Blogging

Viewing posts tagged Blogging

10 fashion and beauty Instagrammers you really should be following

Did you know that Instagram now has more than 400 million active users across the globe, collectively sharing, filtering and regramming more than 75 million times a day? Among this community are the fashion and beauty bloggers taking the platform by storm, sharing a wealth of reviews, ideas and inspiration. But with some many contributing to the Instagram ‘noise’, how do you know who to follow? We’re here to help! Here’s a selection of our favourite ladies, who are not only rocking the ‘blogosphere’ but Instagram too. We recommend that you press ‘follow’ immediately and this is why…

1. I Have This Thing For
This Instagram channel is hosted by Jessica Garland-Blake, an Irish girl living in London. Jessica is a fashion student and is therefore an expert when it comes to the subject. She says her blog is “a place of imagery for fashion, food and daily inspiration” – which certainly counts for her Instagram too. Rife with stylish, quirky and interesting photographs, the channel offers a glimpse into Jessica’s life and loves! We’d recommend you brighten up your Instagram feed by joining her 18.3k followers now (click here) and be sure to head on over to her blog too: www.ihavethisthingfor.com/!

1

2. Victoria Jane 6
The owner and author of fashion, travel and lifestyle blog, Victoria’s Vintage, Victoria Jane brings a hint of vintage style to Instagram too. A lover of travelling, eating out and visiting new places – you get more than just fashion on Victoria’s channel. Followers can expect floral patterns galore and a whole host of ‘pretty’…plus cameo appearances from Victoria’s pet rabbit, Merlin. Follow her here and check out the Victoria’s Vintage blog too.

2

3. Blog Me Beautiful
Initially started as a fashion and beauty blog, you can now expect a lot more from Blog Me Beautiful Instagram owner, Emily. A lover of frothy coffee, bubbles, afternoon tea and anything beautiful, she is proud to be totally honest about the products she reviews and won’t include anything she doesn’t like – so you can be certain that anything Emily does endorse genuinely has her seal of approval. Follow Blog Me Beautiful for fashion and beauty advice and much, much more. There’s even something for parents out there too, as Emily is a mum herself. Click here to follow or head to the Blog Me Beautiful blog for even more.

3

4. Fashion Panic
Fashion Panic is an absolute must for any Instagrammer looking for a fashion fix. Lauren’s images are always interesting, inspiring and accessible to all. The owner of online boutique, Catwalk Killa, Lauren is also the Fashion Editor of Eight Magazine. Her passion shines through in every pic she uploads and you’ll struggle not to double tap on every single one – starring in many of her snaps, Lauren is absolutely gorgeous too! Find her here and at her blog here too: http://www.fashionpanic.co.uk/p/about-me.html

4

5. Scarlett London
You won’t be able to help but be impressed by Scarlett’s Instagram feed. Expect pics packed with inspiration – from a simple shot of her breakfast (below) to her outfits on any particular day. A journalism student and all round ‘go getter’ Scarlett posts regularly and has an impressive following of over 13k! Beware though, you’ll definitely wish you had this lovely lady’s life! Find out exactly what we mean here and here: http://scarlettlondon.com/about/

5

6. Cocomamastyle
We wholeheartedly disagree with stylist, Helen Canning’s claim that she isn’t “the most on-trend mum on the block, nor the coolest” – take one look at her Instagram feed and you’ll see what we mean! Helen uses her blog and Instagram to inspire other mums by sharing her “professional styling knowledge and personal experiences of pregnancy and motherhood”. Her following is growing by the day, make sure you are part of it here and read the Cocomamastyle blog here: www.cocomamastyle.com

6

7.Style Petal
Primrose Bigwood started young, having established her first blog at the age of 14. Now an actress and qualified drama practitioner, Primrose is a style blogger with a wardrobe you’re certain to be envious of. Whether you’re looking for beauty tips or outfit advice, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for on Primrose’s Instagram. Follow her here or head over to www.stylepetal.blogspot.co.uk for more.

