New internship: Eilidh MacRae Media

On 9th May this year, I started my new digital marketing internship at Eilidh MacRae Media, and two months on I have to say, I absolutely love it!

I take responsibility for four main areas as an intern:

  1. Managing the blog
  2. Social media
  3. Email marketing
  4. Blogger outreach/link building

Being given the opportunity to write as part of my job is such a blessing, because I enjoy it so much and it lets me develop my writing skills further. I cover topics including interiors, fashion, beauty, careers and more. I also look into sourcing other bloggers to write guest posts for our site and some of the posts we’ve had so far have been excellent.

Social media has always been a big part of each of my jobs, whether I’m doing public relations or digital marketing. Twitter is my favourite platform to use for business. It’s a fantastic search tool, so it’s how I find many of the brands and bloggers we approach to work with. It’s also useful for keeping up to date with industry news that our followers will find interesting.

My aim is to contact 40-60 brands/bloggers per week through email marketing (our services have now extended to bloggers too, so it’s not just brands I’m contacting) to create new business opportunities and let more relevant people know about our services.

Finally, ‘blogger outreach‘ involves searching the web for exciting blogs covering our main topics of interest. I have seen so many young women in particular creating stunning online platforms to share their photography and copywriting with the world. It’s fantastic to see that these days, anyone can start a blog and build up a following to push them in the right career direction. Having a blog can be a great extension to your CV and many employers will value the time and effort put into this platform.

To sum up, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have landed such an amazing internship for the summer! To read the posts I’m writing for Eilidh MacRae Media, please go to: http://emmedia.uk/blog/  or follow on Twitter: @Eilidhmmedia

Thanks for reading.

The Great British Asparagus Feast – busy few weeks at work!

At the moment, I’m working as a PR intern at Pam Lloyd PR, a food and fresh produce PR and marketing agency based in Montpelier, Bristol. I’m absolutely loving my work there, and the main campaign I’m working on at the moment is for British Asparagus. It’s a crowdfunding project where we’re raising funds to put on a culinary five-course extravaganza at the Yurt Lush, near Temple Meads in Bristol on Thursday 5th May 2016.

Yesterday we launched the crowdfunding page and video for The Great British Asparagus Feast, which we think is the first time a vegetable has ever crowdfunded a party for itself!

Here’s a link to the crowdfunding page and video:

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/great-british-asparagus-feast 

I’m particularly proud of the video (filmed by Lucy Werrett), as I did a lot of the editing for it – a skill I didn’t even realise I remembered from my A levels/first years of Uni! The video features Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton and Wye Valley asparagus grower Chris Chinn explaining the event in more detail and explaining that it’s a celebration for British growers!

Amazingly, in the first 24 hours we managed to smash 25% of our target of £7,000 to put on the feast. The team are over the moon with the launch and how welcoming the Bristol foodie crowd have been on social media. I’ve loved being a part of the initial planning and video creation and I’m looking forward to moving on through the next steps and making sure this event is a resounding success.

Apprenticeships 1000 word feature, with Molly Dowling

Women in PR: Molly Dowling and her journey up the PR ladder

At just 17, Molly Dowling has recently celebrated her first exciting year at Bristol based public relations agency, Purplefish. It has certainly been a busy first year. Despite being younger than most people in her position, Molly has achieved more than most 20-something university graduates already; having been promoted from social media and digital marketing apprentice, to junior account executive then to account executive in only twelve months.

“My new role is definitely a step up. I have been taken on as an Account Executive following my social media and digital marketing apprenticeship. It involves more client contact, more meetings and having more responsibility over client work. I have also taken on some admin work such as doing the timesheets at the end of every month and doing monthly presentations to show our clients what we have achieved over the previous months. I am really excited because there is so much more for me to learn over the next year.”

Molly believes that apprenticeships are an excellent alternative to those who want to further their education without necessarily going on to university. On top of her hectic work schedule, Molly also made it as a finalist in the Bristol Post’s Outstanding Apprentice of the Year awards this year. Molly has a great deal of advice she’d give to other people who are in the position she was this time one year ago…

I would definitely encourage school leavers to do an apprenticeship because you can train on the same level as students doing A-Levels at college and foundation degrees at University, whilst doing a job that you love. You are being trained and earning an income at the same time. After an apprenticeship, the individual can be kept on which means that they are in full time work after completing the course.”

Thousands of young people are now completing apprenticeships instead of going to university in the UK, according to the department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Figures for 2014/2015 show that more than 872,000 people were employed by government-funded apprenticeship schemes over the year, up from 851,000 from the previous year. Five years ago there were less than half a million people doing apprenticeships a year.

Molly’s choice to enter the seemingly glamorous world of public relations through an apprentice scheme came partly through her love of IT during her school years. “I knew I wanted to go into something involving IT as it was one of my favourite subjects that I really excelled in during school. However, I didn’t want to be an IT engineer which was the only option I knew about at the time! I love PR because it’s so creative, fun and I learn different things each day”.

