Internship Diary / Max Media Lab

Interview/trial

Interning with Max Media Lab was my goal from the moment I turned my focus to Public Relations. At first it seemed out of my reach and just dwelled as a future goal for over a year. In my second last trimester I considered having a look around and applying to some internships early, getting a head start. I was still determined on interning with Max Media and hadn’t even considered any other agencies, I was very fixed on this tunnel vision. About half way into trimester two, after much procrastination and avoiding sending through my resume and CV, I just did it. To my surprise a short 24 hours later I had a response… an interview offer!

I was successful in the interview, as daunting yet exciting as it was. A few days following my interview with two members of the PR team I was offered to join the team in their office for a trial day, this was to see how well I would fit in and if I was worthy to become a MML intern. The tasks I undertook this day were scanning papers and magazines for any of their brands free PR, scanning social media accounts to see who has being posting about their brands and creating PR packages for international lipstick day (I was in lipstick heaven). It would be fair to say I was fairly pumped leaving the office that day, yet the thought of the intern role going to one of the other girls who was trailing to get it was at the back of my mind. Again I waited and days later I received the email… saying I was successful and had secured the 3 month internship with the PR team!

 

WEEK 1 2.8.18

I was equally nervous and excited about my official first day as an intern at MML. I was eager to get into the work and learn as much as I could about the PR landscape. One little part of me was worried I could be organising shelves and running to get coffee’s all day but my day was far from that. From the get go I was constantly learning and applying PR skills to every task I completed. My first day I was scanning socials for media coverage, wring PR monthly reports and packing packages for my favourite beauty brands! My first day met the expectations I held for my dream internship and opened my mind up to a career in PR, exactly what an internship should do.

 

Week 2 9.8.18

My second week at Max Media Lab was the most strenuous yet! This week I was in charge along with another intern of organising, sorting and putting away the new Marc Jacobs Beauty line. This was definitely one of the more repetitive and slightly ‘boring’ tasks I had performed so far at MML. However it was a great task for me to learn all about the range and understand each product as the range is quite large and has multiple product with similar names. At the end of the day I was lucky enough to take home a set of 12 Le Marc Lipsticks, this was completely unexpected and exciting.

 

Week 3 16.8.18

This week was a very busy one in the MML offices. There was lots of stock coming in for the PR team, multiple mass send outs and the normal daily tasks that had to be completed. I started the day with media clippings, going through a list of influencers, bloggers and editors that had been sent a certain PR package and scanned their socials for any coverage. Next I was a part of my first mass send out for Kat Von D. The package was for her new highlighter range including 4 products, my job was to pack and send them out to around 30 influencers. My last task of the day was to collate a list of influencers for an intimate send out for one of their beauty brands. By doing this I had to find the most loyal influencers who are passionate about their products and regularly use and promote them on their platforms. This was great in teaching me how to scan the media clippings and understand which influencers support which brands regularly.

 

Week 4 23.8.28

By my fourth week at MML I was starting to lose the nerves of being in such a fast pace and intense work space. I always found the nature of MML inspiring and everyone’s work ethic bouncing off each other. This week I was given a full report to complete for Marc Jacobs Beauty. I was taught how to calculate the PR value of a social post depending on its interaction. This was interesting as I’d never been taught anything about PR value at Macleay. The second part of my day was spent working on a mass send out for Nude By Nature, launching their new lipstick and gloss range.

 

Week 5 30.8.18

Week 5 was another busy day at MML. My day consisted of writing monthly media reports for brands, packing send outs for a few fragrance launch, scanning socials for our latest send outs and also scanning YouTube videos. I could not believe watching my favourite beauty bloggers latest YouTube posts, looking for MML brands was ‘work’!

 

Week 7 13.9.18

This week at MML was the busiest yet! There was so many new product ranges coming from our brands we had a number of mass send outs to complete. This included two separate send outs for one brand and another mass send out for another brand. I also drove the MML Audi for the first time! Taking it around the city to run some errands for the PR team. This week went super fast and made me think about how a future in PR was going to be fast past and constantly changing.. exactly what I wanted in a career.

 

Week 8 20.9.18

After a rough start to the morning, getting stuck in the rain on my commute, as soon as I arrived at MML I was thrown into task after task! My day began scanning social media for any coverage where I found loads with all the new products launching this time of year. This week I was taught a heap of new things around the office. I was taught about PR re-actives and how to react to a publicist email asking for products etc. I put together many re-active products for magazines and blogs like Vouge and Cosmopolitan. I also created some packages for new Max Connectors talent members, welcoming them to the brands that MML have. Later in the day I assisted with another mass send out to over 160 influencers and publishers! This was a mammoth task that occupied most of our afternoon. This week there was also talk about myself possibly coming in to the office two days a week rather than one. This was an exciting prospect as my Macleay timetable gave myself a few days this trimester. I was pleased with their eagerness to have myself in the office two days, it was a reassurance they are pleased with my work.

