Working as a copywriter is really fun (for me), working as a copywriter within a higher education institution has enabled me to work on some pretty cool, and ‘out-of-the-box’ projects. Most recently (today in fact) I’ve been writing up a document concerning one of our postgraduate courses: Professional Voice Practice. 

I’ve been gathering information concerning this course (and many others) for a few weeks now, and last week I interviewed the course director (who was ace) and now I’m making the final touches to the copy. I’ve really enjoyed writing copy for this course as voice practice is something which I’ve always been interested in. I trained as a vocalist when I was younger, and have always been fascinated by certain aspects of the vocal anatomy. (I think it’s ace that some people can sing/can’t sing, etc.) And I am absolutely in love with so many different singing voices – it’s always the voice that I go for when it comes to music genres.

When I’m writing copy for subjects I’m not too familiar with I always do my research and gather an understanding of the topic – to ensure that I don’t make any inaccurate statements. Yesterday I learnt a great deal about the English Renaissance, and the British Tradition of theatre. (As you can probably tell I’ve been working with the Birmingham School of Acting). Today I’ve been vamping up my knowledge of voice practice – learning all about the anatomy and physiological principles that govern healthy vocal practice and much much more…

I’ve also learnt about ethics, phonetics, philosophical issues and so forth. And I absolutely love it!

I’m not going to start preaching about professional voice practice (my knowledge isn’t really that vast… but if you do want to learn then you should take up the course ;] ).

I just think it’s really cool that I’m learning such an oddly diverse bunch of subjects through my role as a copywriter, and it’s pretty fun!

I don’t do book reviews, I’m not cool enough (plus when it comes to reading I get very drawn into the books I read, so I’d just be praising everything.) But, after reading Matt Haig’s recent publication Reasons to Stay Alive I decided to read some more of his stuff, and quite honestly I did judge a book by it’s cover – the word CAT was in the title, so I was sold.

To Be A Cat is an ace little book; it opens your imagination into strange new depths – and I must admit it made me question my own cat (hahaha, honestly!) It is – in my opinion – such a strange read, yet it’s gloriously good and if you like cats, and you like escaping into your own imagination then I’d recommend it to you!

There are actual, real (and better) reviews about Matt’s book here. (They may give you a better insight!)

Things have been pretty stressful lately, and when all else fails you turn to Dave Grohl. (Just me haha). But seriously, I was so stressed last week and watching the Foo Fighters at Radio 1’s Big Weekend made me pretty much the happiest human alive… I love the band, and I love Dave Grohl. I’m not ‘fangirling’ or anything… I just think I’m part of the rest of the world who thinks that Dave Grohl is pretty ace. And this time last year my housemates and I had a blast discovering some of the coolest photos ever, and let me tell you… rediscovering them has literally had me laughing really loudly all evening! (Especially the otter one.) To be honest I think what makes Dave so cool is that he seems to just be having a blast, like all the time… everyone wants to be his friend…

This is ace, Carrie Hope Fletcher is pretty much the only Vlogger I watch (I’m crap at keeping up to date with YouTube, Pinterest is my current obsession, and there’s far too much music on YouTube so I get very distracted!)

Carrie is pretty ace – she is currently running as Eponine in Les Miserables in the West End – and to be honest playing Eponine is like the ULTIMATE dream and she loves Harry Potter… I really enjoy her videos, as I think she thinks pretty much in the same way as me, so… I think this video is pretty cool and wanted to share it.

When I’m looking for inspiration I often trawl the internet but end up loving life over on Pinterest (though I know for me I get more inspiration just talking to people and looking at trees and stuff…) But I do sometimes find myself aimlessly looking for inspiration, or something to get me out of a creative rut, in the above video Carrie mentions an ace website which is cool: (The Quiet Place Project). And I think if you’re in need of some inspiration you should check it out, or you should just spend some time chilling, drinking coffee and scrolling through Harry Potter pictures on Pinterest…

So, I love Harry Potter, and I absolutely adore the following pieces of art – which I found on Pinterest during one of my many ‘Search for cool Harry Potter stuff’ moments… I’m unsure of some of the original artists – but I’m 100% sure that I’m not talented enough to create any of these – so no credit claimed here!


