Thursday 6th February

As I’ve mentioned before for me my biggest challenge whilst completing this pitch was figuring out who I was writing for aside from the client. Completing the audience slide was toughest task I faced as when doing a project similar to this you cannot move forward unless you have established who your audience is. I found even harder as I had to think like someone who was 40 years older than me!

Looking back I cannot believe how much I have progressed in the last two, I’m actually really proud of myself. I started by reading the copy of one magazine which I read over 100’s of times to get inspiration and the online content over and over again in order to figure out what needed to be improved. This assignment has been very overwhelming and challenging but I really did enjoy it. I have finally finished my project ready to send off to the editors for feedback but I’m pretty sure I’ll take one more look at it tomorrow and decide to go through it and re-edit it again before I can say here you go this one is 99% perfect.

Also posted in http://lifeisfunbeingme.wordpress.com/

Wednesday 5th February

Today I was rather annoyed  as I spent all morning working on the social media section of my project as the consistency was out of place, hopefully this afternoon will be more productive. 

On a positive note, I’ve managed to finish all my feature ideas and I’m really excited that this project has really started to come together. Compared to when I first started only 7 days ago I couldn’t imagine how much I would have improved in such a small time. I can now focus on the concepts which I find the hardest, such as completing the audience slide and getting together the editorial content. 

After lunch I had a meeting with editor 1 for some feedback and she told me to look at a pitch in this perspective as I have mentioned before I have been struggling with creating this pitch. She said that the purpose of a pitch in its simplest form is to say that the magazine is good but we can do it better. I’m currently working on the slides i dreaded the most i.e. really focusing on who the audience is and reviewing of current content, although I can proudly say I have completed my editorial ideas. 

I spent a few hours going through the slides making sure that all details were correct and F.A.C.E was applied throughout I will say that next time I do a similar project to this I’ll start off with master slides so that I don’t waste time doing it later. I felt that a bit of this project was spent wasting time such as applying F.A.C.E and the master slides this for me was a huge set back as I could have spent the time developing my ideas into more detail.

What’s really good is that recently a graduate student has started her internship within my placement and its been really good getting to know her and to see what to expect after university. I would have loved to apply for the position as I seen it on Twitter but as I am yet to graduate it was not possible. 

I am so grateful to have an insight into the publishing world especially having the opportunity of having 1 on 1’s with editors that advice me on what to do as well as ways to improve myself as a creative.

Also posted in http://lifeisfunbeingme.wordpress.com/

Tuesday 4th February

I love my placement so much, I really do feel part of the media industry world… I’m just about Media Media Media! Today I had one of the best days at placement, I got in and was assigned my computer, opened key note and carried on developing feature ideas.

My placement are strict on maintaining their standards and for every presentation they make they always make sure F.A.C.E is present. However when I started creating this pitch I didn’t abide by using the master slides and if I’m honest I forgot too include them. For those of you who don’t know what a master slide on KeyNote is, it’s a slide which defines the slide attributes such as title, body text box layouts and default font styles; the slide background etc. Undoubtedly my placement have their own, so today I copied the master slides from a different Keynote presentation and applied them to my KeyNote document as well as beginning to apply the acronym F.A.C.E.

Making sure everything has face is a real pain as it takes so long, my aim for today was to finish all the slides I have started so that tomorrow I can work on the audience. I’m really getting  into the project now as I can see myself doing this in the future. 

After lunch I had a meeting on social media with the content director as the last 5 diary entries I have posted I have been at my placement for my module Creative Industries & Professional Practice I have taken at university as not only in businesses but as a citizen you need to be careful with what you post on social media as it can really damage a business reputation as well as an individuals. A stupid comment is all it takes so when using social media especially when having to maintain confidentiality contracts you have to be smart with what you publish. 

From the meeting I came away with the golden rule that as long as there is no mentioning of names and any anything you disclose regarding a company i.e. my placement is taken off the company’s website is acceptable as that does not break any social media policy due to already being publicly posted.

