Guys. I’m into the last few weeks of my placement. The last few weeks!!! My replacement starts on Monday but it feels like yesterday that it was my first day and I was learning everything from Charlotte. Well, trying to learn everything but feeling so overwhelmed that there was too much to learn and that I wasn’t cut out for the job. I honestly don’t know where this year has gone, but it’s been without a doubt the best year of my life. Let’s leave the soppiness until next month when I’ve actually left though, yeah?
Ok, so 12 months down, one to go. Here’s what I got up to during the second-last month of my placement!
A lesson in Instagram
At the start of the month, employees from Instagram came into the office to give a talk on the new features that will be appearing in the coming months, the benefits of advertising on Instagram and how the world will all be watching video content in vertical-form in the next few years.
If you know me, you’ll understand how excited I was that I was getting a personal lesson in Instagram by the people who work for Instagram. Just putting it out there, my Instagram Stories are quite something (if I do say so myself) and I’m a huge fan of Instagram. I remember when Instagram first released the Stories feature and I was totally against it, adamant it would never take over Snapchat Stories. But these days I’d say I open my Snapchat app about once a week. Whereas Instagram takes up 92% of my battery life. And I’m not exaggerating.
It was cool to learn how to have multi-coloured text, colour the whole screen with one tap of your finger and use the different filters and motion controls. But it was even more interesting to learn how Instagram were planning on developing the app, what features were coming out soon and how we as a company could benefit from them. From an Influencer Marketing point of view, where we’re using Instagram every day; it was especially interesting.
Welcome to the new world of Instagram TV (IGTV). A new app (also accessible in the original Instagram app) set to rival YouTube in long-form video content. As our Stories that we post today only last 12-15 seconds, you’ll find a lot of Influencers will post a multitude of 15 second Stories in a row when they have something they want to discuss. Which means their Stories go on forever while you tap, tap, tap your way through them all.
For the lesser famous (those with 10,000 – 100,000 followers) they can only post up to 10 minutes of IGTV content. Those with more following can post up to one hour of content. The beauty of IGTV is that there’s no room for editing, re-taking certain parts, bloopers, none of the above. It’s all natural, authentic, one-take video content.
Putting it out there, I am not a YouTube person and never have been. I can’t sit in one space watching someone’s vlog for over 30 minutes, or a make-up tutorial or a Topshop haul. Maybe this is why I’m so bad at doing my own make-up but I just always felt there would be better use of my time. Like watching four episodes of Peaky Blinders in a row. Who am I kidding, I could watch an entire series in one go. Anyway, I’ve just never been into YouTube.
So will I be watching IGTV? I think if it is people that I closely follow on Instagram and have a genuine interest in, then yes I could see myself sitting down to watch ten minutes of their video if the topic is interesting. One hour content? Well, I have my battery life to think about.
I should’ve written a separate post on this shouldn’t I…
McQueen – the Alexander McQueen biopic
Now this I will be writing a separate post about. To say this sparked an emotion in me would be an extreme understatement.
What I love about going to the cinema and seeing a new movie, is always coming out feeling a sense of either empowerment, fulfillment, satisfaction or maybe an urge to change something about myself. That’s if the movie is any good, of course. With the McQueen movie, I only went as we received free tickets with work due to Alexander McQueen being one of the brands Coty have in their portfolio.
I’ve worked on Alexander McQueen fragrances for a year now, and when I started at Coty I didn’t know much about the brand other than the iconic white dress that was spray painted live during one of his fashion shows. I’m going to be honest and say that I had no idea the man was dead. As I work across the whole Luxury portfolio, in terms of rankings, AMQ isn’t one we hugely focus on as we have the likes of Gucci, Hugo Boss, Burberry and Tiffany etc. that take up a lot more of our time.
I came out of the movie feeling so many emotions I could’ve exploded. Since watching the biopic I have had lengthy conversations with anyone that I come across with me ranting for about half an hour while they pretend to listen. Sorry Emma. Sorry Dad.
I want to write a separate post on this due to feeling so strongly about it, but I will say just a few words on it here. Alexander McQueen was born and raised in a council estate in East London. He wasn’t rich – quite the opposite – and worked his ass off to get to where he did. Creative Director at Givenchy from being on the dole? But the main reason he achieved everything was due to the belief he had in himself and the confidence in his own work. Yes, he did have a very strange mind and a lot of problems, but he was a genius and there’s absolutely no denying that.
One thing this movie did was anger me beyond belief. McQueen committed suicide and it was telling that the fashion industry played a vital part in this. That and a lot of other demons McQueen was facing. However, only a few days after seeing this movie, the news broke about Kate Spade also committing suicide. Is there too much pressure in the fashion industry?? Another thing that got my blood boiling was my complete ignorance to the brands that I work on. Here we have someone that I now find incredibly inspiring due to their back story and hard work and I had no idea. I worked on this brand for a year and had no idea just how much of a connection I would have to the designer and brand itself. I will hold my hands up and say that it was pure ignorance on my part and I feel awful because of it. I’m all about working hard, especially when you don’t come from money or connections yet still being able to get to where you want career-wise, and here was a man that had proved it was possible, right under my nose. Full blog post/book coming on this later.
Another musical month
Just like the past few months have been, June was no different. I spent two weekends in Ireland (I hadn’t been home since Easter) purely for concerts. The first weekend, I flew into Dublin for the Kodaline concert in Malahide Castle. My cousin and I stayed in a pub near Trinity College, right in the heart of Dublin. I honestly seem to spend more time in Dublin than I do up north. This was my fourth time seeing Kodaline (three of these being in Dublin), and I’d go to another one of their concerts tomorrow. Just like every other time I’ve seen them, they were incredible. I then took the train to Lurgan on Saturday where I spent a very short 24 hours at home before flying back to London on Sunday.
