Question: What should you expect from a blog post on a flowers blog on a flowers website?
Answer: A post about blog libel, of course!
Why?!: Arena started blogging about a year ago (to understand why we blog, please see this post). One of the great things about blogging is that it’s a two way communication process; we’ve learnt a lot from our readers in the last 12 months.
For instance, take Sarah – a ridiculously well-qualified legal eagle. On learning that Arena had started blogging, Sarah very kindly sent us her legal firm’s top tips on how to blog “safely”. Whilst we’re pretty uncontroversial in our blogging topics, generally liking to talk about flowers and gifts and sometimes web-related things or ethics, we found the guidance very interesting reading. We then thought our more webby readers might also find this of interest. Sarah happily said we could publish it, on condition that we anonymised it (to spare her inbox).
Valentine’s Day is the busiest day of the year at Flowers HQ. We plan and organise the day well in advance to try to minimise hiccups and to ensure we successfully bring lovers together on the big day. It’s not easy, as we do about 20 times more orders than normal on the 14th February but we do our best to make sure everything is just right.
So, Ladies & Gentlemen, we now proudly present a behind the scenes photoblog of our Valentine’s, featuring Arena’s team of flower fanatics!
Georgi, normally in charge of purchasing and margins, gets busy with balloons. My normal job is internet marketing but I spent Valentine’s checking postcodes and loading vans!
Anna creating a “Valentine’s Two Dozen Red Roses” (you can also watch Anna making a “Valentine’s Dozen Red Roses” on video).
Recently we were on the receiving end of an attempted hustle by some fake wheel clampers. They’d immobilised one of our vans and were refusing to take the clamp off unless we paid £300 cash there and then. No credit cards allowed because of “possible fraud”. That set our own fraud alarm bells ringing and, after some investigation, we called the police who agreed to come down. When our hustlers heard the police were coming, they rapidly removed the clamp from our wheel, jumped in their car and sped off.
And what kind of car did our scammers jump into to make good their escape? Only a Jaguar X-type! Clearly the scam pays well, or perhaps they often need to leave the scene of the crime in a hurry! Unfortunately for them, their getaway wasn’t quick enough to prevent us taking down their vehicle registration number and passing it on to the police.
So, if any of you ever have a similar situation, here are our top tips to avoiding being scammed by fake clampers: Continue reading →
We care for our flowers and we want our customers to enjoy them in full bloom for a while. That’s why with all the flowers that we send out, we include a sachet of specially formulated food and preservatives to extend longevity (free of charge, of course!). It helps the flowers in providing nourishment, preventing the growth of bacteria and fungi, and in also lowering the ph value of the water. In addition, there are several home grown remedies such as copper pennies in water, vodka, soda, aspirin, lemon juice, citric acid etc., which seem to do a competent job in keeping the flowers in bloom. But, there seems to be another addition to the growing list of flower care remedies…
Last night, after an enthusiastic exchange of final amends we launched ‘Flowers & Fun’ the Arena Flowers Facebook application. As with all things Arena, Flowers & Fun had always been there in our ‘to do’ list but it wasn’t until last week that Will’s frantic text messages became too much to ignore – the application just had to be built!
We all sat down to work out what we wanted to do with it. Facebook has lots of applications so this had to stand out and most importantly, it had to be fun. Zach, our lead developer was pulled off another project and urgently pointed in the direction of Facebook. Not unfamiliar with Facebook he was quick to breath life into our little app and within a day we had our flowers on Facebook – what a rush that was!
This was quickly followed by rudimentary exchanges of flowers and messages to and from Arena employees as we got our hands dirty testing the application and importantly the experience. Feedback from the ladies in our customer service team (all of whom are experienced Facebook users) was swift, encouraging refinements as each virtual bouquet was sent. With the addition of each new feature we saw this little app grow and grow and it was not long before we realised its potential. When you look at the sheer size of Facebook, with its 30 million users, you have to consider the awesome prospect of hundreds and possibly thousands of people sending our virtual versions of our flowers. What a way to focus the mind! Continue reading →