I then started to create my checklist to make sure F.A.C.E was being applied, such as in the consistency section I had listed to make sure when using bullet points I would leave a space, then compose the first word and made sure I would use the same type of bullet point for each slide. When looking at how the organisation could improve their use of social media I made sure that there were no mistakes when writing the word Twitter and made sure that every time it was written it was spelled with a capital T. My placement have their own strategy of when using KeyNote to highlight text using the same colour as their logo so that the slide looks appealing and engaging, I made sure that I used the same colour density for every highlighted word throughout the document as well as making sure all font was the same and same size.  

That’s it for today, it’s all I managed to complete I’ll see you tomorrow… 

Also posted in http://lifeisfunbeingme.wordpress.com/

Monday 3rd February

Hey I’m back,

Its time for part 2 of this project, this morning I got in and carried on with finishing off my editorial ideas, my personal aim for today is to finish all my feature ideas in time for some feedback. I find it takes a lot of time to work on a pitch especially as I have repeatedly stated its hard to get in the mindset of a target audience who is a lot older than me. I know that I may come across that I have moaned since the start of this project by saying its tough and its hard BUT I would like to point out that I am not giving up and am putting in 100%, this pitch has proven to be a real challenge and it is the first piece of real work I have had to do so of course its not going to be plain sailing, life will always be a massive roller coaster full of ups and downs.

I’m glad my placement gave me a project as big as this to do by myself because I feel having a real taste of something that you truly want to do helps you with your expectation, gives you a real sense of the working world and knowledge on how hard something can be so that in the future I don’t end up going into a career, quitting or giving up because I found it too hard, didn’t like it or not at all what I expected. I can say I kept at it, although challenging and pursued it instead. I remember being told that when I did my GCSE’s they would be the easiest part of my education and that A-levels would a step harder, university would be 10x harder and then putting all that knowledge into real life is even tougher especially when I’m studying a theory based course. So this week so far have made me learn a lot about myself that I can keep going and although I do feel like giving up because it would be EASIER, I’m not I’m carrying on.

Although I find this project so challenging, I am really enjoying it because its pushing me to think outside the box, to be inventive, creative and push myself to produce the best piece of work that I possibly can. I have to always remember that I am working for someone else and not only does this have to be accepted by the client but I have to maintain my placements standard, I have to prove myself, show that I am a creative and a slight perfectionist. 

Today I managed to have a meeting with Editor 2 and receive some feedback on my progress so far, it was exciting for me to finally be part of the other side – Editorial. Sometimes I walk past the meeting rooms and see editors discussing with their note books and mood boards and I feel envious that I’m not in there too. The meeting went very well as I managed to receive plenty of tips, Editor 2 was pleased with initial ideas for my feature but suggested that I expanded on them.

Today sounds like I’ve pretty much lounged around because before I knew it, it was 5:30 and I managed to complete 6 slides but I blame F.A.C.E & Keynote, I did try to complete all my feature ideas so that tomorrow I can focus on the outer concepts such as audience, magazine role etc. Keynote, seriously is one time consuming software as well as making sure that everything I have written is geared towards the client. It’s also picking the right picture to liven up the slide which is where media language then comes in along with its denotation and connotation. I will say this, after using keynote you become a perfectionist it will even make you start aligning your bedroom.

Also posted in http://lifeisfunbeingme.wordpress.com/

Friday 24th January

Today I left work early due to a hospital appointment, once I arrived in the office I carried on working on my editorial ideas from yesterday. I expanded on my feature ideas and focused on the layout of how to present my ideas to make sure I was incorporating the concept of F.A.C.E.  The part I hated the most about this project was the fact that I felt I had no idea what I was doing, getting in the correct mindset was tough, so thinking up of editorial ideas especially as I was finding this so hard revolved  around me staring at a blank screen for a while. I hate that feeling of the added pressure of being timed knowing you have to complete this by a certain date but then not having anything to show for what you have done for the working day… writers block and lack of inspiration I feel is the worst especially when working in a creative industry. 

Whenever you do anything in a creative industry, everything depends on an idea and I have a silly little theory of how I think of this. I think of it being the process of planting a seed to watching it develop into a flower. My thought process is that the seed is the thought – the raw ideas, the leaves become the work to develop it and the flower is the finished product whereas the nurture of the soil and water are the improvements allowing the idea to grow. I do the exact same thing when writing up my blog posts the notes I scribble down sometimes don’t even make sense but then I work on them, nurture them and can finally then click publish.

