With its fast-paced environment and abundance of deadlines, it’s no secret that working in an agency can be challenging. But with endless opportunities and supportive team members, our Marketing Junior Account Executive, Christie Basile, tells us exactly why she loves agency life.
Thinking back to my days as a student facing the daunting reality of graduation, I would have loved nothing more than a little insight into what to expect from agency life. Now with my foot firmly in the door here at Turn Key, I thought I’d share the reasons I love working in an agency and why I’d highly recommend anyone looking for a career in marketing to consider it.
Every day presents a new challenge or experience. The prospects are endless, the clients are diverse and tasks can vary enormously. One of the best things about working in an integrated agency is the opportunity to work alongside colleagues from other departments such as PR or digital services, from preparing adverts for different publications to managing high profile campaigns.
Something I think everyone will agree with at Turn Key is how important it is to work together as a team. Exciting times are ahead and it goes without saying that everyone, regardless of their job title or level of expertise, continuously works as one to deliver and achieve.
Agencies are fast-paced, everyday brings a new deadline, challenge and opportunity and best of all, with the right support, direction and encouragement, personal development and professional growth is unstoppable. Be confident that you are learning from the best as the senior figures in the agency dedicate time to you and your career, helping you to develop your skills and understanding of the industry. It is their energy, enthusiasm and drive that will inspire you to do your best.
Starting your career in an integrated agency isn’t about how good you are, it’s about how good you want to be. Enthusiasm, commitment and creativity are key, as is confidence – but remember, nothing can substitute experience.
April Fools Day is the one day of the year when brands can play practical jokes and get away with it. As we’re partial to a good old-fashioned joke here at Turn Key, our PR Account Manager, Emma Stanham, has rounded up today’s April Fools best bits, giving you a snapshot of the shady spoofs brands have been spinning throughout the day. Enjoy!
First up, sending shockwaves through the art and optical worlds it’s Specsavers, with its claim that Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa could be the world’s first contact lens wearer. Renowned Vinciologist, Arvo Heft, says he’s convinced that the Mona Lisa is wearing contact lenses, which could provide an explanation for her enigmatic smile. Lets face it, clear vision in Renaissance Italy is enough to make anyone feel smug, right?
Always a lover of a cheeky prank, The Sun announced today that HRH The Queen has given “her royal seal of approval” to fracking in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. The paper claims drills have been spotted on the lush estate and planning consent has been given to drill and frack for cheap shale gas. Search for #FrackinghamPalace on Twitter to read more, including reader responses.
Metro’s selfie ban got tongues wagging this morning, with claims that the Department of Culture, Media & Sport has drafted proposals for a ban on selfies. Apparently, under the new proposals, web users can only upload 10 selfies a month across social media. Those who dared to post the eleventh selfie would receive an automatic £25 fine. Best keep this one quiet from our PR and Social Media team…
Wolverhampton train station even got in on the action today with an on the ground stunt, changing its signage and name to Wolverine Station for one day only. 65 signs were changed throughout the station, asking passengers to report any ‘suspicious beings’ to the train manager. The stunt has been created ahead of the release of the new X-Men film, whilst cleverly tieing in to April Fools Day.
It’s safe to say that these are only a handful of the corkers that were shared on social media today. Aside from April Fools Day, as a general trend we’re starting to see brave brands getting a little more daring with their communications, more involved with their audience, with a keen interest in speaking to them directly, on their terms and making them smile. This is what social media is and has always been about – engaging interaction – and in turn makes brands feel more attainable and familiar to their audience… a big fat plus for everyone!
Feel free to tweet us @TurnKeyUK and let us know your favourite gags from the day with #TKAFD.
Born and raised on the East Coast of the USA, you might say our Digital Senior Account Manager, Carly Hill, is a long way from home in Leeds. But after years spent living and working in God’s own County, Carly tells of her joy at officially becoming a British Citizen.
I first moved to England on an exchange programme during university, and enjoyed it so much I decided to do my MA at the University of Leeds. Seven and a half years later, I’m still here! I’ve got a great group of friends, a brilliant job here at Turn Key, a wonderful family (I married a Yorkshireman a few years ago), and my accent is now a slightly odd mix of Yankee and Yorkshire.
After years of visa applications and renewals, I gained Indefinite Leave to Remain status a couple of years ago, which gave me the right to live and work here forever. However, my US passport was a permanent reminder that I wasn’t quite a fully-fledged member of British society, so as soon as I became eligible to apply for British citizenship, I did.
