Jingle Bell Jog 2015 – Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice

Calling all Jolly Joggers!

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice is looking for festive folk from across the city to join in at its annual Christmas fun run.

Now in its second year, the Jingle Bell Jog returns on Sunday December 6 to Kings Heath Park. All joggers are given a free Santa suit to complete the 2km run and will receive a medal and a well-deserved mince pie at the finish line.

Perfect for families, friends and workmates of all ages and abilities, last year’s event saw 250 Jingle Bell Joggers take part, raising more than £9,000 for the charity.

Hamish Shilliday, Head of Fundraising said: “We would love to see as many people as possible getting involved with the Jingle Bell Jog to build on the huge success of last year. It costs around £22,000 to run the Hospice on Christmas Day so all donations are crucial in ensuring our patients and families receive the support that they need. All of our staff try and make it the happiest it can be and we need help to continue to provide this exceptional care.”


2014 Jingle Bell Jog saw 250 happy runners!

On the day, registration opens at 9.30am and the run will start at 11am.  Kings Heath Park will be thriving with pre-event Christmas activities and a special visit from some Disney friends.

This year, the jog kicks off its ‘Care at Christmas’ campaign, a range of activities to drive support for the hospice during the festive period. Wannabe Santa’s can take part in this year’s run by registering at careatchristmas.org.


Introducing #Brumscape


John Lewis celebrates Birmingham’s changing skyline with largest-ever photograph of city

Iconic photograph marks two months to go until £35m department store opens

John Lewis has today revealed the largest panoramic photograph ever taken of Birmingham’s iconic skyline.

180 Birmingham image_print resfinal

A small snippet of the magnificence

Commissioned to mark two months until the John Lewis Birmingham regional flagship shop opens on 24th September, the super-high resolution panoramic has affectionately been termed as a “Brumscape” and was taken from the Staying Cool apartments at the top of Birmingham’s Rotunda tower.

The gigapixel format, also known as deep zoom, allows viewers to pan across the skyline and zoom in on Birmingham’s city centre, discovering the smallest details of the city, as well as up to 15 miles in the distance.

The photograph is an 80 megapixel image made up of four rows of 33 separately-taken shots, meticulously stitched together to create a unique photograph stretching across Birmingham’s evolving cityscape. Iconic landmarks including Edgbaston Cricket Ground, the new Library of Birmingham, the BT Tower and the new John Lewis shop at Grand Central can be seen.

Lisa Williams, Head of Branch, John Lewis Birmingham, “Birmingham is a city undergoing a huge transformation and this striking image truly captures this.

“The support we’ve had from the local community since we announced the new shop has been fantastic and we thought this was the perfect way to mark the two month countdown to opening with something special we hope people will enjoy.”

The photographer, panoramic specialist Will Pearson, was one of the earliest adopters of the deep zoom format and is considered a pioneer in the field. Speaking about the gigapixel shot, Will said:

“It was obvious when bringing this image to life that Birmingham is a constantly evolving city – from the chimney stacks across the skyline echoing its industrial past, to a city centre of new, innovative schemes. “

John Lewis Birmingham is the business’ first full line department store to open in four years and will be one of the biggest John Lewis shops outside of London. The 250,000 sq ft department store will be the anchor tenant of the new Grand Central retail development, which sits above the redeveloped New Street Station.

The shop represents a £35m investment by the business in the city and will be John Lewis’s most innovative shop to date. It will showcase the best of the department store’s offer, allowing customers to shop from more than 350,000 products from the retailer’s full range, including those leading the latest fashion, furniture, homewares, beauty and technology trends.

The image can be viewed here: http://www.johnlewis.com/our-shops/birmingham/birmingham-panoramic

Key facts and stats about the image:

  • The photographer spent a day and half stitching the 33 shots together.
  • One of the furthest visible objects is a hot air balloon to the far left of the shot, just above the tree tops. It is up to 15 miles from where the photograph was taken and was totally invisible to the naked eye.
  • The photograph captures key Birmingham landmarks from Edgbaston Stadium right across to One and Two Snow Hill.
  • The tallest building visible is the BT Tower which stands at 152 ft and 31 floors high.
  • The Clent hills, in Stourbridge Worcestershire can be seen in the far distance, over 11 miles from where the photograph was taken.
  • The Rotunda tower where the photo was taken stands at a height of 266ft.