7

8. Meg Says
As you’ll see from the bio below, Meg describes herself as a “happy human being who talks about life whilst loving living it”! She’s also a “self-conscious lipstick hoarder and Tom Hanks fanatic” whose take on things is wonderfully bright and refreshing. Positivity is the order of every single day on Meg’s Instagram and her fun personality shines through in each snap! You can also rely on Meg for travel, fashion and beauty inspiration too. What are you waiting for? Follow Meg here or here too: www.meg-says.com

8

9. Catherine MW
The author of the Pretty Little Beauty Blog, Catherine MW confesses to having a little bit of an obsession with all things beauty and to being a ‘total Instagram nerd’ – this has proven to be the perfect combination. Catherine’s ‘unintentionally pink’ posts showcase the latest must-have make-up and beauty products which you really should be using. An Instagram pro, her snaps are expertly shot – and we’re not the only ones who love her feed, 18.6k followers agree! Check Catherine’s Instagram out for yourself here and if you still can’t get enough, head over to her blog too: prettylittle-beautyblog.blogspot.co.uk

9

10. Frock Me I’m Famous

Another of our favourite Instagram feeds belongs to Hayley Rubery who has an impressive 19.7k followers! From fashion and beauty to life, food and travel, you’re sure to get addicted to her updates – and a word to the wise, you may waste hours scrolling through her pics. Hayley has also recently embarked on a life-changing project – she’ll be visiting 12 countries in 12 months; get ready for some international food and style inspiration. Become part of Hayley’s following here or read her blog here: www.frockmeimfamous.com

10

Our pick of the best food and drinks blogs in Leeds

Our outreach team here at Prohibition spend a lot of time identifying and engaging with online influencers across a wide variety of fields. Regardless of whether it’s a brilliant product or a less-tangible idea or issue, the end result is organic word of mouth for our clients, a powerful thing with today’s media-jaded consumers.

This month we’ve been busy speaking to food and drinks bloggers in Leeds for a new bar/restaurant we are launching next month. As anyone who’s visited the city in recent months will know, food and drink is now a major draw in Leeds, with more pop up bars, street food vendors and hipster eateries than you can shake a stick at.Guacamole_Pepper-Jack_Burger

As such, Leeds now boasts a huge number of brilliant food bloggers, catering to this exciting scene and giving the latest tips, advice and inside track on what’s happening in the city when it comes to food and drink. Here’s our pick of some of the best:

  1. Gourmet Times Leeds is a digital food magazine that focuses on fine-dining in the Leeds area as well as in your home. The blog is great for a number of reasons, not least because they encourage everyone to be a part of it by using their user-generated-content gateway, allowing readers to add their own recipes, articles and reviews. Their restaurant guide is definitely one not to be missed and is home to all the information you need when it comes to finding a restaurant.
  1. Whip Until Fluffy is written by Lil, a Leeds food blogger with diabetes living in the city. Her blog is a haven for finding yummy recipes and fabulous bar/restaurant reviews and recommendations. Her blog has really simple navigation, and easy cooking tutorials, and is a favourite among those seeking home cooking inspiration or anyone looking for great restaurants around Yorkshire.
  1. Big Spoon Little Spoon is a food and lifestyle blog by Becca, featuring posts on recipes, reviews and diets. If you are looking for inspiration on where to eat out in the city of Leeds then look no further, with reviews of the latest restaurants. I especially like her honesty and candid views.
  1. Jo Blogs. Part of the Leeds food & drink association, this Leeds lifestyle blog specialises in food and restaurant reviews, while Jo’s lifestyle posts make this blog more than just one for the average foodie.
  1. Breadsticklers – “For the love of food”. As well as restaurant reviews, this great blog also features delicious homemade recipes that will inspire you to become a master in the kitchen. Written by Claire, she has been sharing her love of food since 2011, and prides herself on writing about only her own experiences and honest opinions when it comes to reviewing great places to eat.
  1. Amy Liz is a food blogger based in Leeds posting about recipes and restaurant reviews. However, aside from writing exclusively about food, she also likes to blog about fashion and her lifestyle in Leeds, categorising her posts into; Leeds life, recipes, outfits, book club and restaurants, meaning there’s something for everyone.
  1. Eating Owt. It is exactly what it says on the tin… reviews, recipes and ramblings about Yorkshire food. This should be your go-to-guide when it comes to finding hidden Yorkshire treasures and reviews of some of the newest restaurants. If that all doesn’t take your fancy, check out her “All things cheese section” which covers, as you can guess, cheese reviews. Yum!
  1. Angel In The North may predominantly be a Yorkshire lifestyle blog, but her food and drink section is a great place to find reviews of restaurants not only in Leeds City Centre, but in the wider county, with the likes of Le Chalet Tearooms, Cielo Blanco, Bird and Beast, Cafe Rouge and Roxy Lanes reviewed.
  1. Them Apples is a blog about the food adventures of Rich. With absolutely no training when it comes to cooking, Rich takes inspiration from family and friends to create his masterpieces in the kitchen, something he shares with all his readers. His blog covers a variety of issues including eating out, food politics, books and kitchen gear.
  2. A tale of two sittings is written by a passionate Leeds food blogger who is also keen on photography. Originally from Wales, Diane‘s blog posts are a mix of food and drink, restaurant reviews and general lifestyle adventure posts. It’s one to be enjoyed by those who not only have a passion for food, but by those who enjoy finding out more about what Yorkshire has to offer in the way of food and culture.

