Well the mojito cocktail I just ordered (for 2) at #Leicester Thomas Cook Bar didn’t last long. Totally digging the custom cups though! #sjcalifornia

from Instagram: http://ift.tt/1UfvWz3
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Making the most of the space we have when space is at a premium

Living in comfort in a large home with a garden and a dog and not-quite-a-picket-fence-but-you-get-the-reference, yes that’s the ideal. But starting out in a city which has widely been heralded as “the third most expensive city in the world” is no easy feat – especially when discovering that what would cover a months rent in my Uni city, barely covers a week in London for the same size space.

I’m not sure if it’s my interest in architecture or the fact I’m in the midst of attempting to find a flat that isn’t a cupboard and that I can actually afford, but seeing this tiny two-roomed apartment in Berlin (with an external toilet!) transformed by design team John Paul Coss and architecture studio Spamroom into a bright and airy and (most importantly) liveable space has made me wonder if it’d be possible to employ such designs within our capital.tinyapt7

Although not as chic and stylish as this 86sq feet Parisian micro-apartment
by architecture firm Kitoko Studio – which drew inspiration from the concept of a Swiss Army Knife, the 266sq ft ‘Micro-Apartment Moabit’ is focused around a central core unit housing a 22sq ft bathroom with a sliding door.

As you can see, along one side lies a corridor-style kitchen area lit by natural light from large windows, whilst on the other lies a pull-down wardrobe and a steel staircase up to the mezzanine level which serves as a sleeping area. All of the apartment has benefited from pale neutral colours and light wood which only serves to reflect light across the cosy space making it look larger and more open.

I don’t know about you, but having a 266sq ft studio apartment in London would still be priced at a premium (not least because of the versatile use of space and the sheer amount of natural light) but I have to admit that this example (and that of the Parisian design created by Kitoko) really has opened my eyes as to what can be possible in terms of using up all the space available – even if my space is more than likely going to be 8/9ft by 6/7ft.

Let me know what you think!

All photos credited to: Ringo Paulusch

The 7 Top Tips for a #PRstudent to get their first graduate job!

neesonSo, it’s that time of year again where summer is almost over and we’re slowly coming to terms with the looming reality of returning to university or *gasp* facing the daunting prospect of needing to get a job.

Now, if – like me – the prospect of becoming a fully-fledged adult (complete with taxes and commuting) has a tendency to give you heart palpitations, I thought I’d make things a little less stressful and give my top seven tips for getting that all important graduate job.

1.  Experience is (almost) everything!

Public relations – and, for that matter, most creative industries – is notoriously competitive to get into. This competitivity is even more pronounced at junior levels where swathes of new grads are fighting it out for the attention of increasingly discerning employers. One of the best ways to get their attention (and those elusive job offers) therefore, is to show whoever is potentially hiring you that you know your way around an office and the positions you are looking to fill.

frodo

Whether it is an internship, a collaborative project like Stephen Waddington’s #PRStack, writing for communities such as that built by Behind the Spin or volunteering your abilities within/for a not-for-profit, all experience is readily seen as good experience and, as such, does wonders for not only showing an employer you won’t crumble in the job, but also helps you gain confidence in your skillset and your ability in applying your academic knowledge to a professional context and environment.

2.  Figure out what makes you special and own it!

Now anyone who knows me knows I have a wide and arguably uncommon variety of interests (from WWE to politics to rats to blogging on a regular basis). As an undergraduate, I believed that being seen as ‘weird’ would put agencies and employers off but the more I’ve explored the industry and built connections within it, the more I’ve noticed that in fact the opposite is proving true.

Being ‘weird’ and having seemingly ‘quirky’ interests has been a godsend during interviews as I genuinely feel that it has been one of the key aspects that has ‘set me apart’ and led to my applications being memorable – something that is all to important when you know the person hiring has umpteen CVs to go through where every CV is going to look basically the same.