50 Shades of Brum

Discovering the Second City

I moved to Birmingham from the beautiful and earthly depths of Cornwall in 2012. After nearly three years, three different places to live and countless amazing experiences, it’s only now that I feel like I’m finally starting to understand and appreciate the real Birmingham.

On first arrival, as with most students that have left home and ventured to an alien city, I stuck with what I knew. Everywhere has a run-of-the-mill Walkabout, a cheap and cheerful Wetherspoons and a towering Vue cinema. As time went on I dipped my toes into some of the quirkier sides of the city. Walking along the canals, tucking into a lovely pie and chips from The Malt House, watching a band (other peoples shoulders) at an intimate gig at The Institute and painting the town red in Digbeth or the flamboyant Hurst Street nightlife.

It’s only now that I know I’m discovering the real Birmingham and if I thought I couldn’t love the city anymore than I already did, I was mistaken.

There are some crazy good initiatives and companies within the city that are the ‘brummie lovers’, they know everything there is to know about the past, present and future for the city, because they care. Birmingham isn’t a vessel for them, it’s life. I CHOOSE Birmingham and Independent Birmingham are where to find and build your Birmingham TO-DO’s for the year ahead.

I’ve picked out some of my favourite things to do in ye’old Brum and asked others to tell me what they love for restaurants, drinking, music, comedy and days-out. I even asked them as Birmingham connoisseurs for simple tips and tricks for becoming one yourself. Whether you’re a born and bred ‘brummie’ or a newbie to the area, you will definitely thank me for bringing them to your attention. Take a leaf and discover the greats of the city.


  1. Grab a ‘banging’ roast – Take a different approach to your average joe Toby Carvery and dive into a famous plate from The Plough in Harborne.
  2. It’s neat on the streets at Digbeth Dining club – DDC is purely flavour in abundance and a proper good time. Theres a huge variety in what the vendors have to offer and it’s an alternative dinner experience at Spot*light.
  3. It’s all heart with Cherry Reds – Cherry Reds have two independent and cosy cafe/bars situated in King’s Heath and on John Bright Street in the city centre. It’s was described to me as a home from home.
  4. Everything is shiny and new at The Sunflower Lounge – After a revamp and relaunch in January, The Sunflower Lounge have been making food headlines. Street food heroes Big Papa’s have taken over the Kitchen and are cooking up a storm so head over and grab yourself some yummy buttermilk fried chicken or cola-pulled brisket (dribbles).
  5. Hidden Hurst Street gem Topokki – This Korean restaurant will have your tastebuds smiling. With fresh and crisp spices and a truly authentic menu, it provides something a bit different in a diner style environment, truly delicious food.
  6. Bonjour to Le Truc –  Not having experienced Le Truc myself yet, this recommendation says Oui! Oui! “Absolutely delicious French food. Uses all fresh produce and is something a bit fancy but affordable.”
  7. Colourful Bodega – Bodega has been more than raved about. As part of the Bitters N Twisted chain it provides good eats, cocktails and atmosphere that can do no wrong.
  8. The delicious Peel and Stone bakery is a gem within the Jewellery Quarter, offering a wide range of baked goods for every taste.
  9. Carters of Moseley – Carters is an award winning restaurant boasting seasonal and affordable fine dining with expert wine pairings with a warm atmosphere. Slightly costly but the experience is more than worth it for special occasions.
  10. Pigeon park star, Fumo – The sister to celebrity dining favourite San Carlos is a classy Italian, perfect for a lunchtime catch up with a friend or a well priced and quality date.