We know this list isn’t exhaustive, so if you’re not included, please let us know about your blog in the comments and explain why we should all read it.

The Prohibition Seven Days of Social

3256859352_cf35412c5f_zFast moving, always adapting and often controversial, social media is an area where many of us have divided opinions. We like to keep our ear to the ground in the social media world, and as the week comes to an end, we’ve put together a few of our favourite pieces of social media content from around the web that you might not have spotted.

 

  1. “Can we auto correct humanity?”
    by Prince Ea (@PrinceEa)
    By far the biggest hitting and most shared piece of social media content of this week (over three million YouTube views) saw musician and rapper Prince Ea take to the camera in a thought provoking video, assessing how social media and modern technologies are leaving us less connected with our ‘friends’ than ever before.
  1. “ I didn’t actually wake up like this (and other Instagram confessions)
    by Amelia Olson
    We’re dubbed the ‘selfie generation’, but are the self facing snaps just an expression of vanity? In this article, Amelia Olson argues that selfies are not a self-obsessed or narcissistic expression, but that Instagram and other social media platforms that allow us to adjust our appearance through brightening effects and filters only contribute to our appearance insecurities. As does the marketing of makeup brands to encourage the public to look ‘photo/TV ready’.
  1. Fortune’s 55 most influential women on Twitter”
    by Caroline Fairchild (@CFair1)
    Social media is a powerful tool, especially for influencers, and with Twitter being the network of choice for some of the most powerful leaders in government, business and industry throughout the world, maintaining a strong Twitter presence has never been more important. If you’re looking for key female influencers to follow on the network, this is Fortune’s definitive guide to the 55 most influential women on Twitter
  1. “23 Tools and Resources to Create Images for Social Media”
    by Kevan Lee (@kevanlee)
    Social Media is all about engagement, especially when it comes to managing a community for a brand or business. Sharing interesting and engaging graphics is proven, especially on Facebook, to drive reach and increase your audience. However, the success of a post often depends on the make-up and design of an image. This week, our fourth piece of social media content provides one of the most the definitive guides available when it comes to social media image resources.
  1. Teens are officially over Facebook
    by Caitlin Dewey (@caitlindewey)
    We all know the Facebook story, created in a university dorm room, coming from nowhere to take the social media mantel from MySpace and within ten years, it’s arguably the most renowned business in the world. We all love to forecast the future of the most prevalent social network, and in this article, the Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey looks into the trend for teenagers to stray from the site, in search of more engaging content, from the likes of (Facebook owned) Instagram.
  1. 5 Ways to Use Metrics to Improve Your Social Media Marketing
    by Debra Eckerling (@WriteOnOnline)
    Gone are the days when a brand’s social media absence could be glossed over. In the modern, online age, it’s expected that a reputable brand will possess an engaging online presence. With social media marketing being as important as ever, and most if not all brands now taking on newer and more innovative social accounts, it’s important to keep track of those important metrics that showcase just how effective your presence online is.
  1. YouAreWhatYouLike: Find out what algorithms can tell about you based on your Facebook account.
    by Jennifer Golbeck (@jengolbeck)
    Social media users now number more than 1.4 billion—more than half of the Earth’s Internet-using population. We share a lot of information on social media, but it turns out we are sharing far more than we think. Seemingly innocuous information, when analyzed against tens of thousands of other profiles, can reveal secrets you never intended to share.

 

Photocredit: CC image from Rosaura Ochoa via flickr.

