Hard News by Russell Brown

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Open for Creative Business

At various places on this site and others you will see ads for a website called Chch Creative. Here's what that's about …

The website already lists small companies and freelancers across a range of creative and production trades -- web designers, graphic designers, photographers, a copywriter. They're all open for business and, as the Christchurch economy recovers, they'll be needed.

But they need to stay in business now, and with so many of their regular local clients likely to be off the scene for months, that will be a challenge. Some have also lost access to their own places of work, or equipment.

Happily, the kind of work they do is often fairly portable, and we're asking you, should you need that kind of work, to consider sending some of it to Christchurch.

By the same token, if you're in Christchurch and you're a freelancer or small company in the creative trades, sign yourself up. The website -- created amazingly swiftly by Alec Bathgate, Stephen McCarthy and Tim Chesney -- has a form that'll let you enter your details and upload an image.

For our part, Public Address and other Scoop Cartel sites (including Spare Room, Kiwiblog, The Standard, Pundit and Scoop itself) will run Chch Creative ads without charge for the next few months at least. I expect there will be a periodic refresh of the creative, and I'm here to help with any new creative ideas the gang in Christchurch come up with.

I'm really pleased to be able to do this. As this startling post-quake video from Stephen McCarthy's office shows, these are often people who worked in the parts of the CBD hit hardest on February 22, the people in nice old offices:

While major relief work in Christchurch is clearly a priority, I've been thinking about the importance of helping our own in other ways. Small creatives have always been a part of the Public Address reader community: they're people like us.

In Alec's case, that's particularly true. He was the guitarist in Toy Love, whose brief, burning 18 months were a huge influence on me as a kid, and he has continued to make music I love, with Tall Dwarfs and in his own right, since. Alec lost his office in the September quake, and everything in it -- it was too dangerous to return. (Memo: offsite backup saves livelihoods.) It was his conversation with Barbara Ward that promoted Barbara to call me, and I quickly realised there was something we could do to help. I thought of an ad campaign and a blog post listing small companies: Alec and his buddies thought of the website, which was a better idea.

Thanks also to all the people behind Business.eq.org.nz. Five businesses came to the project via the notice I posted there.

And perhaps you can help too. Send a little work south, if you can. It'll help.

PS: The advertising numbers are excellent! Very high click-through rate.

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