  1. Always be jamminnnnn at Turtle Bay – Caribbean through and through, Turtle Bay’s heart and soul shines through in its excellent menu and tooty-fruity cocktails.
  2. The social hub of Sidewalk, Hurst Street – either sit back and relax with a drink on the sofas or party with the best of them on the dance floor.
  3. It’s all go at Boho, Bohemian Bar Moseley – Indie bar Bohemian has a lovely upbeat vibe with plenty of signature cocktails to keep you entertained all night. The personality of the venue and it’s staff are what makes it special, paired with it’s ability to become a night club’esque venue at the weekends.
  4. ‘Not so slow’ Slug and Lettuce Harbourne – a high end, classy and modern take on the chain that can sometimes be a bit same old.
  5. Get your gin and juice at The Jekyll and Hyde  – boasting over 80 types of gin and offering Mr. Hyde’s Main Bar and Dr. Jekyll’s Gin Parlour, this bar has made a name for itself and continues to maintain it’s weird and wonderful offering, wowing customers every time.
  6. Pricey but nicey – For the view it’s worth heading up to the top floor of The Cube to Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse. Grab a tasty cocktail and enjoy the city and it’s night lights from the heights.


    The view from Marco Pierre White Steakhouse

  7. Get loose at The Goose, Selly Oak – This pub is vibrant and full of life. A definite student venue which does a fabulous quiz every Sunday evening.
  8. Prince of Wales, Moseley – A renowned regal pub situated in the heart of Moseley, it’s the ‘best ‘secret’ beer garden in the city bar none’. It has it’s own Tiki cocktail hut, wine coneisseur ‘hut’ and cigar shed.
  9. BrewDog – Not for the feint hearted, this craft beer specialist brings you some of the best from around the world.
  10. A well needed pit stop along the canals at The Malt House – A warm and friendly place for a bit of grub and a beer, especially if the sun’s out.


  1. The Sun on the Hill – It does what it says on the tin, provides a busy and bright music scene every weekend featuring the best DJ’s and live music.
  2. The Hare and Hounds – Described to me as ‘the sticky floor and the scent of a hot and sweaty night…I LOVE it!’ The Hare and Hounds is an all singing, all dancing venue that entertains, entertains, entertains.
  3. The Asylum – built by musicians, for musicians. This 600 capacity venue keeps the city’s rock and roll scene at the top of it’s game.
  4. The Jam House – an eclectic mix of music genres and attractive to a wide range of ages, this venue makes you ‘want to get to the front of the crowd and love life’.
  5. The Old Crown – Digbeth’s go-to venue for a few beverages before a night on the town, also known as Birmingham’s oldest inn!


  1. Thrifty and nifty charity shopping in Harborne – Ten minutes from the city centre, Harborne is a treasure chest of charity shops and you’ll find yourself browsing for hours before walking away with some bargains, maybe even stop at Boston Tea Party for a relaxing coffee afterwards.
  2. A mooch around the Custard Factory – peruse some cracking shops see some of the ever changing street art.
  3. Loki wine tasting – Loki’s amazing range of wines get the palette tingling – you can buy sips by topping up a card and dip your toes in many varieties of the grape juice.
  4. Famous curry’lovin – You cannot come to or live in Birmingham without heading to the Balti Triangle to tuck into Birmingham’s signature dishes.
  5. Get pumped at Fuel, Bullring – Treat yourself to a tasty treat from Fuel…not to mention getting your five a day at the same time.


  1. MAC – Make art a part of your life by experiencing their extensive programme of theatre, dance, independent cinema, music, spoken word, comedy, exhibitions and special events.
  2. You’ll leave smiling at The Glee Club – featuring the likes of celebrity comedians and rookies, the Glee Club is a nice alternative to a night out and will have you belly laughing no matter who’s on the stage.
  3. The Dark Horse – there aren’t many quiet nights for TDH, the calendar is full of comedy nights, open mic nights and live music.
  4. Ikon Gallery – Showcasing some of the best in contemporary art within the stunning neo-gothic school building at Brindleyplace.


  1. Get some air in your lungs – Birmingham has a wide network of canal systems. Do take a stroll along them and experience the beauty and serenity of it all.


