A prefect's musings on digital and social media

Author Archives: Katy


“And so it’s goodbye from Graph Search.” The newest privacy shift from Facebook involves the site doing away with the setting that allowed people to be able to choose who could see their profile when they type their name into Graph Search (search your timeline by name).


However, even though it can be frustrating when Facebook makes changes to privacy settings, it’s actually incredibly easy to get things back to normal – so don’t panic. Here’s a really useful blog post on how to make sure your Facebook privacy settings are exactly how you want them.

Of course, one way of making sure you don’t have to do a mad scramble to reset your privacy settings after every change is to always be aware of what you’re posting on Facebook in the first place. It may sound obvious, but with our world becoming more and more digital and employers increasingly using social media to check out candidates ahead of interviews, we need to be more aware than ever of the persona we’re putting across online.

One of the best ways to figure out whether something is appropriate to post online is to ask yourself, “Would I want my Gran to see this picture of me plastered at V Festival?” And if the answer to that question is no, then don’t put it on Facebook! Oh, and the same goes for status updates – if you’re angry, upset, intoxicated (or all three at once!), it’s probably not a good idea to use Facebook as your venting platform, because someone will see it before you manage to take it down, and you never know who that person might be.


1) To access your privacy settings, click on the small cog-shaped button at the very top of the Facebook screen, on the right-hand side. From there, you should be able to see a section labelled “Privacy Settings”.

2) A Restricted list is for people you’ve added as a friend on Facebook, but whom you just don’t want to share with, like your boss, for example. When you add someone to your Restricted list, they’ll only be able to see your Public content or posts that you specifically tag them in.

3) To add people to specific lists, scroll down to the Friends section on your Facebook home page, then click on the name of the list you want to edit, such as Restricted, or Close Friends, etc. Then, in the top right corner, click on “Manage List” then select “Edit List”. Then simply enter the names of friends you want to add to this list in the “Add friends to this list” box.

What do you think of Facebook’s privacy settings? Do you have any other tips for improving social media etiquette?


Bloglovin-vs-FeedlyJuly this year saw the well-loved Google Reader shut down, leaving many people bereft of a way to read all their favourite blogs in one place. So I decided to compare two alternatives: Bloglovin’ and Feedly. Both have free iOS and Android apps available.


How Bloglovin' looks on the computer

How Bloglovin’ looks on the computer

With Bloglovin’, you create an account and add the blogs you want to follow, getting all their new posts in a feed. Through the site, you’re able to search for new blogs and see what’s popular in different categories. The Bloglovin’ interface is clean, minimalist and incredibly easy to navigate.

Use Bloglovin’ if you:

  • Use Tumblr and/or Twitter and like their similar layouts
  • Want a reader that is well-known and popular
  • Primarily view your content on iOS or Android devices (the iOS app is wonderfully simple & looks great on the iPad)
  • Aren’t interested in customisation options
  • Don’t mind receiving a daily email with previews of unread posts
  • Like to share posts across the most popular social media platforms
photo (3)

How Bloglovin’ looks on IOS


How Feedly looks on the computer

How Feedly looks on the computer

Like Bloglovin, you create an account & then add content by searching for your favourite sites in different categories. Upon login, you’ll see a Pinterest-like preview of all unread posts, as well as options in the left sidebar such as “Saved for Later” and “Themes”. Feedly offers more layout customisation, such as changing the background colour & viewing style. Feedly also has more sharing options, to sites such as Buffer, Evernote, Pocket and Instapaper.

Use Feedly if you:

  • Want lots of customisation options
  • Want to be able to read full posts in the reader itself
  • Want to move between posts quickly (this is great on the iPad app as you just swipe upwards)
  • Like posting comments to blogs – the “preview” option is great for this
  • Want to be able to share posts to a wider range of different sites aside from Facebook, Twitter etc

photo (2)Personally, I think I’ll stick with Bloglovin’ – it’s really easy to use, looks great on my iPad and – maybe this makes me lazy! – but it’s just the one I’ve always used. Feedly looks great, but the customisation is really the only main difference between the two. I don’t see any need to change over to Feedly from Bloglovin’ unless customisation is a must. 

What are your thoughts on Bloglovin’ and Feedly?

It’s no secret that the graduate job market is tough. There are so many stories about graduates who still haven’t found a job eighteen months after graduating. Of course, there are exceptions, but for the majority of us due to graduate next summer (myself included), the job market’s not a particularly pretty picture at the moment. So what can you do to make yourself stand out?

The most obvious answer is to get a work placement or an internship in the field you want to work in. According to a report by highfliers.co.uk, 36% of graduate jobs will be filled by applicants who have already worked for an organisation as an undergraduate – which is great news! Getting a fantastic work placement is a really good way to see for yourself what working in that particular field would be like, as well as providing you with valuable skills that will look impressive to an employer.

