When I first signed up for a placement at Oh Really Creative Solutions I was a little apprehensive….It’s not a traditional publishing company and it’s a start-up business run by solely one man, Owen O’Leary.
It was the name ‘Oh Really Creative’ that first attracted me to the placement and when I checked out the website and learned that Owen had worked with the likes of Gary McHugh and on programmes such as ‘Rab C Nesbitt’ and ‘How to Look Good Naked Live’, I thought it could actually be a really exciting opportunity.
My initial meeting with Owen completely eliminated any doubts that I might have had in my initial application. I was met with a friendly Cork accent and a flat cap, in the aromatic setting of Brew Lab and Owen’s enthusiasm for his business and sheer ambition for his projects was exciting and I was eager to be a part of that.
Oh Really Creative Solutions is a Press and Marketing company which also trades as Word of Mouth Travels publishing company. They have published one book so far, The Local’s Guide to Edinburgh and are publishing a second guide The Local’s Guide to Glasgow in October 2014. These are a new take on travel guides offering recommendations from the people who know the city best, the locals.
With aspirations to one day start up my own magazine I was intrigued by Owen’s work ethic and link with Entrepreneurial Spark – a business accelerator programme that offers business mentoring and office space for start-ups. After attending some workshops at London Book Fair where professionals had spoken about the advantages of working with start-up businesses, I began to look at the placement from a different perspective: the variety of experience and level of responsibility and contribution Oh Really Creative could offer me was something that would not be possible in a more established or larger company. And it didn’t disappoint….
I was clear from the outset that I didn’t want to limit my experience to one department and I think Owen was relieved by this with the publication of The Local’s Guide to Glasgow looming, and 5000 copies of The Local’s Guide to Edinburgh between July and January. My tasks ranged from proofreading to researching sales outlets and contacting potential sellers and creating an AI sheet. I also got to contribute to and help devise an intense sales strategy for the Edinburgh guide. During the placement I really felt like my input was valued, it was my idea to create an AI sheet and I also suggested that it would be a good idea to include a sportsperson in the Glasgow guide; Owen wanted to launch the guide in connection with the 2014 Commonwealth games and I felt that the support of a competing sports person would be a fantastic USP.
This has been an excellent and unique placement opportunity, having completed work placements in publishing houses before I was up for the challenge of doing something a bit different and my time with Oh Really has been a wonderful and inspiring experience.