However, apprenticeships are often not as encouraged on school leavers as university degrees as Molly found in her own experience; “When I was at school, we were always told that sixth form and University was the only pathway, so I didn’t know much about apprenticeships. When I attended sixth form, studying ICT, English Literature and Language and Law, I soon realised it wasn’t for me. I wanted to be hands on doing work and earning money. When I looked into other options, I came across apprenticeships in PR and that’s when I realised an apprenticeship was the right pathway for me.” However, this lack of encouragement is surprising as studies have shown that graduates are statistically expected to earn less than those completing an apprenticeship, as Education Editor at The Guardian Graeme Paton has explained in the past.

Although things could be changing in the UK, as the government are aiming to enroll three million people on apprenticeships by the year 2020. It estimates that for every £1 invested in apprenticeships, the economy receives a return of between £26 and £28. This positive focus around apprenticeships hopes to change the stereotype that this is a less valuable option, as research is proving it can be much more financially viable. All apprentices get paid a wage, so earning while you learn can be a huge selling point to school leavers. The current Apprentice National Minimum Wage is £2.73 per hour (as of 1st October 2014) and applies to all 16 to 18 year olds and those aged 19+ in their first year of their apprenticeship. Having completed the first year of an apprenticeship, if you are aged 19+ you’re also entitled to the National Minimum Wage rate appropriate to your age. This is £5.03 for 18-20 year olds (as of 1st October 2013), and £6.31 for workers aged 21 or over.

All apprentices work a minimum of 30 hours a week and no more than 40 hours per week, which can be useful to those who want to get to know how it feels to work full time hours before they enter the career of their choice.

Different to choosing a university degree which costs on average £9000 per year as of 2014, the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) pays the costs of your apprenticeship training depending on your age. If you are aged 16-18, NAS contributes up to 100% of the cost of your training. If you are aged 19-24, NAS contributes up to 50% of the cost of your training.

Aside from her busy job day-to-day, Molly was also nominated for Outstanding Young Apprentice of the Year and made it to the finals. (7.) “Being a finalist for the Outstanding Apprentice of the Year awards with Bristol Post was amazing. I had only been at the company for just over 6 months and felt like what I had achieved had paid off. I was so proud that my work had been recognised.”

However, all the success hasn’t rushed to her head. She explained that she’s keen to keep working as hard as possible at Purplefish to climb her way up the PR ladder and learn new skills along the way. She’d like to progress onto an account manager role, and aspires to start her own PR firm one day in the future.

Words: 1016

 

http://www.pmtraining.org.uk/apprenticeships/apprentice-faqs/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10578118/Graduates-earning-less-than-those-on-apprenticeships.html

 

Shop Dutty rebranding 700 word feature

Bristol based independent store ‘Shop Dutty’ has to undertake a total rebrand after losing a two-year legal battle with multinational company, Massimo Dutti. This news has come as a shock to owners Louisa Jones and Joh Rindom and to many of their loyal customers,  who have become attached to the brand’s identity and sassy name over the years. The shop supplies local residents with garish pieces inspired by 90s trends and rave culture, while supporting local designers and brands by stocking their lines in store. Louisa  started Dutty as a club night in 2003, which then evolved into a small vintage clothing shop in St Nick’s Market under the name ‘The Dutty Girl Shop’. Soon after, she began stocking Joh’s designs and then the pair decided to collaborate, opening the store in Stokes Croft in 2008.

So who are Massimo Dutti?

Massimo Dutti, founded in 1985, is a Spanish clothes manufacturing company owned by Inditex who also own Zara, Bershka and Pull and Bear. The company employs more than 4,000 people across the world and their offices are located in Barcelona, Spain. The company has held their EU trademark of the name since 1996. The ruling meant that the name can no longer by used by the Shop Dutty due to the similarity with their brand name.  

Crowdfunding initiative

The case came to an end at the end of this summer 2015, and Shop Dutty is having to undergo a crowdfunding mission in order to make up for their financial losses, using Crowdfunder.co.uk. According to the owners, the cost of proceedings has set them back massively. So far, they have raised just over 40% of their £12,000 target.

There are a range of initiatives offered on the crowdfunding site:

  • £20 = Pre-order of brand new t-shirt design
  • £25 = Ticket to the rebrand club night
  • £30 = Ticket to rebrand club night AND Dutty t-shirt
  • £75 = Voucher to spend in store worth £100
  • £250 = Sponsorship of the rebranding event, with the opportunity to feature your company logo on all flyers etc.

Katie

Katie Karnif has been working at the store for six months and says it was hard finding out about the case. “It was devastating, realising we wouldn’t be Dutty anymore. I couldn’t understand why this huge company would pick on such a small business. It didn’t make sense.” The stress of the case has also impacted on her day to day job. “My workload has definitely increased. We’re creating a new website, re-tagging everything and getting a new collection together!”

But it’s not all doom and gloom for Katie. She still loves her work. “I spend so much time in the shop, it really is my second home, and second family. I feel very valued and appreciated.” The idea to start crowdfunding came soon after the team discovered the ruling. “We knew we wanted to stay open, so this meant re-branding. We also knew this would be expensive, so we decided to crowdfund to help recoup some of our loses and keep us on our feet.” The interest in the case has spread across the city, and Katie claims that at least 75% of people who come into the shop ask about why it happened and what they’re doing about it.

