The September State of Mind: How the nostalgic ‘Back to School’ mentality influences the adult workplace

Written by Becky Muldoon

As pencil cases are packed with brand new sharpies and name labels are stuck into uniforms (sewn in if you’re old skool or you’ve got Grandma on hand!), September ushers in a wave of nostalgia for many of us. It’s a time etched in our memories as the season of new beginnings, fresh notebooks, and the anticipation of what the school year might bring. But interestingly, this ‘back to school’ mentality doesn’t seem to vanish with age; instead, it often filters into the workplace, influencing our attitudes and behaviours, regardless of age.

Here are some of my favourite September ‘back to school’ workplace practices that I am certain will be with me for many years to come.

 

1. A time to embrace change

September symbolises change – the season, the school year – and change is a fundamental part of working life. But it can come with a little angst and anticipation, which, in the workplace can actually sometimes be just what we need to push ourselves outside our comfort zones and build resilience. Whether starting a new job, embarking on a project, or simply seeking personal growth, adopting a ‘back to school’ mindset can be incredibly beneficial and surprisingly emboldening.

 

2. Set new goals

My new term books began life with my very best handwriting. It somehow made me feel like, that year, I meant business. Even if I didn’t know it, I was laying mental foundations and setting goals for myself. A goal to make the netball team? To get a part in the school play? In PR, goals at this time of year will always be around a big push to the end of the year. A time to revisit those all-important KPIs… take a look over the shoulder at what the competition is up to… and a make a plan to ensure that, come Christmas, coverage is dancing off the pages.

 

3. A desire to learn

Education doesn’t end with School or University, and neither should our desire to learn. At 41 my desire to learn is probably greater than it was in secondary school, because now I get to make my own choices on what learning looks like. What I love to do at this time of year is plan the best books to read in the evening, the best podcasts for my daily bus commute (because it’s far too cold for the bike!), and perhaps steal 5-minutes of my teenagers’ The Week so I can catch up on what’s going on around me. Work is no different. I want to know my clients’ industries and trends and I enjoy taking the time to do that. New legislation often presents itself in the new year and I want to know what I can expect for my clients.

 

4. Record of Achievement

Commendations… Team Captain… Duke Of Edinburgh awards… The only difference now is that the achievements I like to celebrate are wins on behalf of my clients and colleagues. A recent piece of coverage in ‘inews’ has pretty much granted me access to the Teachers Lounge in my head. I don’t need the medal, but I need the peace of mind that I’m working hard to achieve something worth celebrating. We need to acknowledge and appreciate workplace accomplishments. It undoubtedly boosts morale and motivation and as the chilly autumn months arrive, we can all do with a little extra motivation.

 

And finally, my favourite back to school habit that will never leave me…

 

5. It’s almost time to get out my ‘big coat’ (IYKYK)

All the feels. All the memories. And because no office will ever let me pump the heating to the level I truly love!

The ‘back to school’ mentality is a poignant reminder that the spirit of growth, exploration, and resilience lives on within us, no matter our age. It teaches us not only to adapt to change but to relish it, to set goals with unwavering determination, and to cherish the ongoing journey of learning. This mentality encourages us to rally with our colleagues as a cohesive team, and to face challenges with the same determination we once brought to the classroom. Most of all, it reminds us to pause and savour the wins, whether in a classroom or a meeting room. So, whether you’re a recent graduate filled with youthful zeal or a seasoned professional with wisdom etched in your soul, don’t hesitate to channel your inner ‘pupil’ and embrace the ‘back to school’ mentality in the workplace.

 

If September has given you the feeling that it’s time to refresh your marketing strategy, get in touch!

Four LinkedIn features you should know about

LinkedIn is quickly becoming a favourite social media platform – accessible to all, not just the business crowd! Originally designed to connect professionals with jobseekers, the platform has now become an effective tool to network across the world, expand knowledge, share topics you’re passionate about and grow your own personal profile and brand.

No different from any other social media platform, LinkedIn is ever evolving. It can be a challenge to stay up to date with the latest features, algorithm updates, and changes but it is so important to do so.

