Expanding the boundaries of my content

Earlier today I was browsing this blog (reminiscing as you do) and I realised something…

For all my posts on strategic branding, or the way a bikini can help explain brand integrity, or the multitude of cheat sheets (like this one and this one) I’ve created, I’d forgotten one important thing; I wasn’t really showing my readers all of my interests. Or at the very least, (barring politics) I wasn’t showing them clearly enough.

I mean sure, people might be able to guess from my post on The Rock’s personal branding strategy that I’m into wrestling (and WWE in particular) and the personas that garner so much screaming attention.

They might even have twigged from my using rats to talk about reputation management that I have two grabby-handed monsters of my own (though the picture probably helped).

But they – by which I really mean You – might not realise how interested I am in:

  • creative design (particularly when it comes to architecture, typography and modern art),
Reverse graffiti is amazing!!!

                                    Reverse graffiti is amazing!!!

  • science & tech (because with the advancements and discoveries we are currently making how could anyone not be?)

189701-This-Week-In-Science-13th-19th-July-2015

  • animals,
  • and food (and not just because the animals make the food).

I also have a penchant for stationary (perhaps because of my interest in typology?) and a love of cafes – there’s just something about sitting in a quiet corner with the hustle and bustle going on around you, isn’t there?

Don’t mistake me, I know all too well the importance of “having a niche” when blogging. I’m sure we’re all are interested in PR or communications (in some way or another) so of course that is (and always will be) the core of all my content, but to be honest, I don’t fit snugly into any specific niche and neither do my readers.

So, the point of this post is that I’m rectifying that and am considering expanding my content focus a wee bit beyond its current boundaries. Whether it works or not will have to be seen but its going to be an interesting experiement nonetheless.

Let’s get digital (and social) with #MyDigitalCareer

So it’s been almost a week since the end of #MyDigitalCareer 11703358_632840450085757_8939266814298482214_nand I feel its  probably time to put my thoughts to paper (or the online equivalent of paper anyway).

Now for those of you who don’t know – which may well be many of you, the #MyDigitalCareer event (the brainchild of London-based Cloudnine Recruitment) was aimed at providing students and recent graduates with insights into social and digital roles, and advice on how to break into the industry.

At each evening’s talk (as the event lasted five days across a variety of London locations), twenty of the most influential and interesting leaders and practitioners in the Social Media & Digital industries, including: O2 Social Media Manager,1513681_632846740085128_3830231672129821664_n Rachel Kneen; Associate Director at Edelman, James Poulter; Head of Social and Community at The Guardian, Laura Oliver; and Salesforce digital guru, Jeremy Waite, author of “From Survival to Significance” (which I highly recommend by the way), gave us a breakdown of their experiences and insights into what’s important for those looking to follow in their footsteps before taking part in a short Q&A session prior to networking over drinks and nibbles.

I will admit, even before arriving last monday, 11694776_632840490085753_6290195808492707933_nI had high expectations of the event – not least because I knew Ketchum‘s Chief Engagement Officer, Stephen Waddington – who recently judged Behind the Spin‘s National blogging competition (in which I secured joint Second place) – would be one of the guest speakers.

These expectations however were far far surpassed.

As such, I thought it only fair to share with you my top ten key take-homes of the week. So, in no particular order (as they’re all great points to remember):

1) Read! Read journals, read blogs, read up on current affairs within whatever sector peaks your interest. As Jeremy Waite stated on Friday, “It matters most to be informed.”

2) Write; and (perhaps just as importantly) spellcheck. Not only does it demonstrate your interests, your industry knowledge, and your business awareness, but it is also highly regarded by both employers and their clients.

3) Be yourself! Without being loud or obnoxious (I mean how off-putting would that be), be confident enough in your ability to stand in a room and make yourself known for your deeds.

4) That being said, also be very conscious of what aspects of yourself that you present – particularly online where years-old drunken photos and ramblings can rear their ugly heads once more.

5) Pick a path but be ready to move with the times. Knowing what you love and going for it wholeheartedly is admirable after all, but we must not tie ourselves to one way of doing things in case it restricts our future growth. Time always changes things after all.

6) Network. Network. Network. This point in particular hit home for me as almost every speaker stated that every job they’d secured had been recommended to them via their networks.

7) Find a mentor; someone who will support, challenge and prove a helpful sounding board throughout your career.

8) Know that there’s no such thing as a work/life balance.

9) That being said, Learn how to say no, and try to maintain some semblance of one. That, or risk burning out early on in your career.

10) Stay curious. Whether it be about new trends, new tools, or new technology, staying curious will keep your knowledge, industry awareness, and skillset up to date and relevant. It is this (so they claim) that will set us apart.

Hold the front page!!!

  
I’ve been itching to post this for the last few days but, now that the official announcement has been made I feel I can finally announce that I have joined Behind the Spin’s editorial team as an Associate Editor.