How to be legally compliant on social media

Yesterday morning. the Prohibition team jointly organised a successful breakfast seminar exploring the important issue of legal compliance in social media.

Held in conjunction with leading Intellectual Property law firm, HGF, the central-Leeds seminar was attended by 50 marketing and legal professionals from across the region.

HGF 1Social media undoubtedly provides brands with fantastic opportunities to promote themselves and powerfully engage directly with their customers and stakeholders, as many well-publicised cases show. However, social media can also be a huge trap for those unaware of the potential legal consequences.

The increasingly blurred boundaries between professional and private social media use can pose challenges for organisations, as employees unwittingly go “off message” in their personal social media networks.

These issues were explored in two short, but lively sessions, from Anthony Gold, Partner at HGF, and Chris Norton, Managing Director of Prohibition, as both talked through the challenges, opportunities and risks for brands seeking to expand their use of social media, whilst also discussing some of the key tools for success in this area.

The event was the latest in a series of seminars from Prohibition, exploring all aspects of social media best-practice. Our next events cover online crisis management, and take place at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Ramside Hall in Durham.

Making sure your business blog delivers results

Business blogging is now firmly wedged in the consciousness of any self-respecting business. Organisations of all sizes are increasingly heading online to share their thoughts about everything from product development to industry commentary and expert-advice. While this enthusiasm is admirable, simply writing content and hoping people will come to your site isn’t enough anymore, especially if you’re starting from scratch.

blogggTo really get the most out of your brand’s blog, it’s essential to have a degree of technical know-how, or you’ll end up wasting a huge amount of time, effort and money. With that in mind, here’s our guide to maximising the potential of your brand blog.

1)      Think carefully about how you build your blog

There’s a multitude of platforms available to build a blog in, and each web developer will have their preference. Getting this right is important. From a search engine optimisation (SEO) perspective – that’s how well your content will appear in Google rankings –  WordPress is the best option.  It’s extremely cost-effective, and having run blogs across many platforms, WordPress just seems to perform better and is extremely easy to use.

2)      Think about Plugins

One of WordPress’ great advantages is that its software is open source. That means there’s huge amount of free plugins available that can enhance the performance of your blog and tailor it to your requirements.  All these can be searched for and uploaded via the WordPress  ‘plugins’ tab on the left of the back-end dashboard. Essentials include Yoast, a simple-to-use SEO tool to maximise the visibility of your posts, and,Google XML Sitemaps, a tool that generates a special XML sitemap which will help search engines better index your blog. Both these result in a more visible blog, which can only be a good thing.

3)      Properly research your content

As dumb as it sounds, planning and researching what content you write about is an essential part of running a successful blog. Q&A app, Quora is a good starting point, allowing you to track the most popular questions around a particular topic. Once you know what people are asking, then you can answer it in your blog post. And if you’re one of the lucky people to be on Facebook Graph Search, you can see what your brand community is in to. Just go to Graph Search and type: Pages liked by people who like ________ (inserting your page name). This will give you a list of pages your fans like and follow, which you can then use as a basis to keep on top of the topics and issues your fans care about – and craft your content around this.

4)      Properly optimise your content for search

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to write about, then make sure your blog post is properly optimised. We’ve already mentioned Yoast, but you also need to tag each post with the relevant key words, and come up with a killer headline. This should both draw people in (think BuzzFeed), but also be optimised for search. A quick and easy way to do this is through Soovle – simply start typing your proposed headline and see what people are searching for around this. Also get your head around Google’s keyword planner, which allows you to identify the most popular key words used around a particular topic. Once you’ve found them, make sure you include them in your headline and first paragraph.

5)      Embrace hub and spoke

One of the key ways to create an audience for your blog is by channeling readers from your existing social media channels. This approach is known as ‘hub and spoke’ where each time you make a blog post, you also post about it on your social media channels. If you’ve not got any social media channels, then get some, quick! Start with Twitter, Facebook and Google+, and you’ve got the lion’s share of audience.

6)      Get your head around metrics

Whatever blog platform you use, you should have Google Analytics set up for it, as well as on your company website. Your in-house tech expert will know how to do this. Key metrics in analytics include bounce rate – this is the percentage of people visiting your blog then ‘bouncing’ straight off it. A lower bounce rate indicates a more engaged readership. Analytics also gives you an idea of what blog content is most appealing, allowing you to refine it accordingly. The emphasis should always be on using the data to constantly refine your creative approach when it comes to blogging.