Here are four features on LinkedIn that you should know about:

 

  1. Creator Mode

Creator mode is a profile setting that gives you more ways to engage with your audience by enabling access to select tools. This feature allows you to share your profile topics and hashtags that you post about the most, making it easier for other LinkedIn members to discover your content and follow you. Creator mode also gives you access to the following tools – collaborative articles, LinkedIn Live, audio events, newsletters, and a follow link on your profile.

You can turn on Creator mode in your profile settings, underneath resources.

 

  1. LinkedIn News

On the right side of your newsfeed, you will find LinkedIn News. This is a ‘daily rundown’ of news delivered by a team of international editors at LinkedIn. This is a very convenient and quick way to see a top-line view of the latest stories. By clicking on an article from the list, you will see a short overview followed by a collection of member posts, that provide further information and opinions on the story.

Sometimes the best features are hidden right in front of our eyes.

 

  1. Top Skills

One of the newest features on LinkedIn is that you can now add your Top Skills to your profile’s about section. This feature adds more credibility to your profile and emphasizes specific skills you want to highlight, resulting in a better chance of being contacted by hiring managers as they can see specific skills you are highly qualified in.

This is a great feature to utilise if you are looking for work.

 

  1. LinkedIn Showcase Page

The Showcase Page is a great feature to utilize on your LinkedIn company profile. It works like an add-on feature and provides you with a custom template to spotlight a particular area of your business such as a service, product or sub-brand. You can create up to ten showcase pages, and there are many options to tailor each one to your liking. If your company offers a range of products or services, then showcasing pages is an effective way of segmenting your audience and delivering bespoke content to each.

A must-have feature for businesses on LinkedIn.

 

LinkedIn is continually advancing its features in ways that open up further opportunities for its users, and we are excited for its future.

Flying the nest – what does Twitter’s rebrand to X mean for social media?

On 23 July we said ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ to Twitter.

Since Elon Musk’s infamous takeover back in October 2022, the established social platform has been undergoing changes. The most significant so far being its controversial rebranding to X, which has seen the platform ditch its iconic blue bird logo in favour of a black and white X.

The announcement was made after the X logo was projected onto the side of the San Francisco headquarters on the evening of the 23 July, and this new identity came after it was announced that users were going to be capped on the number of posts, they can read on the app each day.

CEO Linda Yaccarino, announced how X Corp (formerly Twitter, Inc) plans to make X ‘the future state of unlimited interactivity’ with the app now being ‘centred in audio, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities.’

She claims that there is ‘no limit to this transformation’, setting new goals for the company to transform the platform into an ‘everything app’, to reshape the brand into a ‘global town square’.

Musk’s idea of creating an ‘everything app’ has been inspired by the Chinese app – WeChat – which has a very different approach to other traditionally used social channels. It has all features in one place including messaging, social, video calls, payment, and mini apps encouraging users to be loyal in using the platform for multiple purposes.

The app remains popular with over one billion active monthly users and at present it’s functions remain the same as Twitter. As X evolves, it’ll be interesting to see how things develop as new competitors such as Threads and the Tik Tok text post feature come to the fore.

Scanning the social and news scape, it’s clear many are questioning the rebrand and how much planning actually took place with Domain Name Systems (DNS) not even up to date, suggesting Musk was too eager to launch. The basic precautions for registering similar domains had not been taken and are putting many users at risk of computer bugging, hacking, and having their personal data leaked.

With very little confirmed information on the future of X, we’re unsure how quickly rumoured changes will start to be introduced, but Musk has said that the app will be powered by AI, connecting us in ways we can only begin to imagine.

We can likely expect the most immediate change to be adapting the current retweeting function with plenty more on the horizon

Stepping into the real world of PR

By Amy Catherall

University can only prepare you so much for the transition into work once you have graduated, but are you really ready to be thrown straight into the real world without any prior experience of the industry you want to go into?

There is only so much you can learn from lectures about the real world of public relations, but by getting to experience it all firsthand at Jennie Holland PR, I have built my confidence for when I am ready to start my PR journey.