3.  Know where to look.

There are thousands of job sites across the Internet. Some are great, while others are riddled with spam, so finding the most helpful sites for what you’re looking for can be a mammoth process. The best course of action is to of course browse job boards that specialise in public relations like the handy list provided below:

4.  Stand out on social media!WORKING

I know. I know. Breaking through the noise and standing out online (particularly in a positive manner) is much easier said than done. But networking online across all the commonly used platforms is one of the key ways in which to get your name out there and your profile known.

Additionally, social media also is a great way to find job ads and stand out to employers. Indeed, I have recently gained a graduate role myself through securing an interview with Hamish Thompson, MD of London’s Houston PR, via Twitter based on his reading my blog and discovering a few of my quirkier interests – particularly my love of stationary (something that is shared within his team already).

5.  When it comes to applying/interviewing, Research. Research. Research.

Social media however, is not the be all and end all for getting a graduate job. Keeping up-to-date and being knowledgeable about your industry as well as the agencies you’d like to work for is so important in making a good impression. Interviews test your ability, skills and character but an interviewer is often looking for more. Stand out by commenting on campaigns the agency has been involved in, content they have posted or their client’s industries.

6.  Be gracious (in both success and defeat).

It’s amazing how many people don’t follow up an interview by sending a quick note to say thank you.

DO NOT LET YOURSELF BECOME ONE OF THEM.

Show your appreciation to anyone and everyone who helps you out (and even the people who don’t). It leaves such a positive impression and will pay off in the long run. After all, PR is a surprisingly small industry, and you never know who you might end up at an event with (or even working with) in the future.

Most importantly though is number 7. Keep a cool head and don’t let the slog get you down!!! Stay positive, keep a balance, hang out with your mates, and you’ll get there eventually.

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Don’t just take my word for it though! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think! Are there any tips you want to share?

Hootsuite Certification: What? Why? and How?

So last weekend, I took the plunge and – in between bouts of frantically revising for my final research exam this Monday (which I really shouldn’t have bothered stressing about as it was super straightforward) – I finally got around to completing my Hootsuite Professional Certification. YAY! With that in mind, I thought it might be an idea to give a bit of a breakdown as to what Hootsuite is and what value a certification in it might (or might not) have within a creative career.

Hootsuite Certified Professional

So what IS Hootsuite?

Hootsuite is a social media management system that collates the feeds of all your social media profiles, such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, WordPress, Reddit etc.), and integrates them all within one handy dashboard.

Whether its your Twitter ‘mentions’, your Facebook comments, or your Instagram feed, you can have multiple streams that are personalised to whatever areas you are interested in keeping on top of. Plus, when you upgrade to Hootsuite Pro, you’ll also get access to ‘Bulk upload’ features, the ability to filter your feed by your user’s Klout score, AND the ability to analyse your data to give you the info on how to increase your followers, your content’s reach and your engagement with your community.

How do you get certified?

Honestly? It’s pretty simple. All you need to do is upgrade to Hootsuite Pro, Sign up to Hootsuite university (which is free with the Pro setup, go through the video lessons in ‘Getting started’ and ‘Advanced Tactics’, and then take the 40 question, multiple-choice exam. Super straightforward and super easy!

Why bother?

Although I am without doubt more than a bit of a social media addict, and (to be perfectly honest) this certification is incredibly easy to pass (in part because half the questions seemed a tad too ‘self-congratulatory’ about their work), I wanted to be certified in part because A) it gave me the opportunity to learn how to apply the professional features of a REALLY commonly used tool in PR, Advertising and Marketing, and B) it gave me the reassurance that I was using the software properly.

Would I recommend?

Short answer: Yes. Long answer: It depends.

On the one hand, if you’re already working in a professional role where using Hootsuite is a daily part of your role, then getting professionally certified might be a bit of an overkill as you’re most likely going to pick up what you need to know merely through doing your job.

On the other hand though, if you’re still a student, or are yet to secure a job where social media plays a part, its always good to have another skill box to tick – especially when you can take advantage of the free trial to get it done. The (only) downside of this however, is that once you downgrade/stop paying for Hootsuite Pro, you lose your place within their ‘Certified Professionals’ database. Whether this is an issue for you however is up to you. For me, I’d hope my work would demonstrate my knowledge more than having my name in a database – though admittedly that is nice to have.