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#makeithappen

8 Mar

To celebrate International Women’s Day – the theme of which is ‘make it happen’ – and to champion gender balance in the workplace, I worked on a campaign to get people across BP to share how they ‘make it happen’.

We used our internal social network to inspire people to upload a short video selfie and then edited these together to share how we make it happen. We used an ‘ice bucket challenge’ style nomination approach to drum up support for the campaign and I was overwhelmed by some of the inspiring stories that were shared. What’s more: videos are still rolling in!

You can watch the video here.

 

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Google #Firestarters

3 Oct

Today I’ve been particularly fascinated by Google Firestarters, a project aimed at generating discussion in agencies about the ways that agencies operate and the ways in which they could change for the better.

 

It’s primarily aimed at the planning community but I think anyone who works for or with a marketing/advertising/creative agency will find the coverage of this event compelling.

only dead fish google firestarters agency OS BBH GlueIsobar agencies clients slideshare October 2011

Image from neilperkin.typepad.com - be nice and visit his page

The event includes the usual inspiring slides from the nice folks at BBH and GlueIsobar (and these are always interesting anyway) but anyone who

#oneaday 150: Sell out with me tonight

8 Jun

I got into a conversation yesterday about something that always riles me: selling out. This post from A Little Bird Told Me, one of my fave local fashion blogs, explores the tip of the selling out iceberg in relation to blogging for the love of it and being paid to blog. It’s not very often that I get ranty, but this one really gets me…

I’ve blogged on both sides of the fence – blogging for a living as part of my role working for a fashion website and blogging in my spare time just because I love to write. I’ve guest-blogged for designers and I’ve recruited guest bloggers to write for the site I used to run in my last job. Prior to The One A Day project, I blogged via LJ from 2004 – 2010, so I’m not exactly new to it. However, I always, always find blogging for myself more rewarding than being paid to pimp a product – once you’re being bankrolled or sponsored (even if it’s not in monetary terms) by a brand, you take on an allegience to that brand and have to conform to certain guidelines. It becomes a job, rather than a hobby and you lose some of the freedom and delight that comes with having your own blog.

selling out sell out blogging fashion blog press day PR new media comment  selling out is the new keeping it real

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve absolutely loved the blogging and writing bits of my career. I am a writer at heart. But I don’t think you should mix personal blogs with work ones if you’re not prepared to comply with the way that the media/press industry works. If you can make money off the back of your blog, Great. But with a great backhander comes great responsibility and you’re subject to swaying your content to be biased towards the hand that feeds.

I think ‘selling out’ in blogging terms completely depends on your outlook and what you want from blogging.

One of the things that irks me is this ‘we cannot be bought’ or ‘we should be able to operate outside of normal media rules’ blogging mentality combined with a desire to be included in certain industries. If bloggers (particularly in the fashion world) do not want to be ‘courted’ by brands, or expected to provide content in return for invites to shows and press days, then why aspire to attend them?

Press days and shows are designed for one reason only: to generate positive publicity. You can bet your bottom dollar that if a blogger was invited along to an event then produced a negative post about the brand hosting that event, they wouldn’t be invited to many others. Why else do you think fashion events are teeming with cupcakes, nail bars and goodie bags? It’s not because the brands are nice – they simply want to wow you into being nice about them. By attending, bloggers are saying they are available for courting and are willing to write in exchange for blog visitors/samples/etc. Brands love bloggers because it adds a layer of authenticity to their proposition. Advocacy is a million times more valuable than advertising in this overly-social world of content creation and curation that we live in.

fashion cupcakes high snobiety louis vuitton chanel fashion cup cake press day PR blogger blog

Like I said on Twitter yesterday, it’s a two way street. The brand gets ‘credible’ advocacy, the blogger gets publicity and traffic. We are all editors and curators of our own magazines now, but just because the media landscape is changing doesn’t mean that industry rules will or should.

Selling out is always going to be a massively subjective issue. Bands, writers, artists, bloggers – we all face that ‘sell out?’ fork in the road at some point. The path you take is up to you. Being commercially-minded doesn’t make someone a bad person or make their blog any less credible in my eyes. But imagining that blogging for a brand without conforming to that brand’s ideals is possible is rather naive and idealistic.

There are some amazing bloggers out there who work really hard to make their blogs a success and I think it’s fantastic that we’re in the thick of a real DIY-success ethic where you get out what you put in. If reaching a wide audience, engaging people in conversation, provoking thought, getting recognition and being successful is selling out, then I’m all for it.

As long as you’re happy in what you’re doing and it’s right in your eyes, that’s the best way to play it. I could bang on about selling out all day but in the end, the concept only really exists if you believe it does – shape your own idea of integrity and as long as you stick with that, what others think shouldn’t matter.

#oneaday 102: ¡proactiva!

13 Apr

Well, I’m off on holiday at 7am on Thursday, flying out to the very gorgeous Palma de Mallorca for four glorious days of sunshine and cocktails with my girls to celebrate my friend’s despedida de soltera. As you read this, I will be relaxing with my girls and a pre-holiday vaso de vino blanco, having finished work for a few days.

spanish dancer skirt postcard

I don’t need to apologise for not posting whilst I’m away as I have lined up a selection of pre-scheduled posts for your perusal. I bet you can’t wait to read them (they are actually a lot better than the drivel I’ve been posting lately, I promise. Saturday’s post is especially lol-worthy). Right, back to el vino.

¡Olé!