Behind the Spin (for those of you who don’t know) is an online magazine that caters to public relations students and young PR professionals. As well as regularly updating with articles on anything from promoting MOOC’s and industry competitions to feature articles showing the intricacies of a particular role or a contributor’s perception and experience of a particular area of the industry, the publication and it’s Editor, Richard Bailey, are active in assisting with careers advice and ways for young and passionate PR folk to demonstrate their skills.

For me, it has become a valuable resource that I’ve highly recommended to my peers since my discovery of it last summer, but it is it’s provision of opportunities such as its annual national #PRstudent blogging competition, and Richard’s willingness to act as a ‘sounding board’ for any and all of my professional thoughts, queries, and questions that – I believe – sets Behind the Spin apart. Despite being an avid and voracious reader of many popular industry titles (Drum, Creative Review and PR Week to name a few) – something I highly recommend doing for any aspiring or current PR student or grad – Behind the Spin (for me at least) has become that down-to-earth insight into the positives, challenges and just plain realities of what the industry is like at the level WE are currently at.

Cue why being a part of it is all very exciting – to the point of my letting out a rather undignified squeal in the middle of a crowded train platform when reading Richard’s offer.

If you’d also like to get involved (whether you’re a PR student, a graduate, a PR lecturer or an employer), check out this open invitation to tell you how.

Adidas takes a step forward in the fight against ocean pollution

In 2010, it was estimated that eight million tons of plastic trash ended up in the sea—far more than the total measured floating on the surface in the ocean’s “garbage patches.” One report for the UN (conducted by London-based consultancy Trucost) into the activities of the world’s 3,000 biggest companies found that the estimated combined damage was worth US$2.2 trillion (£1.4tn) in 2008 – a figure bigger than the national economies of all but seven countries in the world that year.

One famed sportswear company however has gone from making tentative steps to curb its waste (it was accused by Greenpeace of environmental pollution in the past) to great strides into up-cycling ocean plastic and (to some extent, thanks to the work of The Sea Shepards) poachers’ illegal gillnets to create a new, stylish concept; Eco-sneakers.

recycled-fish-net-ocean-trash-sneakers-adidas-5

recycled-fish-net-ocean-trash-sneakers-adidas-6

Through its new partnership with envirnomentalism organisation ‘Parley for the Oceans‘ (in which creators, thinkers and leaders come together to raise awareness of ocean pollution, and collaborate on projects to protect and conserve them), the concept shoe offers a first look at the kind of consumer-ready ocean plastic products that Adidas aims to reveal later this year.

The sneakers’ uppers (which may or may not be produced widescale) are created with recycled plastics as well as actual green net fibers – a huge opportunity for those looking to specialise (or branch out) within the footwear and clothing markets.

#BreakingNews Max Clifford has been charged!

Max CliffordInfamous former celebrity publicist, Max Clifford (72) has just been charged with another indecent assault that allegedly occurred in 1981, and will appear at Westminster Magistrates court later this month.

Based on evidence collected as part of Operation Yewtree, the charge is the lastest in a string of offences by Clifford, who was convicted last year of multiple sexual assaults and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS in London, Baljit Ubhey, said: “We have carefully considered the evidence gathered as part of Operation Yewtree in relation to Max Clifford.

“Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Clifford to be charged with one offence of indecent assault. Mr Clifford will appear at Westminster magistrates court on 21 July 2015.”

Hivehaus’ honeycomb design helps first-time buyers build a home

Three years after 52-year-old builder, Barry Jackson started considering how to create a “man cave” in his back garden (to house his photography equipment and drum kit), Hivehaus – a series of hexagonal room forming a personalised building – has grown to host the potential to revolutionise the housing market; offering first-time buyers an alternative (and much cheaper) way of getting modular3onto the property ladder.

The honeycomb design (theorised to be an example of ‘nature’s efficiency’ by the Ancient Greeks), costs approximately £55’000 for three units, and can be erected in less than a week by three builders. Admittedly, it requires planning permission if owners are looking to live within the structure, but the flat-pack, Scandinavian-style buildings have a wide range of potential uses such as, for example: a garden room, office, gym, conservatory, studio and (as allegedly suggested by one London post-production house) film editing suites.

The wooden frame floor’s ‘feet’ can be adjusted to compensate for uneven ground, but (for me) the key feature of this house is without doubt the interlocking shape system. As you can see in the video below, as well as the main hexagon spaces, Barry has also designed smaller diamond-shaped rooms with bathroom fittings, and similarly shaped patterns for an outdoor decking area.

“With this idea, every module is the same size and you think of the module as a space which you use for whatever – if you need another bedroom, you add another module”, says Jackson, making the units perfect for a young couple who could then add to the structure with more units as their financial circumstances improve.

Hivehaus‘ simplistic and minimalistic stye might not suit everyone, but with the way the housing market is going, the Hivehaus is innovative enough to pose as a significant and (most importantly) affordable option for first-time buyers – something that has been a key motivator for Jackson.

“A lot of young people won’t ever have that chance that I had. They are still living with their parents in their 30s. It delays having families because people don’t feel that they belong anywhere, because they are stuck in some rental trap.

“The more I developed this idea, the more I saw that this could be developed for good and hopefully help people who can’t get on the housing ladder.”