How I won a £160,000 award competition for my graduate employer

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Post by 2015 BA (Hons) Marketing graduate, Liam Soloman (Marketing Executive at lovethesales.com)

Liam Soloman with the award#TEASELONDON was a Twitter competition specifically aimed at UK start-ups for London’s Technology Week. Run by a digital software company Eyetease and partnering company Verifone UK (who creat the digital advertising boards on top of London’s black cabs).

The winner would receive £160,000 worth of advertising on 200 black cabs in London. The challenge, to tweet in the reason why you think Londoner’s need to know about your start-up.

Since finding the competition through social media, I was given the amazing opportunity to come up with an entry for my employer, Lovethesales.com, and submit it through our Twitter page, using the #TEASELONDON.

Step 1 | Research

I dedicated a few hours a week looking into both Eyetease and Verifone UK, searching through press publications, previous campaigns they did with other companies to get as much background information about what they would be looking for and what type of company impressed them.

By taking note of the other entries in the competition, it appeared most start-ups didn’t fully grasp the brief given by Eyetease. Most entries tried to sell their brand, using impressive stats and numbers or pitching why their company were amazing, very much an X Factor style of entry.

Through the research and evaluation of competitor entries, I found that our best chance of winning was not showing how great our company is (which is difficult with only 127 characters) but to try and show how our advertising on their taxis can benefit different demographics on Londoner’s.

Step 2 | Implementation

I came up with a series of situations in the form of pictures, where different types of Londoner’s would need our business (see pictures of entries below). A student needing a laptop but not being able to afford paying fullprice, a mum busy with her kids not having time to go out to shop, or a girl desiring a designer dress in a shop window but finding it to be out of her budget.

In the corner of each picture I put one of Verifone UK’s black cabs with a digital advertising board on top. On the board would be a personalised lovethesale.com ad for each scenario.SLIDE

This was a succinct way of showing how we could be helpful to everyday Londoner’s whilst using an example of what it would actually look like on their black cabs, which no other entry had thought of yet.

Step 3 | Finalists

The entrants were shortlisted to 5 start-ups who would meet with the owner of Eyetease for a 15 min discussion followed by a Q&A.

There was no presentation needed, however I along with my two bosses took the initiative to create a few slides fleshing out the key points as to why we thought Lovethesales.com would work really well with their company, pointing to how we can help Londoner’s “shop more, spend less” (our company slogan).

Eyetease were extremely impressed with our initiative, eagerness and passion for what we do. Along with a few stats on Lovethesales.com’s current progression and a few anecdotes about its inception, we were delighted to be announced at London Technology week as the winners of such a mind boggling prize.

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Step 4 | What’s next?

Over the next few months I will be involved in putting together a 4-week campaign that will run over 200 black cabs in geo-targeted London locations. We expect the competition to increase traffic to the site and dramatically improve our brand awareness.

Being able to take the lead on this crucial campaign was a great feeling and one that I don’t think I would’ve been given working in a large corporate environment. The added bonus of actually winning gives me a fantastic story for my CV and great experience going forward in my future career.

I would highly recommend anyone in their first job to constantly ask their superiors for more responsibility, always be eager to take on new challenges and never be afraid of failing at a task as there is always something to learn from.

Five weeks into my internship, a whole host of experience under my belt, and 0 coffees made for anyone but myself!

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What the intern saw

Post written by Hayley Adams, a BA Public Relations graduate. 

Five weeks into my internship, a whole host of experience under my belt, and 0 coffees made for anyone but myself! What more could I want? Aside from a huge, comfy chair of course…

I arrived in Halifax (from Sheffield, England) just five days before starting with Ammp (A Million Moving Parts), and with a homemade coin chart in hand, Chris and Ben had everything set for me from the get go. When trying to tailor my experience, they asked exactly what I wanted to learn in my time with them. I listed a few things before stopping and thinking ‘actually, I just want to try everything’ and so that’s the way it’s going.

There’s no denying that I have been a bit of a Bambi – needing the reassurance that what I am doing is right, good enough. However, beyond their eye-rolls at my panics, their laughter, patience and growing belief in the skills they drill into me daily constantly reinforces my confidence.