 

Week 9 27.9.28

Upon arrival his week at MML I was greeted by an abundance of beauty around the entire office in celebration of MML’s 7th birthday! When first walking in there was a huge ‘Happy Birthday’ written on the polished concrete floors, followed by a calligraphy path throughout the office. One of the board was transformed into a flower wanderlust that oozed floral scents all around the office. One of the tables in the main office was taken over by not one but SEVEN beautifully crafted birthday cakes, all the in the monochromatic signature MML tones. This was the most beautiful start to the day and working in the office this week was an aesthetic treat. This week I was trusted to send out a Moet package on my own, a personalised jumbo bottle to Sydney’s biggest publishers for the long weekend. I also was given the task of following up with influencers from a Priceline event held the previous day. Neutrogena, one of MML’s clients had a stand at the event which allowed MML to grow their data base and interact with influencers, published and beauty bloggers to get their real and raw thoughts on the brand, I followed up with those who expressed interest. To end the day we feasted on all seven cakes, which I think there will still be leftovers for weeks!

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Week 10 3.10.18 / 4.10.18

This week was an exciting week for my progress at MML, it was the first week where I would be interning two days per week. This validated my position and work up until that point with MML, it felt secure to know I was wanted in the office and they were pleased with my work and progress thus far. On Wednesday the office was more hectic than usual as the PR team were hosting a Fenty beauty event that night where Rhianna would be attending. This was huge for the girls so the morning of consisted of them running around getting everything in order before they left for the event. Thursday was just as crazy as the following day the CEO of Snapchat was coming to the office for a meeting, this was obviously just as big as Rhianna the previous day so once again the office was working to get everything ready for the meeting. My main role this week was to process stock that was coming in as the PR girls were mainly out of office and send out a mass send out for Go-To, launching their new sunscreen.

 

Week 13 27.10.18

My first event with Max Media Lab was one to remember! I was invited along to MAX INSTITUTE presented by Sephora and given a plus one to being a friend along. I was excited to be invited to attend and not be working the event with the PR team (although that would have been great to see it from behind the scenes). The day started at 8am at Big Top in Luna Park, the event ran in two sessions, we attended the first one.

There was a master stage where Q&A’s with the industry’s biggest beauty bloggers such as Chloe Morello and Jadé Tunchy and master classes with Sephora’s official makeup artist and Emma Chen. Out in the main space of the event there was a second smaller stage with some up and coming influencers talking about their work, activations from some of Sephora’s favourite brand offering samples and testing their new products and many photo walls. The event was every beauty junkies dream, with a goodie bag to die for! It was a great experience for my first event with MML, watching it come together months before around the office, to then being able to experience the event as a consumer.

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Conclusion

As far as concluding this interning chapter, it is still playing out. I am still currently interning with MML and at this stage have no plans of stopping, at least for the rest of the year. I still feel so lucky to be able to intern with Australia’s leading beauty communications agency and it has set my dreams high to hopefully work alongside my mentors at MML one day.

 

 

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Is There a Better Way To Pitch?

Pitching for a company’s business for any agency is always going to be a risk, there is always chance of failure which results in wasted recourses, putting any business behind. When a company is approached by a business or brand and offered the chance to pitch to them there is extensive research, discussion and thought even before they decide whether to pitch or not to pitch. Time is any businesses most precious recourse, this is prominent when it comes to the pitching process, pulling employees away from other obligations to pitch for a client takes up hours and hours of time that the company generally doesn’t have. Unfortunately for any industry pitching is an integral part of requiring new business. With all of this in mind each time a company wants to pitch for new business it leaves them thinking, is there a better way? Over the year’s endless amounts of agencies have tried to come up with better, quicker and more efficient ways to pitch yet none have seemed to dominate the pitching world. Approximately 47% of advertising professionals say that they are dissatisfied with the current pitching process (Akansha M, 2017). That leaves the question still looming, is there a better way?

There are many challenges companies face when pitching for new business one main one is there being no time being allocated for the creatives to ideate. When the pitching process begins, there is almost always a shortage of time as deadlines can be brutal in the advertising industry, this means that most of the allocated time is spent strategizing and planning. Teams see these two first steps as the most important in the process, leaving the creative ideas and any creative approaches towards the end of the process. This puts immense pressure on the creative team that only adds to the time constraints they are under, causing them to un-deliver.

