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/

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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/

A harsh reality…

In my Media Business lecture on Monday instead of receiving an academic lecture we had a graduate student who graduated from our degree last academic year to tell us about her experience as a graduate so far. She described a harsh reality of the work industry and said if she were to have had work experience before going into a job, her expectation of the media industry would have been a more realistic one as opposed to a made up Hollywood one. The experience she had before that was watching TV and absorbing the media around her. 

Before my placement I used to think exactly the same as her, I’m too much of a day dreamer when it comes to the real world because I get too sucked into the happily ever after that Hollywood creates giving me and others a dream to aspire too. I used to see being a writer the best job in the world someone who meets celebrities and gets to write about them, I used to see it as glam as the film ‘How to lose a guy in 10 days.’

Then I found my placement & my perspectives changed, I hated having to be the girl who stacked away the magazines, I couldn’t wait until I got to the stage of experiencing what it was like to be at the end of the tunnel with all the other writers. The other thing I found the worst was to get used to was my expectation was wrong I had to get used to the fact that the aspects that I felt made this job the best thing in the world were wrong and I had to change them with the right ones. 

Don’t get me wrong I still see it as the best job in the world I got used to the reality of it instead of the made up Hollywood one. I started at the bottom and kept at it, I’m determined to get as far as I possibly can! Its just that my expectation was crossed by a reality of the complete opposite…

BUT

The fact IS I thought of it in terms of the consumer, being the writer is the GLAMOROUS bit because you are the one with that raw talent it’s all up in your head. It’s not in a way that most people would expect, the glamorous side to writing comes from creating the imagination and colour within an article that’s where my expectation is.

I think of it this way, you are selling someone the imagination in your head through a magazine! I could write about any subject, I’ll give you an example, let’s imagine I’m an editor and I wrote an article that the best city to go to is Paris and because I wrote it in a creative way it would encourage the reader/consumer to go for it. In terms of the article it would then be a success because I achieved its main aim, I sold my imagination of a different lifestyle to a consumer. 

BUT

I’m an aspiring writer, so I would think, ‘I wish I was the person who wrote this article.’ Forgetting that ultimately the writer is sat in an office with a blank Microsoft Word document open with no words written on and it is his job to complete the article.  

The girl said nothing new to me as I’m already achieving everything she said and I am still to graduate, she did mention that she wished she wrote a blog and I am so glad to have mine.

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