Halifax, Canada

Ammp’s consideration of my opinion when it comes down to major business approaches and actions makes me feel less like an intern, and more like a valued team member – something that just doesn’t happen when you’re trying to gain that always necessary experience.

Lastly, and most importantly to me is their willingness to let me go out and exercise the entire purpose of the business – being creative. Getting stuck in there with my own ideas is the sort of experience that is invaluable to my future.

With only three weeks left, I fully intend on making the most of my time with Chris and Ben, so get yourself prepared for more panic and simple questions, guys. You won’t be getting rid of me at the end, that’s for sure!

Choosing the right digital marketing role for you

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SEO Digital Marketing to improve website views

Using SEO Digital Marketing to increase website traffic

This post was written by Samantha Condliffe – Digital Marketing Exec at Infinities Designer Menswear.

Graduates with marketing degrees often don’t realise just how many different roles are available to them, especially down the digital route. This is because huge developments in technology and culture have completely changed the landscape of marketing over the past ten years, creating a demand for a whole host of new roles which are not yet being taught in our education system.

Each role within digital marketing is vastly different, requiring a different set of skills and a different type of individual.

In this post I will run through the main digital marketing roles in order to help you determine which is most suitable for you.

PPC

PPC is short for ‘pay per click’. PPC adverts are placed on the results page of search engines such as Google or Bing with the aim of driving traffic to your website which will then convert into a sale or another form of conversion for non-e-commerce sites. A PPC exec will carefully chose the search terms which ads are visible for and bid on those terms. This role requires somebody with a mathematical and analytical mind to ensure that the company achieves the highest possible return on investment.

SEO

SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’ which refers to the process of developing a website to become naturally visible in search engine results pages. Again the aim of this is to increase traffic to your site and in turn increase conversions. To rank well an SEO exec needs to ensure the website is technically well built as well as providing all of the information the user desires from their search, presented in an easily digestible manner. This role mixes technical web knowledge with creativity and is therefore great for anyone who wants variation in their job.

Affiliate

Affiliate markers place adverts on third party websites in order to attract people to their website and increase conversions. They carefully chose websites which have a cross over in target audience and agree commission rates with the sites. This role demands somebody with great communication skills as well as string maths and analytical skills. 

Email

If you are a little more creative and have some design skills then email marketing may be for you. The role includes creating great looking emails using ‘subliminal’ marketing tactics to be sent out to a database of subscribers. The end goal is to get people to take a particular desired action off the back of reading the email, whether that is to visit your website, make a purchase, sign up to an event, enter a competition and so on. You will also need some degree of analytics to review what tactics provide the best results.

Social Media

The usage of social media has grown rapidly over the last few years providing companies with a means of speaking directly with a huge proportion their target audience on a regular basis. The majority of companies with an online presence include social media in their overall marketing strategy. This role is really popular with outgoing and creative people although it does also require some degree of analysis to define a strategy which achieves a constant increase in followers, likes, shares etc.

Social media provides companies with a regular means of speaking directly with their target audience.

Social media provides companies with a regular means of speaking directly with their target audience.

 

If there is more than one role which you would like to pursue or you don’t want to limit yourself to one area then you will be glad to know that some companies combine two roles together. For example you may see some adverts for SEO/PPC exec where time is split between the two or alternatively you could opt for a digital marking assistant role where you will gain a small amount of experience in each area and then go on to decide which area you wish to specialise in. 

Can you #Tweet your way to a Career?

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Most people realise that LinkedIn is a key tool for presenting yourself professionally online, and a way to start building a network. However, what many don’t realise is that Twitter also has huge potential when it comes to making contacts, finding out about careers, and finding vacancies. Twitter has the benefit of being quick and easy, with the almost unlimited possibility of connecting with anyone with an account. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date with what is happening in your particular area.

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Preparing for an interview and job hunting tips in PR

by Louise Railton, final year PR and media student

The CIPR’s latest research gathered the views of approximately 400 CIPR student members. The research reveals how internships fail to provide consistent learning and development opportunities for PR Interns.

