Find out what advice I have from this year’s speed networking event for students held by the Public Relations department at Southampton Solent University. Continue reading “Meet the Professionals 2018 at Solent University”
@PRBloggers is a new Twitter account created for people in the public relations industry to share and discover PR blog posts, news and events. Continue reading “@PRBloggers – a new Twitter account for people who blog about public relations”
The annual Meet the Professionals event at Southampton Solent is a valuable networking event for students. This year it was in the newly completed Spark building and attracted a much bigger crowd.
It is a fantastic opportunity for Southampton students studying public relations, advertising, marketing and creative subjects to see what’s available in the local area, network and pick up valuable advice.
This is my third year doing the event, the first as a student and the second and third as a PR professional. Read about the tips and tricks I picked up and gave out at this year’s event. Continue reading “Meet the Professionals 2017 at Solent University”
The Retail Solent Initiative, RE:SO, hosted a special blogger preview event for the launch of the new SHED vintage clothing in Southampton.
MAC Cosmetics recently launched their new Liptensity lip sticks and they invited the bloggers of Southampton to a special preview event to take a peek.
The battle of keeping up with all the blogs you want to read may have just taken a step closer to being a bit more manageable.
Blog Lovin’ is a new service that curates blogs on topics of your choosing, the bloggers you follow and connects you to potential advertisers and paid blog opportunities. If you are short on time, and let’s face it who isn’t, this a one stop shop for keeping up to date with all your favourite blogs.
The step-by-step process when you sign up guides you through adding your blog to the site. Don’t worry if you can’t find your blog at first. I emailed them and a few days later it was added for me and they sent me a lovely email to let me know!
To connect your blog you need to ‘claim your blog’ which then gives you a code. It then asks you to post a new blog post with that code which allows Blog Lovin’ to recognise your site and display your blog posts.
Once you’ve added your details, added a picture and changed the settings to your liking you are all ready to go. This was a fairly quick set up process for me, it took me about 15 minutes once my site was recognised.
When it connects it lists all your blog posts in a wall that can be clicked on by your followers, under a tab called ‘Everything’. It also shows all your followers and other blogs similar to yours under two separate tabs.
Along the top row are five headings, a bell symbol that lets you know when you have new notifications and a silhouette of a person or your image once you upload one, that takes you to your account menu.My FeedThe blog posts are laid out simply and are really user friendly…
It gives you the option to read it by clicking on the title, save it, share it through social media or email and mark it as read so you can keep an eye on what you have read already.When saving it gives you the option to create a category so you can organise your saved blogs for when you come back to them later. This I find really useful because I don’t always have the time to read things but love to come back to post. Explore
This gives you multiple ways to find new blogs. It gives some popular categories across the top, further categories under more, or you can use the top right hand search function to conduct some manual searches of your own…
This works in a similar way to ‘Explore’ but rather than listing it by topic this is a search function for the person behind the blog.
Activate allows you to instigate the networking side of the Blog Lovin’. By filling out your blog details it will match you to incoming PR and advertising opportunities, some of which are paid in money or gifted items.
This is another great feature of the site, it curates items from blogs and gives you the links or place where you can buy the products. Which instantly answers the ‘Oh my god, I love that, where can I get it?’ question that I usual have when reading blogs that feature amazing products.
It looks like a useful resource to discover new blogs, network, find new blogging opportunities and get more followers. I’m going to trial it for a few months and see if it helps improve followers to my blog. If you like it and create a profile don’t forget to add me too!
Know of any other good blogging sites? If so, please feel free to share in the comments!
Or if you want me to follow you on Blog Lovin’ then again please put your blog link and a message in the comment section.
I went on a pretty long journey to get where I am today and a key part of that journey was sending myself back to university to do a PR Masters in 2014. I’m hugely passionate about PR and feel that the wonderful education Southampton Solent University gave me was an important contribution in my progression. It’s given me wonderful opportunities and still does.
One of those opportunities happened at the start of February 2016, I was invited to attend the CIPR hosted Meet the Professionals event, to represent my current company Lee Peck Media.
25 media professionals attended to offer help and advice to current students in the creative industries at a speed-networking event. Yes, this is a bit like speed dating, all the professionals stay seated while every 10 minutes the students rotate around the room.
I spoke to lots of students across the evening and even managed to network myself a little.
Lauren Witty, the current Wessex CIPR student representative, did an excellent job at getting a large mix of regional professionals to attend. 25 in total – the best turn out in the events history. It was easily double the size of when I last attended this event in 2014. Congratulations Lauren – your hard work paid off!
