Data, case studies and market research: my placement at RAM

If there’s one thing we were taught from day one of our course, it’s that in order to create a successful publication, you need to know your audience. RAM helps publishers do just that. How? With data, and lots of it!

RAM (which stands for Research and Analysis of Media) is a Swedish media research company that gathers valuable data about advertising effectiveness and content quality on behalf of its clients – of which it has over 1,000. The company was founded in 2001 with its headquarters in Stockholm, but it also has offices in the United States, Norway, Finland and right here in Edinburgh. Continue reading “Data, case studies and market research: my placement at RAM”


Placement at the Teaching Fellows Journal


The Autumn Issue of tfj online.
As an MSc Publishing student with little or no experience in the industry, I was pleased to discover an opportunity to assist at the Teaching Fellows Journal within a few weeks of starting the course.

Never ones to shy away from being thrown in at the deep end, myself [Rhiannon] and Alessia were given a template for the magazine, a long list of articles, some pictures and a deadline! The 2014 Autumn issue was enjoyable and challenging. It was important for us to maintain the look and quality of the tfj to provide an issue of the magazine that would fit seamlessly into the back catalogue.
When we started, we had not worked with house styles and had only managed a couple of Creative Toolkit sessions in the weeks prior to starting. Learning how the magazine is put together, liaising with a variety of external sources, choosing between a plethora of delightful images and writing by all the contributors, all made for a complete learning experience as we worked towards the deadline.

As students, we were confronted with the difficulties of being in several places at once whilst managing our time effectively between lectures, tutorials, assessments and the placement. Thankfully we were well enough equipped on the course to be able to work remotely and request advice from tutors where the technicalities of software may have otherwise defeated us!

A crash course in layouts, proofreading and InDesign, this early placement was valuable and insightful. As we reach the end of semester two, it is interesting to reflect on the publication and think about how our approach may have differed with the additional knowledge we have attained. It was great to have a placement so early on and it’s a great way to exercise some of those early skills and develop relationships within the University.

2013 PPA Scotland Magazine Awards


My invitation to the Academy Awards got lost in the mail this year. Tragic, right? I’m the type of person who absolutely thrives on formal events. The atmosphere, the people, the fancy attire, the great food… it all comes together for me and creates a memory in my head that is simply unforgettable.

Academy Awards slight aside, I was fortunate enough to be invited to PPA Scotland’s 2013 Scottish Magazine Awards on the 12th of December. The event was held at the Grand Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland, and let me tell you, it was proper fancy!

When I arrived, all of the attendees were milling around in the foyer while the hotel staff prepared the banquet room. As a book publishing student, I didn’t know anyone, so I grabbed a glass of wine from a helpful waiter and decided to make some new friends. (Yes, that is my personality. It’s a gift and a curse!)

Over the years, I’ve learned to hone my people-reading skills. I wasn’t about to approach a group of old men, deep in conversation about the decline of the world due to technology. Or the tight-knit group of seven ladies who obviously grew up together, came to the event together, and plan to leave together… all in one large formation. Too difficult to pierce that wall.

Instead, as I looked around the room at all the gorgeous people gathered to celebrate the biggest Scottish magazine awards, I saw two young ladies, about the same age as me, looking friendly. Found my target.

I walked over and introduced myself, and through what I can only deem as crazy amazing good luck, one of them was a recent graduate from Edinburgh Napier University! Her name was Jen Neal and we were sitting at the same table. Golden.


Now, I’d never experienced a fancy Scottish event before, being from California and all. But let me tell you, it was a great first experience! The host of the evening was the fabulously funny Susan Calman. There were so many wonderful categories, from Brand Extension of the Year to Online Presence of the Year to awards for editors, writers, design, and more.

Our very own Cassandra Gowans from Edinburgh Napier University won Postgraduate of the Year, and my chance encounter with Jen had allowed me the pleasure of meeting Cassandra before the event had even started. It was such a thrill to see Cassandra up there, and everyone at our Napier table was beaming with pride.

My favourite part of the evening was seeing some of the award-winners saunter up to the stage in their kilts! Being from America, I have a huge obsession with kilts. I think people look so very dashing in them, and I got to see multiple guys walking around in a wide assortment of kilts and jackets.


As the evening wound down after the awards were presented and the table’s wine supply hovered near empty, the stage was transformed into a deejay area and everyone was invited to dance. The award winners certainly had something to dance about, and even those of us lucky enough to just attend had had such a great evening that dancing seemed the perfect way to end the night.

I might just sneak into this year’s Scottish Magazine Awards!

PPA Scottish Magazine Awards 2012

Proud winner, Pamela MorrisMSc Publishing and MSc Magazine Publishing are getting ready to attend the 2012 PPA Scottish Magazine Awards.

Two lucky students will attend the lavish, red-carpet event where the cream of Magazine Publishing will gather to award the best in the industry.

We will be attending to celebrate the announcement of this year’s winner of the Magazine Publishing Postgraduate of the Year Award, and also to cheer on former student, Hayley Orr (now working at CMYK Design), who is shortlisted in the Publishing Star category.

Shortlisted students for Magazine Publishing Postgraduate of the Year 2012 are:

Christina McPherson
Wanda Rajczak

Congratulations to both Wanda and Christina on getting to the shortlist and all the best on the night!

Magazine Publishing Postgraduate of the Year 2011 was Pamela Jane Morris (pictured), also a graduate of MSc Publishing. Click here for more information on the 2011 Awards.

PPA Scottish Magazine Awards 2011

Proud winner, Pamela MorrisThe 2011 PPA Scottish Magazine Awards had a special significance for MSc Publishing students this year. Five of us were invited to the annual lavish, red-carpet event where the cream of the Magazine Publishing industry gathered to celebrate the best in the industry.

Magazine Publishing Postgraduate of the Year was Pamela Jane Morris (pictured), graduate of MSc Publishing. This is an exclusive award, open to students who have graduated from MSc Publishing. The event was a great opportunity to get advice on working in the publishing industry. Lecturers advised that it is necessary to be noticed and to make the most of opportunities. Nominees for the Magazine Publishing award recommended applying for internships as soon as possible and taking advantage of any potential placements. Marion Sinclair (Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland) also recommended speaking up and making suggestions when on placements. (Students on MSc Publishing undertake a placement as part of their publishing studies.)

Opening CeremonyThe Scottish Magazine Awards reward excellence in magazine publishing. It was interesting to see the range of magazine publishing in Scotland, trade titles, business to business and charity titles. Two of the most successful publishers of the night were DC Thomson and The Big Issue, both winning several prizes. The overall winner of the evening was Animal Planet, published by DC Thomson.

All in all, it was a truly rewarding evening!