Being involved with every aspect of the company, from sitting in on client meetings, collaborating on ideas for social media, researching opportunities for clients, digital media creation, and contact research, has allowed me to see how a real business functions and I’ve learned the importance of time management and teamwork to balance tasks to meet the needs of the clients.

Working with a range of clients from different industries has allowed me to see how strategies can bolster the presence of brands within different industries.

What I have learned during my time at Jennie Holland PR

  • Working as a team and supporting each other is essential in PR. Collaborative thinking to help one another ensures that clients receive the best service possible.
  • Research is key to finding your clients the best opportunities – ensuring media coverage and interview opportunities are secured, which will be beneficial to boost profiles both locally and nationally.
  • Every client has different needs. Content creation will need to be geared to target media and audiences and every brand has a different tone of voice and requirements for writing styles to fit their image – so research of the client and its objectives are vital.
  • PR is harder than you think! There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes and managing your time correctly helps to balance all your tasks. It all pays off when your client is getting opportunities and growing as a result.

The highlight of my experience was getting to research and write a blog post on the Barbie movie and its effect on the marketing and press of multiple brands.

This allowed me to experience the pride you get in seeing the results of something you have worked hard for. The process of writing and designing the post and then creating social media content, allowed me to put all the skills I have developed further during my time at JHPR to practice.

My three weeks went by in a flash, and I enjoyed every second. I learnt so much from the team at JHPR that I will take away and use to benefit my studies. Everyone in the team has made me feel welcome and been willing to help and support me ensuring I had the best experience possible.

For anyone scared or unsure of finding work experience because they are unsure what to say, worried they won’t get a response, or are feeling nervous about going into an office, don’t be. I was worried about so many things, and I had the most amazing experience with JHPR. I’ve gained the confidence to be able to go into the real world after university and find myself a job working in PR.

In a Barbie world – how brands have been embracing the pink

By Amy Catherall

 

Barbie is arguably one of the top movies of the year and alongside this week’s cinema release we’ve seen plenty of pink in the lead up.

Trending with over 1.3 million tweets, 250 million views on TikTok and 174k posts on Instagram, the word is going crazy for Barbie The Movie, with expectations that the movie could make up to $110 million on Box Office opening.

Barbiecore has well and truly arrived and brands have jumped at the opportunity to go pink and join the Barbie hype, releasing limited editions of their products with their own Barbie spin.

Check out some of our favourite collaborations and campaigns that have captured the nation, ahead of the movie’s release this Friday:

 

Crocs 

Barbie may not approve since these are not high heels, but with Crocs being a trending shoe she might just let it pass!

 

Covered in as much pink and glitter possible, these Barbie branded shoes can be spotted from a mile away.

Some of the shoes sold out in a matter of hours, with many fans gutted they missed out on a pair, with those who were successful taking to social media to boast.

 

NYX professional makeup

With Barbie’s iconic bright pink making its comeback, NYX have launched a range of Barbie products with the focus of the range being PINK!

NYX have partnered with Save the Children as a part of this campaign to raise awareness for the global girls’ empowerment initiative. Launching an Instagram filter, every time the filter is used and shared online NYX will donate $1 to Save the Children. This money helping to provide education and learning tools for girls and allowing them to make their dreams a reality.

 

Proper Snacks

Proper Snacks launched the perfect cinema snack, re-designing their original sweet popcorn packaging in the distinctive Barbie pink, matching the brands playful, bold branding.

The collaboration with Warner Bros gave customers the opportunity to win a 7-night trip to California, to live out their Barbie dream.

 

McLaren Formula 1 Team 

British Formula 1 team, McLaren has jumped on the trend, re-branding their race week poster to mimic the Barbie posters.

Including the iconic Pink Corvette, the two drivers are edited into the car, with the McLaren logo edited into the clouds.

Fans are loving the crossover post with over 58k likes on twitter and over 490k likes on Instagram.

 

Zara

If you are jealous of Barbie’s wardrobe, Zara have launched a collection inspired by Barbie’s extensive wardrobe featured in the movie.

Zara has transformed two of their stores into Barbie’s dream house, so it really feels like you are shopping from Barbie’s actual wardrobe.