7)      Think about what success looks like

Finally, think honestly about what success looks like. Forget about your blog driving sales (for now). That’s a long way off. Is it about building an engaged, loyal readership? Is it about driving traffic to your website? Or is it about establishing a thought-leadership position for your company? Whatever it is, stay focused on achieving it, and set challenging but not impossible metrics.

Image credit: Unsplash, used under Creative Commons. 

 

How mobile is paving the way for social media developments

Worldwide mobile phone sales are on fire. Currently, over one billion mobile web users are scrolling through the 1-4G universes, and their massive influence over social networks is becoming increasingly more apparent. If you’re after a good example, look no further than the new Facebook new Messenger app and how hard they’re pushing it on consumers, or how popular the Vine app is among brands for creating simple, snappy video content.

4183229960_edcbb4dd6bSo what does this mean for the PR industry? It means get mobile, quick. Communities online are only going to get more connected via mobile apps such as Snapchat and Jelly, so focusing purely on digital PR that fits computer monitors is no longer the’ be all and end all’, as it’s just no longer enough.

Assessing mobile habits is a good start. Knowing which apps are popular and what makes them so in demand can be done through a quick browse of the Apple App Store or Google Play Store; once you’re aware you can begin applying this to your own strategies on social media, such as what type of content to use for your brand in terms of video, visual, interactive and when to upload it.

It’s also wise to be aware of which apps are useful to use to your advantage for your respective communities, whether they will have a maximum outreach and generate leads and whether it’s worth having a presence on them at all.

Thanks to its global appeal, it’s likely that smartphone use will keep growing in the near future, so keeping an eye out for the latest developments is a must for any PR professional.

Now, go back to checking Facebook on your smartphone.

Photo Credit: 27147 via Compfight cc

A Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing

Content marketing is a fairly new concept, and although many may see it simply as online journalism, the reality is that content marketing is a key tool in drawing in an audience and increasing the visibility of a client. If you have clients whose products aren’t of genuine interest to you then producing engaging, interesting copy can prove to be difficult. Here at Prohibition, we produce web content for a wide range of products and services, and know just how much work goes into perfecting a content marketing system and becoming experts on multiple subject matters. If you’re struggling with where to start on those tricky pieces of content, then check out our guide as to best practice.

Know the audience and know the market
If you’re going to write convincing content as part of your strategy then you need impart authoritativeness on your readers. No matter what subject matter you’re writing an article on, there will already be a market out there you’ll need to compete against. Before you start writing, check the existing market to see what is already readily available. Audience views and engagement are vital aspects of content marketing, so take a look at the style of writing that is already proving successful. Take these styles and tweak them to come up with original content, as you don’t want to produce overly similar articles to what is already on the web.

Google predictions
You could produce the highest quality content is of genuine interest to people, however if you don’t make your article Google friendly then the chances are no one will find it. Even if you thoroughly research your market and audience before then producing an immaculately written piece of content, you’ve only fought half the battle. As a basic start, head to Google and type in the keywords of your article. Take note of the Google search bar, as it tries to predict what you’re writing. Often, when people search for topics they will pick the most relevant predicted search, meaning that the suggestions are topics that are searched frequently. By including popular words in your article titles then you increase the search-ability of your work.

Google AdWords
Whilst the use of the above mentioned Google predictions is a basic tool, the most effective way to target an article to your audience is through the use of Google AdWords. A free tool, AdWords allows you to inter the key themes of your article, which then gives results around the most popular search terms on the subject, along with the most associated phrases. The function also provides information on how expensive advertising is for each search, with higher priced searches driving most traffic. Incorporate this knowledge into your title and article headings to take the Google ranking of your article to the next level.

Quality or quantity?
This is an important question when it comes to content marketing, and one that you need to strike the right balance with. It’s always the case that any content you write should be of a high quality, however sometimes the rigorous research and attention to detail with certain articles limits your overall output. If you’re building a content marketing strategy on behalf of a client completely from scratch, then you need to begin the process with a focus on quantity. It’s tough to strike a balance, especially when you still need to do initial research into the existing market and your potential audience, however it will be important initially to churn out well written articles with relative frequency. Through providing a reasonable flow of content you will begin to generate an audience. As time goes by, we’d advise you rein in the quantity and focus on exclusive high quality pieces, which readers won’t find anywhere else on the web, meaning they’ll keep returning to read your work.

