Community Initiatives Online - any experience?

(9 Posts)
WeAreNewHere Fri 31-May-13 08:49:20

Hi all

My DH has been approached by Community Initiatives Online, who are offering advertising for local businesses on wall charts and in community newsletters for £99. I've looked at the website and checked Companies House and can't decide if it's a genuine organisation or something we should be wary of. Please can anyone advise on this?

www.communityinitiativesonline.co.uk/

Thanks

2Retts Fri 31-May-13 20:28:13

I've had a quick look at the link you posted. To be frank, I would probably want to get some word of mouth recommendations before parting with money to a company purporting to be in advertising with such poor grammar on their homepage.

These outfits usually target small/micro businesses in their first year of trading, before they have learned what does and does not work for them.

Is your business fairly new?

WeAreNewHere Fri 31-May-13 21:09:24

That's what rang alarm bells! 'You're' and 'yours' used wrongly throughout. Not a new business, and DH has never had to advertise to date. The salesman was persuasive but it seems fishy to me. Thanks for the response; it's appreciated.

2Retts Fri 31-May-13 21:20:33

You're very welcome. I think, if you've not had to advertise before then this is likely not the most useful first foray in my humble opinion.

I'm not saying they are not a legitimate business, but I would seriously question the value for money such an outfit could provide even at 'only' £99. The implication in using 'Community' in the company name is contradicted by the use of 'persuasive' sales folk.

Have a great weekend.

I turned them down before. I tend to turn down all telesales people offering advertising, or rather "inclusion" in their publication.

davidjrmum Sat 01-Jun-13 12:41:17

Hi, we have a business and when we are approached regarding online advertising we always check the company out first. For example, we have a look at their facebook and twitter pages - if they have a few thousand followers that's great. Also, if they have a blog, is it up to date. If they have a forum is there evidence of recent posting and conversations. Does the about page tell you who they actually are. We also do a google search on the company name to see if that comes up. Obviously you can also check to see how long they have been established on the companies house website if they are a limited company. Looking at this particular website, the about page is very vague, they only have 10 likes on facebook, the link to twitter on one of their subsites takes you to a page that says "page no longer exists". If you click on the Your Region link at the top of the page you can click on a map but then have to enter a password to see anything else. The campaign tab lists a number of campaigns, the majority of which are no more than basic advice which is available all over the web, e.g. safety advice about barbecues. There is a campaign for loneliness which at the end says "For more information please visit our website: www.campaigntoendloneliness.org.uk" - I think this is a genuine campaign, however, I doubt very much that this has anything to do with Community Initiatives Online. My view would be that someone has just pulled together a load of links from government sites such as NHS direct and presented them on one site with the purpose of making money from advertisers. It's a shame because I think online facilities/social media are a great way of addressing some social issues but not if these are set up with a primary driver of making money from advertising. If you click on the "terms and conditions" link at the very bottom of the page you will see that the site is all about advertising. Don't waste your money.

2Retts Sat 01-Jun-13 14:14:09

I totally agree.

I'm also highly suspicious of the (over) use of the term 'highly trained professionals', particularly when there is no specification of the field of expertise much less specific qualification; loud alarm bells.

WeAreNewHere Sun 02-Jun-13 12:21:21

Thanks all. Your views confirmed my suspicions about the organisation. I think they trawl Yell (DH's business is listed there, which has been a great investment) and approach companies to sell advertising space. I don't want our company's good name sullied by poor grammar and a potentially dodgy organisation. I agree with NotYouNaanBread; it's hard to get a handle on what Community Initiatives is for. Hope they're not in the same category as the companies who sell services that you can get for free from the right channels - good article in the Grauniad yesterday about them.

scotty123 Tue 08-Oct-13 12:58:45

hi I'm mark from m & b pluming services. I have dealt with community initiatives online on several occasions. when I googled community initiatives online last night to update my online listing this thread appeared so I decided to read it. I found the previous posts to be very negative and untrue as to my own personal experience with this company. I have found both their customer service and product to be of a high standard. I'm delighted with what I've received from them. they have always been friendly and helpful. I hope this helps anyone else who reads the previous negative posts. it looks like they were posted by people who aren't even customers of the company. keep up the good work community initiatives online regards, mark.

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