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Redfoot Revolution – Students great investment for companies!

June 22, 2007

I just couldnt wait to write a post on my blog today! As last night i was one of the first people in the uk (along side Victoria Beckham may i add) to own a pair of redfoot’s, the after party shoe! A new concept designed by students, from the University of Central Lancashire!

Last night after work i dressed up and headed out for dinner to meet up with an old school friend, we had re-connected through Facebook, of all places! About a month ago Tim (my old school friend) had set up a group on Facebook called the ‘redfoot revolution’ and invited everyone in his contact list in order to ‘spread the word’. As i could tell from the picture it was a group about shoes… so i couldnt help but have a look. To my surprise i was left in awe of these pretty little flat shoes that folded up into a pouch and could be popped straight into your handbag, waiting to rescue you from that painful feeling we women often have on the balls of our feet after a long night out, dancing around town! I was baffled for a moment as to why Tim would be promoting a girls shoe.. i was sure he hadn’t gone into marketing after college! Then it hit me i remembered his father owned a shoe manufacturer called the Bacup Shoe co. Anyway i just had to tell my friends about them so i invited them to the group to take a look! Tim messaged me to say thankyou (as he could see that most people joining the group were from Leeds, where i am at university) and said if i wanted some he would get me a pair! i was ecstatic… just shows a kind deed is often in turn!

So last night we met up ate some fantastic chinese and chated about life and all that we were up to at the moment, i couldn’t help but go on about my blog and how they are great marketing tool.. i think i have inspired Tim to make his own!

Tim filled me in on how the shoe came about, its a fantastic story. His father set a challenge to the design students at the University of Central Lancashire to come up with a new shoe design. A group of girls won and their designs were made reality. The shoe was showcased at London Graduate Fashion Week and has already had interest from many forms of media, there was recently an article in NOW Magazine.

Companys such as Office, Topshop and Faith have shown interest in teaming up with the Bacup Shoe co, which is fantastic news! I think it just goes to show that by companies investing in students it can often reap great opportunities. The experience that the girls will have gained from all this is fantastic for their portfolios and will open many more doors in the future. So hats off to the Bacup Shoe co, they have created a ingenious product and given the students a huge stepping stone in their future career. The Mighty Fine Company are currently investing in me to do the marketing of the opening of their new Ice Lodge, for 8 weeks over the summer through the Shell Step Programme, fair play.. i am cheaper labour but im enthusiastic, keen to learn and have fresh ideas. I think that more companies should invest in students as it could be more beneficial to the company than they first realise. Do you think that by giving more opportunities to students companies will gain more? let me know what you think!

I was so pleased with my new shoes that i was parading up and down in them infront of my mum when i got home! I think the fab thing about these shoes is that they are fashionable, comfortable and yet have a practical design. Take a look at the website there is already a whole range of designs to choose from, www.redfootrevolution.co.uk. I chose the design Eva Silver, they are so sweet… i can see me wearing them even when my feet dont hurt!

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Press Release – Ice Lodge

June 20, 2007

logo250x2502.jpg

 Press Release – For Immediate Release

14th June 2007

CONTACT:

Liz Chester:

The Mighty Fine Company

Marketing@mightyfinecompany.com

Welcome to the Ice Lodge

From the end of November 2007 the ‘Ice Lodge’, located on the northern edge of Geirangerfjord in the beautiful setting of Bjorli, Norway will be opening its doors to customers who want to experience something, just that bit out of the ordinary.

Guests can spend a night in one of the spacious Ice Suites surrounded by glistening surfaces accentuated by various tones of beautiful light and astounding spectacles of shimmering ice art. Within the Ice Lodge also lies the Ice Bar which offers warm hospitality and a great place to join fellow guests and adventurers for a nightcap.

The Ice Lodge is the largest of its kind in Norway and sits within the Dovre-Sunndalsfjella national Park which is set aside as a reservation to preserve northern alpine eco systems. Amazingly, this is Norway’s first natural attraction on UNESCO’s World heritage list. This is truly an experience where you will be at one with Mother Nature. Bjorli is renowned for having abundant snow and a long season stretching from November to the end of April. The conditions are perfect for winter sports and a range of activities, such as tobogganing, downhill skiing and cross-country skiing which are available right on the doorstep.

While at the Ice Lodge Customers can enjoy a variety of activities available to then such as dog sledging, horse sleighing, musk ox safari, skiing, ice fishing, slalom sledging, swimming, golf simulator and ten pin bowling.

The Mighty Fine Company are offering 3 day packages out to the Ice Lodge where you will spend one night in the Ice Lodge and 2 nights in its established sister hotel, Bjorligard, in a twin room on a bed and breakfast basis. The Bjorligard is a charming Hotel with a true alpine feel, nestled is a beautiful setting offering inspiring countryside and fresh mountain air. This well appointed warm accommodation offers guests an impressive range if facilities which includes a restaurant/banquet room, lobby bar and hunting lounge, wood fired hot tubs and a fully equipped well-being centre where you can relax and reflect on the day’s activities.