I believe this one is courtesy of the original book artist – however I’m unsure!


This one is one of my favourites – I found this on Pinterest – I wish I could find the original artist, I love this!


Artwork by Lena (Pinterest)


Hogwarts Castle print by Tim Loughner.


(via. Abi Powell on Pinterest) I’m unsure of the original artist!

I’m one for using Twitter as the public sphere that it is, but it is now that I’m questioning it usage in politics.

I’ve been hesitant to discuss ‘trending topics’ and comments made via Twitter in the past, as I take a rather naive stance in believing that Twitter, for the most part, acts as a way to simply express our thoughts. Whether these thoughts are positive, negative or even insulting to others there is no denying that there is a large proportion of Twitter users that are simply expressing themselves – the same way they would in normal, offline, conversation. This is a broad perspective of Twitter users – I also back the notions of authenticity, ‘trolling’ and many of the other concepts that have been theorised to describe Twitter activity. 

Politics and Twitter

I’ve recently become involved in UK Youth’s #DigitalDebate:

‘Parliament 2.0: In a digital society, is politics for politicians or is everyone a decision maker?’

As a result of my engagement with this discussion I have began exploring and observing Twitter and other social networks, leading to a greater personal awareness of social media, and its impact within politics. Recent Twitter activity has included a variety of ‘hashtags’ concerning UK Politics, such as:




All notably highly personal, opinion-based hashtags. 

Other politically-themed hashtags include:



Both hashtags relate to voting. 

The commons selector committee utilised Twitter in the discussion of the Voter Engagement inquiry, with the use of the simplistic, straightforward #VoterEngagement hashtag. But is the use of hashtags such as #NVRD marginalising those potential voters on Twitter – using the ‘lingo’ and abbreviations which appear, to the non-informed, as an exclusive hashtag that formulates a discussion only for the politically-aware.

It is clear, and undeniable that social media is having an impact, whether negative or positive, in influencing peoples decisions concerning voting. A key example of this is the #WhyImNotVotingUKIP hashtag, one of the most popular trending topics on Twitter November 21st. Hashtags, such as this, allow room for conversation amongst UK Citizens, yes not all UK Citizens, but there is high engagement with discussions on social media, the internet is breaking boundaries, and politics needs to engage with this.

Interestingly Fuchs (2014: 190) noted that ‘in 2009, only 7% of the top Twitter trend topics were political topics and 38% were entertainment-oriented topics.’ This statement wasn’t particularly shocking for me, Fuchs also provides statistics for 2010, 2011 and 2012, concluding that ‘Twitter topics are dominated by entertainment,’ also suggesting that:

‘politics is much less represented and mainly in the form of influential political actors, such as Barack Obama (…) that dominate the political fields in terms of influence, resources and reputation.’

It appears this is the case, however the lack of political representation on Twitter doesn’t prevent users from contributing to discussions, (such as the aforementioned hashtags.) Maybe if more political bodies were to engage, or acknowledge this online activity then there would be less to complain about? As a political party simply Tweeting about TV coverage, or upcoming events isn’t enough. If the Twitter discussions that circulate around hashtags were to be viewed the same as offline interpersonal debating, or public discussion; then the leading political parties wouldn’t simply ignore the questions.

It’s hard to deny the influence of social media in current political debates, so I think the value of these online discussions, and the usage of digital pathways by voters certainly needs to be reconsidered.

Fuchs, C. (2014) Social Media a critical introduction. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

How I used Twitter to enhance Project Work.

During April of this year I was in the midst of creating an audio documentary concerning an event that occurred ten years ago, throughout the process of researching and finding contributors for the project I utilised Twitter. Twitter aided in finding individuals affected by the event, and in contacting these individuals.

