My blogging journey and why blogging is important if you’re starting out in PR

My blogging journey and why blogging is important if you’re starting out in PR

Recently I was invited to give a talk to PR Masters students at Southampton Solent University about the importance of blogging and to take part in an active discussion about working in an agency versus working in-house. Continue reading “My blogging journey and why blogging is important if you’re starting out in PR”

The top 10 things I learnt from my first blogging event as a blogger – MAC Liptensity launch – part three

The top 10 things I learnt from my first blogging event as a blogger – MAC Liptensity launch – part three

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.

Continue reading “The top 10 things I learnt from my first blogging event as a blogger – MAC Liptensity launch – part three”

Blog Lovin’ – a blogging curation and networking service

Blog Lovin’ – a blogging curation and networking service

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.Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 20.50.19

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.Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 21.12.44Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 21.12.38My FeedScreen Shot 2016-02-22 at 21.13.01The blog posts are laid out simply and are really user friendly…

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 21.13.44It 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.Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 21.13.37When 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. Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 21.13.28Explore

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 20.51.51This 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…

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 21.27.41Find Blogs

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 20.52.06This 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

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 20.52.28Activate 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.

Shop
Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 20.52.56This 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!

Click here to follow my blog on Blog Lovin’!

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.

A passion for fashion and other phrases I hate…

A passion for fashion and other phrases I hate…

I have been in my new role as PR account executive for six months now, and the time has flown by. Whilst doing some media monitoring the other day I came across yet another recycled phrase that was used in some guise or another in an attempt to be witty.

However, rather than put a wry smile on my face it did the opposite to me. I recoiled in horror as I saw yet another cliched phrase modified to fit and fortify a flagging press release. I’m sure it has done the same to you at some stage, perhaps an eye roll or a groan as you see one of these chestnuts nestled in the text your reading.

Starting out in PR is never easy as you navigate putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboards as the case may be. Now I’m all for using humour, familiar phrases or any other device to engage your reader, but I have noticed a few that you really should avoid like the plague.

So here are my top five phrases to avoid…

  1. A passion for fashion

    When I first cast eyes on this phrase I was at the London College of Fashion, learning from a former PR pro who had graced such wonders as Vogue, Mulberry and Woolford. I adored her as she was direct, refreshing and intriguing, she was my very first PR mentor. As soon as she mentioned her hatred for this phrase I began to see it everywhere. If you work in fashion or beauty, as I have done in the past, you will know this phrase is virtually unavoidable from the humble CV to editorial, this little cracker is everywhere.Culture

  2. Culture Vulture

    I can tell you exactly the first time heard this phrase. It was two years ago and until then I lived in blissful ignorance. My friend and I had been looking at Linked In profiles in order to improve our own and she pointed it out. She said that people often described her as a ‘culture vulture’ and she didn’t like it, not one little bit. Nor did I. Just because you are interested in life outside your own sphere does not mean you are a ready to swoop in and devour all other cultures. Everyone has interests, most people like to travel, why do we have to pigeon hole people with such a vulgar term?shakespeare

  3. To be or not to be…
    Guilty! Yes I am, I have used this phrase for my own writing, when I was ten years old in my English class. I thought I was so clever, but like most ‘original thought’ it unfortunately lacked originality. This has been done, far and wide, high and low and it is recognisable but it’s been done. Let the mighty bard rest this phrase so we can appreciate it in his plays in the future.

    Bond

  4. Bond, James Bond
    Now before I lose you on this one, let’s set the record straight, I love the Bond films. I grew up curled up on the sofa, with my Grandad, eating Terry’s chocolate orange segments whilst watching the latest instalments of the series getting scared that if I ate too much of the chocolate I too would have a mouth full of gold teeth. These are some of my fondest memories. So I say this with a caveat, don’t make a cliched Bond reference, unless you are doing the PR for a Bond film or genuinely have some connection to it. Otherwise, you are wrecking a British institution.

    YOLO

  5. YOLO or You Only Live Once

    Often used by millenials, yummy mummys and those in mid-life crisis. So in essence, everyone. This applies to all of us. I am a millennial (people born late 80’s/90’s and formative teenage years in the 90’s/00’s) and I don’t believe anyone needs an excuse to trying something new or an excuse to do something bold. I hate this phrase, this for me is the worst because it isn’t just a phrase it can be used as an excuse, a manipulation. When I’m out I often overhear comments like ‘Should I buy these shoes which mean I can’t pay the rent? Oh well, you only live once! Hello new shoes!’. YOLO isn’t an excuse to be irresponsible or to do bad things. I’ve heard YOLO used as an excuse for affairs, silly purchases and for other socially unacceptable things. Attaching a carefree phrase doesn’t make the action any better.On a lighter note, I’ve also heard it used in far less serious context and I’m sure many will call me out and say that it’s just a bit of fun. But, I still can’t help but loathe it. Live your life the way you want to, you don’t need an excuse to seize the moment, or watch back to back episodes of Game of Thrones, in your PJ’s whilst eating Ben and Jerry’s straight out of the tub.

My best advice is to try and be original. I know this is hard when you are battling deadlines, but keep it simple if all else evades you.

These are my top five, what phrases would you advise to avoid?