Q: We want to use road maps to help visitors to our web site find our local branches easily, but are concerned about the copyright implications of taking them from existing publications.
A: You can scan maps from a book, but would have to approach the publisher for permission and pay a royalty. A more straightforward method is to go to a specialist supplier.
Lovell Johns provides maps either from its own database or from the Ordnance Survey. Client sites have included the Open University, British Waterways and the Evening Standard.
There is a minimum charge of pounds 250 for a simple location map. For about pounds 1000, it can supply 'drill down' mapping that enables users to enlarge specific areas.
You can also buy city plans that name all the streets within the centre, or if you prefer, just major roads and landmarks. These can be personalised by changing the style and colours, or by plotting the location of your offices. A single city plan costs pounds 100 or 10 for pounds 750. Call 01993 883161; www.lovelljohns.co.uk.
Q: Is there a company that can help us put a press pack together for a new product? We can do the printing at our end, but need someone to write the material.
A: Copydesk is a writing agency that specialises in marketing and PR communications. It has recently carried out publicity work of this kind for Heinz and whisky brand Glenmorangie.
As well as information about the product itself, it will ask for details about your target audience, and the tone you want to use. You can provide this through phone interviews and existing printed materials, such as brochures and press cuttings.
Writers may also need to do research on the background. For instance, with Heinz's barbecue sauce, there was an opportunity to hook readers with interesting facts about the history of barbecues.
Projects are priced individually. As a rule of thumb, Copydesk charges about pounds 250 a day. Call 01273 846292 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: We are looking for a data agency to provide market profiles of the areas surrounding independent retail outlets.
A: Claritas offers mapping from about pounds 500 for an individual region and says its data now covers two-thirds of the UK consumer population.
The company can provide demographic and lifestyle information for individuals in a particular postal sector, including details of age, income and children, as well as what kind of papers and magazines they read and the products they buy.
The map can also be compared with the catchment areas for local press or radio, helping to indicate the best places to advertise. Call 020 8213 5500 or see the web site at www.claritas.co.uk.
On the business side, Blue Sheep can show the concentration of companies and types of activity within predefined areas. The cost is pounds 5 to pounds 25 per A4 sheet and ranges from a single postcode to a comprehensive national map.
Details of individual companies start at pounds 75 per thousand. Blue Sheep will also provide an economic growth score that indicates whether a business is expanding or declining. This has important implications for the kind of message you target it with. Call 01242 545347 or look at the www.bluesheep.com web site.
Q: Can you suggest anyone to provide a list of companies that export pate to the UK from Belgium and France?
A: The French Chamber of Commerce can supply this if you fax your requirements, being as specific as possible.
It will return a list of companies that includes the names of the chief executives and export directors, together with phone number and address. The number to fax is 020 7670 3850.
For Belgium, fax the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce on 020 8877 3961 or e-mail email@example.com.
E-mail enquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.