Posts tagged ‘blogging’
Looking through my old blog posts recently, I came across this one from two years ago, dolling out some (very) straight talking advice for Graduates who fancied a career as an Account Planner.
On reflection, I think I missed out a fairly important point, so I thought it might be worth a follow-up post:
Start a blog. No, make that start a blog and then post to it regularly. I don’t care whether it’s about Planning as a discipline, great ads you love, weird road signs or your collection of Lego, just be yourself and write about whatever you’re interested in. But do keep writing.
I end up visiting quite a lot of blogs belonging to people who want to be Planners – and very few of them are updated regularly. It’s all very well telling me you’re dedicated to making Planning a career, but if you aren’t dedicated to your blog beyond the 5th post or haven’t touched it for months (illness, acts of god etc. excepted), then something’s not quite right.
It’s not just about showing a potential employer that you can put finger to keyboard on a regular basis and come up with something interesting – it shows how your mind works. A couple of months ago I went to have a chat with the Head of Planning at a large agency that I hadn’t met before. As I got my portfolio and CV out, they told me there was no need to spend too much time on either as they’d read my blog, knew how my brain worked and how much was my daily rate? In fact, “hello, I’ve read your blog” is the most common handshake-and-hello experience I’ve had in the last six months flogging my freelance services around the agencies of Yorkshire.
The classic case study of how-to-do-it for aspiring Account Planners who blog has got to be Rob Mortimer and his blog The Ad-Pit. I’m sure Rob will correct me if I get the details wrong, but basically he was determined to have a career in Planning and used his blog to demonstrate his aptitude, interest and enthusiasm. Such was the response from the Planning community that several Planners even set up a Give Rob a Job page endorsing him and the story ended happily with Rob now working as a Planner at a big Manchester agency.
But that didn’t happen overnight, Rob first posted to his blog in February 2005 and finally landed a job in January 2008. In the meantime he wrote around three hundred blog posts. And those posts lead to him joining the Northern Planners get-togethers, speaking at Interesting 2007, modelling the D&AD flag and so on. Which, one way or another, made him very employable. But he worked very hard for it and while still working full time in a non-Planning role.
So, if you really, really want to be a Planner, my advice would be to start a blog to show potential employers how your brain works – and enthusiastically update it.
Amelia’s question is: are women just less good at managing and promoting their own “brand” so to speak so that they are less high profile and known generally than their male counterparts? Is it that men are better at public speaking stuff like this? Do people just get onto the circuit and then stay on it and these are more likely to be men?
I guess that since there seem to be less women generally in the creative/digital industries, less will end up with the kind of high profile roles that lead to speaking and judging opportunities (and vice versa). And we women do have this habit of having babies which tends to put at least a temporary damper on any ladder climbing/profile building ambitions. Priorities change.
Since I don’t have any kids and am footloose and fancy free, I’ve got the luxury of time to blog. Neil at Only Dead Fish posted recently that he found time to blog because he believed it was important to do so. I think blogging (among other things) makes me a better Planner. Lets be honest, blogging and public speaking and stuff makes me more employable too. So (at least for now) I blog.
Note to PR execs – my blog is not free advertorial and it would help if you actually bothered to read it
I’ve obviously arrived (in blogosphere terms) as emails have started turning up from PR agencies looking for coverage.
Today’s missive is a classic case of how-not-to-do-it:
• They left a comment on my ‘about’ page rather than sending me an email as per the helpful ‘contact me’ box on the right
• Their comment read ‘could you please send me a contact as we would like to put [major cool brand event this Summer] on your site’
• So I emailed back asking for a bit more information and the response was ‘I understand that you covered it last year?’
• Well, I mentioned the event in passing while pointing out that I thought it’s strategy was flawed, but that’s hardly the same thing…
God help a) the client who is paying for this bad t’interweb karma and b) any PR agency who doesn’t understand bloggers. Unlike tame journos, we bite back.
There’s been a lot of fuss this week on t’interweb about whether Ad X is a ripoff (or homage) to Ad Y and if Campaign Z is actually any good.
But what are we all going to blog about when all this media fragmentation, CRM and digital malarky gets its act together and means that enormous campaigns could be running and we’d never know about them?
Because if done well, communications will only interact with the precise audience they’re targeted at, rather than anyone who happens to switch on the telly at 9pm.
I suppose its Stealth Marketing. As a brand you could, in theory, be as provocative or offensive as you like because so long as it doesn’t offend your target audience, no-one else is going to experience it…
I use bloglines to keep track of my favourite blogs. Its fab and user friendly, but I’ve found myself rationing how many blogs I subscribe to – keeping them down to just enough to fit on one screen. If I want to add a new one, something has to go. Is it just me? And I think I’m reading comments a lot less now that they’re an extra mouse click away…
On top of that, the way RSS readers display text means that bloggers are going to have to acquire the skills of a sub-editor to produce enticing headers and first paragraphs to drag their readers in. It’s a tough old world out there in the blogosphere…