I was successful, and earlier this month I attended my citizenship ceremony at Leeds Civic Hall, along with 42 other new citizens and their families, representing 17 different countries. We had been led to that room with very different journeys and experiences, but we were all united in our desire to become British citizens.
The Deputy Lieutenant, who is assistant to the Queen’s representative, the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, gave a lovely, welcoming speech about what it means to be a British citizen, informing us about our new roles in the community. We all stood up and recited either an oath (by Almighty God) or an affirmation (not by Almighty God) to the Queen and her heirs and successors, and pledged to uphold the democratic values of the UK.
Finally, we were called up one by one to receive our official certificate and have our picture taken next to a huge portrait of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Union Jack flag. It was all very formal, which I actually found quite fitting considering the amount of time and money I’ve invested in my immigration status over the years!
Now an official Brit, I can apply for my beautiful burgundy passport, register to vote and I could even run for Prime Minister one day! As a dual citizen, I’ll always be proud to be an American, but it’s so lovely to know I’m officially British too – even if I’ll never be able to pronounce ‘tomato’ the British way.
By 2013 an impressive 39 per cent of the world’s population had access to and were using the Internet. And as yesterday saw the infamous World Wide Web celebrate its quarter century, our Web Developer, Dave Walker, explores what the internet really is and just how far it’s come over the last 25 years.
What is the Internet? By definition, it’s not Google, Facebook, Twitter, or any other website as some are led to believe. Instead, think of the Internet as a world-wide network made up of millions of smaller networks, all communicating with one-another – and you have the Internet as we know it today.
Not since the invention of the television has the human race seen such growth for a communicative medium. Broadcast radio took 38 years to achieve 50 million users and the television 13 years. The Internet took just four.
1990 saw Sir Tim Berners-Lee create the very first web client and server, for which he specified standards for URL structure, HTML and HTTP protocols that are still being used today. The first ever website created at this time can still be seen today, and although it’s a far cry from today’s standards, this milestone marked the start of an incredibly exciting journey.
Not only has the internet given us websites we take for granted and use everyday; Google, Facebook and YouTube to name just a few, we’re also in an age of streaming content through numerous devices – laptops, mobile phones and more recently, directly through our TV sets. Consumers have become used to being one click, touch or press away from a whole world of information, which I personally think is fantastic.
Although the Internet has come a long way in providing millions of people with a platform of information and services, there are a number of drawbacks – specifically hackers and viruses. Browsing banking and email sites whilst on free Wi-Fi hotspots poses the danger of allowing hackers to access secure information from your phone or tablet, directly over the network – something which Europol has recently warned consumers of.
For me, the Internet is more than just a technological invention that allows me to do my job, and I believe the benefits clearly outweigh the drawbacks. Whether it’s
stalking browsing on Facebook, reading the news online or uploading a quick snap on Instagram, it’s part of my everyday life and I can’t wait to see it develop over the coming years.
To celebrate the internet’s big 2-5 and just how far it has progressed, we even took a look back at Turn Key’s very own first website! See a still for yourself in the montage below.
Now one of the media’s most prominent trends, the selfie has become ingrained in the social media feeds of millions of people worldwide. Our PR Senior Account Executive, Lauren Turner, talks about the impact of these modern day self portraits and why the craze is here to stay.
Everyone’s doing it, Ellen DeGeneres alone managed to crash Twitter at the Oscars with one epic celeb selfie. The Telegraph commented, “It says so much about our age of self-regard. All the buzz from the Oscars 2014 has not been about the quality of the films or the merits of the winning performances, but a selfie on Twitter.” The power of viral social media rears its head yet again.
But beyond what some might deem as just a vain attempt at gaining social approval and validity through ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’, the selfie perhaps represents a more in-depth form of messaging than it would first seem at face value (get it?!). As actor, James Franco recently said, “selfies are tools of communication”.
Technically, the selfie is a new visual genre for a digital age; a self-portrait demonstrating an emotion, time and place that would have previously been captured by the likes of instant polaroids and even portraiture paintings of days gone by. And with the right profile and circumstance behind it, they have the ability to make headlines.