Boscastle: 10 Years On is a project that I began working on last year, with the intentions of creating some form of audio package to commemorate (reflect) on the tenth anniversary of Boscastle Flood. In the process of planning the project I conducted research in a variety of different ways – one of the key methods was researching existing media content concerning the flood. Twitter proved highly useful for this, as it allowed me to discover companies, and people, whom live, or have lived in Boscastle. I was able to observe the online-social interactions of people discussing Boscastle, and more specifically the flooding that occurred ten years ago.

The ability to search past Tweets allowed me to identify any Twitter users who may have been affected by the flood; more specifically any users that I would be able to contact for the possibility of an interview.

Contacting Contributors

One positive, beneficial aspect of Twitter is it acts almost as an archive, in a sense that I was able to search ‘Boscastle Flood’ and retrieve Tweets dating back two years prior to my research. Twitter was very helpful throughout the project, as I was able to keep up to date with any current discussions concerning Boscastle or the flood, (though this was only limited to Twitter.) Also, as aforementioned, I was able to use Twitter as a point of contact for contributors.

The process of finding potential contributors on Twitter is fairly simplistic (dependent on what you’re actually searching for.) I simply searched ‘Boscastle Flood’ in Twitters Search feature. As expected some results were not beneficial for me, however I was able to source one potential contributor. The following image demonstrates one of the Tweets I found to be a potential source of interviewee: (I’ve covered up individual names, and Twitter handles etc.)

Twitter Search

The nature of this tweet – and its content suggests that this user was caught up in the flood; it also demonstrates how other media institutions such as BBC Cornwall have used Twitter to source contributors.

So, after identifying a potential interviewee I went on to contact the Twitter user (I also contacted others, but this example was successful and the audio was used within the final audio package.) The exchange was simple, I used my own Twitter account to contact the user:

Simple Exchange

The contact was successful, and we then exchanged emails, and I was able to conduct an interview via Skype – producing some fantastic audio for Boscastle: 10 Years On.

Breaking Boundaries or Building Contacts?

Although Twitter was not my main source of content for the project it certainly enhanced my project, affecting the final outcome of the audio I produced. I’ve researched and studied (on an academic level) into social media in the past – I was interested in creating this blog as I have been considering recently how Twitter can be used for both personal and professional purpose – something which is often a topic of discussion.

The example I have provided is only one case study of utilising Twitter to make contacts, Twitter helped break boundaries as the user I contacted was located in Cornwall and I was located in Birmingham. However, this is only one way in which breaking boundaries can be perceived – I am interested in how Twitter can be used as a way to contact people whom, without social media, we would find it significantly hard to contact. For example, MPs and politicians – Boris Johnson frequently interacts with Twitter users; the chances are these Twitter user are unlikely to meet Johnson in person, therefore the use of Twitter in this way is significant.

I utilise social media as a platform to explore my own interests, I follow musicians learn about news and events that are affecting the radio and music industry. Whilst gaining inspiration from different areas – I believe that Social Media can be used by individuals to tell stories of their lives, but also to let social media affect their lives.

I have recently overcome some crazy experiences in my life, and I’d lie if I said that I avoided social media. In some ways Social Media became almost like a ‘friend’ especially when I was too scared to talk to my own friends about things that were worrying me.

I never revealed anything about my issues online, instead I searched for inspiration and stories which I hoped would help me to feel inspired, yet acknowledge that others have been through similar things to me.

I’ve been involved in fundraising with Global Charities for roughly three years now, and this previous weekend reminded me just why I love helping out! Global’s Make Some Noise is the brand new national charity, a charity that works to support and help disadvantaged young people and children across the UK. Previously Global Charities consisted of charities such as: Help a Capital Child, Have a Heart and The Classic FM Foundation. All of which I’ve had the pleasure to support – therefore I wasn’t sceptical when I was asked to help out at an event for Make Some Noise. 

The event, Run For Home took place last weekend, (Sunday, September 28th.) It was the first fundraising event I’ve supported in Birmingham (usually I help out the London teams) and I had a blast. The generosity and enthusiasm of those taking part was incredible, which made my day fantastic. Not to mention the morale and enthusiasm of Global’s staff (well done to all who worked – it was a very long day!)

