Tuesday 11th March

Morning All,

On my way into the office I collected the post books from downstairs and once I arrived in the office I was informed to buy dishwasher tabs… I emptied the dishwasher and made sure the kitchen was clean, then got myself a bottle of water, changed the setting of the phone to my reception desk and got stuck in with opening ICAL and emails luckily there’s not much to do today… 

In between answering the phones and being ready to drop everything for whatever the editors need…

– I finished updating everyone’s movements for the week on ICAL
– Sign and hand out parcels
– Hand out the post
– Count competition entries
– Book a taxi for an editor
– Prep a meeting for the management team
– Clear out meeting room
– Book meeting rooms 

Finally I can do some dissertation, hopefully I can get a lot of university work done yay… I do really need to get this done!

In the afternoon…
– The PA asked me if I could count some money for her, I feel almost privileged that they ask me to do so as I think it shows trust to trust someone with money
– Put on the dishwasher and empty it
– Frank and send out the post

As the PA has kindly said feel free to bring in university work whilst covering reception I have been working on my dissertation and I’m so happy to proudly admit in a day I have reached the 1000 word bench mark only 9000 more to go… ahhh

See you tomorrow… 

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

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Wednesday 5th March

Today is the first day of lent and this year I have decided to actually try and commit to the things I have given up this year, I’ve chosen to give up my alarm snoozes, diet coke, chocolate & cheese… my favourite things in the whole world! If you know me personally you would know that if it was possible I would actually live in a chocolate house, I think I rarely go a day without chocolate, I just cannot resist it! At my placement, for me personally it is impossible to go into work with the mindset to say, ‘I’m starting a diet and keeping to it!’ There are chocolate treats everywhere… Ahhh! Usually if its someone’s birthday or someone has something to celebrate they tend to bring in some treats, leave them in the kitchen and send an email round to say, ‘There are cake is in the kitchen, help yourself!’ How can you not resist?! 

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I’m ashamed to admit but I’ve cracked already 😦

Today has been crazy…Wow, it has literally been non-stop! 

I collected the Special Delivery and Recorded post books from downstairs and made my way up to the office, once I got in I hung up my coat, tucked my bag under the desk and went straight to the kitchen to get myself a drink of water ready for when I’m answering calls. I gave the kitchen a quick tidy, filled the coffee jars, emptied and re-filled the dishwasher with dirty breakfast plates and went back to my desk to open up ICAL to see what to expect from the working day… 

Today is going to be a long one… there is so much to do… Yay, I really do think I have become a slight workaholic! I have to prep two meetings, I actually quite enjoy having to do this, making sure everything is presentable, aligned and perfect! I also remembered that I forgot to give back one of the birthday cards back to the PA so that she could post it so that our birthday wishes would arrive on time. Luckily the PA remembered and managed to post it. 

ICAL says to do a stationary order for the office and one of the editors asked me if I could order a year diary for them. I’m slightly nervous as I don’t know how to do this, I’ve never done it before…

I am bouncing off adrenaline today… 

My reception tasks today were: 
– Count competitions… Why do people enter them?! Being the one counting them, makes me not enter them anywhere just because I know how minuscule it is to be chosen as a winner there are just so many entries and because I know there will be someone like me also counting competitions. Once competitions were counted I updated the entries in the competition folder.
– Book meeting rooms
– Answer calls & pass on messages
– Hand birthday cards back to the PA
– Hand out & sign for packages

– Hand out post
– Greet visitors… however today I made a silly mistake whenever visitors come into the office the first thing I do is ask them if they would like a drink but today I gave them the wrong cup to drink from as opposed to getting the nice shiny newer glasses… presentation is key!
– Ring concierge again about a leak in one of the toilets

– Pass on any issues relating to magazine subscriptions to the relevant editor who is in charge of the magazine 
– Clear out the boarding room
– Clean up the kitchen & fill up  coffee jars again

AND FINALLY I CAN BREATHE…

The pace of the day has finally slowed down a bit and now have all afternoon to do some uni work, hopefully… fingers crossed!

– The PA asked me if I could sort through the paper left by the printer and send out an email asking everyone to collect what they have printed out otherwise it will have to go in the recycling.  She also said to me, ‘feel free to listen to some music whilst doing it.’  I have currently been listening to this on repeat its amazing!!!