    The beauty of the canals on the route to the Mailbox, February 2015

  2. A few pounds to go around – If you aren’t partial to a stroll, put a few quid towards a cruise along the canals, you’ll see some wicked derelict buildings and interesting architecture.
  3. ‘Round the bend’ crazy golf at Golden Putter, Cannon Hill park – After opening in 2014 this attraction provides a super time for some friendly competition.
  4. Electric Cinema – Not your normal cinema experience, sit back and relax on a sofa and order your treats and enjoy a classical flick.
  5. Find pretty places, venture across brum and appreciate the beauty of it. There are so many hidden gems and sites like BrumPic will help you to find your way.


    Cannon Hill Park offers some of the best views of the city

  6. Visit the Brum YumYum markets – take a wander and experience some of the best street food brought to you by The Street Food people and producers of the new KingshEATh streetfood market. It’s all about StreetEats, StreetTreats and StreetBeats.
  7. Go for the looks and the books to the Library of Birmingham – whether you want to just gaze upon the city from the balconies or take a pew and get lost in a book, the Library of Birmingham is perfect for both.
  8. Canalside Cafe – grab a cuppa and sit back and ponder…or just watch the canal boats and birds.


  1. Sign up for I CHOOSE Birmingham – Brought to you by passionate Birmingham-born writer and editor Tom Cullen, I CHOOSE will give you the most up to date information and advice on the best places to go to to discover the city.
  2. Read the local news – You can only discover the city if you know what’s happening, where it’s happening and why it’s happening.
  3. Independent Birmingham – you’d be silly not to sign up and purchase an IB card, offering some crazy deals for some of the best.
  4. Use Twitter – for some of the fastest information about Birmingham and it’s offering, head to the Twittersphere and follow EVERYTHING ‘Brum’.
  5. Open your mind and step out of your comfort zone – not your type of music? Not your type of food? Not where you’d usually go? You might find a new love if you take chance on something you might not have done before.
  6. Ask others – the more you talk to people about their experiences in the city the more you can start creating your own.
  7. Save splashing out on nights out you wont remember and put the dolla you save to doing some of the things on ’50 Shades of Brum’.
  8. Spread the word… the more the merrier! Join the Birmingham revolution and spread some pride in how much of a great time there is to be had here.

Fall in love with Birmingham and let me know how it goes!


“Without doubt, the internet age has arrived. With it has arrived a revolution in public relations. This revolution not only involves the way we communicate, but the nature of communication itself.” – David Phillips 

The Idea


This exciting new venture, OurPR, desires to fill a gap in the market for two branches of customer. Small to medium enterprises and small to medium public relations (PR) professionals.

As someone studying PR that will soon be graduating, I’m always thinking about how I will hunt for business in the future. The annual State of the Industry Report (2013/1014) by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations told me that I am not the only one. Two in five professionals are spending more time searching for new business than they were last year, surely this means there is more business out there? This is great news!

I will emerge as a newbie into the industry, so where then can I source smaller and less high profile clients that will enable me to build up my profile and gain ever important experience?

CIPR State of the Profession 13/14

CIPR State of the Profession 13/14









Experienced, reputable and high profile PR professionals have built their client base and now they have done so – they don’t have to work so hard to find clients.

OurPR exists to help to build skills and relationships for those that are lacking in those areas or are just beginning in the industry.

OurPR is an online sourcing platform, not for permanent contracts or in-house PR jobs, but for small scale project briefs, campaigns and one-off activities with specific targets. Temporary collaborations with hard hitting and successful outcomes.

Gene Marks

Gene Marks – Streetwise Small Business Book Of Lists








A peek at the industry and current problems: Small to medium enterprises struggle with their PR strategies due to affordability and time. I spoke to Thomas Aston at VIP Event Butler, a SME based in Shenstone, to talk about his company’s views on PR. OurPR exists to help tackle some of the obstacles that he discusses and provide a solution until they can afford to implement a full time strategy.

