Nick Sturge MBE: book chapter

How we helped chartered director and strategic advisor Nick Sturge MBE articulate his expertise

Industry: B2B services, consultancy

Content type

Book chapter

Goals

To co-create a book chapter that distilled Nick’s experiences and wisdom

Results

Honed ideas into a format that met the book editor’s brief

Generated extra resources for Nick’s consultancy work

“It was catalysing.”

“It was catalysing. The process worked so well for me and I felt really pleased with the output.”

– Nick Sturge, Strategic Advisor

A strategic advisor sharing his wisdom in print

Nick Sturge MBE is a chartered director and strategic advisor for entrepreneurs and growing businesses. Former director of Engine Shed and current Non Executive Chair at TechSPARK, among other things, he has extensive experience creating and fostering innovation ecosystems which enable entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and businesses in a sustainable way.

As a policy advisor for UKSPA, the United Kingdom Science Park Association, Nick was asked to contribute a chapter on the entrepreneur’s journey to their book, The Planning, Development and Operation of Science Parks – UKSPA’s definitive guide to the creation and management of innovation locations in the UK. An expert in his field, Nick wanted to stamp his authority on the 6,500-word chapter, but wasn’t entirely sure how to get his ideas across. Cue RH&Co.

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The Challenge

Finding someone Nick could trust

Having not worked with a copywriter in this way before, Nick was unsure whether the process would be effective, or whether he would be able to let go of creative control enough to make it worthwhile. He knew he needed someone who he could trust.

From the first conversation with the RH&Co team, Nick says he saw how our approach was going to benefit him.

“The RH&Co team wanted to understand my thoughts,” says Nick. “Instead of just wordsmithing my spiel, they wanted to produce something that represented what I stood for.”

The writing process

Structuring streams of consciousness

Nick initially expected that we were going to rely heavily on his guidance, but he was pleasantly surprised.

“One can get protective of a style and it’s a fine balance,” says Nick. “I certainly need a challenge because sometimes I am wrong. In this case I knew what I couldn’t do was structure a stream of consciousness, but that’s what RH&Co did.”

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A trust exercise that paid off

We started by briefing in overview, before going away and working on structure, and then interviewing Nick in more detail, producing copy and then iterating.

“Finding the balance with a professional partner in this context is important,” says Nick. “You can push back and say, no it’s better written like this, or that. We were able to do this because we built up a strong trust relationship, so there was room for constructive challenge and it kept our conversations easy and productive.”

That trust extended beyond working with Rin herself. “It’s often a challenge with an agency that you get 5 minutes of the expert, and 55 minutes of someone else,” says Nick. “But I didn’t feel like I was compromising with RH & Co.”

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The outcome

Not just clarifying a message, but creating it

The process of working with a copywriting agency like RH&Co was interesting for Nick, as it allowed him to produce new material that he otherwise wouldn’t have.

For instance, a diagram that was produced as a direct result of the process with us is now something Nick uses a lot, and is very popular with the people he uses it with.

“It was catalysing,” says Nick. “The process worked so well for me and I felt really pleased with the output.”

Cutting through the red tape

When the time came to hand the chapter over to UKSPA, the chapter was passed to their editor, who initially tried to iron out some of the more provocative points that Nick had made. But because of the collaboration that had gone into those 6,500 words, Nick knew exactly what he wanted to say.

“The process of working with RH&Co had given me the confidence to push back at the editor and stick to the points I wanted to make, which I don’t think I would have been able to do if I’d just written it myself.”

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Whether you’re ready to get started or want to talk through the finer details of your project, get in touch today to find out how we can help.

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