We all know the power of a picture, but when the subject is so personally, emotionally and seemingly in control of its message, it’s a tantalising insight into a private life that you wouldn’t otherwise see. As a result, celebrity selfies have some serious influence. Take Obama’s controversial snap at Nelson Mandela’s funeral and Rihanna’s numerous ‘questionable cigarette’ Instagram posts; just two examples that have not only taken the media by storm, but have significantly influenced a person’s profile, (for better or worse) as a result.
Selfies even have the ability to start online trends. Ellen’s aforementioned Oscar selfie has now been recreated by a whole host of people, incorporating viral internet favourites like ‘the grumpy cat’, as well as getting complete redesigns, most recently by The Simpson’s Matt Groening!
However, the reality is that in the hands of the average person it’s incredibly rare for a selfie to have mass impact. But one thing’s for certain, this form of social media snap is definitely not going away anytime soon, and here at Turn Key I’d say we’ve become pretty accomplished at taking our own selfies, what do you reckon?
In a world that insists on faster, more accessible information at our fingertips, more brands than ever are opting to commission their very own apps. Our Development Director, Andrew Markham-Davies, talks us through two of Turn Key’s most recently developed apps and the importance of identifying a clients’ needs.
In June 2013, the Apple App Store saw its 50 billionth download and reported that 800 apps are downloaded per second – not including updates. Numbers like these are causing customers to expect an app, be it for holiday search, TV listings or online banking. And as users increasingly seek faster information, expecting them to make do with a mobile version of a website just isn’t always enough.
One app we recently created for our client, Depuy Synthes, allows sales staff to log sales calls and product demonstrations with a just few clicks. Logged information is then sent to each line manager in the form of graphs to demonstrate performance in real time, which means managers can now receive information sent from the field, as it happens.
However, not all apps need to be super interactive to prove their power. Another Turn Key client, Cuadrilla, required a slick way to bring information to local communities at Public Consultation events in a clean, factual way that’s easy to digest and for this, an iPad app was the perfect solution.
The Cuadrilla app uses videos and interactive panoramic shots of local areas to educate the public on the company’s practices. When creating this app we ensured all information is easily controllable by the user without requiring too much interaction and this has proved central to the app’s success.
At Turn key, we recognise the importance of understanding a clients’ needs in order to create an app that becomes part of the users’ natural workflow. A successful app isn’t built for the sake of ‘having an app’, but because we know and have proved how an app can offer new opportunities.
A sophisticated yet user friendly website is fundamental to any brand’s success. Our Digital Senior Account Manager, Carly Hill, talks about how Turn Key delivered just that with our fully responsive website for boiler and heating specialist, Ideal Boilers.
With the number of tablet and smart phone owners on the constant increase, it’s now more important than ever for websites to be fully responsive. So for the new Ideal Boilers site, myself and the Web Developers here at Turn Key decided the best approach would be to build the site mobile first.
Building the site mobile first means that the larger the viewer’s device, the more additional features are added, as opposed to the much-used approach of removing functionality as the device gets smaller, and in turn gives a faster, more optimised user experience. Our developers have also used some Scalable Vector Graphics, which enabled them scale up and down in size whilst maintaining crystal clear quality across high resolution/retina displays.
To ensure that every visitor finds exactly what they’re looking for, we included really clear call to action buttons as well as essential functionalities such as ‘Find an Installer’ and the ‘Product Selector’ tool, which enables homeowners to find the boiler that best suits their home.
One of the biggest challenges the digital team faced was launching the site on a new domain. We had to ensure that all parts of the site were optimised so that we didn’t lose domain authority, which can often happen with a change of domain name.
Since its launch, the results of the new site have been incredible – traffic from tablets and mobiles has more than doubled and both customer and client response has been fantastic. Unlike anything else in the current market, the structure and sleek design of the site really elevates Ideal Boilers as a brand, and has also already served as an effective launch pad for other marketing activity including PPC and email marketing.
I couldn’t be happier with the new site, and the results speak for themselves! See it for yourself here.
As a Designer in a world of creativity and precision, Paul Hainsworth’s portfolio is a far cry from the scruffy doodles that filled his school books as a child. Here, he tells us how he’ll always make time to sketch with just a pencil and some paper.
The only thing that has ever held my interest for more than a couple of years was art. When I was a kid I was always drawing, doodling & making things. At school my books were covered in sketches and my teachers often said I would never make a living from drawing and tell me to concentrate on the lesson at hand.
I studied art and design at college and university, and when I wasn’t out partying I spent my free time designing album covers and logos for friend’s bands and start-up companies.
