Monthly Archives: September 2010

Being even more social in the morning

The newest edition to ITV’s morning line up, Daybreak, launched last week, to much fanfare. Fizzing with Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley’s chemistry (apparently), we were promised something different and exciting that would kick the tired old GMTV format into obscurity. The reviews that followed were mixed – to put it kindly.

But whether or not Daybreak is the perfect accompaniment to your cornflakes, it’s difficult to spot how it’s significant different, over and above the purple sofas and new backdrop.

It was actually the 10.30am slot in ITV’s schedule that caught my eye. On the same day, This Morning launched its new interactive ‘Hub’. No more drab phone-in rooms hidden away but a buzzy extension of the main studio hosted by dedicated presenter. Holly and Phil even pop in on a daily basis.

Viewers can now email, Facebook and tweet the show and their instant reactions and comments are regularly aired with frequent visits to the Hub. As it’s a part of the main studio, filmed webchats with celebrity guests can take place as soon as they get up from the famous sofa. And as it’s been designed to have more of a backstage vibe, the guests seem to be more relaxed and, hopefully, more themselves.

OK, so This Morning isn’t the first show to encourage viewers to get in touch and they’re not breaking any new ground with the channels used. But what they have done is shown the audience what an important role they play – by using simple mechanics to virtually bring them onto the studio floor. Online allows them almost the same level of contact with guests as the presenters. And this forms part of an overall well-worked social strategy.

The show tweets snippets from the hub, videos of behind the scenes footage quickly posted on their site, Facebook comments and of course Holly and Phil’s own twitpics from the set. All of which help viewers get closer to the action from the comfort of their own home and by using channels that are a regular part of their media mix. Interactive and integrated might be much-used and abused buzzwords but I think they really are apt here.

I bid you farewell, (for now)

This past year has been absolutely incredible and I can’t believe how quickly it’s passed – time flies when you’re working ceaselessly and having a lot of fun doing it.

Initially, the idea of undertaking a placement year was very daunting. I had only a little knowledge about the advertising world but it was my one chance to put everything I had learnt into action and I wasn’t going to throw it away and WOW! what a year: it was unlike any other. Not only has it given me a great insight into the sector but it has allowed me to develop both personally and professionally. I have gained a deeper understanding and improved my skills not only in PR but also copywriting, advertising and communications as a whole. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have worked across a variety of prestigious agencies ranging from above-the-line; below-the-line; digital; direct; integrated; interactive; production; research to media.

To manage the reputation and positive representation of a company or individual is challenging and always different. This is one of the main reasons why I loved working at Pumpkin, with its relentless energy, power and charm. A career involving unexpected changes, inevitable twists and constant turns appeals to me far more than a “nine to five” routine ever could. I remember in my first week I said that “there is never a dull day at Pumpkin” and I stand by this!

There have been some unexpected and fantastic rewards for working so hard over the last year. Not many 21 year old students can say that they’ve mixed with some of the finest advertising and business leaders as well as journalists, or stayed in a tipi at Glastonbury, attended the Cannes Film Festival and even dined at Scotts. I’ve been so spoilt here and I have been extremely blessed to find such a generous, supportive, patient, encouraging, loyal and big-hearted team! I look back on the past year and I wouldn’t change ANYTHING! Of course, there has been a number of challenges and many lessons learnt, some more intricate than others, but despite this, I have enjoyed every day, hour, minute and second. Most of all it’s given me the incentive to succeed.

I wouldn’t be where I am today or have the knowledge I do if it wasn’t for Sarah, Jess and Hannah – three inspiring women who I admire, respect and love. The word thank you is not enough to express my gratitude.

For now, I will bid you farewell! It’s been wonderful and I’ll see you all again in 2011 when I become a permanent seed in Pumpkin.

Goodbye and Godspeed!