Naturally this section was all I managed to complete today and due to confidentiality I cannot discuss the editorial ideas I produced as the ideas are tailored for the client and are very specific!

Finally its the weekend, the last four days have been tough but I am so glad to be able to experience a real taster of  the creative industries. Pitching has proven to be really challenging as there is so much that you need to take into account.

See you next week.

Also posted in http://lifeisfunbeingme.wordpress.com/

Thursday 23rd January

Ok for this post I’m going to start it differently you might not see the relevance to start off with but it should become clear as I go on…

I’m going to tell you about where my dream to be an editor has stemmed from I may have briefly mentioned it in another diary entry, apologies if I am repeating myself I’ve written so many that I can’t remember. My dream goes back to when I was 14 years old and I had just started Year 10 in school I was in the 2nd or 3rd from bottom set and instead of studying GCSE English language & literature we were set to study studied English language with Media Studies, as the school felt we were under achievers, at the same time the following series started…

I always had a love for writing and English and the more I studied this class the more I fell in love with Media Advertisements, writing and magazines. For this class I worked  insanely hard for it, it was the only place where I put in 110% but in the end it was worthwhile I came out with Grades A in media and B in English language. I actually remember coming out of my media exam in tears thinking, ‘Oh no I ran out of time, that went awful, I’m never going to do well.’ and then when I got my results and seen I had an A I cried again, I was so happy. However watching Ugly Betty opened my eyes to what I wanted to be when I was older I want that job title of Editor in Chief, Ugly Betty aspired me to dream big  and while it’s all good to have a dream they can also be toxic at the same time because thinking my life would be exactly like Ugly Betty is not realistic, going to New York and getting hired in a top publishing company would be insanely hard I’m still such an amateur and have a long long way to go. I will always be grateful for my placement because they bought my life down to a reality and to real expectations of what a publishing company is like. Now you can argue that I have only been in one publishing company and haven’t experienced others and that some may be just like what I expect in my dream, the concept is the same it the differences, the organisational culture that makes them different to others. 

Today I was so excited to book a meeting room because its give me a tiny taste of what editors that I aspire to, do on a daily basis. I know its a tiny thing booking a meeting room but I’m the kind of person where the tiniest things in life mean the most. Before I would cover reception and editors would ring me to book them a room now its the other way round I’m calling reception to book a meeting room for me! I have my first meeting in a meeting room with an editor, how exciting so now today I have prepare for what I’m going to say and what I want to address…Eeekkkk!!  I am always so grateful for the opportunities that my placement give me but sometimes I feel like they see me as a ditsy girl prancing about the office and not taking publishing seriously although that’s probably not true as I have lasted 3 and a half years, its probably just my negative opinion of myself. 

Back to the work day, my plan for today was to finish the following by lunch time the social media section of my pitch and then to begin working on the print side of what this magazine can improve. I then printed off the entire document of what I have done so far to show to Editor 1 for our meeting, you know the one that I booked myself 🙂 Editor 1’s feedback was that for the social media section where I am analysing the hash tags that could be used to reach a larger audience are connoted as negative and when doing a pitch you have to sugar coat what you are saying by giving out a positive idea so after the meeting I had to go and re-do my analysis and use my creativity of how I could portray the use of a negative hash tag into a positive one. 

Working on print is very hard, actually you know what this whole project is brilliant to be working on as its something extra that I can add onto my CV but it is so challenging and I hope by challenging myself to work towards the high standard that my placement set I will achieve an excellent pitch for them. Thinking of editorial ideas is incredibly hard as you have to be inspired & brainstorm what the audience would want to read, its back to getting into the mindset of your target audience age which for me is 55+ in order to go forward with a idea. One of the criticisms for this magazine is that its dumbed-down whereas the content on their online platform I felt was much heavier (this is just my opinion). Also it is said that magazines are starting to decrease, but it is still important to have a print platform as well as an online one because the older generation still prefer traditional methods of use instead of using the internet. Although some of the older generation have adapted as technology has developed, some still choose to remain defiant and stick to traditional use i.e. magazines and newspapers which is why this magazine could improve in its editorial content as statistics from my social media slides also back this up. 