The collection has a variety of styles allowing you to swap from comfy sweats to night out glamour, with plenty of accessories to bring a little Barbie into your everyday life.

 

Pink Tardis

The Tardis mysteriously landed next to Tower Bridge in London, having had a pink makeover just in time for the Barbie London Premier, where Warner Bros staff were in the area handing out Fan access passes to the premier for later that day.

Apparently only being for promotional purposes, unfortunately it does not look like we are getting a Barbie, Doctor Who crossover episode anytime soon!

 

Gymshark

The gym wear company has transformed their website homepage, highlighting all the products available in pink.

Playing on the words of the classic Barbie Girl song, they have taken Barbie into the world of workout, becoming a ‘barbell girl.’

 

Mattel – Barbie doll

Of course, no Barbie movie could be complete without the Barbie dolls to match.

Mattel released a new collection of Barbie dolls inspired by those in the movie, equipped with outfits and accessories to match, including a remote-controlled Barbie Corvette, just like the one in the movie.

 

With all the memorable marketing and collaborations, hopes are high for the movie, but only time will tell just how successful it has been.

If you’re looking for creative ideas to get involved with the current trends and looking for supporting on building an impactful campaign, get in touch with us at Jennie Holland PR.

What does Threads mean for your business?

In less than a week, new social media app aimed at rivalling Twitter, Threads, has already had more than 100 million sign ups.

Steven Bartlett, Entrepreneur, BBC Dragon, and the host of the podcast, ‘The Diary of a CEO’, said “Twitter is in transition. Its advertising products have never been able to compete with Meta’s, Elon is limiting the amount of tweets you can read and the site is feeling less ‘safe’ for more and more people than ever,” so some individuals and businesses are taking this new launch as an opportunity to shift away from Twitter’s controversy. But should you be doing the same?

Some key differences between the two apps are that Threads allows 500 characters per post, instead of Twitter’s 280, and video uploads of up to five minutes, compared to Twitter’s two minutes 20 seconds. However, the new platform does not allow direct messaging or hashtags, nor does it include trending stories. There is no way to search for content on the app, and while this might sound like a “limitation, it’s also going to create less cancel-culture, less of a mob mentality and less bandwagoning,” Steven Bartlett commented.

So, what does this all mean for businesses? Should you be franticly downloading the new app in order to keep up with the ever-changing world of social media? Or should you just sit back and wait to see how it continues to perform?

It might be a good idea to start experimenting on Threads now, as early adopters of Meta apps are typically ‘rewarded’, meaning your Instagram and Facebook accounts could experience growth as well. As it’s a new app, there are fewer complex algorithms to try and adhere to, and no tried-and-tested strategy to implement, so it’s perfect for authenticity. If you’re feeling burnt out from constantly trying to keep up with other platforms’ changes, a fresh start on a new app may spark some much needed creativity.

However, you must already have an Instagram account in order to sign up to Threads and if you then decide it’s not for you or your business, you cannot delete your Threads profile without deleting the associated Instagram profile, however it can be temporarily deactivated.

The app has also already raised privacy concerns about how it may collect information about a user’s digital activity, including health and fitness, financial, employment and other sensitive information.

LinkedIn continues to be an excellent platform for connecting with other businesses and individuals in a professional setting, so it may not be necessary to also be on this ‘new version of Twitter’, especially as it is not yet approved for use in the EU.

There is a tendency for some to approach social media marketing with a quantity over quality mindset, but it may be best to focus your attention on just one business facing platform and one general public facing platform and do them really well.

In short, the jury is still out when it comes to Threads. Many are really enjoying it, others are completely avoiding it, and we cannot yet say what is the best course of action. It’s currently down to personal preference, but there are definitely a few things to consider before adding another platform to your roster.

No matter your goal, we are here to help with your social media marketing. If the trends and algorithms changes are confusing you, if you don’t have the time or personnel to focus on content creation or copy writing, then Jennie Holland PR should be your first point of call. Get in touch today on 0115 998 3048 or email us at hello@jenniehollandpr.com.