Katie says they’re putting everything into their new brand for 2016. They want to build on it and make it their own and work to make everything bigger and better. “There’s still lots to do and much more to come; including new lookbooks and a new website.”

 

The Dutty Whine Up; Rebrand Showcase Club Night

In true Dutty style, the store will be hosting The Dutty Whine Up; Rebrand Showcase Club Night on 5th December, where they will announce their new brand name. Despite the legal outcome, they’re remaining upbeat and the event will help towards their £12,000 goal to cover solicitor’s fees and rebranding the entire store and clothing lines. They believe the new name is fitting with the brand and their existing ethos. With secret headliners, special guest djs and a secret location in the city centre; this club night has the potential to be one of the best in the Bristol winter calendar.  

To show your support for the store, pledge money at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-big-dutty-re-brand

Or to find out more about the event, head to their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/shopdutty/?fref=ts
Words: 711

Tinder 700 word feature

Chances are, you’ve heard of Tinder. Chances are, you know it’s a dating app. Chances are, if you’re single, you’re on Tinder yourself. Or if you’re happily coupled up, you’ve been shown by your single friends and are just dying to have a swipe of your own.

But what’s the fuss all about? Why do so many people feel the need to adopt this unnatural method of seeking a partner? In the UK, the average person spends one hour per day on Facebook, 21 minutes on Instagram and 17 minutes on Twitter. With the rapid mobilisation of technology, it’s no surprise that online dating had to make the imminent leap onto our smartphones too.

The UK’s social media use

Communications regulator, Ofcom, has said that British adults spend an average of eight hours and 41 minutes a day on media devices, compared with the average night’s sleep of eight hours and 21 minutes. Social media now amounts to 22% of all our internet use and some receive extremely high internet traffic. Popular app Snapchat for example sees 350 million photos shared daily between users. Online activity is constantly increasing, with new apps created every single day to  make a person’s life “easier” or find ways to save time, and apparently our attitude to dating is no different…

What is Tinder?

Today, Tinder has 50 million active users who will check their accounts 11 times per day and spend an average of 90 minutes per day on the app. It was created by Los Angeles entrepreneurs Sean Rad, Justin Mateen, and was first introduced across college campuses and quickly downloaded by millions of young people.  The 26 year old chief executive said the app was designed to “solve issues with dating and rejection in our generation”. Tinder is financially backed by InterActiveCorp, which is also the parent company of Match.com, worldwide dating website. When Tinder was first established, it was used mostly for ‘hook ups’ or casual sex but has developed into a more serious method of dating that has helped form longer, more committed relationships. One example of this is Olympic Gold Medallist Amy Williams, who married her partner after meeting him on Tinder 18 months ago. They decided to get engaged only 12 weeks after meeting on the app. Surprisingly, even celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon including Hilary Duff and Leonardo DiCaprio.

How does Tinder work?

For those who aren’t familiar with the app, Tinder works by using your GPS location as supplied by your smartphone and registers with other users in your area, so they come up for you to ‘swipe’ either yes or no. The app uses your Facebook profile to add photos to your account for others to swipe yes or no. This also means it’s harder to fake your profile pictures or age because the two have to coincide. When both parties swipe ‘like’ to each other, it notifies you there is a ‘match’ and the app allows you to speak to each other.

Katie’s story

However unlikely this may seem, many people have managed to find their perfect match through the app. Katie Rodgers from Bristol is one of these lucky people. “When I first started speaking to George, I knew it was different to the other guys I’d matched with. He was sweet and genuine, and within about a week we’d already met for drinks and started to become more serious quite quickly.” Katie knows that many people regard the app as just for casual sex or ‘hook-ups’ but believes people should have a more open minded perspective. “Every person is different and looking for a different thing. Tinder can be used more casually but you’ll never know if someone wants more unless you ask. It’s all about chance and persistence.”

So what’s next for Tinder? Rad and Mateen aim to turn the app into something people want to use even if they’re not looking for a date. They want it to evolve into an app about “social discovery” and meeting new people not just in a romantic context. “Even if you’re in a relationship, you’re going to be able to find good value in Tinder in the coming months”

This constant evolution is vital to help keep the fire burning for Tinder in people’s app stores.

Words: 716

Features writing module

I recently received my grades back from our 15 credit features writing module and I was thrilled to get a first for my work at 75%!

We had to write 6 400 word features on a range of topics for this module. We then had to pick three to turn into longer pieces of about 700-1000 words.

Mine three extended pieces were on:

  • Tinder
  • Apprenticeships and a case study on Molly Dowling, social media apprentice at Purple Fish PR
  • The Shop Dutty rebrand in Bristol

My shorter pieces included:

  • A science piece on whether dogs can truly ‘smell’ sadness
  • A hypothetical copywriting piece for the UWE website
  • A burger restaurants review piece

Thought it was a good use of my blog to get these longer pieces up on here, so that’s what my next three posts will consist of!