I’m called Alick McCallum and I have just completed a week of work experience with Slater. At Clitheroe Grammar Sixth Form I have studied Politics, English Language, Biology and Spanish for a year, and on return to college I am taking up the English Literature course, with the hope of studying Literature at University.
Ever since the first day, where we indulged ourselves in a KFC, I knew I’d struck up a good deal by getting a placement here. Normally after finishing a work experience placement I make the best brews in the North, and usually end up ringing PG to give them some new tips. On this placement however, I barely made it to first name terms with the Kettle. Kelly the Kettle and I met two or three times a day tops, and shared limited political views and whimsical observations about the sort of teabags in fashion at the moment.
Aside from brewing up, I felt that all of the tasks which I was appointed with had substantial purpose. I spent a considerable amount of time doing some market research and even sat in with a couple of rather interesting meetings. In some jobs I was able to take a more hands on approach, such as the typing of a news article and a press release, plus some phone interviews. On the whole, I feel that the variety of jobs that I was given presented me with a widespread view of the PR scene and also gave me valuable experience in a workplace environment relevant to my future study aims.
All the team whom I had contact with made me feel completely at home and useful as a member of the operation. Not once did I feel uncomfortable in the environment, except, of course, when I realised that up until three days in I had been using the ladies bathroom by accident. Oh, actually, also when I and Kelly had a little fall out – she was steaming. But that was sorted very quickly and the rest of the week went by with everyone in perfect harmony.
I have a wonderful week of work experience at Slater, filled with an ideal mix of work and fun. I would like to thank Dean and Adam in particular for letting me crash their office and bromance, and also for letting me have a swivel chair. I would love to gain further experience in this field and definitely wouldn’t say no to another chance for work experience at Slater.
Pinterest. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you will soon (well now actually seen as you’re reading this…but you get my point).
Users of Pinterest can ‘organise’ the things they ‘love’ and ‘share all the beautiful things they find on the web’. A virtual pinboard.
Par exemple, I have a ‘Memories’ board on my Pinterest presence, my first memory is being in a lift on the Eiffel Tower, so I’ve pinned a picture of it to that board. One of my favourite albums of all time is Hotel California, so I might find a picture of the album cover, or find a youtube video of the title song and pin that to my ‘Music I love’ board. Anyone who chooses to follow me can see all my boards. Simple, yes?
So, watch out Facebook and Twitter, there’s a New Kid In Town (see what I did there! – at risk of losing the musically challenged), and it’s got a whole lot of potential. But I think there’s still a way to go…
I actually think Pinterest is under-selling it’s capabilities, present and future. If I was tasked with a marketing and public relations strategy for Pinterest (if you’re listening Pinterest, feel free to call us 01254 295580), I’d look to build a body of content so appealing that people would be missing out by not being involved. I’d advise Pinterest to build up a roster of brand advocates from all walks of life and all different specialisms, and get them to build their own boards: Professor Brian Cox could have astronomy and physics boards, Andrew Marr could have a modern British history board, Jenson Button could have a Formula 1 board – maybe even a diplomacy board from Dereck Chisora. At the minute, Pinterest claims 80% of its users are women; taking a more proactive approach to content creation would see a shift in that swing, as undeniably valuable and intriguing content would bring in the whole of society.
As with a twitter conversation, the Pinterest team should build in the functionality to @link to previously pinned material and entire boards. It would be an additional point of interest to be able to track back through related pins. For example, here’s the outside of my favourite restaurant, and @this is the best meal on the menu.
A huge swathe of pinterest users will be accessing content via their handheld devices. The Pinterest app however, doesn’t allow you to ‘pin it’ when browsing the mobile internet. This should be a given from an app that’s all about sharing what you find interesting while living Life In The Fast Lane (strike 2!). I have however found a way around this for all you Apple fans out there: bookmarklet.
Pinterest should be shouting down the door of Twitter and Facebook to allow their users to engage through cross platform mechanisms. You sign up through Twitter and/or Facebook, so why not have the ability to tag @usernames or pin your facebook photos. These kinds of partnerships could supercharge the social media arena.
Emerging social media platforms all face a cash flow barrier in their early stages. The creators will have undoubtedly considered all the above amendments/developments to Pinterest’s current state, but financing such innovation is costly. Having said that, they seem to be developing a strong commerical arm to the operation, which some are finding questionable. I say good on ‘em, but here’s why it’s contentious: ‘Pinsanity’.
Why do I like Pinterest enough to blog about it? Well, there’s a lot of Wasted Time (Strike 3, I’m out) on social media sites these days, when people are just there for the sake of it. Exploring what makes people tick can never be a waste of time, it makes us all more rounded human beings and helps us live life the way we want to.
Pinterest gives extraordinary insight into what makes a person who they are (or a brand what it is), and that is what could make it the most commercially successful of all the social media platforms. This is where brands that jump on the Pinterest bandwagon will benefit. Showing your company’s breadth of expertise through intelligent pinning, getting under the skin of and interacting with users (ideally in a way not explicitly motivated by self-promotion), and ensuring your business’s presence leads to traffic to your main site and SEO will all be of huge benefit to a brand. Pinterest also presents an opportunity to build a brand profile and give users a real insight into the way you work, who you work with, and for and what everyone else thinks of you. For some, it won’t be the right fit, but all businesses should be showing an interest in Pinterest.
At risk of you all seeing the worst sides of me, take a look at mine (still in its early stages); it’ll give you a flavour for what it’s all about: http://pinterest.com/deangallagher/.