The right path…

In December, I was in a mild panic. Typical Siobhan, I must say. I was panicking like any other soon-to-be graduate about a career after my degree. I was worried about finding the right job or even a job at all. I knew I wanted to be in the PR industry, but where, who and what was still playing on mind. I kept asking myself that inevitable question each graduate asks, what path do I want to take?

In February 2017, I applied for graduate schemes and jobs. Hearing back from a few led to attending interviews and assessments days. It felt exciting but it still didn’t feel right. Feeling right about a placement, job or even work experience is severely underestimated and not often taken into account. I’ve always been told “if you get a good opportunity, go for it”, but what if you don’t feel confident or feel good about the opportunity?

A bad or uneasy feeling about an opportunity is telling and as important as the opportunity itself. I wish somebody had told me this at the start of the year.

In March, I was invited to an assessment day with an agency. I was extremely surprised. This scheme has been widely talked about in the PR industry as an innovative approach and I thought my application would get lost in the influx of incredible candidates. I was thrilled to make it to the assessment day. On the day,  I instantly got that right feeling. The environment felt friendly, fun and creative. I came away from the day, wanting the job even more than when I walked in that morning.

A few days later, I was notified I had been selected for the scheme. As soon as I got the call it felt right. At the start of the year, I panicked about what path to take and what I would do after I graduated. Paths do present themselves but it is crucial to make sure it is not only a great path but the right path. The saying commonly used when talking about love relates here, “when you know, you know”. In the future, this saying and learning curve will help in making decisions that feel right to me.

I am thrilled to say my path starts with Golin London on their new scheme Golin B&B in May and I can’t wait!

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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.

 

 

 

 

Made to Stick // TFL ‘Report it to Stop it’ Campaign

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I have lived in London for two years. Thankfully, I have had a great time in the city but a city comes with its chances. At first, being a country girl I was always on my guard. After a few months, complacency sets in and slowly you start to turn into that ‘typical Londoner’. Always in a rush, always unaware of surroundings.

At the start of my academic year, as a group project we looked at the TFL sexual harassment campaign. This campaign was created after researched showed 90% of incidents on London Public Transport go unreported. The campaign encourages commuters to report harassment on London’s Public Transport. Personally, I only realised the significance of the campaign when being faced with the issue myself.

A few weeks ago on two occasions I have been made to feel uncomfortable on London Transport. Something that I have never had to experience. It’s a coincidence both incidents happened in one week.  The incidents were minor but even so, I was made to feel so uncomfortable that I started to question my safety. Forgetting about gender, male or female, nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable on public transport.

I completely connected with the TFL campaign months after I had been exposed to it.   After the incident, I realised the campaign message was made to stick. I knew instantly how to report, where to report and what to report, all from a short video  TFL had created back in April 2015.  Campaign messages can still connect with their target audiences successfully. This TFL campaign shows that even with the many messages in this noisy old world, a campaign can still break through the noise.

If someone makes you feel uncomfortable on public transport, it is wrong. In the words of TFL – report it to stop it.  Find out more about the campaign here. Watch the video here.

Top 5: Campaigns on Female Empowerment

Female empowerment campaigns are nothing new. The past few years it seems the message of female positivity has been a theme. Even though a large proportion of the world view women as equal to men, there is still a strong stereotype that women are the weaker gender even from women themselves. Recently, an essay question that was set for a piece within my course asked to ‘analyse a campaign that has changed a key stakeholders behaviour or attitudes to an issue’. The theme of ‘female empowerment’ has opened the world’s  eyes to certain attitudes and behaviours that need to be changed.

