Can’t afford a ticket to a PR event? Don’t despair…

In October 2016, I received an email from the CIPR about their National Conference.  It was instantly intriguing due to the female heavy line up. I am writing my dissertation on femininity within PR therefore I was extremely keen to grab a ticket. As a student, the ticket price led to the predicament eat for the month or attend.

So, I decided to find out the events company running the conference and popped them an email. Contacting a company to ask for a free pass starting with the line ‘I’m a student’ can sometimes feel slightly uncomfortable. Actually, it always feels uncomfortable. So instead, I asked if I could volunteer at the event. The events company agreed. On Tuesday 22nd November, I made my way to the Barbican to attend the CIPR National Conference 2016.

Asking to volunteer at the event led to gaining a pass to the conference but I also learnt further skills on how to run a corporate event. I experienced greeting guests, organising packages for guests and most exciting of all, I was left to organise the questions from the audience for speakers through a digital app, Slido. I gained a new skill by learning how to operate the app and I was able to watch every individual speaker. It was a truly inspiring event full of brilliant women and men.

I loved being part of the conference and the events company had an extra pair of hands. It was mutually beneficial for both parties. So, if you see an event that you would like to attend but your student budget doesn’t quite stretch. Ask if there is an oppurtunity to volunteer. The worst they can do is turn your offer down and in my experience, everybody loves a helping hand.

Big thanks to the CIPR and Don’t Panic Events for the brilliant opportunity and day.

 

Header image credit: http://mamameowtoledo.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/volunteer-opportunities-for-toledo-teens.html

What I learnt capturing an event on social media…

This summer, I worked for a digital marketing company as a PR/Content Assistant.

I was asked to attend the company’s business show that allowed local businesses to connect and network. The day included exhibitors, seminars and workshops bringing people from across the region together in one room. My responsibility for the day was capturing the event on the company’s social media.

I had previous experience from my time as President at the PR Fraternity, as our team would manage our own events to a very high standard. Social media was a key factor in gaining a brilliant reputation for the PR Fraternity from industry professionals. At the PR Fraternity events, using imagery seemed to be the most effective content to engage followers.

I used imagery throughout the event which gained great engagment online.  This throws up an important point, always tag, it introduces a new audience to your photograph. I found that by tagging the company’s involved in the photographs, it was being retweeted by them on their account. This alerted their followers/customers to our event and gained more interest from a wider audience.

Another trick is quoting. If people can’t make the event, quoting a speaker or presentation is a great way to engage an online audience. It’s the best of both worlds,  a short quote keeps the audience up to date and relays relevant information.

What gets a quote traction? A hashtag. Hashtags puts your port in front of an audience or community that are actively seeking this topic. It helps your post reach that niche audience you are looking to target. It presents your company or business to an audience that may or may not of heard of you before. Which could consequently result in new opportunities and even new clients. Don’t go overboard though! Use hashtags relevant to your post, it shows professionalism and it isn’t passed off as spam or desperation.

My regret of the day. I didn’t jump on the Facebook Live band-wagon. In my opinion, it’s overtaken Periscope in the live streaming game. I have to say it is a great tool and content creator. After your Facebook Live broadcast, the video can be edited and then posted on your site. Video streaming, especially through Facebook Live, is an incredible opportunity. Baring in mind, the prediction that 75% of content online will be video by 2018. We better all get jumping on the video bandwagon.

In conclusion, the main tips I have learnt from this experience.

  • Visual always gains more engagment and traction, so make this your number one feature of your posts covering the event.
  • Always tag either the company or the individual in the posts or photographs, opening up your content to a whole new audience.
  • Even though visual is now everything, people like to hear relevant information. Quotes do this nicely.
  • Create a hashtag for your event. Make sure it is on each post. Use popular hashtags on your posts but only if relevant to your event.
  • Don’t be afraid to use video. A great tool to  firstly showcase your knowledge and secondly, increase your fan, follower and customer base.

 

 

 

 

My snapshot of Internal Communications with CommsQuest.

When CommsQuest Communication Consulting (a communication, change and engagement consultancy) came to our class to talk about engagement and internal communications, I became extremely interested. Working for a high profile company through my teenage years I came to notice quickly that internal comms in a company is everything. Effective internal communication is a business imperative for companies seeking to stand out. Success, in what is now an ever-evolving and connected world, depends on it.