The Simple Process the users will go through when using OurPR

The Simple Process the users will go through when using OurPR

Examples of briefs that might be posted on OurPR:

  • Increase in local press coverage for a lighting company that want to increase their local awareness and sales. 
  • Help with the end to end PR work for a big beauty event and campaign held by a beauty salon chain with branches across one region.
  • Campaign pitch to help a local Alcoholics Anonymous service advertise the effects of alcohol to their area/region. Targeting the demographic known to drink most in their area.

OurPR will be a simplistic and easy to navigate website with portals for both SME’s and PR’s. Recruitment agency PR Futures has a great website, but is not a member based service – they source for clients (for a fee) but any PR professional can click apply and send their CV in. OurPR wants to create more of a community feel, by making sure our users feel belonging towards our service and become members, with ratings and feedback on the portal so people can see successes.

Also, media industry job platforms for students such as CreativePool do this very effectively, analysis of this website and practices of similar will be of huge benefit to OurPR.

Strengths of OurPR:

  • The ability to make projects available to a wider online national PR practice base removes distance barriers and time barriers, making it cost effective communication.
  • Making it realistic for graduates and smaller scale public relations to find achievable briefs for them and their clients.
  • As OurPR is an online company – costs are lessened as no office space is needed and running of the company is kept simple. As well as maintenance being low scale.
  • Technology developments – reflects the shift in public relations practice to the internet
  • Easily promoted via pr networks, pr academia, SME networks and both PR and SME social media.
  • More focused than overall job websites such as MediaArgh– sector specific work.
  • Don’t charge cost for pr sourcing (whereas examples such as PR Futures recruitment do).
  • First six months of membership and usage for free.

Weaknesses of OurPR: 

  • Already a large existing base of PR recruitment agencies.
  • Already a number of reputable media and creative industry job advertising sites.
  • May not attract older generation public relations professionals that are not to technology savvy. Professionals over 60 years of age are 24% of consultancy/agency PR and 29% of freelance PR professionals, CIPR survey).
  • Membership fee after six months – might deter people if costs involved.
  • Funds needed to set up initial website and run the admin.

The aim and next steps:

To make sure OurPR moves forward, the plan is to deepen the research and plan on how we will get the message to the right people, then competitor website analysis and the design of the strongest brand identity and messaging before the launch.

We will utilise the physical networks in the UK for SME’s and PR and build up databases of the target markets for our brand.

  • Soon to be PR graduates
  • Recent PR graduates
  • Freelance PR consultants
  • Small consultancy PR companies
  • Unemployed PR professionals
  • Freelance service providers and business owners
  • Individual skills people
  • SME’s

Finally – the aims are to create a long term business plan which includes the start of membership fees and the possibility of advertising revenue from other services that can be outsourced by SME’s such as printing services, business card companies, corporate film and business/product photography for example.

I hope you have enjoyed the OurPR idea, I welcome feedback and any suggestions that you might have to help to make this venture the best it can be!

Please contact me via:




Inspirational research


I’ve recently been having a look at media organisations to see if I can unpick their possible values, theirdifferent business approaches and the way that they position themselves online.

Hope and Glory PR  – A cracking public relations agency that I like to follow the work of. The company offers an ‘edgy’ and alternative approach to public relations that is hugely creative and cutting edge. What started off as a small founding team of two has moved up in the ranks and has a large team of professionals that work with hugely high profile clients such as O2, Sony and Virgin – the ‘team’ page on the website is full of colour and the upbeat photos of the many characters that ae part of the team.

The visual nature of the website and social media feeds are so effective and modern, employees for the company have great social media profiles individually and this contributes to the whole brand – they are also constantly responding to other companies and strategies within the larger public relations picture.

Media Clash is a Bath based publisher and creative agency that I wandered past when I visited the city. After looking at their online profile I found that they specialise in producing ‘City Life’ magazines for a number of regions including Exeter, Bath and Salisbury, as well as producing digital content, web content and media work for companies and clients. Their website is modern and fresh and includes examples of all of their previous work with links to their wider involvement. The news section provides the public with an insight into the quality and success of them as a producer and allows possible customers to get a feel for their values, business approach and the clients that they work with.