Here are 3 tips when it comes to work placements:

  • Do your research – think seriously about what sort of places you’d like to work at once you’ve graduated – don’t just do placements for the sake of it
  • Persevere – don’t give up looking just because some places turned you down
  • Be willing – don’t be snobbish about the jobs you’re given. Yes, you might have to do some filing and yes, it might be a bit dull, but chances are, if you’ve found somewhere good, it’ll only be a ten minute job then you can move onto the next thing. Refusing to do tasks because you feel they are beneath you is rude, and a sure-fire way to destroy any rapport you previously had with that company

But wait a second, having an internship under your belt is all well and good, but in today’s competitive job markets, internships and work placements are becoming staple features on nearly every graduate’s CV.

So what else can you do to stand out?

Here are five of my favourite quirky stories about people who have gone that little bit extra to secure that all-important interview!

1) Buy a billboard.

Image from employadam.com

Image from employadam.com

24 year old Adam Pacitti, from the Isle of Wight, became so desperate for a job that he spent his last £500 on a billboard asking employers for work. He ended up getting around sixty solid job offers and ended up with a job at KEO Digital working as a viral producer.

2) Get creative with your CV.

On his LinkedIn profile, Eric Ghandi mocked up his CV to look like a Google search engine results page. An employee at Google spotted it and immediately recommended Eric for interview. It’s not clear if that interview resulted in a job, but it’s a great way of showing what getting creative with your CV can do.

Image taken from businessinsider.com

Image taken from businessinsider.com

3) Use a Google ad.

Alec Brownstein wanted a job at a top ad agency, and he figured that if you’re the director of an ad agency, you’re probably going to Google yourself every now and then to see what people are saying about you. So, in order to do this, Alec launched the Google Ad Experiment, which you can watch below.

4) Interactive Video.

When applying for a job at a social media agency, you’re probably going to have to get a bit more creative than just sending in a standard CV. And that’s exactly what Graeme Anthony did when applying for a role at We Are Social. Instead of sending in the normal cover letter and CV, he created an interactive video with YouTube annotations to encourage potential employers to find out more about him. You can find out what We Are Social had to say about it here, and watch the video below.

5) Learn to handle rejection.

Chances are, before you land that dream job, you’re going to be turned down by a few companies, which is what happened to Caleb Meakins. So he set up his My 40 Days of Rejection project, which involves him taking on challenges that are deemed to be entirely unachievable and socially awkward – such as getting onto the red carpet at the premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and giving a lecture at King’s College London. Caleb hopes that by doing things that take him outside his comfort zone, he will learn to reshape the way he responds to failure.

So there you have it, some great ways to get creative when heading out into the graduate job market!

We have proud gardeners in our midst at Twelve (see there’s more to us than digital fanatics) and we thought we’d give the South Newington Flower and Produce Show (hailed as the ‘loveliest traditional flower show in the area’) a bit of a shout out! Coming up this weekend, it’s sure to be a great event. So should you be casually swinging by the area, do stop by for some summer lovin’ country style.

South Newington


Annual Flower and Produce Show takes place this weekend

The annual South Newington Flower and Produce Show will take place at 2pm this Saturday 10 August on The Poleaxe at the centre of the village.

This much loved annual event will be opened by Sir Tony Baldry, MP, and the Show marquee will present some 600 entries spanning flower displays, fruit and vegetables, preserves, cookery, photography and other crafts.  Sir Tony will also present prizes.

As well as the exhibits there will be a dog show, children’s games, stalls and sideshows; plus music from the ever popular Chipping Norton Silver Band and a traditional afternoon tea tent.

A new addition this year will be a display of ‘village wedding dresses’ in the historic village church, St Peter ad Vincula.

Field parking is available at the top of the village entering from the A361 onto Barford Road.


Last week, I re-joined the team at Twelve to help out with a brainstorming session. The idea was to come up with PR opportunities for a client who is opening a new performing arts centre.

What exactly is brainstorming? Well the Business Dictionary defines brainstorming as a “process for generating creative ideas and solutions through an intensive and freewheeling group discussion.” Alex Faickney Osburn, who first popularised the term in his seminal work, ‘Applied Imagination’ claimed that the process was more effective at generating ideas than an individual working alone.

So, why do we brainstorm? What are the benefits?

  • Brainstorming can help develop ideas: If one team member is stuck on an idea, another person’s insight and creative ideas can help develop the idea taking it to the next stage.

  • Breaking out of the rut: Brainstorming encourages you to think about a problem from a different angle and with several people contributing, thinking outside the box is more easily achieved.

  • A safe environment: Brainstorming creates a platform that welcomes all contributions from all members of the team; shyer team members can particularly benefit from the criticism-free zone.

  • Everyone feels involved: Another great thing about brainstorming is that it helps everyone feel that they’ve all contributed to the end solution and it reminds people what great creative ideas others have to offer, too!

  • Embrace the ridiculous: Brainstorming works on the basis that no thought is too silly, or outlandish, and that every idea is a good idea. Give free rein to your creativity and ask yourself questions like, “What if money was no object?” and “What if our timetable was three times as long?” to stimulate your inner impresario!