A quick run-down: (no pun-intended) Global Radio listeners (from Capital, Heart and Smooth) opted to raise money for Globals Make Some Noise by participating in ‘Run For Home.’ Listeners were dropped off at a super-secret location, up to 100 miles away, (Milton Keynes) and were faced with the challenge of returning to Birmingham (Edgbaston Stadium) without spending any money. The concept sounds crazy and very challenging, and it was fantastic to see how many people took part!

The concept was made even cooler by Global offering a prize for the most creative return back to Edgbaston Stadium. Which meant tonnes of fancy dress; ranging from Where’s Wally, Toy Story, Builders, Angels and Nuns to the Jamaican ‘Cool Runnings’ Bobsledders team.

Globals Make Some Noise 2

What I found particularly interesting was the cross over of Global Radio listeners; the event participants consisted of Capital FM, Heart and Smooth Radio listeners – all of whom quickly mingled and became friends. It was great to see Global listeners interact and enjoy themselves. It was also great to see Global Presenters work with each other even though they belonged to different stations – the atmosphere was great and I feel it truly represented the high-spirits and positive attitudes of all involved! 

I worked as Event Staff throughout the day, this meant encouraging and motivating the listeners, getting them to take part in #FakeSomeNoise, whilst keeping them exciting and calming their nerves before the big adventure! I accompanied them to Milton Keynes (feeling like a proud parent when the people from my coach left amidst the many other listeners.) Then I returned to Edgbaston Stadium and supported staff throughout the day, interacting with listeners, families and friends, and conducting many many quizzes. I had a fantastic day, packed with happy people and great spirits! 

Globals Make Some Noise

Find out more about Global’s Make Some Noise here: 

UK based Foo Fighter fans have utilized Kickstarter in a bid to Crowdfund a Birmingham 2015 show. The Foo’s new album ‘Sonic Highways’ shall be the eight studio album for the band – and fans, much like myself, would go to extreme lengths to see the band live. With 54 days left of the project fans have already beaten the initial £150,000 target… so, does this mean the Foo Fighters are coming to town? I hope so. 

The basis of the Kickstarter project is to bring the Foo Fighters to Birmingham during their next tour – Kickstarter has previously seen success with a similar project over in the states, where fans generated enough interested through Kickstarter, leading to a sell out Foo’s show. Subsequently UK fans have followed in the footsteps of their USA based amigos and launched a  project – which – if this Dave Grohl comment is altruistic (below) – could lead to new waves of fan interaction and ticket-purchasing technique.

“I’m telling you, it could become the way that bands decide where they want to play, it’s a fun thing; it sort of changes the game. For the past 20 years we always decided who we’re going to play with and where we’re going to play. But now, if we hear that people want us to come somewhere, maybe we’ll come there.” – Dave Grohl,  ‘Rolling Stone’ interview.

The question is, if this project reaches success, then is this a new innovative, algorithmic way for fans to score a place at their favourite gigs? Is this a breakthrough on the ever-displeasing activities of ticket touts and the seemingly forsaken stress that appears when you discover tickets to your favourite bands only UK shows have sold out in less than three minutes? (I’m not bitter at all about The Holy Shits tickets selling out in record time*)

Personally, I really think this is a cool idea, and I hope Dave and his bandmates (and all within their management team) take notice of this, and consider the integrity of these fans and allow Birmingham to play host to the band. I discovered this story through Facebook, and the campaign is heavily using social media to promote, and encourage fans to take part – another reason for us to thank social media. If this Kickstarter project is successful then this could definitely be the start of something exciting.

It’s also worth pointing out that this campaign is currently one of Kickstarter’s most popular ‘Creative Projects,’ so lets keep our fingers crossed and pray that the Foo Fighters will notice that we’re giving them the Best of Us…

*The Holy Shits, aka. The Foo Fighters.

Find out more about the project here: 

‘Foo for the Fans’