As a PR student who’s months away from graduating, I know all too well how intense final year can be. Final year isn’t easy anyway; but having the extra worries of finding a job in public relations, getting interviews, and impressing potential employers can be stressful. Here are some tips for PR students who are job hunting and wanting to prepare for interviews.

  1. Social media profiles: Spend some time going through your social media profiles to make sure you represent yourself accurately as the fun but professional person you are! If you don’t have LinkedIn, definitely sign up. LinkedIn is a great platform for networking online.
  2. Accounts on Twitter: This follows on from the previous point, have separate accounts for different audiences. For example: create a professional account as well as having a personal account.
  3. Key influencers on social media: Think about who you follow/admire on Twitter and why. Some companies such as Tesco are really clever with the things that they post.
  4. Join in and #chat: Use Twitter to your advantage by joining in with relevant chats, such as #PRStudChat and other chats by the CIPR which cover different but important topics. It’s a good way to network and share your opinions on relevant issues. Cision have compiled a list of relevant PR Twitter chats.
  5. Start up a blog: Having a personal blog is brilliant experience, and a great way to showcase what you can do. Also having a professional blog, or contributing to a professional blog will look great on your CV. Professional blogs are regularly looking for contributors. Blogs are a great way for you to show employers your writing style and interests.
  6. Do your research: Make sure that you thoroughly research the agency/company, who their clients are and the company ethos. Being well prepared will show that you are enthusiastic and serious about working for them.
  7. Practice your interview skills: Prepare some questions which you might be asked and ask a family member or friend to go through them with you. This will help you to not get flustered or go off topic during the real interview. Be clear and stay calm.
  8. Demonstrate media awareness: Become aware of bloggers, editors and feature writers in the industry. Knowing the name of a journalist will look impressive.
  9. Read the papers: Author Sarah Stimson of ‘How To Get A Job In PR’ says “Common questions in PR interviews include “what news stories have caught your eye recently?” and “tell me about a PR campaign you’ve seen in the last six months which impressed you/didn’t impress you”. In order to answer both of those questions you need to be fully aware of what’s been in the news.”

Top Tips for interviews:

  • Be prepared – be on time, know your route and look up people who work at the organisation on LinkedIn
  • Be professional – appearance and the way you are dressed
  • Be enthusiastic and available
  • Be flexible
  • Demonstrate that you are willing to learn new things
  • Be positive – smile!
  • Show confidence
  • Bring samples of work with you so you can explain them in further detail
  • Know your strengths and weakness, but focus on your strengths
  • Talk about where you have work experience but also what skills you used and how you used them. Giving good examples is important for interviews
  • Ask your own questions – prepare some questions for the interviewer. A good question to ask: “Is there anything else you would like me to demonstrate?”
  • Show you can use your own initiative and think on your feet
  • Follow up by sending a thank you email if possible

Editor’s note: Congratulations to Louise for this blog post being selected as Pick of the Week by Behind the Spin, an online magazine for public relations students and young PR practitioners.   Here’s her moment of glory! http://tinyurl.com/kpsqrkg – very well deserved too.

 

VC gets linked in as visit marks official launch

Yesterday marked the official launch of the new centre. The theme for the day was ‘using social media to find work’.

Sessions in the teaching space upstairs were full booked with many students and a handful of staff finding out more about using social media to enhance
their employability. The VC, Philip Jones, attended the launch at lunchtime and spoke to students in the LinkedIn workshop.

There was a steady stream of students and staff in the centre all day to enjoy the free cupcakes and to find out what was on offer to enhance the employability of students at the University.

Today (Tuesday) current students will present their ‘top tips’ on gaining experience to enhance your cv (NB – a Top Tips booklet is available  https://students.shu.ac.uk/services/careers/docs/Top_tips_2013.pdf)
and in the afternoon there is a workshop again involving current students, to launch the new Global graduates scheme, and a workshop on presentation skills. Places are available at each workshop, bookable through the employability tab on shuspace.