  • Brainstorming is fun! A brainstorming session is great for team-building and can be done in a whole host of different ways!

What we did

At Twelve, our brainstorming session was split into two distinct stages; Stage 1 involved a short warm up and looked in a bit more detail at our brief whilst stage 2 encouraged deeper thinking using lots of different stimuli to drum up new ideas. Each part essential for getting into every nook and cranny of the problem. The six sections below each provided a different way of thinking.

Stage 1

Welcome & Warm Up was a ‘show and tell’ type exercise where we each talked about an item that best expressed our inner performance artist to get us in the artistic mood.

Nice and Easy Does It: A quick fire round of the classic word association meant that each player cultivated a completely different adjective list of the performing arts industry; the task got us thinking about all the different aspects of performing arts from ballet to burlesque, from the orchestra pit to the upper circle.

In The Brief section, we listed as many ideas as we could think of which would raise publicity for our client. Then, as a group, we discussed the ideas and marked out the ones we felt would work best. This exercise was a brain dump, where any stupid and wild idea would do. This task got the ball rolling for our brainstorming session and really helped us focus on what we were discussing.

Stage 2 – Was all about the sense stimuli!

Sweet Memories involved each of us thinking about our happiest performance-related memory from the age of 12 (mine was being cast as King Rat in my primary school’s production of The Pied Piper!). We then changed this idea into something that would work for the client and then passed our ideas round so other members of the group could add to them. This task provided us all with a new stimulus, one connected with feelings, and so a new way of thinking about our brief in a different dimension.


Over My Dead Body! Was where our wild and crazy ideas came to the fore! Here, we were each given a famous person, a visual clue, and we had to come up with the most outlandish idea we could think of based on that famous person. Passing our ideas round helped to hone them into workable solutions.

Smartie Pants, like the other activities which used our senses, used smell as a way of generating new ideas; we were each given a tube of Smarties which we unfolded to write our ideas down. We were then each given a different smell which we had to use as our inspiration and we passed our germ of an idea round the group to build them into a fuller picture.

Be Different!

Be Different!

I really enjoyed the brainstorming session – we came up with so many weird and wonderful ideas and the different ways that we came up with all the ideas made it so much more fun and interesting than just sitting alone in a room drawing up a mind map! I had a great morning brainstorming with the guys at Twelve, and it’ll definitely help me to look at ways of coming up with ideas differently from now on!


Nicky & I coming up with ideas!

This is a guest blog post by intern Katy Roberts, about her two weeks’ work experience at Twelve PR.  🙂 


One of the things that was drummed into me when I started my university degree in PR at Sheffield Hallam Uni was just how important work experience is. “Work experience makes you stand out from other applicants!”, “Work experience gives you skills you won’t get from your university degree!” and, slightly more pessimistically, “You won’t get a job after university if you don’t do work experience!’ However, this was backed up by a report in the news earlier this week, saying that companies with graduate programmes are much more likely to take on students who have done work experience during their time at university.

Report aside, I’m very much inclined to agree because, ultimately, a university degree – made up of essays, PowerPoint presentations and press release writing in an assignment capacity – doesn’t really show you what life working in a PR agency is really like. You very rarely get to work with real-life clients and the feedback you get about press releases (or any other PR writing you do, for that matter) comes from an assignment marking criteria perspective – not a real-life, ‘this is going to a real-life company’ type of perspective.

My two weeks at Twelve have been brilliant (and no, I’m not just saying that because this is a guest post on their blog!) – I’ve been able to try a wide variety of different things, from press release writing, to managing social networking sites, to ringing up journalists about newspaper competitions – all of which I’d never have had the opportunity to do properly as part of my university degree. (Quick side note: journalists aren’t as scary as PR lecturers make them out to be, so don’t be nervous about ringing them – just be sensible about why and when you’re ringing them and you’ll be fine!)

Another thing that’s brilliant about work experience – it allows you to figure out what you’d really, really like to do, and what you’d really, really not like to do as a job when you graduate. I’m happy to report that working at Twelve has confirmed what I sort of already knew, – that I would like to work in friendly and exuberant PR office – I could totally picture myself working somewhere like that! (Being able to have regular access to copious amounts of tea during the working day is a wonderful novelty as well!)

The team at Twelve have all been so lovely and welcoming and helpful, and it’s so nice that it’s close knit team because I’ve been able to get to know everyone relatively well, as opposed to just fading into the background at some huge company with thousands of employees. So yes, I definitely think that work experience is worth it, especially if (like mine) your university course doesn’t offer placement years!

Anyway, I suppose all that’s left to say now is a huge thank you to everyone at Twelve for giving me the opportunity to come and work with them in the first place, and for making my two weeks here so interesting, varied and enjoyable. It’s been fun!

Me, Jess & Twelve’s very own Snowdog!

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