Topical

‘Sign Up’ to be a Zombie

Unless you’ve just landed from some alien planet, (maybe one with zombies?) then you’ll know Brad Pitt and the makers of the new Hollywood, soon to be ‘Blockbuster’, World War Z are in town – and everyone seems to be excited!

Now we’re not trying to jump on the press bandwagon with headlines and japes such as, when it started raining yesterday: “Brad soon learns the Scottish weather is the Pitts” and “You can turn up any Saturday night in Glasgow and film Zombies”.  What we’re interested in is whether we should change all the American signs back to British once they are all packed up and gone?

We popped out one lunchtime and made our way to J F Kennedy Boulevard, erm, I mean Cochrane Street and took a few piccies and here’s what we found:

‘Emergency Snow Route’ – could be useful given the recent winters

‘No Soliciting’ – Great, there’s too many lawyers anyway…

I see we can even buy the Philadelphia Enquirer, could make a welcome change to the Evening Times

We couldn’t resist photographing all the different state number plates we also came across.

So what are your thoughts have you a good reason why certain signs should be left up? – We’d love to hear from you and we’ll put the best ideas on our website and give you a credit, it’s just a bit of fun so get your creative hat on.

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Social Media: It’s Not an Option Anymore!

Lunch and Learn event

Lunch and Learn event

At Dunning-Creating Sparks we have been converts of Social Media for quite some time. Whilst we don’t consider ourselves to be experts, in reality few practitioners can lay claim to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” guru status of 10,000 hours practice = good, however we do like to think we know what we’re talking about.

So, today we were happy to stand up and share an overview of our knowledge to not one but two business audiences where we boldly stated Social Media: It’s Not an Option Anymore!

 

Not ones to shirk a challenge, Julian picked up the mic and by 2 o’clock had spoken to over 120 businesses on the merits and the pitfalls of social media. First up was a breakfast seminar starting at 7.30am in GTG Training’s state of the art facility in Whiteinch.  We then moved on to the Corinthian Club in Glasgow City Centre where we presented to Glasgow Chamber of Commerce members at the first of their Lunch & Learn series of sponsored events.  Both venues were fully booked, in fact the lunch was the first ever sold out event for the Chamber who had to start late because an extra table was needed to accommodate all the eager, lunch learners.

Lunch and Learn event

Lunch and Learn event

Julian talked about the variety of social media tools available and emphasised the need for a social media:

  • Policy
  • Strategy
  • Measurement criteria
  • ROI demonstration

He offered the following Top Ten Policy Tips:

  1. Introduce the purpose of social media
  2. Be responsible for what you write
  3. Be authentic
  4. Consider your audience
  5. Exercise good judgment
  6. Understand the concept of community
  7. Respect copyrights and fair use
  8. Protect confidential and proprietary info
  9. Bring value
  10. Productivity matters

In conclusion Julian advised everyone to ensure they held tight to the traditional principles of any marketing strategy:

  • Plan
  • Create
  • Publish
  • Govern

And reminded us all that it’s not rocket science and always:

  • Be interesting
  • Be useful
  • Be yourself

If any of this sparks your interest, whether you’re already utilising social media or just want to dip your toe in the water, feel free to get in touch as our first hour of consultancy is free and training can attract up to 80% funding from Glasgow City Council.

Here’s some of the tweets following the events:

In order to download the presentation that Julian gave to the sell out 'breakfast' and 'lunch' events on Wednesday 25th May please fill out your details below.

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How to get ahead in Advertising/Marketing/Design…

Can we start by saying this blog’s designed to help University Graduates to get a job and because of this, it HAS to be taken in the spirit it’s intended. If not, it could easily come across as a boring, old, jaded, Industry fart, taking a pot-shot at our Education system and its inability to arm students with the necessary chutzpah for them entering possible employment in the ‘big bad world’.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgvKCfZqxrQ]

If it does come across like this, we apologise, but we think honesty, straight-talking and a ‘cut to the chase’ aspect is the wake-up call required, particularly when we look at our experiences over the past few days. So, without any further ado, some killer things that we think are fundamentals for Marketing/Advertising/Digital/Design/Communications hopefuls. Before you send out ANYTHING let alone a poorly spell-checked, template CV, read this:

1. Know what JOB you want to do

If we had a quid for every student who says they’d like to get into ‘Creative Communications or Advertising’ we’d have 50 quid. Erm…ALL advertising is meant to be creative. What you really need to know is…what job would you like to do? Are you a writer, a designer, a talker, a good manager? What EXACTLY do you fancy doing? A big, enthusiastic grin and a First Class Honours isn’t enough any more. Find out what kind of jobs are typical of the place you’re looking to attend and find out further if you’d like to do this job. If you don’t know what you want to do, we’re hardly likely to know either.