The website also includes a news page which gives relevant and up to date information and details on some of the complex briefs they have worked on, again deepening their public image.

Why I love my media degree

It’s a funny little word ‘media’. A simple term that is usually thrown around without a second thought, but as an undergraduate of media and communications I have learnt a key message, that it’s inevitable and undeniable complexity cannot be ignored by any one of us.

Each and every consumer across the world experiences the ‘media’ in a unique way and makes it their very own, and that is why I am in complete and unequivocal love with it.

Traditional forms of media, television, radio and newspaper (the big players of the olden days) didn’t have much competition as the platforms were limited. Everybody used to watch those few channels, listen to those few stations and read those few sheets. That was all they had… no breadth or depth of wonderful technology.

Now have a think about what you have at your fingertips. Every morning from waking up until bedtime…What apps do you check? Who do you speak to and how? Do you listen? Watch? Share, like or play? How do you record your life?

Everybody, everything and every taste has a producer to cater for it. For every gap in the market there is someone working on it, it’s this exciting fact that creates the desire to be that person figuring it out and creating the next big thing.

I have realised my previous obliviousness, my juvenile understanding and lack of consciousness about pretty much everything going on around me which generally involves the some form of the media. Studying this degree has opened up  my understanding of the past, present and future of the media, and within that the future of communications, something that us humans must all do to survive.

Two years in and it is now second nature for me to question it all. Why is Coca Cola putting names on bottles? How does Justin Bieber deal with bad press (let’s face it there’s a lot of it….)? How is skin perfected on that picture? How are the people behind each company, however small, building  Each media student has a completely different experience and asks completely different questions. I’m making my degree mine, moulding my own end result that nobody else will have.

The beauty is the choice and freedom. Learn and try photography, music industries, events or journalism and find your passion. The sheer volume of things you can experiment with will give you the drive to show the world what you can create, write and achieve. You will speak in front of people and sell yourself and your work.

Theory isn’t ‘war and peace’…it’s around my interests and the things I want to research. I can delve in to the representation of celebrity in David LaChappelle’s work or compare two public relations campaigns and their messages.

Adaptation and evolution are two words I associate with my media degree, not a mickey mouse subject or an easy ride, technical and practical industry focused development is what we learn, its hardly easy! As well as embracing the constant change and keeping up with the fastest paced sector of our age.

I get to meet the people that have succeeded before me and be one of the people behind the next phase of the biggest creative sector of our century. I’m using my weird creativity to fuel the next generation because it’s not just about becoming employable and spending £8,500 each year on a piece of paper. You learn to love what you do and put your signature into your work.

Not only that but being in the second city, known for its industrial and technical development and with an increasingly up and coming future is more than a little bit exciting.

Innovation. You could wait for it or you could be a part of it. 


Into the Future 2014

On Friday 9th May, Birmingham City University’s second year media students conducted their Into the Future event.

On the same day as the Birmingham Made Me Job Fair, over 200 students (including myself) presented themselves and their media skills to the public and professionals at Millennium Point. The media careers and networking event also included talks from industry professionals who discussed the future of the media landscape. 

After taking a selfie of herself with all of the students, Beverley Nielsen, Director of employer engagement at Birmingham City University and the lady behind Idea Birmingham and Birmingham Made Me, opened the event by talking about the history of the city, its industrial roots and the concepts behind the first ever Birmingham Made Me Jobs Fair.

Her speech focused upon encouraging the knowledge of Birmingham and its business assets and helping to find ways that people in Birmingham can showcase the different sectors across the city.

Beverley then excitingly introduced the first of four guest speakers, Phil Riley from Orion Media. Orion Media are the company behind Gem Radio and Free Radio across the midlands.

Phil riley

Phil Riley – Orion Media

Phil talked about three things, the things that he believes to be of huge importance, the wider issues facing radio and the future of radio:

1. Platforms

2. Regulations

3. Talent and content

“The need to be a multi media professional is there, you can’t just sit behind a mic now, you’ve got to do more than just be a presenter”

The main message that I took from Phil’s speech was that the rate of change in the industry is very high, that adaptation is vital to the success of the media.