After lunch…
– The reminder for the office order came up and as I don’t know how to do it and the PA didn’t have time to show me she said to not worry about it as it can wait
– Empty and refill dishwasher
– Frank and send out post
– Food shop, this involves me making sure there are no essentials missing from the kitchen such as tissues, coffee, tea, dishwasher tabs etc. 
– Bind some documents 
– Fill the photocopier with paper, stock up the paper cupboard and email the editor in charge of ordering paper to order more.

Last but not least… I also got the chance to do some transcribing, something which I have never done before… I love doing new things at my placements it always makes me feel so positive, the piece of audio that I had to transcribe was 10 minutes long and  in relation to mobile technology. For me it was very inspiring and interesting to listen too, as in some ways it was very similar to the talk I posted about and had some great information for my dissertation. 

Finally its home time, I cannot wait to put my feet upNope I managed to get no uni work done 😦

Yawn… see you tomorrow!

Also posted in www.lifeisfunbeingme.wordpress.com

Monday 3rd March

Evening All,

I’m back for the week covering reception, as usual as soon as I arrived I got myself a bottle of water and got started by opening up emails & ICAL to see what to expect from today…

I know I have said it a thousands times before, but I really am 1000% grateful for my work placement,  this week in between covering receptionist, the PA has kindly said to me to, ‘feel free to bring any uni work to do in between answering calls and emails.’ This for me is a load off my shoulders because I can work whilst studying and not have to try and make time for this in the evenings too, especially being in my last year at university and can now visualise my dissertation deadline.  

I find Mondays and Fridays tend to be the same… busy, busy, busy. 

The best thing about covering reception for me is you never know what job will come your way next, I love the excitement of not knowing. Today’s reception duties consisted of:

– Answer calls
– Pass on messages
– Handing out the post
– Emptied the dishwasher
– Book meeting rooms
– Fill out an expense sheet for the commercial director and making sure it was in date order
– Sign some birthday cards, one of the things I love about the office is the organisational culture, I really  like how friendly people are here such as whenever its someone’s birthday, a birthday card is sent around the office so that everyone can sign before given to the birthday girl/boy
– Call the concierge to let him know there was a water leak in one of the toilets
– Bind some documents for a meeting tomorrow
– Fill the photocopier with paper
– Keep the kitchen tidy
– Fill up coffee jars
– Search for and print an email for the PA
– Sign for parcels and hand them out
&
Last but not least…
– Frank & send out the post

By 11 o’clock I finally had some spare time to do some uni work seems like I might have to factor in time to do work this evening too, this week is going to be a long one…

I also managed to grab the graphic designer when she had a spare 5 minutes to ask her if I could shadow her even just for a half hour, I feel so proud of myself when I actually embrace a gold mine of an opportunity, go for it and simply open my mouth and ask. Yayy! 

I’m not in tomorrow so I will see you on Wednesday!

Also posted in www.lifeisfunbeingme.wordpress.com

Wednesday 12th February

Once I was allocated which computer I was going to be working on I then opened the files I needed to complete today’s task. Following on from Friday I am finishing to input the company’s contacts into their database via FileMakerPro, for those of who have just stumbled onto my blog you will see my tiny rant at how time consuming I find this software, it’s a bit like when you first use a mac and notice there isn’t a right click button or when you first use Photoshop and realise you have to click on the layer you need and then on the arrow to be able to complete the action you need…

Anyway, I’m about half way through before carrying on with today’s task I called over the commercial manager so that she could spend 5 minutes going over what I need to do so that I can make a checklist for my own personal use when inputting the data. For every contact I had to write their Name, Sex, Phone No, Email & Job Title whereas for each company I had to write the name of the company, Sector, Website, Phone No, Address and in the comments write which client magazine it was for. 

Today my lunch break was slightly different as it was broken up by going to the pub as it was one of the editors birthday, I really do enjoy speaking to the editors out of the working environment. As I got into the hang of using FileMakerPro rather quickly I finished my task with an hour and 20 minutes to spare, so the promotions manager asked me if I could count the competitions for her. I’ve also found a new soundtrack that I listen to when doing uni work and when in my placement it helps me relax and concentrate… have a listen yourself 🙂   

For my project which is what I been working on over the past month I have to create another blog solely for university purpose and in our guidelines we have we need to upload up our CV. Now I have always had trouble with this as I expect most of you guys may have too, I find it hard because every potential employer has a different idea of what makes a good CV anyway I have asked the PA if we could spend an hour or so going over my CV, what better than asking a professional for guidance. 