My time as an intern at Jennie Holland PR

Before embarking on my journey as a PR intern at Jennie Holland PR, I didn’t know what to expect at all, but after three weeks, I can say it was the best decision I made.

Over the course of my internship, I witnessed first-hand the ins and outs of the PR industry – from social media management to content creation, to crating videos and listening in on client updates in our Monday morning catch ups.

As an ambivert, it takes a while to be comfortable and adapting to new surroundings can be quite challenging. However, from the moment I walked into the office, I knew not only was I going to learn a lot but that it was the best environment for personal growth.

One of the most significant takeaways from this experience was the realisation that confidence is key! Talk to people, ask questions, no question is too trivial.

So, what did I learn from my time at Jennie Holland PR?

The reality of PR

As a journalism student, I had a very basic understanding of PR as there is so much more to it and I had the opportunity to be involved in many aspects of activity including the creation of press material,  social media audits for clients, media landscape and contact research and digital media creation –  which has really fuelled my passion for PR. I discovered the importance of time management and got the chance to work across a multitude of brands and clients. While this may seem stressful to others, I realised there’s no better feeling than seeing the results you work hard work for!

Teamwork makes the dream work.

The JHPR team were incredibly supportive and nurturing and working alongside the team taught me the importance of teamwork and how collaborative thinking can produce amazing results.

The team always made me feel at home, like I was a long-standing member and work never felt like a burden while I was there. From team lunches to breakfasts mornings, the environment was everything one could hope for in a workplace.

Maintaining relationships  

I learned that maintaining a healthy balance between putting clients’ desires and needs first, whilst offering valuable advice was crucial to producing strong results. Transparency, active listening and meticulous attention to detail are also vital in nurturing long lasting relationships with clients.

Overall, my time at JHPR was enriching, filled with laughter and numerous lessons. Working alongside professionals who willingly shared their expertise and answered my questions, helped to grow my confidence and inform me about future career routes. The last three weeks have confirmed my passion for PR and I’m excited to see how this experience will shape my future endeavours as I make my mark in the world of PR.

JHPR is moving on up… and moving down the street!

As we enter the last quarter of 2022, at JHPR we’re pleased to say it’s been another exciting year of growth for the team and the company, and that’s not all… 

We’re thrilled to announce that we have moved to a new office! 

We haven’t gone far though, as we’re still in the centre of Hockley in Nottingham (one of our favourite parts of the city with independent eateries, bars and shops a-plenty), just down the street from where we used to be.  

Our new address is: 

Western House 

Western Street 

Nottingham 

NG1 3AZ 

It’s a co-working space, so we’re sharing our large open plan office with the wonderful team at architectural practice Arc Design Studio. 

The new space affords us much more room for our growing team, with plenty of meeting rooms and break out areas so everyone can work where they want – be it a desk or a sofa! 

Complete with a games room and excellent coffee machine, we’ve taken the last couple of weeks to settle in as we enjoy this new, flexible approach to working. 

As a company, we are pleased to have recently welcomed new clients to our portfolio and we have some big plans in the pipeline too.  

We can’t say too much right now, but 2023 will have a whole new look and feel to it and we can’t wait to share our plans with you. 

If your business needs a PR or social media boost, why not get in touch? We’ll get the coffee brewing if you’d like to stop by for an informal chat about how we can help you – get in touch with us via hello@jenniehollandpr.com. Alternatively, you can book a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your requirements. 

JHPR Update: Promotions and new starters

Our digital PR agency is experiencing a significant period of growth and we have lots to share with you.

First up, we are celebrating two promotions, with both Elyssia and Alice progressing to
the roles of senior digital PR executives.

Since joining us last year, Alice and Elyssia have demonstrated passion and dedication in their work and continually strive to keep learning and innovating for the good of our client campaigns.

Well done both!

With a number of new client wins we are also expanding our team. Super pleased to share that Paige Wykes and Laura Markham have joined us as digital PR executives.

Paige joins us from a marketing and social media role having graduated with a degree in BA (Hons) Journalism with creative & professional writing, and Laura has just graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in International Fashion Business and returns to JHPR after completing an internship in last year.