Focus on your subject
If you write exclusively about a narrow topic, they you will be aware that there’s only so much you can write articles on before you begin to run out of ideas and start regurgitating old content. At some point, you’ll probably be forced into expanding into other topics, however you’ll need to make sure they remain relevant to your product and your audience. In order to do this, you’ll need to ‘cast a wider net’, and connect with new people on social media to make sure your diversified content doesn’t go to waste.

Will people come back?
If you follow these steps, then you’ll begin to generate a real following. Your content will be out there on the web, searchable on Google, in high quantities and of high quality. We’ve found this to be a recipe for success when it comes content marketing, with our own strategy over at First Home News being a case in point. Even the best writer will admit that the longer you work on a piece, the higher the quality will be, so build towards this. Establishing a high amount of content to begin is important so that your audience don’t stumble across your page with a bare, unprofessional look. Building up an archive of articles quickly makes you look more authoritative, so is an important first step. Importantly, you don’t want to be shamelessly plugging your client within your content. The aim of a content marketing strategy is to provide content of genuine interest to potential customers without alienating them.

 

Do you have any top tips for content marketing, or have we missed anything off that you’d advise? If so, drop us a comment in the box below.

 

Photo Credit: Ѕolo via Compfight cc

Prohibition PR CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire PRide Awards 2013!

We are thrilled to announce that Prohibition PR has been shortlisted for both ‘Best Use of Social Media’ and ‘Best Use of Digital’ for the CIPR awards for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

We have been shortlisted for both of these awards because of one of our current campaigns ‘The Student Knows Best’. This is a campaign for a client of ours, Phoenix Software ‘Student Store’ who wished to engage with students more effectively. Central to this campaign was the creation of the new online community Studentwire. It focuses on all aspects of student living from how to make cheap meal to the cheapest holidays. In order to ensure we engaged with students, we created the online community to be written by students for students.

We are so proud to be shortlisted. The team here at Prohibition PR have been working really hard on achieving the highest quality PR and online communication…and it looks like all the hard work has paid off!

We are now looking forward to the dinner at The Queens Hotel in Leeds.

For any more information about CIPR and the full shortlist, please click here.

Top Tips: Advanced community management Seminar

Early last Thursday morning, the Prohibition PR team travelled to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to host a special breakfast seminar on advanced community management as part of our Social Media Training Series.  A variety of business and marketing experts from all over the country came across to evaluate their current digital and social media strategies and, more importantly, to find out how to adapt and improve them.

Prohibition PR founder Chris Norton led the session, in which he covered all areas of strategic community management; from the effective use of social media for business, to making full use of specialist insights tools to measure online success.  The main focus of the presentation was to offer a genuine insight into how to turn online ‘fans’ and ‘followers’ into real customers – a concept with which many businesses still seem to struggle with.

After refreshing with a quick tea break and a huge bacon sandwich, Julia Dettler from Search Laboratory took to the stage with her presentation on SEO and best practices in corporate blogging.

The issues raised in the seminars obviously resonated with the audience, because following the session; we had some really interesting questions and discussions.

If you missed out on this event, you can watch the full presentation here on our YouTube channel and if you have any questions, just contact Emily on 0845 519 6942 or you could go really crazy and actually tweet us.

Top Tips for a successful Work Experience in Public Relations.

Don’t be afraid the agency is not as scary as the name may seem, except Chris Norton, watch out for him!

I had no idea, clue, understanding, gist or hint about Public Relations, the term I like to use for myself in a situation like this is ‘I am a blank canvas’ meaning I have no knowledge but I’m ready to learn and ready to work, so throw all the paint you can on me.  Working for 3 months at Prohibition PR, I can now officially say I have knowledge and understanding about Public Relations and its relative Social Media. So here is an abundance of tips that I have learnt from working at Prohibition PR;

First and foremost to succeed in PR you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, practice of these abilities can lead to someone having journalistic and negotiation skills, all of which are the bases or foundation of an industry, they are not just needed in Public Relations and Social Media but business and employment in general.

