It’s been exactly a year, yesterday, that I last posted on this blog and a lot has happened. Sadly, this means that this blog will mostly likely be coming to an end or at least I hope so (because that means I will have succeeded).

Let me explain, nearly a year ago I left my job in PR & Social Media to set up my own business. I’ve slowly been setting up my own letterpress stationery business. Seem a bit unrelated? Well, not really. They are both communications.

Letterpress, unlike social media, is a very very old way of communicating dating back to the 15th century, but I love it. In the past year, I’ve learned a lot about lettperess, have met (physically and online) some extremely talented and inspiring artists and printmakers and have been creating my own small prints with cards and stationery. All along, my goal was to do wedding stationery. And now the time has come! It’s taken me a while to set up studio, perfect my techniques (or should I say improve, because they are not perfect) and be ready to expose myself to the world of brides. 🙂

So, while I don’t ‘work’ in PR anymore, I certainly still practice, if not harder than every before-for myself and my business. It’s easy to be drowned out amongst the masses of ‘wedding’ suppliers, but I hope that I can bring something unique to Yorkshire with letterpress!

Check out my website:

…and of course:

Facebook and Twitter


Here’s the video of my talk that I did on social media narcissism. It isn’t scientific before people start trying to scrutinize and apologies if I used you as an example.

I thought I would share this (which was shared with me) from Read Write Web. The American Red Cross published a report on social media use during emergencies and disasters. The graph below shows that 74% of people who submit requests for help via social media expect requests to be answered within an hour.




I thought this sort of linked up to my previous post on the importance of responding quickly. Only this time, someone’s life could depend on it.

Many companies have made mistakes when stepping into social media, whether it’s from piss-poor planning or just having no clue what they are doing. But everyone is going to make mistakes in such a fast-paced, ever changing environment. No agency or company will every fully get to grips with the industry these days. That’s why it’s so fun.

Social media has been around long enough though that people have seen mistakes being made, made case-studies out of them and are using them to educate people. But I think that all too often one part of social media that people are losing sight of, in the midst of trying to be perfect, is immediacy.

Instant. Real time. Right now.

That is why social media was so enticing to begin with. There was no hiding. Bad news or good news, it was across the globe in 24 hours or less. But as companies get more pedantic, making sure every square inch of their buttocks is covered, they are diluting the impact of social media.

New social media ‘processes’ and ‘systems’ that have been put in place can often times stifle creativity. Some of the best ideas are shredded into nothingness by the time it gets passed around, approved, passed around again and approved one more time.

Forgive me for using the Old Spice YouTube videos as an example (since everybody and their mom has mentioned it), but they are a great example of immediacy. They responded quickly to mentions on the internet. There is no way that if those videos had to go through some of the scrutinizing processes so many ‘social media responses’ have to go through these days, that they would’ve been as successful. The entire idea and purpose relied on immediacy. I’m sure there are things that they would’ve done differently had they more time, but they didn’t and it was highly successful because they realized that.

The issue does not lie in the fact that things need to be approved. Of course, they need to be approved. But companies are so busy making their ‘social media strategy’ perfect, that it’s imperfect just by being. Let me explain…

First of all, social media ‘process’ should be part of communications strategy—not separate. Getting your head around that can greatly improve things already.

Secondly, while developing response ‘processes’, companies need to take into account immediacy and tailor their structure to cater to this medium. Going back to the Old Spice example—they had a process in place to ensure that while things were approved, they were approved quickly. For those companies that want every little detail planned out, you can do so, but do so in a way that demands real time results. So while trying to make sure no mistakes are made, don’t make the mistake of being too slow.

Thirdly, stop being so uptight. Some of the best campaigns come from taking risks.

The point is, so many companies are making such stringent and rigorous “social media” strategies that the result isn’t very social.

Narcissm by definition is “the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.

That’s how I started my talk on Tuesday night at BettaKultcha. In 20 slides,15 seconds each, I set out to prove how every single one of us in the room, including myself were narcissists. While narcissism is said to be a trait that all of us carry in a healthy way, social media has provided tools for us to vent our narcissism more freely and slowly become more and more obsessed with ourselves.

I discussed the ways in which narcissism show through our actions on Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and blogging. The talk covered attention-seeking status updates to obsessing over follower counts to using blog analytics to boost your ego. What started with the intention of a light-hearted laugh must have struck a “cultural nerve”, as I had people squirming in their seats and the ‘convicted’ continued talking about it the next day.

I know that I certainly let some narcissism come out on my social networks and it’s probably pretty narcissistic to post tweets talking about me on Twitter on my blog. Oh well.

I’ll update this post as well when BettaKultcha gets the photos and videos up from the event. (I’m a bit nervous about friends seeing that I used them as examples)

YouTube plans to crowdsource “Life in a Day” using footage from people all over the world. On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a snapshot of your life on camera. You can film the ordinary — a sunrise, the commute to work, a neighborhood soccer match, or the extraordinary — a baby’s first steps, your reaction to the passing of a loved one, or even a marriage.

Visit Google’s Blog to learn more and how you can enter.

Lane BryantYesterday, Lane Bryant brought together plus-size bloggers to review their new fall and holiday sportswear collections. Their blogger conference is just another example of the intersection of fashion and social media.

Lane Bryant invited 13 bloggers from all over the US to review their new lines. Each blogger received head-to-toe fashion and beauty makeovers and had access to Lane Bryant executives and merchants via exclusive presentations and round table discussions.

Remember the “fat” model that appeared in Glamour? Well, these bloggers got to have one-on-one access to her. “The Woman on Page 194,” as she soon became known, is Lane Bryant model, Lizzie Miller. Bloggers got to speak to her via interviews on Skype from Miller’s current London photo shoot. Lizzie Miller became popular FAST after her spread in Glamour magazine, which I LOVED!  She helped take “real” size modeling one step further.

This blogger conference was just a continuation of Lane Bryant’s activity in social media. Lane Bryant also has an exclusive social networking site, Inside Curve, where over 22,000 members are connecting. Lane Bryant’s Facebook page is full of great content: video, lots of photos, contests and they regularly engage with their “fans”.  I checked out Lane Bryant’s Twitter stream, @lanebryant, and they were really active on that as well—lots of tweets from the yesterday’s blogger event.

@lanebryant Twitter

Lane Bryant is a great example of a retail brand using social media. Many brands like to dabble in it—one  tweet here and some Facebook there. Retail brands need to follow Lane Bryant’s example and invest properly in social media activity—that’s when they will see some real results.