Now, having worked in a design studio for six years, it’s become apparent that my hobby has become my livelihood. I don’t know why this was a surprise as it was what I’d been working towards most of my life.
Most of my time at work is spent in front of a Mac. So when I get home I like to relive those days spent as a kid, drawing whatever comes into my mind. I’m not too precise with my sketches and as hard as it might be, I’m learning to love the imperfections that drawing free hand allows.
Drawing is so more than just a hobby that aids my professional development, it’s a way for me to relax and be creative without any constraints.
As a self-titled unlucky lady, Molly Kellet never dreamt she’d be chosen as the winner of a scholarship for a prestigious financial college. After just six months on the scheme, Turn Key’s Finance Assistant and youngest staff member talks of her apprenticeship with Kaplan, and how she feels as lucky today, as the day she was awarded her life-changing scholarship.
I have always thought of myself as an unlucky person. I was born on the 13th, I was always the kid in school who got hit by a football in the playground, and I’ve never won a game of Monopoly! So, when I won the Kaplan Accountancy Scholarship, I was lost for words.
Just three months prior to sitting my A-level exams I decided to go down the apprenticeship route, despite being accepted at four universities, attending several open days, and re-drafting my personal statement around 15 times.
I applied for no less than 30 finance-based apprenticeships before I was acknowledged by financial college, Kaplan, who helped me to secure interviews and gave me pointers on CV and Cover Letter writing.
I heard about the Kaplan Scholarship, but never thought I’d be able to win something so sought after. Not one to give up without trying, I applied to the scheme and kept my fingers crossed.
A few weeks later, I received an email stating that I had been selected for interview in front of a panel that would include both Kaplan representatives and two well-known Accountancy firms in Leeds. I had to prepare a presentation on a topic of my choice and of course, be ready to have tonnes of questions thrown at me!
After presenting to the panel in my interview, I got a call later that day – I had been chosen as the winner of the Scholarship. My first reaction was to burst into tears and it was only after a few days that I came to terms with what I had achieved.
Now six months down the line, I absolutely love my job at Turn Key and I am so glad I chose this route. Whilst studying one day a week, preparing for exams and working the rest of the time makes me incredibly busy, the scholarship has given me endless opportunities to try new things such as attending radio interviews and appearing in the Kaplan Scholarship video to promote apprenticeships.
I hope my story will inspire other young people to take the apprenticeship route – it’s so important that school leavers know there are other ways in which to qualify in the world of finance and accountancy.
You can see Molly in action in the Kaplan advert below.
Whether you’re completely loved-up or feeling cynical this Valentine’s Day, this national celebration of love is now harder to ignore than ever. As companies worldwide cash in on Cupid’s Holiday to showcase their products, we’ve taken a look at some of this year’s out-of-the ordinary campaigns.
Our PR intern, Beth Armstrong, talks us through her favourites.
This year, Wilkinson Sword came up with the great idea of swapping a shave for a bouquet of flowers for their loved one with its ‘Beards for Bouquets’ campaign, offering a total win win situation for men out there today!
Domino’s Pizza has also thought outside the box with its flirty ‘Fancy a date with Domino’s’ Tinder campaign, encouraging everyone to make a date with Domino’s this evening. This is a fantastic time for Domino’s to use Tinder in its campaign as it is such a huge craze right now.
Evian has gone down the ‘personal touch’ route and has decided to invite the world of Twitter to express their love by using #ILoveYouLike to win some Sugapova Valentine’s treats and receive a heartfelt, personal #LiveYoung Valentine’s message.
One of my personal favourites has to be Free View’s ‘Valendine’s TV Dinner’, the first ever all in one 3 course ready meal complete with a candle for the perfect ambiance. This is the perfect idea for the millions of couples who prefer to stay in on the most loved up evening of the year.
Finally, here is a little something to melt your heart, as even the most avid Valentine’s Day dodgers won’t be able to help themselves feeling the love with this one. A royal navy crew who are travelling home to Portsmouth today after being deployed for nine months, which is one of the navy’s longest missions has joined together to spell out their Valentine’s message of ‘I love you’ for their nearest and dearest.
Check out our own vintage-inspired gentleman’s chat up card by our Executive Art Designer, Jac Morton and, whatever you are doing this Valentine’s Day make sure you feel the love – even if it is just a little bit!