Both will specialise in social media management and press outreach.

Our execs join us at a time of growth, as we welcome new clients from a range of sectors, stemming from legal to recruitment and property to food and drink.

Calling all PR pros – we are hiring!

If you are passionate about and skilled in all things PR, then we’d like to meet you! We’re looking for a talented PR Account Manager and a Senior PR Account Executive to join our team.

We are a boutique agency in the heart of Nottingham’s Lace Market in the city centre, with coffee, cake, access to the shops and everything else you could wish for during the working day right on your doorstep.

Our environment is creative, inclusive and supportive of talent and progression, and we work smart and celebrate success (both work and personal). We offer flexible working with a blend of home and office days and additional annual leave days for keeping the mind happy, as well as team outings.

In your role you will be working alongside the wider team on a varied portfolio of great brands, across a number of sectors – and we can guarantee no day with be the same!

If you are looking for an opportunity to use your skills and creativity to wow our clients and make a real difference to their businesses, then this is the role for you.

We offer progression, ongoing training and development, and a fun place to work where you can thrive. There are no big agency politics or the ‘sink or swim’ approach. Here you are a key member of our team and will be supported.

An overview of the roles is below – please visit Indeed for full details on the PR Account Manager role and Senior PR Account Executive role. 


PR Account Manager job description:

– Deliver PR strategies and campaigns across an exciting mix of b2b and b2c brands, with the support of an account director and account executive

– Client management and communication

– Creating optimised media content including press releases and features

– Plus other content such as blogs, web copy, award applications, video

– Media relations and press office activities

– Keeping fully informed of the national and international news agenda and trends and identifying media opportunities for clients

– Working with online influencers

– Social media strategy, content and management

– Online community management to build quality followers and create engaged online communities

– Managing and mentoring an account executive

Experience, skills and attributes required:

– Three plus years of experience working in a similar role

– Working in a PR or press team (ideally agency but also in-house)

– A track record of delivering quality media results for clients

– Plenty of press release and other content creation

– Managing social media accounts and delivering campaigns

– Comprehensive understanding of and a passion for social media – the features and opportunities they present

– Digitally minded and driven

– Confident communicator with clients, journalists and others

– Enthusiastic and organised self-starter with lots of creative ideas

– A relevant degree such as PR/marketing/journalism/communications/business

– Salary is dependent on experience and attitude.

Hours: 37 per week

Job Types: Full-time, Part-time, Permanent

Benefits:

  • Additional leave
  • Casual dress
  • Company events
  • Company pension
  • On-site parking
  • Sick pay
  • Wellness programmes
  • Work from home

Schedule: Monday to Friday

Experience: Public Relations: 3 years (preferred)

Work remotely: Yes


Senior PR Account Executive job description:

– Deliver PR strategies and campaigns across an exciting mix of b2b and b2c brands, with the support of a senior account manager

– Client liaison

– Media liaison

– Creating optimised media content including press releases and features

– Plus other content such as blogs, web copy, award applications, video

– Media relations and press office activities

– Keeping fully informed of the national and international news agenda and trends and identifying media opportunities for clients

– Working with online influencers

– Social media content and management

– Developing optimised social media content, organic and paid

– Online community management to build quality followers and create engaged online communities

– Media and social media analysis and results reporting

Experience and skills required:

– 1-2 years of experience working in a similar role

– A track record of delivering PR strategies for clients

– Digitally minded and driven

– Confident communicator and an excellent writer

– Enthusiastic and organised self-starter with lots of creative ideas

– A relevant degree such as PR/marketing/journalism/communications/business/other

– Social media content creation; organic and paid

– Track record of managing social media accounts and delivering campaigns

– Comprehensive understanding of and a passion for social media – the features and opportunities presented by a range of channels

– Salary dependent on experience and attitude.

Job Types: Full-time, Permanent

Benefits:

  • Additional leave
  • Casual dress
  • Company events
  • Sick pay
  • Work from home

Schedule: Monday to Friday

Experience: Public Relations: 2 years (preferred)


To start your journey with us, please send your CV to hello@jenniehollandpr.com.