I decided to focus on female empowerment campaigns and these we’re my top five…

  1. Alway’s ‘Like a Girl’ 
    It focuses fully on female empowerment, and uses the phrase “Like a girl” to dissect and front the video campaign. The campaign  focuses on young girls going through puberty, and provides  research to show that over 50% of girls experience a drop in confidence during puberty. However,  the majority of them consider the term ‘like a girl’ to be an insult. This makes logical sense, as you realise how damaging language can be towards young girls and that pre-adolescence is the time in which our language has a significant bearing on gender values. Nevertheless, the company chose a relevant time to make such a universal and relatable statement, which is one of the greatest reasons that this ad was extremely successful in making its point. It doesn’t state a case about language and stereotyping – it makes one.
  2. Sports England, This Girl Can
    This Girl Can is a nationwide campaign to get women and girls moving, regardless of shape, size and ability. The research revealed a huge difference in the number of men and women playing sport. And it’s not because females don’t want to get active. Millions of women and girls are afraid to exercise because of fear of judgement. This campaign was a great way to encourage young British female women to be active in sports without the fear of judgment.
  3. Lean in, Ban Bossy
    Another campaign set on encouraging girls to compete with boys at a young age is Ban Bossy. Beyoncé, Condoleezza Rice, Jennifer Garner, and many more celebs have teamed up with the Lean In organisations to let girls know assertive doesn’t mean bossy. Some of the shocking statistics on their site show that women are twice as likely to avoid taking on leadership positions that might portray them as bossy. This isn’t just in the working world, it starts in the classroom as girls are picked to answer less and interrupted more by others when compared to their male counterparts. By using powerful and influential celebrities to get their message across, the Ban Bossy campaign is showing young girls that ruling the world doesn’t mean you’re bossy: it means you’re awesome.
  4. Real Beauty, Dove
    The Dove Real Beauty campaign was informed by research on female self-esteem, it was incredibly successful in changing an attitude towards beauty. The success shown in the level of engagement from an audience but also the fact that the campaign has been running since 2004.  The campaign has changed an attitude towards beauty, now to be a source of confidence, rather than anxiety, amongst women. Each video content produced for the campaign goes viral and sends social media going wild especially the ‘Beauty Sketches’ video. The Dove campaign showed real women, their real beauty. Raw but beautiful.
  5. HeForShe, UN Women
    I originally was alerted to this campaign by the wonderful speech Emma Watson gave, talking about the campaigns goal to engage men and boys as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights, by encouraging them to take action against inequalities faced by women and girls. Their mission is to make people everywhere understand and support the idea of gender equality. They know it’s not just a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue. It’s goal is to engage men and boys as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights, by encouraging them to take action against inequalities faced by women and girls.

Personally I really enjoy that tackling an issue has become a primary purpose and selling a product is now becoming a secondary purpose in ad campaigns. It’s refreshing. I’m sure there are many more campaigns I have missed. Feel free to put suggestions below!

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

Top 5: My PR Thought Leaders

Thought leaders are crucial in the field of public relations.  A trusted and innovative source that inspires and motivates people to do more. Innovative thinking that provides answers to pressing issues.

Thought leaders are changing the world in meaningful ways and engaging others to join their efforts. They create evolutionary and even revolutionary advancements in their fields not just by urging others to be open to new ways of thinking, but when they create a blueprint for people to follow – they provide a method, process, guidelines or a set of best practices.I feel that being aware of thought leaders within your degree only motivates you more to do well.

Thought leadership is not about being known, it is about being known for
                 making a difference.

I wanted to look at my ‘Top 5: PR Thought Leaders’, people who inspire me to become a success as a person and in the field of PR. By following these  thought leaders on their Twitter, their blog or their LinkedIn you are constantly aware of their content and up to date with current movements in the industry. Each day I am either inspired or motivated by these top 5…

 

