with marketing.

        Right now, Kemi is one of our top account managers, but she’s had not only a full career history but a fascinating life journey to this point too. Kemi said:

        “I have a somewhat mismatched career history, as I’ve worked both in-house and on the agency side. In my last two roles, I worked on everything from branding and creative to tone of voice and individual marketing.”

        Kemi has worked in a host of different industries too and boasts African brands, banks, NGOs, and fashion as well as pet brands, food and drink and wineries in her impressive portfolio. She said:

        “I don’t specialise in a particular area. I know what I want to do and that’s a lot of different things – that’s what attracted me to Interdirect; the variation.”

        During her time with us, Kemi has already worked with some fantastic local businesses including The Parks Trust and Whittlebury Hall, and as brilliant a job as she’s doing, she admitted it was hard working remotely and missed not getting to sit down with a cup of tea with her friends and co-workers.

        “One of my favourite things about a job is getting to know the people. Going over to someone’s desk with a biscuit (and a request for some work.)” Kemi said.

        “I love actually meeting with people face to face because that’s what gets results and helps me to understand things. I love sitting around a table discussing ideas, and it’s been good to get out and start doing that with the team.”

        Now the world is back open again our fabulous foodie is looking to explore even more of the world. Already, she’s been to a host of amazing and fascinating countries, including her personal favourite – Cuba. She said:

        “I’m not a fake foodie. I love cooking and actually creating dishes rather than just going to a restaurant and eating it.”


        “The food in Cuba was amazing. The whole country was the same, the sun, the sea the people”


        “I’m from West Africa, I’m half Nigerian and half Ivorian, and I went to Mozambique – a part of Africa I’d never been to, and the food there was amazing too.”

        In the future, Kemi’s got big plans to see even more of the world, with her dream locations being Japan, Brazil, and Argentina. She said:

        “I was supposed to go to Japan in 2020, but Covid ruined that plan, so I’ll definitely get there eventually. The mix of tradition and technology is incredible.”


        “In Brazil, the migrations of different cultures are fascinating, plus the Latin and African dancing I love is part of their day-to-day.”

        Already, we’re painting a picture of someone who’s incredibly interesting, right? Someone you’d love to have a cup of tea (and biscuit!) with in the office, but that’s not all.

        When asked what her superpower would be she said she’d want to travel back in time – but with no consequences, of course.

        In the here and now, if you want a cuppa with Kemi then make sure you set aside some time because she’s sure got a story to tell.


        Website security is top priority for Interdirect

        As a leading communications and digital solutions agency, we have carried out several security upgrades for our clients to ensure that their websites are as safe as possible, due to the increased risk of potential threats.

        In response to most ‘attack bots’ attempting malicious logins to a website’s Content Management System (CMS), coming from overseas – including the US, China, and Russia – our Dev Team has upgraded CMS security to enable our clients to filter which countries can login. Limiting the IP addresses to specific countries is a simple, yet effective, countermeasure to attempted attacks,

        Additionally, the team has added Two Factor Authentication (2FA) to the CMS login, which provides an added layer of verification to further ensure the authenticity of a user’s login.

        “Bot attacks and login attempts can happen at any point during a website’s life, though it might not be happening to them now, it can very easily happen in the future. To help secure the CMS from these attacks, we’re adding extra layer of security and verification, making it harder for these attacks to gain access to the CMS.


        For some time now, all new websites that we develop have had these security measures, but, due to the increased risk of attack, retrospectively, we have decided to add them to our client’s ‘legacy’ websites.”

        Project Manager, Bradley Spillman

        Our clients have responded positively to the changes, agreeing that the security recommendations suggested were necessary to maintain the safety of their websites.

         “The security of our clients and their data is of the utmost importance to us, so I’m delighted that our initiative has been so well received by our clients. It’s what we live for! A huge well done to our hard-working team for not only making the changes but for getting across the importance of these updates to our clients.”

        Nicholas Mann, Managing Director of Interdirect

        For further information about our communications and digital services follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram @Interdirect