Another strain that is caused to the creative team is excessive pitching that some agencies fall into, pitching for all opportunities that come their way. This is usually the case with new agencies that are keen for new business opportunities. By taking on so many pitches the creative team are forced to work long hours and can often burn out, as they are constantly being asked to come up with new ideas. Over pitching in any sort of company is going to deplete the quality of creativity among the team (Akansha M, 2017).

There are many more problems companies face when pitching, outside of the creative team. The two main issues are time and money. Agencies not being paid for the pitching process is a vicious issue for the budget. This matter is one that is hard to resolve without unity in the industry. Some agencies refuse to pitch until a fee is paid and others pitch without any payment (Akansha M, 2017). It can be a tough call for an agency to make as they must weigh up if it is worth them asking for a fee in return for their pitch and risk losing the opportunity all together.

With these main issues addressed, is there a solution to suit both the agency and client?

Oystercatchers who is owned by Centaur Media has released their ‘Modern Marketing Pitch’ which they claim will be the solution to many of the pitching problems businesses are facing. Their approach aims to cut the time the pitching process takes in half, already solving one of the main problems ‘time’ addressed earlier. Their approach includes ditching some of the traditional steps included in the pitch such as ‘request for information’ and ‘chemistry meeting’. Instead they will be replacing this with requesting three questions to be answered by selected agencies and then creating a shortlist from their answers. From there they will select a chosen few to participate in a workshop to determine their working practices. From here they choose the agency they want to offer their account to (R.Parsons 2018). This eliminates all time and cost issues that most agencies have with the pitching process and makes it a much simpler and personal process to choose an agency.

E.Y Schultz believes that “pragmatic conversations are replacing flashy presentations” when it comes to pitching, however some believe the old-school presentations are still the way to go. Other popular pitching methods to replace the traditional methods include relying on the relationship rather than the documents. MassMutal tried some modern pitching methods and put this into play, they took every opportunity to put the new relationship first and sidelined the pitching process. Chief marketing consultant of Hershey’s has also adapted this approach, she says she avoids paperwork at all costs and prefers diving into conversation. She suggests spending time with the agency and talking to them as people rather than as a business objective. She believes you learn a great deal about them, the business and how they are feeling about the work, all things that aren’t traditionally discussed during the pitch process (E.J Schultz 2018).

When weighing up the pro’s and con’s of pitching I believe there are some small incremental steps that can be introduced and some that can be eliminated to create a much easier process for those pitching. By introducing the creative team much sooner in the pitching process it would eliminate the strain put on them having to come up with ideas in such a short amount of time. It would also be useful to have them on board in the early stages to help out with the strategy and possibly put a creative, innovate spin on the pitching process. From other research, I believe that eliminating the extensive amount of research and the request for information stages would be ideal for the pitching team. By replacing these with endless hours of independent research with a meeting between the pitching team and business would cut down hours spent speculating what the agency wants and gives the pitchers a chance to have a conversation and get to know the business on a more personal level. This will allow their pitch to be much more directed at the businesses needs during the pitch, benefiting both the pitching agency and the business.

There are multiple new approaches to the process of pitching as new innovate agencies introduce their spin on pitching, the future will see a change in all creative processes in the advertising industry, including pitching.

 

Boats n … Ponchos.

I bet your thinking the title of this post is a little odd? What does boats have to do with ponchos, well by ponchos I mean rain ponchos.

 

Sunday 25 Feb-

On Sunday, a group of my closest girlfriends and I had purchased tickets for the sunset harbour cruise on-board SeaDeck, we were going for a friend’s birthday, planning on having a fun afternoon on the boat drinking and dancing. I woke up Sunday morning to the sound of propelling rain against my window followed by some serious wind. It wasn’t ideal but the boat was said to have covered areas and shelter from the rain but obviously, this put a damper on the whole excitement of the day.

Later on, in the morning a few friends came over and we got ready for the day, picking outfits, doing our hair and makeup and frankly trying to get even the slightest bit excited for our afternoon. On the way there it was still raining, not heavily but you know that sort of sprinkle that seems to get you more drenched than torrential rain? Yeah that kind. We went to a nice bar in the city for a few drinks before we boarded the boat, a few cocktails in and the prospect of sailing around the harbour in excessive rain and wind didn’t seem so bad.

The boat has quite a Moroccan vibe, from the cocktails to the furnishings which all obviously felt little odd and out of place in the pouring rain. Upon the boats arrival, the skippers greeted us with ‘are you guys crazy, why would you want to sail around on a day like today’ to which we responded, ‘we don’t but you wouldn’t give us a refund!’

