When initially it came to choosing my placement company, my focus was a little different from the majority of my fellow publishing students. My experiences to date include a number of group projects I have been involved in at Edinburgh Napier, as well as my existing experience producing my own blogs. I have been exposed to many marketing opportunities, and interest in this area of publishing encouraged me to delve further into the sector to gain more experience.
Upon my discovery of Oh Really as a placement option I felt that it would be perfect. As it is a combination of companies – Oh Really Creative Solutions, a PR and Marketing company and Word of Mouth Travels Publishing – run solely by Mr Owen O’Leary, it represented the perfect environment to gain as much experience as possible, not only of the publishing industry but the extended creative industries. Word of Mouth Travels to date have produced two books The Locals Guide to Edinburgh and The Locals Guide to Glasgow. These travel guides have taken an entirely new approach to the traditional tour guide. They have also taken advantage of a niche in the travel market which has been in decline in recent years due to the growth of tablets and portable internet devices. …
As I write this blog post I am sadly coming to the end of my placement but this reflection has allowed me to analyse how much I have progressed over these brief months working here. Following my introductory week (where I was able to come to grips with what my basic responsibilities would be), I was able to learn a number of new skills, as well as develop my marketing skills. These included the creation and maintenance of databases using Excel to manage marketing and sales contacts as part of my sales work, as well as using my existing social media and blogging skills to maintain and update The Locals Guides’ various media outlets. In this I played a big part in their latest campaign, promoting their new eBook editions of both guides, the launch for which occurred during my placement period.
However as I’ve mentioned, my placement did not only allow me to develop and improve on my existing skills but develop new skills – from following up sales contacts, to organising events, and learning about new apps and programmes to maximise my efficiency. The most significant personal achievement was the production of my own digital publishing marketing campaign.
I have been able to contribute a number of plans which will hopefully be implemented in the coming months following the launch of the new Locals Guide website which I was also invited to provided feedback on, as well as utilise my design skills for related marketing material.
An additional benefit to my placement choice was its location. As Oh Really is part of an amazing business co-habitation and co-operative desk-sharing office called Silicon Walk. Here I was able to experience the day-to-day operation of a number of different companies from a range of industry backgrounds. They have all been incredibly welcoming and open to sharing their skills and advice, from how to best get into the workplace to what skills business owners are looking for in new employees. A personal interest of mine, which I feel I benefited greatly from, was the exposure to a range of technology focused individuals who have been able to advise me on how to learn new skills in an area that to date I have little experience. Overall they have all encouraged me to continue learning new skills and remain open to every opportunity possible.
In conclusion, I have to say that my experience at Oh Really, under the guidance of Owen O’Leary has been one of the best in my whole time in Edinburgh. And I have truly been able to put into practice everything that I have learned so far during my Publishing studies, as well as learn a whole new range of skills, of use within the publishing world as well as the creative industries in general.
Overall, I feel that the greatest personal outcome of this placement has been the confirmation of my career aspirations – to follow a career in marketing with a particular interest in digital marketing. But there has also been a dramatic growth in confidence, in my skills and my ability to see the value of my contribution to any company/industry I move forward in.
Shauna Maebhe McAuley