Ever since Neil was exiled to the south of England at the age of five, he’s been a language geek.
He’s worked with businesses all over the world, and trained all kinds of people, from cabinet ministers to care workers.
Jim started out working with words, as a journalist and freelance writer. But the attraction of making things grow got the better of him. So he decided to combine language and business by setting up his own PR company.
Working with words and numbers worked for him. He sold his business to global agency Ketchum, and went on to run several others, including The Writer, buying and selling companies along the way.
What he liked most was helping people get the best out of themselves. He discovered the more he understood their behaviour, the more successful the business became. So the opportunity to combine behaviour, words and numbers at Schwa was a great fit.
He’s especially interested in how leaders behave.
When Hannah’s not writing children’s stories about giants and space pirates, she’s writing surprisingly sensible things for businesses.
Over the last ten years, she’s written websites, fundraising packs, recruitment campaigns and plenty of tone of voice guidelines. And one very happy afternoon many years ago, she ghost-wrote a letter as Colin Firth.
Hannah’s a behavioural science bookworm. She loves bringing the results she finds into talks and training sessions that she runs for businesses around the world.
Oh, and every book she’s read agrees with her that confirmation bias is best.
Before Nick was a writer, he was a reader. He filled every moment of his day with Terry Pratchett novels, the backs of cereal packets, road signs, junk mail and even those crinkly folded-up instructions that come in packets of Ibuprofen.
A little later on he got a job writing direct mail and online ads at BD Network, and then spent eight years at The Writer, helping brands like Sainsbury’s, Lynx and British Gas stand out through their tone of voice.
He’s particularly interested in the balance between long-term brand building and short-term impact. His favourite behavioural study is the one with the heroes, villains, chocolate and chili. And he still reads everything that’s put in front of him.
Meg’s a writer, trainer, namer and brand consultant. But that’s a mouthful, so she normally says she helps brands and businesses find their way with words.
Before joining Schwa, she was part of BT’s brand team, where she got interested in the mechanics of better communication in big businesses. Then she joined a digital experience consultancy and entered a new phase of her love affair with language; realising that behind words like ‘content’, ‘architecture’ and ‘microcopy’, good communication is good communication – wherever it lives.
Her favourite behavioural study has to be the one where the kindergarteners beat the business school grads at building towers.
Joe loves solving big business problems by figuring out what makes people tick, and tweaking their behaviour.
He’s answered questions like: ‘How do I get my staff to deliver consistently?’, ‘How can I help people change their habits?’, and ‘How can I get people to notice my ad?’, among others.
After graduating in Psychology from London Met, he joined System1 Group to help clients like HSBC, King, Virgin Media and PepsiCo build behavioural insights into their advertising, branding, product launches and market research. After that he worked at Croydon Council’s Behaviour Change Hub, before coming back to agency life at Schwa.
He’s on a mission to help everyone understand the power of behavioural science, and convince the world that nothing’s definite until you’ve tested it. His favourite bias is the decoy effect. He’s currently looking for a less attractive version of himself to take to meetings.
Although we’re a words business, we do recognise the value of numbers. Nick makes sure ours add up. He’s spent his career in communications and marketing, advertising, PR and film. And whether it’s for big global communication groups or smaller independent agencies who need a commercial steer, he likes being able to make the numbers make sense to creative types.
Of course, if you’d rather not talk to him about numbers you can always pick his brain on running marathons or playing in a band…
His favourite behavioural study is the controversial Stanley Milgram experiment on obedience.
As a training consultant, Alan’s part word wizard, part communication geek and part provocateur.
With a background in performance studies, journalism and scriptwriting, he’s got the theory and the experience to find, and share, what works.
He helps people think and feel differently about how they use language. He encourages them to discover the habits that undermine what they’re doing, and to form new habits so they can do things better.
From writing better emails and reports, to changing organisations through the stories they tell (and figuring out why social media has us in its thrall), he helps people steer a clear course through business communication.
His favourite behavioural theory is the pratfall effect. So if you ever catch him making a mistake, now you know why.
As a child, Alex scribbled letters from her favourite book characters and tried to work out what their handwriting would look like. Ever since, she’s enjoyed taking on different perspectives, so she’s been, among others, a tech journalist, the online voice of a dog charity and Persil’s social media mum. Being the analytical sort, she also reviews films.
Most recently, Alex led content marketing at Simba – a mix of creative strategy and copy including product naming, UX, packaging and even a Canadian billboard campaign. She also co-hosted the Sleep Life podcast, which meant indulging in her favourite job: digging into a big pile of research and distilling it into genuinely useful nuggets of wisdom.
She believes that changing perceptions can change the world, so her favourite behavioural study is the one where mums of infants were asked to estimate how big a slope their kids could crawl down, and underestimated the girls.