Thursday, 7 January 2016

Social media

About 8 years ago, If I was to ask if you saw that tweet or liked that post I’m 99% sure you would think I’ve lost my mind. Today, however, social media has become such a huge part of our lives that we don’t even recognise it anymore. We don’t realise that we are being subjected to countless images and news stories through social media that is helping us to form and shape opinions. It wasn’t until I lost my phone about a month ago that I realised just how much I would check Twitter or Google+. In her book ‘Social Media: How to engage, share and connect’, Regina Luttrell defines social media as “Media designed to be disseminated through social interaction”. Something that spreads through the internet.

Social Media is bigger now than ever. For example, a huge section of the industry revolves around Youtube and ‘YouTubers’. While the name ‘Zoella’ or ‘Tyler Oakley’ may mean absolutely nothing to you, a whole combined generation of nearly 18 million people watch their every moves on Youtube. Organisations have realised the power that some of this people have has opinion leaders and use them as a door into the young adult market.

Social Media has allowed organisations to adopt two way communication easier than ever. It has revolutionised how organisations connect with their audiences and create new and creative marketing campaigns.
At the beginning of the year, Groupon posted a new product to their Facebook page called a ‘Banana Bunker’. People. Went. Mad. The unique shape of the product prompted thousands of comments on the seemingly harmless item. This led to some amazing and invented comments back from the Groupon Facebook page. According to Bill Roberts (in this adweek post), the head of Global communications at Groupon, they knew there was going to be a storm coming. The ‘Banana Bunker’ sold out even before the post went viral and it became one of their most interacted with posts on the site. Groupon knew and estimated the response this product would receive from Social Media so they decided to make the best out of a bad situation.

Social Media allowed Groupon to advertise and market a product of theirs in a unique way. If they posted it in a Newspaper or other print based media then the response and desired outcome of the communication wouldn’t have been as desirable.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Life Update


So I haven't been updating this blog in a while and I do honestly feel quite bad about it so I've decided to write a little post on what I've been up to.

I've been living in America for over a month now and it still doesn't feel quite real. The only time it starts to hit me is if I want to speak to anyone in the UK and have to mentally count forward 5 hours and check that I'm not going to be waking them up. I've only just sorted my room out and started to make it feel like home so I'm hoping I will finally settle into my room soon. I'm actually quite proud of my little dorm, so of course, I've included some photos...

Contrary to popular belief, I am actually studying while out here. Classes are hard. The way the program is structured is completely different to Bournemouth. I've already done 7 exams!! I do feel like I am learning here compared to Bournemouth which feels like I did nothing. I have weekly deadlines and I'm constantly reading and revising and learning new things.

UCF is a brilliant school. The strange thing is that I have so much pride for this school already! When game day comes around, I dress up in black and gold and cheer about a game that confuses the hell out of me. Everyone here is extremely friendly. I'm not sure if it's because I have a British accent or because I look like a lost puppy but someone seems to always be there to give me assistance.

On Sunday, I went to Universal studios!! I had the most amazing day and couldn't believe I was actually at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I was almost bursting. It also helped that I went with the best group of people in the world #CommonwealthFamily. We were there for 13 hours so I think I got the most out of my money. It has changed so much since I went 8 years ago! I also managed to get an excellent score on the Men In Black ride which added to my excitement of the day.

Also, yes mum, I have made a lovely group of friends. I promise I am not sitting in my room all day watching Netflix... Maybe... sort of...

So far, I am having the best time of my life. Honestly, it's been amazing. This weekend I will be going to Chicago so expect another blog post from me about the trip and also about the PR culture in the city that is host to one of the biggest PR firms in the world.

Katy x

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

20 Questions for America - Study Abroad Week One


Firstly, let me just apologise for no blog posts on here for a while. I could make a lot of excuses but I was just lazy.

As most of you already know (because I post about it constantly) (sorry) I am currently at the University of Central Florida for a semester to study Public Relations. Classes started Monday and so far, its going good. I have made a lovely group of american and also international friends which is good because I was so sure I would be lonely.

So as of today, I have been in Florida for exactly 1 week and I have a lot of questions and thoughts for America  and American colleges that I have been thinking about. They range from little things to very confusing questions that I'm not even sure American's can answer...