  1. Stephen Waddington
    My favourite content produced by Stephen recently is his talk at ‘Thinking Digital’ in Manchester. He talks about how brands can use the internet effectively and correctly, great information for entering the industry. One of best thought leaders in digital and great content over on his blog and Twitter feed.
  2. Mary Whenman
    A great advocate for women in the industry. Supporting younger women in the PR industry is a particular passion of hers. Mary is President of ‘Women in PR’ (an independent association specifically for senior women working in the UK PR industry) and speaks at a lot of events on the female pipeline and women in the boardroom.
  3. Colin Byrne
    Colin is a thought leader due to his tremendous work in Weber Shandwick but his knowledge of the wider context. A blog post he wrote in January “2016: The year PR leaps ahead”  on Weber Shandwick’s website, shows clearly how aware Colin is of trends and issues that will rise in 2016.  Colin also writes a personal blog with content ranging from his love of David Bowie as a creative, to be in PR or not and diversity in PR.
  4. Paul Arden
    Unfortunately, Paul Arden is no longer with us. This month I have been reading his book ‘It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be’ and I love it. It still applies to PR in 2016 even though it has developed considerably since it was written back in 2003. Paul was not only a thought leader in PR but this book is a concise guide to making sure people make the most out of themselves in their career.
  5. Richard Bailey
    Richard has a great website that runs a weekly competition #BestPRBlogs. It looks at students nationally who write blog post that are informative, engaging and well written. Richard is a thought leader specifically for students and constantly comes up with new ways to engage the students that are the upcoming PR practitioners of the industry.

 

Top 5: Content Creators

Content is important. Youtube is now, full of people trying to make it. The ratio of creators to viewers in the early years meant that anyone and anything would get a considerable amounts of views. All you had to do was make an account, film a video on your webcam and wait for the thousands to watch.

Youtubers continuing to make simple, small content based video do well only if they have acquired a large fan base following in the early years. Competition in the early years was low therefore easier to gain a following through content that was at a low quality. Zoella is successful due to her image and her appeal to her niche audience. Zoella was the lucky one and got in early, Youtubers in 2016 have to be content creators.

This blog post was inspired by YouTubers that I have come across in the past few months. For me, at 20 years old, I look for people that are going to inspire, motivate and encourage me to follow a journey. Individuals that create content that truly inspires and motivates through visual. Here are my top 5…

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  1. Casey Neistat | Theme: Travel/ Lifestyle | Youtube: Casey Neistat
    Vlogging brought to another level. Beautiful filming, beautiful location. Casey lives in New York city but is constantly jetting from one country to another. Always doing something, somewhere and seems to never sleep. maxresdefault (1)
  2. Ben Brown | Theme: Travel/Lifestyle | Youtube: Mr Ben Brown
    Ben is a typical British chap living most of his life between Cape town, South Africa and Surrey, England. Enjoyable to watch due to his down to earth nature, goes through life with a ‘can do’ attitude, nothing seems to phase him.
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  3. Hazel Hayes | Theme: Films/Lifestyle | Youtube: Chewing Sand
    An actress, film maker and a YouTuber, Hazel is pretty fabulous. A very strong lady who uploads films, vlogs and my personal favourite #TOTM (Time of the Month) vlogs. These are monthly vlogs about monthly events which are beautifully raw, beautifully filmed and beautifully truthful. An inspiring lady doing what she loves in the big city and aspiring to be only great even in the tough times.
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  4. Jenn Im | Theme: Fashion | Youtube: ClothesEncounters
    Fashion in a different way. Jen is fashion forward, trendy and cool. A pretty lady living in L.A with a positive and smiley attitude to life. Her Youtube theme is fashion but also dabbles in a lifestyle vlogging occasionally. Her content is stylish, elegant and interesting to watch. Effort and time has gone into the creation of this channel. Great to watch if you are having a bad day and want to see a smiley face.
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  5. Louis Cole | Theme: Travel/Lifestyle | Youtube: FunForLouis
    Always looking for an adventure. If you want to see parts of the world you didn’t know existed? This is your man. In a forest in New Zealand, on top of a mountain, camel riding in Morocco and constantly on a plane. His life is an adventure but Louis himself seems to be grounded and chilled. His content is always exciting and gives you a sense of motivation to see the world.

There you go! These are truly my top five individuals that motivate myself to live my journey and inspire me to dream big. Producing great content, great success and great inspiration.