Notes to Editor

Prices

Norway – Bjorli Ice Lodge – Prices based on two adults sharing and itinerary above from:

Dates

Price

Adult Child Extra Nt (Adult) Extra Nt (Child)
30/11/2007 – 17/12/200708/01/2008 – 21/01/200809/04/2008 – 30/04/2008 £718 £288 £71 £36
18/12/2007 – 07/01/200822/01/2008 – 08/04/2008 £747 £295 £71 £36
Supplements
01/12/2007 – 30/04/2008: Dinner (adult) per night: £40
01/12/2007 – 30/04/2008: Dinner (child) per night: £20
Notes
Prices are per person, based on two adults sharing.
Prices based on mid-week rates.
Extra night price based on warm room accommodation.
Child prices apply to ages 7 to 15 years. Further reductions available for children aged 6 years and under.

Norway – Bjorli Ice Lodge – Prices based on single travellers and itinerary above from:

Dates

Price

Adult Child Extra Nt (Adult) Extra Nt (Child)
30/11/2007 – 17/12/2007
08/01/2008 – 21/01/2008
09/04/2008 – 30/04/2008
£1,063 £ £96 £
18/12/2007 – 07/01/2008
22/01/2008 – 08/04/2008
£1,125 £ £96 £
Supplements
01/12/2007 – 30/04/2008: Dinner (adult) per night: £40
Notes
Price per person for single travellers
Prices based on mid-week rates.
Extra night price based on warm room accommodation.

What’s Included:

Return Flights with SAS from London Heathrow or Manchester to Molde via Oslo

All airport taxes and security charges

One night’s accommodation at the Ice Lodge and 2 nights at the Bjorligard Hotel in a double or twin room on a bed and breakfast basis

Return transfers from Molde Airport to Bjorli

What’s not included:

Meals

Optional activities

 For further information contact Liz Chester on 08450720090 or email, Marketing@mightyfinecompany.com

The Mighty Fine Company offers over 150 itineraries in 14 countries. Mighty fine has an exclusive contractual arrangement for the worldwide market with the ability to sell accommodation independently, or packaged with flights and transfers.

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Behind the Spin Article

June 19, 2007

PR Plays a Key Role in Fashion Retail

As part of my PR degree at Leeds Metropolitan University my peers and I are encouraged to find part time placements to help gain invaluable experience in the industry.

Recently I was given the opportunity to start a part time placement at an international luxury lifestyle store, renowned both in the UK and internationally for the breadth and depth of its exclusive fashion merchandise… Where? Harvey Nichols of course! (Leeds based). Obviously I jumped at the chance, every girls dream right!? ‘Devil wears Prada, and all!

Most people’s impersonation of Public Relations within the fashion industry is glamorous and exciting. Walking down the high street with a Starbucks in one hand and bags labelled by renowned designers in the other! Oh and maybe a celebrity on the mobile somewhere in between that. I’m sorry to burst your thought bubble here but it’s never like it is in the movies, we all know that, right? Although there is plenty of opportunity to attend celebrity studded parties and rub shoulders with the rich and famous, behind the scenes it can be a different story.

FASHION. It’s not just a word it’s a lifestyle! For the rich and famous it’s all about style status. Whether we like it or not the world revolves around picture and image, in all essence, as in Public relations, what we look like and how we appear to the outside world seems to be of high importance.

Do you often judge by appearances? I’d be shocked if you answered no. As human beings we naturally judge by what we can see or touch, our first impressions. If we didn’t, why is the world of fashion and beauty such a booming industry? The world of fashion is all about the feel good experience and as some of us know it can be addictive.

Before starting my experience I had so many thoughts running through my head…what will I be asked to do? Will I meet anyone famous? But above all that, what was I going to wear!? I have never felt as stimulated with ideas and thoughts when starting at other work experience before, as I did when starting at Harvey Nichols. This just shows what a name/brand such as ‘Harvey Nichols’ can stand for or has to stand for in its competitive market.

In an albeit small office in the centre of Leeds sat myself, surrounded by goodie bags, boxes, piles of paper, you name it and it was there, almost falling on top of me!

Within retail it’s not what the store looks like from within its offices and storage rooms it’s what it looks like on the shop floor to its prospective customers. So for the time being I guess I just had to put up with the clutter.

PR plays such a key role in fashion retail, I mean who would want to buy your merchandise if no one has even heard of your brand. Whether it’s through word of mouth or the media, in order for someone to want to shop at your store they have to have reasons to. This is why at Harvey Nichols we look after our press sooooooo well! Our regional media and national press are listened to and so we have to be as flexible and accommodating as possible as these people sell the store and position Harvey Nichols in a certain way. If they think you are the best thing ever then their readers, listeners and viewers will.