Here goes:

  1. Why don't your cars have number plates on the front of them? It kind of scares me a bit and makes me feel like I'm in a futuristic world
  2. Why are Textbooks SOOOOO expensive? I think the most I paid for a textbook last year was £2 and it wasn't even a required text. I just splashed out over $200 for textbooks and I'm only renting them!!
  3. Your public transportation sucks. There is none. The only way to get around is to UBER it or call or a taxi. You can walk it but this leads onto my next point...
  4. Why is everything so bloody far apart? On my first day I walked to Walmart and it took me about an hour. Whenever I tell any fellow UCF students this they look at me with such horror. I don't understand why buildings have so much empty space between each other.
  5. You don't provide kettles as a kitchen essential which I personally think should be a crime. I WANT MY TEA.

  6. Why is your tax not added to the item on the ticket? Do you realise how confusing it is that tax is added at the till and the price of the item seems to double?
  7. What is up with the level of water in the toilets? I'm genuinely scared it's about to overflow when I flush the toilet
  8. While we are on the subjects of toilets, why do your toilets have such big gaps in the doors? I keep making awkward eye contact with people waiting or washing their hands while I'm sitting down and its creeping me out. 
  9. My accent isn't that hard to understand. I spent so long in a bar trying to order water and the bar tender just couldn't understand what I wanted. It wasn't until a very drunk american girl 'translated' my english 'war-Ter' to 'wah-dur' that I managed to get my drink 
  10. American 'football' is taken very seriously. I mean, some professors will cancel classes so you can watch the match. Every student goes to the matches and the players themselves are celebrated as gods.
  11. Jay-walking is literally the worst law. I understand its for safety and blah blah blah but having to walk in the opposite direction of where you want to go for 200 meters, just so you can cross a small road, is super annoying
  13. Don't get me started on your date system. Why do you insist on writing the date like month/day/year! THAT MAKES NO SENSE!
  14. Why are your portion sizes so big? On my first day I was starving after my flight so got a large McDonalds meal. Biggest mistake of my life.
  15. Your beds are really high of the ground and it feels like your doing the high jump every time you try to go to bed. 
  16. Why don't your plugs have an on and off switch. It freaks me out that I can't control the power that is coming out of the plugs.
  17. I also don't understand how you can change your major half way though your studies. You stick with your subject. It makes absolutely no sense to change it halfway through.
  18. Why is there an American Flag in every classroom? I get it, I'm in America. 
  19. I understand that you want to be loyal to your university but if I walked around Bournemouth Uni wearing matching top and bottoms with the Bournemouth University logo on then I would most likely have food thrown at me. Everyone here wears anything UCF day to day and no one bats a eyelid. 
  20. Finally, The point of a tip is that I'm giving it to you because you did a really good job. Having to give a tip always seems stupid to me. I will give a tip if I want to tip...

These are just some thoughts and questions that have been accumulating for the past week. Some are more tongue in cheek while others I genuinely want to know the answer too *cough* gaps in toilet doors *cough*


Monday, 30 March 2015

The unthinkable happened last week

Hello dear people,

It's been a sad week. It's okay. I feel all of your pain and I know that all of you reading this were DEEPLY saddened by Mr Zayn Malik leaving One Direction. His exit has affected all of our lives...

Don't worry Liam, I'll try and sum it up for you. If you have been living under a small rock in your garden, probably hiding from essay's and exams, then you wouldn't have known that Zayn decided to leave One Direction. His departure sent shock waves through the world, leaving women of all ages, feeling rather sad. Such a huge story guaranteed some social media marketing from brands. The best, being this corker from Lidl.

Lidl are good. Really good. They used the best of a bad situation and decided to knock 1/5 of the price of their One Direction Easter eggs. Their tweet about the discount has been retweeted over 25 thousand times and is still counting.

They were quick to jump on the band wagon and managed to make the best out of a bad situation. So, this got me thinking. I started looking at how other brands reacted to big pop culture news. Here are some of my favourites...

  • Remember #TheDress? Yeah, that social media outbreak that took over your life for about 24 hours, to never be heard of again? Well, many brands knew they had to cash in on this outbreak. IHOP is my favourite. Mainly because, you know, Pancakes. My other favourites are Xbox and Lego. They each made sure to promote their own products, while talking about the issue at hand.

  • Ahhhh, the royal baby. When Kate went into labour, twitter went mad. Literally. People were constantly checking twitter to see if the little prince had been born. There was even a website called where it would update you with a simple yes or no. Of course, brands wanted in. The two I chose for this post are probably the cheesiest ones, but, that's what we want, right? Starbucks went with a coffee family while Playdoh went with a playdoh family. Cute, but effective. 

  • In early 2014, JCPenny had a bit of a mare on social media. They tweeted like they were drunk during the Superbowl and it turned out that they were the most talked about, non-sponsor of the game. In the end, their drunken tweeting was actually a promotion for mittens, but it didn't stop other brands jumping into the action and replying back. My favourite? Snickers... You'll see why. Although, Coors Light was close behind.