Laura Bradley, one of the students who attended, has written a great blog on her site The PR Girl with five key points that she took away from the event. I am always interested to see what people find notable and the advice they gain from these kind of events and whether that information was useful or not. It’s great to see that Laura’s experience was very positive and the key points were useful ones!
Obviously, I am now on the other side, so I thought I’d give you my five key recommendations from the Meet the Professionals event. These were the most popular things that I said in response to students questions that evening:
- Be brave – This isn’t easy. It’s daunting out there but be brave, professionals and companies were once where you were. We all start somewhere.
- Grow a thick skin – You are going to get some knock-backs, but it’s time to man up and be more elephant! Learn what you can from these experiences, can you get feedback? As soon as you can pick yourself back up, dust yourself down and keep going, your opportunity is out there. No, seriously, put that Ben and Jerry’s down and grab yourself a Kleenex – you can do this!
- Never stop learning – Don’t be afraid to enrol yourself on courses, speak to your peers, ask for advice or shadow a colleague. The industry is evolving all the time, but don’t worry there are many ways to keep your skills together including your CIPR membership, you tube, the infinite resource that is Google, online courses, local colleges and universities.
- Find a way – If it’s your dream industry or company and you’ve tried and failed to get in through a direct application can you get another job with them and then side step in to what you want? This could be an option. I did, so can you!
- Dig the journey – Unless you are the luckiest so and so, and if you are count your blessings, don’t worry if your journey is the path less travelled. Don’t worry if it takes you longer than others to figure out where and what you want to do, you will learn so much that will contribute to your future, more desired, career (and life in general).
Here’s a selection of my tweets from the event:
Thanks to everyone involved – I hope to see you there next year!
Holy Smokes! #ebookinaday is here, completed and ready to rock your socks off!
I still can’t believe that all the content was created by Southampton Solent University Public Relations Students in ONE manic, epic day.
To download your copy for free…oh yes, FREE, your pennies are not welcome here, head to…
The book covers the cutting edge tools for communication in the peer to peer PR world, perfect for practitioners, academics, marketers, business owners or those of you just wanting to find out how to be a better communicator.
It has 9 chapters for you to dive into and explore, and what’s great about it is that it’s still growing and evolving. Whether it is taking a selfie to post, leaving a comment or offering your expertise there is still a chance to be involved. Want to know how? Well then take a peek at the #ebookinaday project blog post and click on one of the chapters to find out more.
- All my wonderful peers who gave a lot of blood, sweat, tears and ideas
- Tom Fowler, the Solent Creative developer and technical genius
- Stephen Waddington for giving us valuable advice and well-timed pep talks
- But the ultimate, golden high-five, goes to Catherine Sweet for accepting Stephen Waddington’s challenge, all her hard work and for getting me involved in such an awesome project! Who else can say they are an author when they haven’t even finished their Masters yet? Not many!
Found this picture of my time working at MAC cosmetics, part of Estee Lauder Companies. IMATS is one of the biggest UK make up events and it was a privilege to represent the PR team and MAC PRO professional make up artist scheme at the event in 2011.
No this really isn’t all about me, promise!
Your own personal branding can have a massive effect when applying for jobs as savvy employers head straight to Google to find out about their applicants. I’ve been doing a tidy up of my digital footprint, so I know exactly what people see when they search for me.
Recently at University we have been encouraged to think about our personal brand and expand our online presence. Most of the reccomended methods such as Facebook, WordPress and Wix I already knew about, but then on the list I saw Aboutme.com. I hadn’t heard of it before, so I decided to check it out and do some research.
Aboutme.com is a like a snazzy interactive online business card, in the form of a one-page-wonder mini website. It takes all of your contact details, social media and anything else you are involved in and plonks it all neatly and concisely in one place providing a professional gateway to your life online.
I’ve just launched mine…
or have a look here…http://about.me/rebecca.henderson
The beauty of it is that it’s quick. It took me about 20 minutes in total to set it up and you don’t have to be a techie, it guides you through step by step. They even offer some free business cards (as long as you cover the minimal postage and packaging! Bargain!). It has a rigid template, offering a recognisable site structure, but the pictures, colours, font and all the other aesthetically pleasing things are yours to define. Plus you only have to remember one short address and all your details are there for the person you would like to stay in contact with.
It’s quick, profesional and easy to use, just what you need in the PR business!