The very next weekend it was back to Ireland, only this time flying into Belfast on the Friday night. I spent Saturday and Sunday at Belsonic (music festival) watching Liam Gallagher perform on the first night and Picture This (Irish band) on the Sunday. I was only home for a weekend but I managed to see a large amount of people that I hadn’t seen in so long and it really was so good to be home. I was indifferent about going home in August, thinking I would only spend a week or so before heading back to Liverpool, but that weekend made me very excited about spending some time at home for a while and I think I may just spend a little longer at home this time before getting back into the Liverpool way of life.
It’s not coming home
You may have seen or heard that the World Cup started a few weeks ago. No? Where on earth have you been?! Anyway, as the new fragrance from Hugo Boss (BOSS Bottled United) has Harry Kane as one of the faces along with three other football stars from around the world, it was only fitting that we throw a World Cup party on the first day. We had boxes upon boxes of pizza and drinks just before the opening ceremony began, but once we had inhaled our slices of pizza, we had lost interest in actually watching the opening ceremony.
I’m usually very into the World Cup when it’s on, but that was back when I had full summer holidays and the luxury of being able to watch the games at any time. Now? Not so much. When it comes to the World Cup, I’m a Spain supporter. Ireland have absolutely no chance and I actually do own a Spain football top. The reason? I was a huge fan of Fernando Torres back when he used to play for Liverpool, hence why I have his name on the back of my Spain top and Liverpool top. I also used to have his calendar back when I was 12 and before One Direction came along. There’s just something about fake blondes.
So with most of the big names already out and England still in with a chance; Is football coming home? Judging by the celebrations on Tuesday, you’d think it already had. I may not be an England supporter, no matter how many times my dad will text me and say ‘Are you English yet?’ or be in awkward conversations where everyone is saying how happy they are for the England team (my time to stay quiet) or even if I have to go to the Nike store and buy 20 English football jerseys (true story), I will not be supporting England during this World Cup.
England supporters always get a bad rep, and rightly so. Any that I’ve met or seen on TV are rowdy, rude, arrogant and down-right annoying. Except the Scousers, they’re lovely. I may be making a generalised judgement but I’m only referring to those typical Benidorm-going type of men in the pub with their pints of Carling. You know the type.
I may be set in my ways when it comes to the England football team (we all knew Jordan Henderson was going to miss, didn’t we?) but I’m not going to pretend they’re crap because they’re not. They’ve been playing really well, and I do honestly think they could have a chance this year with a lot of the big names being out of the competition already. But is it coming home? I hope not. Otherwise the whole of England will turn into what I imagine Benidorm is like. We’ve already got the weather.
Broadening my English horizons
At the end of the month, I added another place to the list of cities and towns I’ve been to in England. I’ve lived here three full years now and I can list out the places that I’ve been in one short sentence; Liverpool, Newcastle, London, Brighton, Manchester, Watford and now Worcestershire. I’m not very well traveled, am I?
Alice and I took the three hour train to Annie’s for her 21st birthday. I’m not kidding when I say my makeup literally slid down my face, I was sweating so much. I’m not used to 20 degree heat never mind 28 degrees. On the way home, we had to get two trains, one bus and one tram on three hours sleep, one sausage bap and a little bit of a hangover. It was not pleasant, I can tell you that.
One of the amazing things about placement is the friends I’ve made and how close we’ve become over the year. We only have one month left together and it doesn’t seem real that after spending basically every day together over the past year that we’ll now be going our separate ways to different ends of the country, back to different universities and different lives. Who knows when we’ll see each other again or even if we’ll see each other again. At least we all have social media!
My most embarrassing moment yet
Once a week we have meetings with our entire division, going through any business updates, things coming up, how our launches are doing etc. etc. We also go through any birthdays coming up within the division or anything else to celebrate. Then once per month we have longer versions of this meeting, where everything is talked about in more depth.
In our June monthly meeting, there was nothing out of the ordinary. Until the ‘Any Other Business’ slide and my manager Jane, went to the front of the room. I had no idea what she was going to present, maybe something about our Influencer Marketing team or something that had been done well by competitors. That was until my face appeared on the screen at the front of the room. My hands went straight to my face, my stomach dropped and my eyes went wide. I was mortified.
It was a screenshot of my blog – this blog – and the title ‘UK’s Best PR Student Blogger 2018’. Jane then started into a speech about the award I won and I honestly don’t know what is wrong with me (I’m going to blame a hormone imbalance) but tears actually started coming from my eyes. I was crying in a room full of colleagues with nothing overly important to cry about but here I was frantically wiping the tears hoping people wouldn’t see.
I think it was because no one has ever made a speech about me ever and also that it was so unexpected that the shock went straight to my head (eyes). It was honestly the nicest thing (hence the tears), and Jane and my whole team have always been so supportive of my blog outside of work. I have the best team ever and I’m gutted that I’m having to leave them next month.
The final countdown
The countdown has begun, and as I’m writing this I am on my way to Liverpool preparing for my big move at the end of July. It’s my last day off that I’m going to have which means I only have 15 days left in the office. FIFTEEN.
I have fifteen days to teach my replacement student everything that I know and make sure to leave her feeling capable and confident so that she can pick up where I left off. I know that it’s going to be overwhelming for her and she’s going to feel a little bit scared when I do go, especially in the first few weeks but we all felt like that when we started. We all sat in the canteen on our first day without the old interns looking at each other and thinking ‘We can’t do this’ and ‘We’ll never be as good as them,’ but it honestly just takes time to get used to everything and she’ll be a pro before she knows it.
Here’s to my last month as a PR girl!