Ask questions, we are all taught from a very young age to put our hand up to ask a question but for some reason we get to an age (which I think is around high school), where we feel as though it’s not necessary or it’s not ‘cool’ to ask a question, however when we do reach adulthood that confidence of asking a question isn’t there, but if you want an answer, ask a question. In Public Relations, working as an intern, to really understand the business you need to be able to confidently ask questions.

‘Be on your toes’ some would say. PR is a business where people need to be quick thinking, they need to have the ability to produce ideas and generate these ideas at a fast pace because the industry is fast-moving, the industry isn’t for the swift. Public Relations is competitive, savvy thinking and catchy titles with the aim to have top link on a search engine such as; Google gains more exposure, this results in an increase in recognition and profit for a client and the PR agency.

Thoroughly do your homework, before you even step into a Public Relations firm, buy this book, The Social Media Handbook for PR and this will get you ahead of the game and ahead of second year university students studying PR. Get a real understanding of Public Relations before even applying to work in a PR firm.

Understand the importance of clients in PR. Clients is what drives a Public Relations agency as a business in general, PR is the state of a relationship between the public and a company other organisation or famous person. Clients are the core of PR, the importance of brands or clients is as important as the strings on a guitar for a guitarist; an arms-length relationship with a client is not going to harvest effective long-term results and draw other clients to the agency.

‘The power of social media’. In this day and age Social Media and Public Relations go hand in hand. As a young adult living in 2013, I know how important Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are to the young generation however it wasn’t until I started working at Prohibition PR that I understood the engagement between PR and Social Media and how this relationship best serves brands and clients. I learnt that Social Media is a powerful tool, not only for PR but for many industries in general, one being the music industry, working at Prohibition PR I created a blog post about the effects that Social Media has on the Music Industry, which ended up being posted on the official CIPR website (15 minutes of fame), from this I discovered the effects, the pros and the cons of Social Media on the music industry and the mass integration of economic, business, social and political industries on social media.

Grasp the technique of how to write a good blog post. Understand the language and distinguish between the types of languages such as; reporting like a journalist and advertising like an advertiser.  Develop or have a good eye for a story and understand the nature of the PR agency you’re working for and what stories are best suited to them, once this is understand learn to develop the ability to craft content, and write in a way that brands, future clients or the public might be attracted to.

One thing I learnt overall from the work experience that I have done over the years and was reinforced by Prohibition PR was that you should take correction and because it leads to direction, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes as an intern or on work experience, see it as a trial run and a place where making mistakes is allowed because no business or agency would take anyone on if making mistakes wasn’t allowed. I had no idea about Public Relations or this sector of media, so Prohibition PR but a foot in the door and allowed me to hop on the train of PR and develop an understanding. I decided to voluntarily work for Prohibition PR because there’s an abundance of knowledge to gain, and I understood or understand how valuable work experience is not only for me and the agency but for applying to university. Working at Prohibition PR on my gap year possibly gave me a hand up or put me at an advantage when I applied to universities, because universities see work experience as vital attribute to a student. It may have been pot luck that Prohibition PR took me on even though I had no experience in PR; however I took the bull by its horn, and just dived in with the attitude to learn and the interest in the business which employers in general want to see.

Voluntary work experience in PR builds character and confidence due to the office type of language and banter, its preparation for the big adult workplace. I will now see how working in the workplace and working at university will be two very different things. ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, I did not know anyone in Public Relations, so to what extent or what industry is this quote true? Create a catchy CV and covering letter that thoroughly and sincerely shows off your personality, experiences and skills which also reinforces your ability and interest in PR and social media because this may catch the eye of an employer. I also Google mapped all the PR agencies in Leeds to see how long my journey will be to each agency.

Quick Tips for Working at Prohibition PR

  1. Be prepared to bring a laptop.
  2. Get involved in the office language and friendly banter.
  3. Be prepared to make tea and coffee, however after an embarrassing cup of coffee that I personally made I never had to make one again.
  4. Understand that hard-work is at the centre of this agency and they consider the relationship between them and the client to be very valuable.
  5. Come with the attitude that Prohibition is a great place to work because it
  6. Understand that working for this agency does not just gain an excellent reference but in my experience it gains friendship.Always bring a great lunch, they admire that.

Overall my verdict on work experience is, gain as much as you can. A months work experience is better than 2 weeks’ worth of work experience because you get a real understanding of the business you are working for and the working environment in general.