  • Brands have a field day during the Grammy's. The following brands mnaged to find relevance within the Grammy's and related it back to them. Some where creative - Olay, while some just got straight to the point - Pepsi. However, they all used the News event for their own gain, and they did it well.

  • While this next tweet isn't from a particular news story, it's still my favourite tweet from a brand. Ever. So I'm putting it in this list.

It's important for Brands to engage with the news worthy stories and their audiences. Most of these tweets have gone viral, introducing the brand to a wider audience and showing their presence in an overcrowded place. 

To round it up, goodbye Zayn. You will be missed...

Katy xo

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The joys of Networking

Hello Guys! 

Last Wednesday, I got the opportunity to connect and network with PR agencies and professionals in, for better of another word, 'Speed networking'.

I created a CV poster for the event, forming mine as a Netflix page hoping it would show off my love for the media and entertainment industry. I got to the event bright and early, set up my poster and waited. The whole day was a blur, talking to numerous people about yourself for 3 hours can be tedious, and quite frankly annoying. By lunch I was fed up of talking about myself.

While I didn't get an interview, some of my closest pals got multiple, with really well respected people in the industry. I'm not going to lie. I was disappointed. I wanted to prove myself that day, I wanted to show professionals in the industry that I'm the best person they could ever employ. While that didn't quite go to plan, the knowledge I'm taking away from the event is substantial. 

I learnt what to and what not to put on my CV. I learnt how to talk to professionals and keep them engaged in what I'm saying. I learnt how to present myself as a confident person. Also, most importantly, I learnt what sector of PR I'm interested in. While speaking to 'Grapevine Media' I realised that yeah, I do want to do the entertainment PR. I also learnt that fashion PR is not what I want to enter into, and also learnt about the Health sector of PR.

This event helped me to see the wide range of PR available to little old, naive me. I'm so thankful to my University and peers doing PR in the years above for arranging such an insightful event for me and my fellow undergrads to participate in. I made some very useful contacts on the day, which will be oh so helpful in helping me find experience and a placement. 

Building contacts is such a vital part of the PR industry. As the saying goes, its not what you know, it's who you know..

Katy xo

Friday, 6 March 2015

Finding PR


I know haven't updated this in a while, oops. I wish I could say I've been super busy but, alas, I've just been lazy. 

I was thinking the other day about how I chose to do PR at University. A customer at the place I work prompted me this question, and to be honest, I have no idea. I remember reading about the course in the University hand guide and thinking 'Yeah, sounds okay' but I wasn't enthused by it. 

I wanted to study Events Management to begin with. I was sure that this was the right path for me to take but something always felt wrong. I wasn't sure what it was but I had this nagging feeling in the back of brain telling me that I shouldn't be doing this. In all seriousness, my media teacher and form tutor brought the PR world to my attention.

I was always known for being obsessed with Z list celebrities, going as far as stalking those said celebrities just to get a blurry picture that sort of resembled them(I try to forget about those days)(lol). The world of media was something I was definitely interested in, I just didn't know what aspect of it. I remember my teacher always saying to me that I would be good at 'spinning' the media to my agenda, as I normally did in class (HA). I guess this is what set the ball rolling. 

I'm so glad I chose to study PR. I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I applied for the course but what I've learnt and experienced so far has been really intriguing. The psychology side of the course has by far been my favourite part. I've also developed skills I didn't think I had. Doing this course has really opened up my eyes to a new side of this 'world'. I know, thats soooooo cliché, but it's true.

I'm really enjoying my university life and I feel that is down to the course I am doing which has introduced me to amazing friends and incredible experiences. Public Relations is such a huge, diverse world and I'm only just entering it. If you are deciding what to do at University but not sure what pathway to take, be spontaneous. I had no idea what PR was before I came to university. People would ask me what PR is and I would laugh along with them when I say 'I don't even know'. I'm still not even sure now, 6 months into the course, but it's been one of the best decisions I have ever made. 

I'm very happy where I am.

Katy x

P.s. Although, If I have one more person tell me that PR is either 'party planning' or say 'oh, so your doing fancy advertising?', I may have to knock some sense into them. 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015


Hello you beautiful people of the world..

I've decided to start a blog.

It's all brand new and I'm trying to understand it all but hopefully I will be able to update you all (not that you're even interested) in my life and also my journey into the PR world. I hope to be able to share with you some excellent PR campaigns and also some insight into University life.

See you all soon :)


P.s. thank you to Lily for my inspiration, she's the bomb.