Getting into PR by Sarah Stimson

Many of you know, I am now a third year student who is studying Journalism and Media and Communications. As a third year I am faced with the daunting task of trying to find a job, within Public Relations, for next year. This is a task I have found both over-whelming and confusing at times, so when tutor told me about a new book all about getting a job within PR I jumped at the chance to read it.

How to get a job in PR is written by Sarah Stimson, who has worked within recruitment and training for over a decade and now works with the Taylor Bennett Foundation. If anyone knows how to get into the PR industry it’s her.

The book consist of 37 short chapter, including what is PR, Using social media to get a job and the 25 don’ts of PR. The book goes over the basic information perfect for people just learning, or looking to learn about Public Relations and goes onto to talk about getting a job and how to ask for a pay rise for people looking to work in PR. It even looks at taking a career break and how to resign for when you have managed to get your job.

The layout of the book makes it easy to read all in one go or to quickly look up information of interest. Each chapter has an explanation by Sarah along with a number of industry professionals giving their thoughts on each of the topics, meaning that you can hear what the professionals real think, and make your own mind up.

The wonderfully funny and conversational tone of the book makes reading it easy and enjoyable. Where else can you read “If you want you parents to proudly declare, “my daughter is a PR consultant” and for the rest of the dinner table to go ‘Oooo’ my son wanted to ho into PR but settled for being a vet instead, then your going to be sorely disappointed.”

This book has already helped me concentrate on what I need to do to get a job next year, and what sector I want it to be in. I can see this easily being my PR job bible for the next few months and even once I have a job. I would recommend this book to anyone who is hoping to get into the PR industry or is studying PR.

This book was kindly gifted to me by Sarah for an honest view, Thank you to Sarah and everyone involved in this book for finally giving PR students a helping hand to get into the industry.

You can buy the book from amazon:

My 2nd year review


Worrying about uni work and home!

At the end of my first year I wrote a review of the year. Moving out of my university halls had a big affect on me. It was where I had met my boyfriend and people that had become my closest friends. I decided that in my second year I would write a review at the end of every term.

However as soon as the second year started I knew something was wrong, I didn’t enjoy being in my house, so I found in hard writing about university life without feeling like I was complaining and being rude to my house mates. So today I thought I would write a quick review of my second year.


In my second year I lived with my boyfriend and another couple. It started off brilliantly, we spent time together in our living room. However as freshers week ended the other couple spent more and more time in her room, it had become ‘theirs’. My boyfriend and I would stay downstairs hoping they would join us but they never did.

Although I enjoyed living with my boyfriend, it did mean we ended up spending pretty much all of our time together, not great for any relationship. I wasn’t happy in the house but didn’t go out with my other friends very often. I sound like I am complaining, I did have some amazing times in that house and my boyfriend and I grew much closer. However I wouldn’t go back.


Something happened in my second year at uni. I went from getting alright grades to getting high 2:1 and lots of 1:1. Yes, you have read this right I got a First!!

My lectures felt so much more interesting than they did in the first year. I started studying Public Relations and Gender and Identity studies. Public Relations allowed me to start to study a subject I had been interested in perusing for a while. Since I was younger I saw Public Relations as a job that I could do, in fact over the summer I did just that.

In Gender and Identities we look at the way people’s identities were constructed by the media and how the media portrayed certain people as better than others. This is a subject that I feel in love with and helped me decide on what to do for my dissertation.

By the end of the year I had handed in my dissertation proposal and had some great feedback.

This year I am really looking forward to researching and writing my dissertation and I have moved into a much better house, with some amazing friends. This year, could be my last, and could be the best!

I hope your year is going well!


Tv show: is it offensive?

James Corden and Jack Whithall enjoying a glass of wine

It is only a show!

The original plan for this blog post was that I would do a review of the first term this year as part of my on-going review posts. However when searching through the online newspapers today I was shocked by one story and felt I had to write about it. [The review will be up next week!]

I am slightly ashamed as a journalism student to start off this post by saying; I was looking through the Daily Mail website [Sorry lecturers] and was shocked to see an article written about how Jack Whitehall is being recommended to step down from presenting a prize at the National Television Awards after a number of complaints about his actions on the TV show ‘Big fat quiz of the year’ which was shown on channel 4.

