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/

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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/

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/

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/