About Cygnus Extra

/About Cygnus Extra
About Cygnus Extra2017-05-19T07:26:52+00:00

About Cygnus Extra

Well, we write, we edit, we train. We talk, we listen, we write some more. We create websites to influence and inspire. We value long term relationships and an interesting brief. We believe in getting the job done on time.

Cygnus began life as long ago as 1991 when Hilary Phillips decided to launch into the self-employed world and set up Cygnus Documentation Services.

We are based on the west side of Edinburgh, very close to West Lothian. We have easy access to Scotland’s motorway network, which means that we can be in Glasgow, Perth and even Inverness very easily, and frequently we are. We are of course also at the end of a phone and easy to reach by email!

Hilary PhillipsHilary has an MA in English from St Andrews University and a growing number of years of experience as a writer and editor. She works with public sector, commercial and third organisations, mainly in Scotland, but also further afield, providing writing, training and consultancy services, depending on what’s required. Diverse writing projects have included everything from careers to canals, skincare to healthy eating, creativity to regeneration, to name but a few! She has experience of using social media as part of an online strategy, writing content that is optimised for search engines, working with designers, developers, marketing specialists and social media strategists.

As the writing skills (and Hilary too of course!) have matured, training has become an increasingly important part of the mix and Hilary has trained many hundreds of people in a wide range of business writing skills. Regular courses are available in Edinburgh, but Hilary has trained all over Scotland and  people have attended from as far afield as Cardiff and Shetland.

Where organisations need to think about the tone of their writing Hilary can provide consultancy support. She works alongside to help identify the issues and provide a programme which can help to bring change.

InMark Phillips 2003 Mark Phillips added his skills and experience to the mix, and we changed the name to Cygnus Extra.

Over the last decade the internet has become gradually more and more important to us – and of course to business in general. Now our core business revolves around writing for websites, training others in web copywriting skills and, where appropriate to support our core content experience, providing a start to finish web development service. Mark’s web design and development skills mean that for certain types of project we can offer the complete content, design and development package.

Before joining Cygnus Mark was a founder, owner and IT Director of Spektra Group Limited. His background in Astronomy and Astrophysics puts us on a solid footing for any scientific and technical projects.


Caroline Sommerville

Caroline brings wide experience as a journalist and sub-editor. Her newspaper training with The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday means she is able to write accurately and informatively, and to present complex information clearly, and in a variety of styles. She brings expert reporting and interviewing skills as well as strong legal awareness. She has experience of writing content for websites, research, fact-checking, image sourcing, caption writing and headline-writing. She is also an experienced proof reader. She offers the ability to work autonomously and as part of a team, meeting tight deadlines and word-counts.

Kirsty Innes

Kirsty is a highly motivated marketing professional who combines strategic thinking with the ability to attend to the detail. Her intelligent approach to marketing is about bringing the theory and practice together so that the marketing strategy really shapes the activity. Ultimately this means exceptional marketing campaigns and great outcomes for the businesses she works with. Kirsty is a skilled project manager with wide experience of running project meetings, managing design and print, briefing copywriters and ensuring the very highest standards of delivery.

Kirsty has a breadth of experience in creating and sustaining strong brands, seeing it as a collaborative process from start to finish. This means being clear on exactly what needs to be said, and to whom, and ensuring consistent messaging from strategy, branding, positioning, campaign planning, through copywriting, design and final execution.

Find out about Kirsty Innes Marketing

Stuart Sommerville

Stuart is a journalist with experience of working as a reporter and editor with local and national press since 1980. He was a senior staff production editor on The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday, sub-editing news, business and feature copy and writing features for travel and motoring sections. He brings skills in research, interviewing, reportage, creative writing and editing. Stuart has experience of working with a wide range of subject matter, translating complex issues into accessible, user-friendly material.

McAteer Photograph

McAteer Photograph is a well respected and busy commercial locations photography and video house that cares about creating beautiful, relevant and iconic images that can stand the test of time. Their quality imagery, excellent service and years of experience makes them a great creative partner for any marketing team looking for the complete professional package and a consistent approach to illustrating their portfolio of marketing collateral.  In addition to still, time lapse and moving images, McAteer Photo offer a web illustration service bringing their client’s digital marketing campaigns to life by using the right images in an engaging way that complements the brand.

The McAteer Photograph team work on projects of all shapes and sizes throughout Scotland, the UK and Europe.

Find out more about McAteer Photo.