CommsQuest set up a competition within our class at University of Greenwich with the prize being of spending a day at CommsQuest with their team in Hertford to get a glimpse into the world of consulting. I was really glad to be offered the opportunity along with my fellow classmate, Cleo to spend the day with CommsQuest in Hertford. The day started with an early start and a coffee briefing on what the day had to bring. We began with our task, helped by Darran Mustoe, we were to create a film talking to small businesses about communications. When you think of communications in business, you don’t think of your local florist down the road or that clothes shop on the corner. Communications is everywhere, and this what I learned…

We used film to capture key messages from our speakers as it is becoming an increasingly important part of the internal comms channels mix, and has the power to move people emotionally to take action or change behaviours. Filming this video allowed me to learn what makes a good communicator but also work on my very own communication skills. Throughout the day we were taught coaching tips on how to brief interviewee’s, how to keep them comfortable and how to get great content. It was a real learning curve.

After an intense couple of hours with back-to-back interviews, Darren and ourselves discussed our lessons learned. These helped shape an upcoming TV workshop that the team are holding in a few weeks for an aviation client and equip them with the skills to use film as storytelling communicators (not just movie makers). Myself and Cleo also had the opportunity to quiz Lorraine and David for loads of career advice and insight into running a business.

A day at CommsQuest taught me a lot. The film participants were all local contacts that had relationships with CommsQuest and due to this each interviewees everyone was happy to help in the film.  The main thing being ‘relationships are everything’ as it attracts new clients and retains existing clients. Looking after these relationships and maintaining them to the highest standard can greatly benefit a business and this is one thing I found CommsQuest prides themselves on.

I never considered a career path into internal comms because honestly, I always thought it wasn’t really the ‘exciting’ part of communications. Internal communication ensures people within organisations are committed to achieving ground-breaking business results, the exciting part comes in helping to improve collaboration, productivity and performance. In fact, in my small experience at CommsQuest, I did find it exciting, intriguing and I got a quick snap shot of what the industry is really like. Internal communications is now a path I might just stroll down.

Big thanks to David Norton and Lorraine Hambleton at CommsQuest for having us for the day! Also to Darren Mustoe for teaching us the ins and outs of the film process!

To find out more about CommsQuest Communication Consulting, visit www.CommsQuest.com Or you can follow them on Twitter @CommsQuest LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/commsquest-communication-consulting or find them on Facebook.

To find out more about Darren Mustoe Communications visit www.darranmustoecommunications.co.uk

Fashion PR, a possible path? // London Fashion Week AW15

I started looking into Fashion PR because this year I worked at London Fashion Week. I had a lot of assumptions when it came to the ‘fashion world’ but the experience opened my eyes to fashion PR as a potential pathway.


Working 11026671_800244686708257_936445421_nbackstage I saw how many people work on creating one show. A team of people work for months on creating a show that lasts no more than twenty minutes. I started to ask myself why? Why go through all the stress and preparation? The team rushing round, trying to seat people, keep models happy, get models dressed – it was very hectic. As the last girl walked into backstage, the music cut and the room was full of applause I realized I had found the answer, pure accomplishment. The team had worked so hard on getting this show perfect and in the end it equated to great press reviews and media coverage.

The fashion world is dependent on promotion and media coverage it’s how designers gather a following. Look at Alexander Wang known for his stunts and image, his success was all down to his PR. Looking further into this topic, I discovered that the fashion world are trends that need to attract and retain constant attention from the public to be successful. Certainly very similar to consumer PR. Fashion needs to create a buzz among influential people. Journalist, bloggers, celebrities, the perfect platform for this is fashion week. More than ever it is important to create a buzz on social media. Bloggers are now at the forefront of promoting a brand and this is why they were all perfectly positioned front row on the catwalk .

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The brand is most important in a fashion public relations role. The role of public relations in fashion PR is clearly defining and maintaining a company’s “brand.” Good public relations representatives must strive to keep their promotions consistent by never sending out a mixed message. For example, if the company’s line is geared toward professional dress, you want to create professional-styled events that will attract customers interested in that niche.

I never considered a career path into fashion PR because I was always so concerned about the stereotype. In fact, in my small experience at LFW, everyone was welcoming and I got a quick snap shot of what the industry is really like. It’s all about the brand, very much like consumer PR but with a touch glamour. Before this experience I had completely ruled out fashion PR. Now, I’m not too sure. The excitement and glamour has put me on the fence. Fashion PR is now a path I might just stroll down.

See how you can get involved in London Fashion Week here – here. 
Hints & Tips for working in Fashion PR – here.