The words of Harvey Nichols Press and Marketing Officer Leeds:

“Representing the store is a great honour and I still get a buzz out of saying – ‘Katherine Busby, Harvey Nichols’!”

In this line of work you have to keep on top of what celebrities are up to…Photos of celebrities sell magazines and also fashion. A lot of the designers dress the celebrities instead of advertising or to supplement advertising as it is more direct.

Say if a certain celebrity of the moment such as Kate moss, Nicole Richie, Posh Spice for instance, wears something great, journalists want to write about it. If we stock it, we want them to tell people, so we go to journalists with ideas of hot trends and tell them the celebs that have worn them. We get customers texting photos of celebs wearing things and anything in Grazia is always a hit! So now I have an excuse for reading those weekly glossies!

In general Harvey Nichols doesn’t work with many celebrities too often as they don’t want to be associated with specific ones, as any celebrities reputation can climb or plummet at any one time. However for big events such as the recent Harvey Nichols Leeds 10th party, we got Dita Von Teese to come as she ‘fits’ with the Harvey Nichols brand. The event was a huge success and it was great to be involved. Harvey Nichols wanted to put themselves back on the map as a leading fashion retailer. They wanted to be fashionable, edgy, and yet a little bit shocking. I think that this was greatly accomplished, with the expense of quite a few extra hours grafting mind you! The press coverage achieved included national coverage and TV, which in itself paid for the party.

The PR team at Harvey Nichols work closely together to come up with new ideas and every time try to go that little bit further to really wow the customers. Coming up with fresh ideas is what it’s all about. For a recent Dangerous Liaisons evening we sourced 18th century costumes, including powdered wigs for staff, had Opera North singing on the shop floor and various performers, including a fire eater, to entertain customers as they shopped. It was a great night and totally unique.

In store they have a lot of designers and make-up artists come in for specific events, which are always busy and exciting times. When it comes to celebrity visits, getting stuck in and helping out wherever possible is key. One thing I have found has come in handy is using my initiative! As I have been working with the Press and Marketing Officer it meant that my role at these events could be anything from looking after the media surrounding their visit, to making sure a room is the right temperature or clearing up at the end.

Something that stood out during my experience is how important communicating is. Communication is the key whether it’s with the press, customers or just your team. You have to know when is the right time to be friendly and accommodating or poised and assertive.

If you are thinking of going into this field of work make sure it is actually PR you like and not just fashion as some days it doesn’t matter if you are PR’ing a Dolce & Gabbana handbag or a can of beans, it is the same job. Whilst I can’t deny the perks are fab and make it all worth while I am constantly insinuated at by colleagues as to what time they have been up till the night before or have to listen to them reasoning with themselves about the crazy requests that ‘stars’ ask for. Also those charity requests and advertising calls… do they ever stop? Trust me in all essence this is no 9-5 job.

PR jobs within the fashion industry aren’t as well paid as other fields and there is more competition to get jobs. However, upon asking those with experience they say “it doesn’t matter they just love it!”

The great thing about working within PR in fashion retail is the knowledge you can gain about specific brands, the networking and even though this may sound a little strange, the times when there is often 20 things to do at once, it’s that overall ‘thrill’! For me the overall highlight of my experience at Harvey Nichols is meeting great people, celebrities and colleagues alike. I have loved every minute up to now and can’t express the amount I have learned in such a short period of time.

Working within fashion can be tough but the rewards, excitement and status it brings make up for the pitfalls, if any, along the way.

I can’t wait to add the name ‘Harvey Nichols’ to my CV.

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Press Release – Ice lodge 2

June 19, 2007

press-release-header_b.jpg

Press Release – For Immediate Release

14th June 2007

CONTACT:

Elizabeth Chester
The Mighty Fine Company
Marketing@mightyfinecompany.com

Green Holiday out of the ordinary

The Mighty Fine Company presents the Ice Lodge, a holiday just that little bit out of the ordinary set in a location recorded on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The Ice lodge is positioned amid a scene of timeless beauty located on the northern edge of the Geirangerfjord in the outstanding setting of Bjorli.

The Geirangerfjord is known for its pristine beauty and magnificent waterfalls. Fittingly, UNESCO finds not just this body of seawater, but the entire landscape, worthy of preservation. Farms, many of them still in use, peer down onto the fjords from fertile mountain ledges.

The Geirangerfjord now enjoys the same recognition as the Great Wall of China, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, Zambia’s Victoria Falls and the Grand Canyon in USA. The purpose of UNESCO’s World Heritage List is to draw attention to parts of humanity’s heritage that are so important, and have such outstanding universal value, that they must be preserved for future generations.