The duration of the harbour cruise was 4.5 hours, never the less ours was cut short by an hour due to a storm brewing off the coast. Everyone’s favourite accessory on board was the rain ponchos the crew were giving out, not an ideal additive to my outfit however we rolled with it. Everyone on board seemed to be affected by the rain, it made them drink more, dance more and even sing louder. The DJ’s decks were ruined by the rain, forcing him to have to aux off his phone, playing throwbacks all night which really got everyone dancing.

After docking back in the harbour, we went to dinner at Crintini’s in darling harbour. The food was DELICIOUS yet the service was lacking with our food taking over an hour to arrive. Never less it was a great way to end the night, filling our stomachs with much needed Italian pasta and pizza. Our action filled ‘Sunday sesh’ overall was so much fun, SeaDeck was a lot of fun and I imagine would be a beautiful way to see the sunset over the harbour, lucky the captain gave me and my friends all free tickets to come aboard in a few weekends time!SDIMG_0113.JPG

‘The Most Beautiful Thing’- short film.

A short film ‘The Most Beautiful Thing’ published to YouTube on 15th May 2012, written, directed and edited by Cameron Covell. The film includes two protagonists played by Nick Lopez and Analisa Gutierrez, with these actors winning the 2012 Moon dance awards for best actor and best short film.

 

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The short film “The Most Beautiful Thing” tells the story of two young teenagers fighting the odds against love. They both risk their deepest insecurities and disabilities to take a chance at finding young love in a chaotic environment… high school.

Synopsis

The story follows the two single characters in the film with minimal words. The young boy presents as a nervous, socially awkward teenager anxiously wanting to find a date to the upcoming prom. The opposing female featured in the film is deaf, using sign language and a pen and paper to communicate. The two unlikely teens find themselves sitting on the same bench where the boy works up the courage to say a simple hello, from there their friendship blossoms. Their daily lives, living within the torturous walls of high school suddenly become brighter with the prospect of seeing each other each day tackling school as one.

The couple however have some strains on their communication causing embarrassment and fear, this leads to a significant dent in their relationship. During this time miss conception of feelings occurs making the chance of the two re kindling their love seem the furthest of possibilities.

An accidental run in sees the two reunite again, immediately their differences seem to become completely irrelevant and their bond becomes the most important factor to them both. In this moment of joy the young boy feels an over whelming urge of courage where he then asks her to be his date to prom.

The short film follows the principal that the most beautiful things in this world must be felt. Not seen or heard but felt from within, demonstrated through “The Most Beautiful Thing”.

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Genre

The genre of the film is romance, following two young individuals on their journey through love. Love is communicated throughout the film through passion and deep emotion shared by the main characters. A recurring motif though the short film is the use of a close up shot of the characters faces, this captures their emotions and portrays them to the audience allowing them to create an instant connection with the characters. The emotions captured are always a part of their journey of love the two unlikely characters find themselves on. The director has further enhanced the genre of romance by using non-diegetic music throughout the film creating more emotions sub-consciously felt by the audience.

 Narrative style

The narrative style in the short film has very little dialogue. For the most part of the film the characters do not speak. Their communication methods include sign language and written form. In replace of speech non-diegetic sound plays throughout the film to build and release intensity, it also sets the tone and foreshadows what going to happen within the next scene of the film.

This use of sound works in place of the dialogue and the audience understands the story with minimal speech. This effect also emphasises any speech that is spoke by the characters throughout the film. It especially puts a significance on the last scene when the girl who is deaf speaks for the first time, the audience immediately feels that this is an iconic scene in the short film.

 

3 act structure

The short film follows the old principal structure that is widely adapted to many films, plays etc, the 3-act structure.

 Act 1- The Setup: In act 1 both protagonists are introduced as well as their setting being their high school environment. Immediately the audience understands the films direction as foreshadowing is introduced as the boy says hello to the girl as he is walking down the corridor, although he gets no response. When the boy then discovers later that night the school prom poster it prompts him to want to find a date. This sets up the rest of the short film, giving the audience a clear setup for what’s likely to come throughout the remaining of the film.

 

Act 2- Confrontation: As the story progresses into act 2 confrontation arises after the protagonists are introduced and their love for each other is knocked by the barrier placed between them. The female’s disability being deaf places a communication barrier between the two, it is made apparent that this has to be overcome. The following events are all a matter of wrong timing with things being not as they seem to be and taken out of context by both protagonists. This creates a build of tension by the audience as they wait for a resolution.

 

Act 3- Resolution: The third act presents the final confrontation, where the two protagonists reunite after a period of silence. The resolution comes when this silence is broken, and an overwhelming ending leaves the deaf protagonist speaking for the first time. A sense of achievement is felt by the audience as the girl overcomes her biggest insecurity, this is followed by the boy finally working up the courage to ask her to prom. This resolution is more than just a happy ending, it ends in immense personal growth.