#oneaday 81: It’s not that grim up North

22 Mar

Today I made a trip up the A1 to the very fine city of Newcastle. The purpose of my trip was for a couple of client meetings with work, which incidentally went well but the true success of the day, I feel, was the fact that I managed to get there, sans sat nav, in one piece, on time and managed to get back okay, too.

Now, driving to Newcastle and back from Leeds alone may seem like nothing much to shout about, but I seem to have rediscovered a sense of adventure from my trip. I’m not sure if it was because I was by myself and therefore felt a sense of independence and freedom that I rarely seem to stumble across at the moment, or if it was the blazing sunshine and the splendid piece of Anthony Gormley art that sprung up on me during my drive. Yes, that’s right, I’d forgot that the Angel of the North even existed.

angel of the north anthony gormley

Crazy to think, really, considering that Gormley was one of my favourite artists when I was studying. But I suppose that highlighted the whole concept of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ – a thread that seemed to run through my day like slowly unravelling stitching. I think if you don’t consciously engage with things – or even the idea of things – then you forget all about them. Art, adventure, travel, new cities, sunshine, being in close proximity to large bodies of water and bridges – all of these things felt new and exciting today because I think I’d forgot about them.

The city of Newcastle itself was wonderful, all sheer valleys and hills, gorgeous buildings glowing in the early morning sunshine, water stretching off, sparkling into the distance. Impossibly high bridges in all manner of styles of architecture. Bustle, friendly chatter, accents and a sense of warmth that didn’t come from the sun. I loved it.

But what I loved more was the fact that Newcastle reminded me of a lot of the honest, earthy things inside me that make me tick. The city reminded me not to forget these, and I’m going to keep a hold of that.

#oneaday 76: Thai’d up

17 Mar

I won’t be able to post later so today’s #oneaday is a shortie. The reason I won’t be able to post is because I’ll be literally (yes, literally. Not really) Thai’d up. I’m off out with the chaps from my office for Thai food at Thai Sabai in Headingley. Being the digital pioneers (and tight sods) that we are, we’re going armed with vouchers from Groupon, hoping that they work.

Has anyone got a brilliant bargain from Groupon before? What was it?

I’ll report back on tonight’s experience tomorrow, which is, as Rebecca Black so eloquently puts it, Friday:

#oneaday 63: The Golden Hour

3 Mar

Over the last few Fridays at work we’ve had different themes for the music in our office. I’m quite lucky as we’re a very small team and everyone has eclectic (and pretty good) taste, ranging over pop-punk/indie/dancey stuff so we don’t have to put up with too much guff. So far, our Friday music sessions have involved:

Will Smith Friday
Guilty Pleasures Friday
Collaborative golden hour

gold disc gold record golden hour record gems

Last week, one of the chaps in my team made his own version of the Golden Hour, like the one the Chris Moyles does on Radio One on Fridays. Now, Chris Moyles is probably one of the most annoying people on the planet but I love the idea of the Golden Hour. Pick a year, pick a set of songs from that year and everyone guesses what the year is. Last week was 1995 and there were some trips taken down memory lane, let me tell you.

This week it’s my turn so I’ve created my own Golden Hour playlist. You can listen to it here and guess the year in the comments below (no cheating allowed!). The last song gives it away but I’d hope we’d all have guessed by then anyway.

Do you have any music customs or traditions at work? What are they?

#oneaday 61: team spirit

1 Mar

Today our team got dropped with one of those ‘can you just…’ moments at work. But the sun was shining, I’d made a Tuesday resolution to keep smiling and it was something that we’ve wanted to work on for months so we of course said yes. Our team literally sprang into action. We all just ploughed through and got everything done and it looked good, was well-structured with a decent idea and a good rationale. Even though it was a good chunk of work that could’ve easily taken weeks, it ended up getting done in a matter of hours and it was done well.

war posters UK

I love having days like that. I felt proud to be part of my team and the ideas under pressure thing reminded me of why I love my job. Shattered tired tonight so I’ll leave it there. Hope tomorrow is as productive!

#oneaday 57: Digital Go Karting

27 Feb

On Friday, I went go-karting for the first time in my life with the boys from work. I work in a team of five boys and me, so chances of having our team night out at a spa or going vintage shopping wasn’t really on the cards. So go-karting was chosen. Plus, we got it cheap on Groupon and there was the promise of beer after the chequered flag was waved.

raceway karting pontefract go karting yorkshire

We arrived at Raceway Karting in the ever-glamourous Pontefract and got dressed up in jumpsuits (bang on trend) and helmets. Then we got in these really low-down little cars (it actually was like something off of Mariokart) and proceeded to drive around the track, very slowly, screaming like the girl that I am.

After a couple of laps I got into it and really started to enjoy it, managing to not crash or cause any real drama. Needless to say, I came last, but it’s the taking part that counts (obvz). It was brilliant fun and the beers afterwards were fun too. We’ve decided that for our next outing, we’ll go UV bowling. I didn’t know this existed and basically it sounds like disco bowling, with a mirrorball and music and dry ice and everything. I can’t wait.

#oneaday 39: Let’s make a newspaper

8 Feb

Some of the lovely folks I work with in the Creative department are putting together a newspaper. It turns out it’s quite easy to do with a tiny bit of design knowhow and a good idea. There’s a company called Newspaper Club who will print your paper from as little as five copies and they look pretty special.

CMYK design print registration mark tattoo

Which got me thinking. Maybe we should put together a paper for The One A Day project. What d’you reckon?
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