I also asked one of the editors that was overlooking what I have done for my project for some feedback and they said to me what I had achieved was good and I am so proud of myself for that, the more I concentrated on my project the more I began to dislike what I had achieved as I could see plenty of improvements that could have been made. However the editor said to me that I could have added a concluding slide but I was missing budget and what my placement as a company do which was out of my knowledge so she said, ‘Think of it as a sandwich you have completed the middle bit of the pitch.’

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/

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/

Tuesday 21st January

Hey, 

I’m back, I’m very excited as over the next week I will be working on a brand new project, I won’t be covering reception, writing up data entries or even doing some admin I am doing something more media based and I am super excited to get started!! This for me is my dream I cannot wait once I have graduated to be able to apply for jobs, a job position that will be all mine and 100% media industry based… Eeeekk! 

Anyway back to my project, I asked if I could come in for a maximum of 10 days so that I could pass my module at university called Creative Industries & Professional Practice. This good thing about this module is that its practical which makes a change as my course is 100% theory based, I prefer doing practical projects myself as it takes me back to the days of when I was studying for my photography A-Level and that consisted purely of workbooks. This module has 3 assessments an essay which I achieved 67 marks on (3 marks away from a first), blog & project and a portfolio which we must complete, I haven’t announced it yet but I will be starting a new blog solely for this module as it is compulsory that we do so and will update you with a link if you are interested in subscribing to it as I might keep it as for when I am employed.  

For my project my placement have given me the task to look at a magazine for a pre-pitch that they have coming up. This task is huge to do in two weeks as editor 1 said in the email that she briefed me in. However what I need to do in the following two weeks is to analyse every inch of this magazine feature by feature and say how it can be improved,  put all of my research and improvements into a KeyNote document where all the content I upload has to be written imagining that the future client is in front of me and I am handing them this pitch idea last but not least to show why my placement should be chosen to re-brand their magazine over other companies.

Some pointers to get me started from editor 1 were:
– Get a clear idea of who they are and what they do. Who is the audience for the magazine? What do they want to read about? What are they interested in? What is the role of the magazine?
– Critique the website, magazine, social media, any other channels you find. How do these work together?
– Pull together some topical editorial ideas for the magazine
– Any other content channels that you think would work for them? Blog, newsletters etc? Do they have any ‘competitors’ and are they doing anything innovative?

This magazine was previously in a newsletter format but has now changed back to a magazine, writing up initial research was the hardest as I found it very stressful to get a great deal done on the first day in order to show something to editor 1 so that I can discuss my progress. After lunch I started off with opening KeyNote and creating slides with appropriate headings from the brief that I had such as Target Audience, Social Media, editorial ideas, website etc. After that I had an outline of what research went where so that I could fill in each slide as I went along. I also asked editor 2 for some advice as I found this task slightly hard to get my head around and I didn’t have a clue if I was doing it right to be honest. Editor 2 suggested to make up an imaginary target first and suggested that once you have your target audience the rest is easy to tackle. She gave me pointers to look at their interests, other magazines that they may read and to look through those for inspiration too and to look at ABC figures. For those of you that don’t know what ABC is they are the independently audited sales figure for all recognised publications in the UK. By using the ABC figure, you can quickly establish how much the advertising will cost per 1,000 readers.

I then followed her advice and began to construct my target audience, the thing I was finding the trickiest of today was getting inside my audiences head so that I could understand what they would like, as I’m only 22 I have a mind of socialising, exploring, going out, working towards my dream and being a complete social media addict. Whereas my target audience for this magazine was 55+ an age gap of  33 years and above who obviously would clash with those of a young mind. It was very challenging for me to think as an older person and trying to look at things with their perspective. What editor 2 told me to bear in mind is that 50 is the new milestone and that young content can also be applied to an older age such as a 30 year old may love reading about different recipes and cakes in magazines but to remember a woman in her 50’s may enjoy the same thing as well. 

I’m also very grateful to have this opportunity, although it is my first day of the project and I am finding it very hard  I’m grateful to see how hard the working environment can be on a daily basis and for showing me the reality of what to expect in the future… creative industries are hard to get into and hard to work in people should be aware of this as standards are set high! 

See you tomorrow day 2 of my project awaits… 

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