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Posts tagged ‘blog’

Welcome to 2011: Time for a virtual facelift & Network Hub night!


There’s nothing like seeing in another year to make us reflect on the past – and look to the future. If we’re lucky, we learn a few handy lessons along the way too.

It’s a year since the launch of the copywriting side of the business kicked off, which I proclaimed in my first blog post of 2010 (in the midst of deep snow, just like recent weeks!)

So what was my big professional lesson of last year? Network, network, and network! That’s how I connected with my first copywriting clients and I’ve found face-to-face networking to be fruitful, as well as fun. Some events are more ‘me’ than others, but building business relationships and my company profile this way is something that’s become vital to my working week.

Which brings me to…drum roll please, ladies & gents…Network Hub – the new name for the business social events I put together with another creative professional and friend, Richard Smith. Last Thursday evening, we held our first do of 2011 at the Showroom Cinema Cafe, in Sheffield.

Just like our launch event in October, we were thrilled with the turnout – about 70 proactive guests! By the amount of chatter that hardly seemed to let up, many new connections and re-connections were made over a few drinks, in a relaxed atmosphere, which is exactly what our evenings are all about.

The snapper (yours truly) gets snapped @ Network Hub, Showroom Cinema Cafe, 20/1/11. Photo credit: Elizabeth Birks

Check out a couple of the much-appreciated positive comments received after our big night:

‘I haven’t been to a formal networking event for a long time and to be honest, I was concerned and a bit fearful. My fears were assuaged, however, as I began to meet so many lovely people. As a group worker, I know that a good event reflects the people who set it up and this was an evening of warmth and genuine interest in other people. I found it an atmosphere conducive to meeting people and making connections.’ Valerie Monti Holland, www.leftluggagetraining.co.uk

‘Thanks for the invite & hospitality again last night. There seemed to be a good mix/good buzz/plenty of conversations and connections. Well done, you are a star!’ Jim Lawson, www.be-sy.co.uk

Our next night’s coming in April so watch this space! In the meantime, our fresh website look’s now live and loud. Any thoughts about the revamp would be most welcome….

Here’s to a fabulous 2011 one & all!

http://www.richsmithillustration.com/

http://www.showroomworkstation.org.uk/

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In a greedy pickle? Hang on to that piggy bank

Austerity. Now there’s a word that’s been banded about like it was going out of fashion ever since the credit crunch began to bite – and never more so than in the last week since the coalition government announced their radical Budget. A public sector slashed into little salami slices? Fair enough, if that’s part of the solution to clear this country’s frightening debt levels. I only wish the greed which epitomises our ‘fat cat bankers’ didn’t still resemble the appetite of a sturdy pig…

Putting all thoughts of troughs aside, austerity’s precise economic meaning is clear-cut but you could be forgiven for conjuring up positive, homely and healthy back-to-basics ideas and images when you hear this word being mentioned in polite conversation.

Whether it’s Nigella blathering on about the virtues of home-made chutneys, or some lesser-known craft guru spreading the word about the delights of hand-woven knits, we’re now living in a world where goods and services which scream ‘rustic’ and ‘made with love’ have more kudos – and often come at a higher price – than the polished, homogenised and mass-produced items people who are really living in austere times can only afford. (more…)

Small ripples are the new(s)-splash

There was a radical shift in the course of the history of the British newspapers last Friday. But when I heard about London’s Evening Standard morphing into a free newspaper, there seemed to be little in the way of big fanfares or ‘where were you when…’ sentimental posturings running through the majority of reports and commentary.

Instead, the tone was practical and forward-thinking. The old tried-and-tested newspaper model, which relied on people buying news in hard copy format, was on its last ink-smudged legs. Your crystal ball is as accurate as mine, but I still believe there will be survivors once this cull has run its course, especially amongst local papers who tap into the essentially-human instinct to feel part of a community.

Despite this possible kiss of life, who wouldn’t argue the death of the printed news has been hastened by a new breed of free commuter-friendly papers? But it’s our ever-increasing love affair with the internet which threatens to consign the once mighty bastions of Fleet Street to history.

It’s a prospect I feel torn over. As a devourer of hard copy national and local broadsheets and tabloids, part of me can’t imagine a world without them. Then again, I have to confess I’m as smitten with clicking and sharing news online, as the rest of the country – make that the world – seem to be. Confession: Where did I first get wind of the Evening Standard story? Via an online news alert message, of course. The news is dead, long live the news.com!

Citizen journalism and the rise of blogging has created a world where everyone’s free to make their individual unique ripples vibrate through the great rising wave of online communication. This print-eroding tide is anything but virtual – it’s become ingrained in the beating hearts and real Wi-Fi habits of the nation.

In this ever-changing multi-media world, a good splash will always be a good splash…even if you can’t read all about it in the bath.

Where does that leave me? Well, I’m swimming with the tide. My own ripples began with the creation of this blog. And now, after cataloging a wide range of articles I’ve written over the last 12 years, for a variety of magazines and newspapers, I’m now focusing on posting them online.

Check out the first examples by clicking on the link Published Work. More to follow in future posts.