2. Get a blinkin’ website!

“Y’see Victor, I’m a really great web designer” said an un-named student looking for a placement. As they had no website of their own, I was left to guess if this statement held any water. Another said that she’d “not had time, over the last THREE YEARS at Uni, to do my own site”. Again, ‘Old Fart Alert’ but a cursory glance at her Facebook page would suggest that her time was not as tight as she’d suggested. If you’re a ‘Designer’, your own website is a basic. We would NOT interview anyone who didn’t have one. No arguments, get one done, now. “Too busy”, for three years? Sheesh!

3. Get your sh*t together

If you fit into category (2) and you value your work at £5, stick it in a cheap, £5 portfolio. However, if you value it at a bit more than this, get it organised, get it looking good, annotate it, get rid of the crap, dog-eared stuff, and get a ‘story’ going. A bit of a wee tale, not just five or six bits or unrelated nonsense. Are you bored presenting it? Then the poor Design firm will be bored listening. It’s three years of your life, make it look like you’ve spent all that taxpayers money wisely.

4. Do your flippin’ homework

“Dear Sir/Madam, I’d like to be considored (sic) for a placement in your company”… Lazy, lazy, lazy. If you can’t be arsed to pick up the phone, to find out more, neither can we. Names, a bit of background, are they hiring? Do ten KILLER letters rather than 200 completely hopeless e-mails that nobody will read. Do you know how many staff we have? Who are our clients? Is the company even DOING what you’re good at? We’ve had a few special ones who haven’t a Scooby but turn up and ask us what the possible salary might be! A crap, generic, template-based, badly-spelt CV is just crap. Oh, we’ve said that twice, which shows how much we hate them.

5. Rehearse

Don’t turn up only to be faced with a barrage of questions or a red-faced silence because you can’t describe your work well. To present well takes experience OR lots of practise. Which one do you think you’ll need to use? Smile, have fun, be passionate but above all, think about the firm and what they want. Of course, you’ll know this, because you’ll have done your homework. See (4).

6. Be different

You’re NOT a Fund Manager, you’ve chosen a path where you’ll make a frighteningly smaller amount of money, so be DIFFERENT. You need to be able to demonstrate that you’re the one. Basically, this has got shedloads to do with your work but it’s also got a fair wee amount to do with your personality. We don’t employ stress-puppies, lazy people who turn up 15 minutes late or ‘forget’ to bring their portfolio. We like happy, smiley, confident and erm…clean people. If you’re not all four, you need to do a bit of grooming and work on the offending aspects. Turn up wearing what you like (and you can have even the most intimate bits of your anatomy pierced as far as we’re concerned), but make a bloody effort.

7. Have Fun

The people you’ll meet might seem like hard work but as they went through the same process when they started, they’re testing you. If you’ve done most or ALL of the above, you’ll be moving the position of power round to your side of the table and they’ll soften. There are LOTS of Design graduates, but there aren’t lots of really great ones. Make it your job (because that’s what it is) to be one of the great ones. Make people love you, your approach and your work.

8. If at first you don’t succeed…

Head down the pub and get smashed, telling all your friends it’s everyone else’s fault. Or, you could call back, ask advice, ask where you went wrong, get your pals, parents, clever relatives and important people you know to tell you what they reckon. The cleverer people are, the more likely they are to offer you advice. Take it, act on it, dust yourself down and get back intae them!

9. Be positive

We’ve just come out of a MEGA recession, so things are improving. Communication platforms mean you can do ANYTHING and creativity is becoming highly valued. It could sound a bit evangelical but we genuinely love coming in to work in the morning, we deal with a huge diversity of organisations and individuals and we’re really lucky to be able to do what we do. It’s easy to forget this, so don’t. You’re going to be working at something loads of people envy.

10. Full House?

If you’re all of the above, we can GUARANTEE  you an interview here (or at one of our peergroup’s places), so let us know!