The next guest speaker was Selena Brown from Little Miss Creative. As a former media (BA and MA) student at Birmingham City University, Selina spoke on a level that all people in the audience would understand and presenter the highlights of her wonderful journey to where she is today, Founder and CEO of Little Miss Creative, a company that  provides creative workshops and events to young women in Birmingham. 

Selina Brown

Selina Brown – LMC

Selina was inspiring, full of energy and really captured the minds of the people in the room – creativity and being yourself being at the heart of her messages.

“Aim for excellence”

Throughout the day there were slots for students to showcase themselves through the presentation of their individually designed portfolio poster. This gave them a chance to talk to people about their theoretical ideas for their third year dissertation, and also to discuss their skills and work experience.

Sophie Drake and professional portfolio

Sophie Drake – Professional portfolio poster

Download my poster here: My professional portfolio poster

Another feature of the event saw 9 student speakers, including myself, and we were all tasked with discussing ourselves and our personal development, as well as touching upon topics. My topics were social media, consultancy and public relations.

Speaking at the event

Myself and fellow speakers Emily Brammeier and Jodie Neville

Download my presentation for my speech here: Sophie Drake presentation for speaking

Guest speakers for the afternoon included: Jason MacKenzie from We Are Liquid, Richard Battye from River Studio, and Annette Naudin and Caroline Thorley from Birmingham City University.

Jason MacKenzie, from public relations company We Are Liquid, outlined the confusion surrounding the definition of public relations and tried to make some sense of it.

Jason MacKenzie, We Are Liquid

Jason MacKenzie, We Are Liquid

“PR professionals, we want to be respected professionally” – Jason believes that as public relations professionals, we are insecure about our field and this is one of the main problems facing the industry.

He captured the audience, even those who are not focused on public relations, with his enthusiasm and interesting insights on the public relations field.

His main prediction and suggestion for the future of the field would be the increased leading from the industry bodies, giving them more of an influence on the practices and the changes set to happen.

Richard Battye, the photographer behind River Studio, “shoots people for a living”. His presentation highlighted some key developments in the industry of photography and as he has been a photographer for 24 years he has been there throughout each one of them and emerged out of the other side.

“If I could hear myself talking about photography now, my old self would have no idea what I was talking about, it’s another language”

– Move from dark room/film to digital

– Improvements in post processing software

– Freelance photographers – demands on certain equipment and restraints on the practice that can be a huge task during shoots.

Annette Naudin talked about the Future of Media Entrepreneurship, developments in the approaches to the media industry and opportunities available to students to do so. Followed by Caroline Thorley, who discussed the Job Prospects and Careers Events that occur at Birmingham City University for students to get involved in.

Into the Future closed with a final slot for the remaining students to showcase their poster presentations.


The event was a great success, a thriving environment at which all of the students had the opportunity to present themselves in a professional way. If the skills and professionalism is anything to go by, the future of the media world looks hugely promising, and I cannot wait to be a part of it.


I’ve been published! Hoorah!

Last month I worked on a piece of work for the website Contributoria. This is a site, set up and currently funded by The Guardian, for journalists to pitch an idea to their peers. If the story they are proposing to write is popular with people then they will back it and the work is commissioned.

Once you pitch an article plan (this will include vague details of your investigation, your fee, the article length etc), you have to gain a certain amount of points – which other users can award to you if they like your idea – and if you reach your allocated points target then you are fully ‘backed’ and can now write your article for the next issue.

Last month I proposed an article which will follow a case study of a young pregnant lady who was struggling to cope with pressure from her local council to pay the bedroom tax.

I won’t give away too much on here…but the article was fully backed and so I got to carry out the investigation and complete the story for the May 2014 Contributoria issue!

This also means that I will receive payment for the article at the end of the month, and there is nothing wrong with more P’s in the bank.

But it was great to know that the work I was proposing was backed by professional journalists, and that these people also helped support the drafting process of the article as it came along made a huge difference.

The article can be found here.