That’s it for today, it’s time to go home and I will see you tomorrow… 

Also posted in http://lifeisfunbeingme.wordpress.com/

Wednesday 22nd January

Today I got in and caught up with the editor who has set me this task, I will state that in this project two editors are overlooking what I am doing so I have been able to get advice and input from two different editors. Due to confidentiality and their social media policy I cannot state names and clients so to make it clear for YOU, THE READER I will name the editor who set me the task as Editor 1 (original I know!) & the editor who advice’s me when editor 1 isn’t available or is not in the office as she is part time as editor 2. Now that this makes sense and its clear we can unravel how my day went and what I have worked on.

This morning I had a meeting with editor 1 to show her what I had worked on yesterday, I created a word document of the research I have found and divided it into different categories so I know which part belongs where and which slide I can paste the information on. I’m still finding it hard to get to grasp with when doing anything to keep in mind that my audience is 55+ as all content is to target them. Looking through my research document that I worked on yesterday I decide to work on the social media section first and work from the outside in as I find this part the easiest because I understand the use of social media being a massive addict myself and using it in my spare time. I feel that once I have completed this part of the presentation the rest of my research will fall in place.

I took the opportunity to talk to the social media manager and see how I could analyse the magazines online content in order to look for improvements. She suggested a few websites that she uses in her work too where you can analyse tweets and see how many Twitter users a tweet can reach. These websites were very useful in finding how well their content on Twitter was doing,  I’ve also uploaded the links to the Useful links page 🙂
http://topsy.com
http://socialmention.com
http://tweetreach.com/

Topsy analytic’s was the most useful because it has access to Twitters entire database, I remember when I was younger I never understood the point in surveys I would always think how is my information really going to help you? Now that I have analysed data from doing competition entries and trying to figure out how successful this Twitter page is for this project, I understand the importance of how thousands of tweets together can prove to make very important statistics in order to say these are the statistics and this is what they show.  Topsy analytic’s has also been in the news recently because Apple have bought social media data analytics firm, Topsy Labs, which specialises in using data from Twitter to track customer sentiment.

For the Twitter section I have 7 slides to fill so far the titles are:
– Twitter
– Companies Twitter Feed
– Statistics Twitters Demographic
– #Hashtag
– Twitter Findings
– Improvements
– Social Media Audience

I started by looking at the company’s Twitter page and had a read through of their tweets for 5-10 minutes to get an idea of the content that they uploaded. I then pulled out a few tweets that were worth discussing and mentioned how their content online differs to the content in the magazine and that the company is clearly trying to increase its brand awareness by thanking followers for following, re-tweets and mentions. I then went on to look at Twitter demographic to establish the average age of Twitter users and found that 67% were 34 and below and of that statistic 28% were below the ages of 25 whereas only 33% are above the ages of 35. 

Using Topsy analytics to establish how many Twitter users use the hash tag that the company’s posts on their Twitter page was very low in comparison to words that those of Twitter users below the age of 34  would use for example #Job was used 1,377,521 in the last 30 days. I came to the conclusion that the company’s choice of hash tags could be one of the reasons as to why its not increasing its brand awareness, as statistics showed that Twitter is used by people of a young age and the target audience that I had to bear in mind was a lot older this means that the company’s online content could be going to waste due to it not reaching its target audience. In order to improve this I suggested that the company could target different audiences via their multi-platforms in order to reach the maximum possible audience.  

In short, I spent all day on the Twitter section but I felt that I accomplished nothing as I only managed to complete 7 slides as KeyNote is very time consuming, also I found when making a KeyNote document you only write up what is essential so that you have squeezed out the most important information from the research you have done as you have to remember when pitching to future clients you want to keep them engaged in order for it to be a success. I like to think of it as if I’m tweeting for each slide so I’m writing the key words that I think need to be mentioned. This is partly the reason as to why I feel I don’t have much to show for what I have done because the slides are simple and to the point.  

See you tomorrow…

Also posted in http://lifeisfunbeingme.wordpress.com/