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!

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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.
    hazel-watts
  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.

New Years Resolutions // 2016

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  1. Limit technology. 
    Lately, I’ve noticed I am always on my phone or laptop. Whether I’m watching television, doing work or even spending time with friends and family, I am at some point distracted by technology. In lectures, a five minute break is code for “complete silence in the room as everyone checks their phones to see the latest updates”. As a society we are always multitasking and most of the time are not completely present. This year I want to make sure I am present in everything. The world has developed incredibly the past decade in technology and life seems to run around it. Hey, don’t take this the the wrong way I love a good Apple product as much as the next person but not knowing about an Instagram picture my mate just put up of their breakfast won’t kill me. This year, I will live through myself rather than a screen, limit my time on my phone/laptop and keep that five minute lecture break full of face-to-face communication.
  2. Enjoy.
    If you know me, you know I worry, stress and am an all over control freak (hey, I’m not afraid to admit it). This year, I’m setting myself a challenge to not stress and take everything good or bad as a part of a journey. I tend to look at bad experiences, news or situations as negatives in fact they most always have a lesson. I want to enjoy everything this year spending time with friends, going out, trips away and living the life I have worked so hard to get too. Recently, I have been reminded life is short, precious and something that should be enjoyed.
  3. Look after myself.
    I know what you’re thinking – “New year, new me”. Well yes, but I’m not going on an all liquid diet, getting a gym membership that I will never use or trying out a new health tea. I simply want to look after my body in a simple way, in what I consume, how I think and how I am active. I have never liked fitness, P.E in school for me was nothing short of hell and running up the stairs is what I call my ‘daily work out’. I have become lazy this year actively but more importantly I have noticed my mind becoming lazy. This year my aim is too make an effort in food, in positivity of my mind and looking after my body.

They always say ‘writing things down, makes them happen’ and putting them on my online blog for the world to see surely will help someway towards that. Usually, New Years resolutions can span up to a page long (I know mine did in past years). This year I wanted to keep it simple and limited. Listing 3 things which were going to fulfill, help and encourage myself to live a happy and healthy life.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year. Here is to a successful 2016!

 

The PR Fraternity – Refreshing a society…

I started blogging last year and really enjoyed it. Coming back in September I was looking forward to start writing about my interests again. This year I found it difficult to pin down a topic I wanted to write about or had time to write about. I discovered that this was my problem. Most of my time was being invested in a real big project that I am privileged to be a part of…

My Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feed this term has been covered with promotion for a society, The PR Fraternity. This year, I was pleasantly surprised to be elected president. The PR Fraternity runs along side our PR and Communications course at the University of Greenwich. Last year, I was really inspired by our ex- president, Charlotte Kingsland. I admired her commitment, communications with us as first years and also her reputation for doing well in assignments.

This summer I decided to come up with a strategy for The PR Fraternity. I looked at what I would like to change, what could be improved and what the Fraternity wanted to do this year.

  1. Refresh the image. A past student, Michelle Amos started the PR Fraternity just over four years ago. This year it was decided that a new logo, a new website and fresh new content would create some excitement about the society and inject curiosity for potential members.
  2. Start a blog. One thing I have learnt from last year is that blogging gives you a voice. The PR Fraternity is made up of students that all have voices. Making a blog for the fraternity gives not only the society a voice but individuals.  Unfortunately, I feel a student voice in the PR industry is lacking at the moment and The PR Fraternity wanted to capitalize on a group in the industry that don’t seem to get much attention.
  3. A industry spanning speaker programme. This year it was decided that a speaker program which spanned across many industries would be the most beneficial for students. Getting people who are current would not only give students knowledge on topics that are current (Example: Zoe Collins, Creative Director of Jamie Olivers Media Group talking about Sugar Tax) but would helps us with injecting that curiosity into the society.
  4. Bringing the ‘fraternal’ element to PR. The most important aspect of our society is the sense and feeling of a community. Calling the ‘fraternity’ that specific word was to reflect that this society was different from others. The PR Fraternity is a regular networking event for students, alumni and interested outsiders to hear interesting and challenging, yes. More importantly, it acts as a support network for PR students to network, learn and thrive in a community built specifically for them.
  5. An Alumni element. The University of Greenwich has a huge amount of very successful and dedicated alumni in many different sectors of the industry. The society wanted to make sure that the community was also made up of Alumni who could talk to students from a students perspective giving them valuable information about a sector they may know about or even advice on how to approach an assignment. PR is all about networking and not building up connections through people who are happy to help would be silly.