Bjorli is situated in the Dovre-Sunndalsfjella National Park which is set aside as a reservation to preserve northern alpine ecosystems. Indigenous wild reindeer, musk oxen, moose, stag, deer, wolverine, and various large birds such as the Golden Eagle and the Gyrfalcon (the world’s largest falcon with a wingspan of 5 feet) are to be found here and some of the plant life in the region predates the last ice age.

Now the plans are in place for the construction of a new Ice lodge to be built here next to the Bjorligard hotel. While at the Ice Lodge customers can enjoy a variety of activities available to them such as dog sledging, horse sleighing, musk ox safari, skiing, ice fishing, slalom sledging, swimming, golf simulator and ten pin bowling. However activities that result in damage to the environment such as snowmobiling will not be available in an attempt to protect and preserve the surrounding area.

Notes to Editor

The Mighty Fine Company are offering three day packages out to the Ice Lodge where you will spend one night in the Ice Lodge and two nights in its established sister hotel, Bjorligard, in a double or twin room on a bed and breakfast basis. The Bjorligard is a charming hotel with a true alpine feel, nestled in a beautiful setting offering inspiring countryside and fresh mountain air. This well-appointed warm accommodation offers guests an impressive range of facilities which includes a restaurant/banquet room, lobby bar and hunting lounge, wood-fired hot tubs and a fully equipped well-being centre where you can relax and reflect on the day’s activities.

Prices

Norway – Bjorli Ice Lodge – Prices based on two adults sharing and itinerary above from:

Dates

Price

Adult Child Extra Nt (Adult) Extra Nt (Child)
30/11/2007 – 17/12/200708/01/2008 – 21/01/200809/04/2008 – 30/04/2008 £718 £288 £71 £36
18/12/2007 – 07/01/200822/01/2008 – 08/04/2008 £747 £295 £71 £36
Supplements
01/12/2007 – 30/04/2008: Dinner (adult) per night: £40
01/12/2007 – 30/04/2008: Dinner (child) per night: £20
Notes
Prices are per person, based on two adults sharing.
Prices based on mid-week rates.
Extra night price based on warm room accommodation.
Child prices apply to ages 7 to 15 years. Further reductions available for children aged 6 years and under.

Norway – Bjorli Ice Lodge – Prices based on single travellers and itinerary above from:

Dates

Price

Adult Child Extra Nt (Adult) Extra Nt (Child)
30/11/2007 – 17/12/2007
08/01/2008 – 21/01/2008
09/04/2008 – 30/04/2008
£1,063 £ £96 £
18/12/2007 – 07/01/2008
22/01/2008 – 08/04/2008
£1,125 £ £96 £
Supplements
01/12/2007 – 30/04/2008: Dinner (adult) per night: £40
Notes
Price per person for single travellers
Prices based on mid-week rates.
Extra night price based on warm room accommodation.

                                                                         

What’s included:

  • Return schedule flights with SAS from London Heathrow or Manchester to Molde via Oslo
  • All airport taxes and security charges
  • 1 night’s accommodation at the Ice Lodge and 2 nights at the Bjorligard Hotel in a double or twin room on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Return transfers from Molde Airport to Bjorli

What’s not included:

  • Meals (unless specified)
  •  Optional activities

For further information please contact Elizabeth Chester on 08450720090   or email, Marketing@mightyfinecompany.com

http://www.mightyfinecompany.co.uk/

http://www.ice-lodge.co.uk/

Mighty Fine is an online travel company. We therefore do not produce wasteful, environmentally-unfriendly paper invoices and itineraries (these are sent electronically), nor will we send you costly items that you will probably not need, such as luggage labels.

-End-

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Behind the Spin article

June 19, 2007

I had an article of mine published in issue 15 of Behind the Spin, the public relations magazine for students and young practitioners. I was proud of this achievement and it felt great to see my name, writing and picture in print. In my article i spoke about some of my previous work experience at Harvey Nichols and how retail and fashion PR isnt all it appears to be!

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Hello world!

June 18, 2007

Welcome to my first ever blog! I have to admit this is something I have wanted to get around to setting up for sometime now since i learnt about blogs in a seminar by one of my tutors, Ryan Bowd, however it seems to have been one of those things i’ve pushed to the side and never quite got around to doing. This is my first step to creating an online blog of my life and work experiences as a PR student. I am hoping to give anyone who is willing to have a read, an insight into what it is like to be a student studying Public relations, the general challenges that I and other students face and what options are available to help us move on in our careers. I will also generalise upon certain media stories that i have a keen interest in and would like people to discuss and maybe start topical debates about. The aim of having this blog is so that i can reflect upon my experiences and career prospects and maybe discuss them with others. This will hopefully give myself and others a valuable insight into different aspects of being a PR student.

Thanks for reading! In my next post i am going to talk about the summer placement i am currently in at the moment, my experiences here up to now and the steps it took for me to get here.

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