Here’s a nice piece of symmetry
Since I’m relaunching my activity here to focus more on content strategy, copywriting and community management, I thought it would be a good time to reflect upon, and even share, how I got here. Here is my story so far.
When people ask me how I got into content as a specialism, I tell them this: well, I started out wanting to be a film critic.
Though I hardly feel old enough to have one, my background is in film. I studied Film and Media (undergrad), then Film Journalism (Master of Letters). I graduated directly into the recession in summer 2009, then again directly into its double dip in 2011.
Naturally, this inspires a little ingenuity.
While most of my uni friends applied to every graduate scheme going, I spent a summer in California on a work visa and embarked on a series of unpaid internships (a travel website) and odd jobs (reporting Comic Con for a film site, writing for The Skinny, and so on).
My first web content-related jobs were a paid stint as an early community member for Yelp, and an 8 month internship-turned-job at Quotables with Mint Digital. At the same time, I was on the Masters course to keep up with my writing goals.
Moving into Web Content
In summer 2010 I began my now long-standing relationship with Edinburgh International Film Festival. I began as the Web Content Writer, reporting on smaller films, interviewing filmmakers, and was entrusted with the Facebook and Twitter accounts: an early sign that Millenials would soon rule the corporate world of social media?
From June 2011, I was promoted to Web Editor at EIFF. I began freelancing at the same time, and in my first 18 months took on projects like partnering with Mint Digital for Channel 4 projects: The Sexperience 1000 and the New Year Revolution.
This quickly led on to similar writing and community managing projects with the Scottish Album of the Year Award, Purple Feather, and Scottish mass participation feature documentary film We Are Northern Lights.
In 2012-2013 I worked with the charity sector on Relationships Matter. I moved further into events, managing social media for the inaugural Vintage at the Merchant City Festival with DollsHouse Creative, Hemingway Design and Glasgow Life.
This year I worked closely with Roanne Dods of PAL Labs and Deborah Keogh of Cultural Enterprise Office on the inaugural small business conference Small is Beautiful – focusing on establishing a community and creating blog content.
I also began working with SERPS Invaders, whose clients have included companies in the financial services, charity, and beauty and cosmetics sectors, as well as co-working with fellow digital agencies on larger projects.
More recently, I’ve also worked with D8 on community management for drinks brand Caorunn Gin.
Since January, I worked with Yomego – Glasgow’s leading social media agency – as Acting Head of Community. There I’ve led on social media strategy and workshops with brands like Glossybox and SQA, as well as content creation and blogger outreach for Olympus, Eaglemoss (including Disney, Marvel and DC titles) and Tefal.
Writing, writing, writing
Meantime, I was still writing. Since 2011 I’ve been contributing to the BBC Radio Scotland film programme – formerly The Movie Café and now The Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth, reviewing the latest releases alongside Janice and many of the country’s top film critics.
Over 5 years, my role at the Edinburgh International Film Festival has grown into a hybrid of journalist and content specialist, merging my two specialisms and allowing me to write consistently, continue to interview filmmakers and work with the EIFFtv crew, while improving processes and opportunities for the Festival. I also pioneered an out-of-season content and social media strategy in the run-up to EIFF 2014 – which I’ll tell you more about soon.
The first 7 months of 2014 were a whirlwind of the EIFF off-season project, agency work at Yomego and SERPS Invaders, and establishing a community for the inaugural Small is Beautiful conference.
Now I am available for new projects from September 2014. I’m working on promoting my book, rebuilding this very website, and creating loads more useful content for you to read and learn from.
If you’d like to work together on a project, please go ahead and email me. I’d love to hear from you.