It’s great to have a strategy on what to do but who to do it is also very important. The PR Fraternity has an executive who are also voted on and our vital in making a society successful. Nobody can do it all on their own, as they say, there is no ‘I’ in team. Promotion was also key in making the society successful. Social media is great to promote and gain a good reputation.  A good reputation usually gains a good following which usually comes hand in hand with being active on current topics and keeping your style consistent across all platforms.

“Looking good from the outside is as important as looking good on the inside.”

Using Twitter to promote to industry, Facebook to alert members of the events through an invite-only event page and Instagram to promote the events afterwards to show what people missed who didn’t attend. Social media helped to give the society the reputation it wanted and needed to be successful.

The PR Fraternity has had it’s fair share of difficulties this term, room bookings and cancellations, being a few. All the difficulties have been over shadowed due to the success of this term. Inspiring speakers who have given up their time to speak to students have really motivated and inspired the new generation of PR Practitioners. The support the society has had from members, honorary patrons, speakers, lecturers and the industry has itself been inspiring.

The PR Fraternity will only grow in term two and I am very much looking forward to watching it flourish.

If you would like to find out more about The PR Fraternity, upcoming events or to sign up for our membership. Take a look at our website and social media @prfraternity. 

 

 

 

A guide to student survival // Be prepared to…

As I walked around H&M yesterday, I acknowledged two middle aged women walk into the shop and instantly see the ‘20% off for students’ sign. Intriguingly, one of women proclaimed ‘Well, I wish I was a bloody student’. Well, let me tell you ladies a measly 20% off H&M is the least of your worries as a student.

1. Be prepared to step into an environment that is completely foreign to you.
Flatmates. You’ll either get the best or the worst. I’ve heard stories of partying till 5am each night and kitchen sinks that take on the look of the leaning tower of Pisa. Everyone is different and if this is your cup of tea then you’ve found your match. Just be sure that the tower is down before move out day comes along. You don’t want to loose that outrageous deposit that no previous uni student told you about.

2. Be prepared to have an overdraft.
You start university with summer earned money and your first payment of student finance. This first payment into your bank account will light up your eyes but it won’t be there for long. Night’s out, eating out, travel and the odd clothes shop will lead you to eating out of tins in your last weeks of term three. I’m not gonna preach about budgeting because honestly I don’t practise it. So, make sure to get familiar with all the canned goods you can find in Sainsbury’s.

3. Be prepared to leave deadlines till the last minute.
You will go into university wanting to turn over a new leaf, proclaiming that you will plan. It won’t happen. You’ll get to engrossed in a new series that contributes nothing to your life which ties perfectly into…

4. Be prepared to watch everything on Netflix.
It will be your saviour when suffering from a hangover, dying from the winter cold from hell and when you decided to change your degree to BA (Hons) in Procrastination. You will also be great in a general knowledge quiz after university due to watching documentaries usually involving David Attenborough.

5. Be prepared to have to think about your own survival.
Shopping for your own food sounds great at the start but in the end you realise that it’s tedious. Your bank statement will consist of nothing but supermarkets and rightly so, due to a good two thirds of your money being spent on food.

6. Be prepared to have a ridiculous sleeping pattern.
You will either be kept up by next doors party or either be at it. Either way you’ll be pulling yourself out of bed for that 9am lecture that you only found out existed last week.

7. Be prepared to feel constantly out of fashion.
Going to university gives anyone an excuse to buy a new wardrobe. The first term you will be on trend and totally loving the fact that you have something new to wear each day. Second term comes and you realise that this second student finance payment just about covers rent and food. Looking on trend goes out the window from about January onwards..

8. Be prepared to hate laundry.
If you’re in halls, laundry is your worst nightmare. Normal logic would be to put enough washing machines to serve the capacity of your halls building. Oh no. You’ll be doing washing at 2am just to find a gap. Laundry rooms are also not always reliable. Be prepared to hang your washing across the kitchen using hair dryers to dry them due to putting your washing in the only broken dryer of the pack.

9. Be prepared to spend loads of money on things for your course that you’ll never use.
First introduction lecture and the reading lists are handed out. Utter panic washes over all your fellow classmates faces as you realise the A4 piece of paper given is double sided. The panic will only heighten when you establish the money that you’re going to be spending. Don’t buy the books.The library will be your saviour, it’s there to assist you in your studies, so take it, it’s free.

10. Be prepared to not use Wikipedia as a reference.
Baffled, I know. All those years at A level and GCSE when Wiki was your only trusty source. You’ll be dumping this source and cheating on it with higher classed sources of information called books, journals and articles. Don’t worry Wikipedia will still be there for you from time to time but it just won’t get the credit in your reference list.

So, you see us students deserve student discount as a little reward for just surviving another day, ladies.