For those of you who are not familiar with the show, it is a quiz show featuring a number of comedians and familiar on screen faces, they are asked a number of questions about stories from throughout the year.  I find that it is an amusing end to the year and enjoy being reminded of a number of the highlights throughout the year. This years panelists included: Jack Whitehall, James Corden, Russell Howard, Jonathan Ross, Richard Ayoade, Gabby Logan, and  was hosted by Jimmy Carr.

Although it is a quiz show the men took a much more light hearted approach to the show, often choosing to write down a comedic answer rather than the correct one. Gabby Logan seemed to take the show rather seriously and answered pretty much all questions correctly. I have to be honest here that although the technical object of the show is to get to questions write, I feel this show is more of a comedic show than a quiz so without Richard Ayoade as part of her team she would come across somewhat dull.

Roughly half way through the show which lasted over an hour and a half. James and Jack received an ordered pizza and pulled out a bottle of wine with two glasses from under their desk, which they happily tucked into. Most of the complaints which have been received by both OFCOM and Channel 4, said that they felt the show contained some material that was too controversial to be shown at 9 O’Clock during the Christmas period, as a number of children were still awake to see it.

There are a number of rules set out for broadcasting show on television, one rule, which as far as I know is very well known, is that the 9 O’Clock watershed. After 9 O’Clock you can  air a show which contains adult material and possible sexual explicit content. The idea is that by 9 O’Clock children are likely to be asleep so will not view the material. To me this means if you don’t want your children to see this type of material, you should not allow them to watch tv after 9. Even if its the holidays, why not grab a board game if your worried about your child.

I think we can all agree that over the past couple of years a number of the talent involved in this quiz have been known to make comments that have been thought to be offensive. Jimmy Carr often comes out with rather risqué jokes and Jonathan Ross were recently fired from the BBC after his offensive phone call with Russell Brand. [if you don’t know look it up] Knowing that these characters were involved in this show, I would imagine easily offended people would think that it is possibly not what they would enjoy.

Although a lot of people are blaming the comedians for the tone of the show and created sexualized jokes. One of the questions of the show was what was the unfortunate hashtag used in Susan Boyal ‘s Album release. The answer was Susanalbumparty, it was obviously meant to be Susan Album Party but looks like Su’s anal bum party. surely any one faced with this answer would have to make a joke.

I honestly feel that people need to stop being so sensitive! Their comedians, let them make jokes. They are the sort of jokes I would hear down the pub, it’s not like this is anything new.

What do you think? Did they go too far? Are we living in an overly sensitive world?

Daily Nuggets

– I am watching a Criminal Minds marathon

– I have been so busy this week, going to London and spending new year with my boyfriend.

– I have so much work to do before going back to uni.


Matalan Review

Hey guys. Sorry I have been away for so long! It has been manic in my life! I will explain all soon. Meanwhile enjoy this review 

If you follow me on facebook or Instagram then you may have seen my talk about a new review. Well It is finally here!

A couple of months ago I got an email asking if I would be interested in reviewing some things from the Matalan students range, and of course, I jumped at the chance. I hadn’t really heard anything about the range before, I am not sure how long it has been around but I certainly didn’t know anyone who got stuff from there when I moved into halls.

I really enjoyed searching through their site and looking at the students items. They have some great deals on necessities, but also some great all round stuff. So this is what I got.

Reem Tea Towel- £1.50 (currently 2 for £2)reem

When I heard about the review my boyfriend and I started searching the website and he loved this tea towel. I think the ‘reem’ reminded him of our friend who went to a different uni this year. The towel is made out of proper tea towel material, Cotton I think, not the toweling sort that sheds on all of your plates. It is relatively thin but does its jobs well and makes a funky addition to the kitchen.

Oven Gloves – Not currently available

This is one of the most over looked uni item ever! You never think you need oven gloves, but after one too many burn you will love them. I think the black and white flower pattern on them is great, although very girly and not very colorful. They seem  to standup to heat well. Although ours have a few marks on them the patten hides any marks. Overall I think these are great, and a really useful thing to have in the kitchen (we have 2!)

Towel Bale– £10.00

I have to say that if you have a friend who is going away to uni, or possibly moving into their own home, then this would be a great gift. Bundled together with a matching ribbon the different sized towels look really pretty. I chose the Aqua blue because I think the bright color can bring life to even the dreariest uni bathroom. The bale contains two wash clothes (or Flannels, depending what you call them.) two hand towels and two bath towels. This is perfect for uni because you are likely to have friends to stay and you don’t want to share a towel. (also Wash one, use one is big at uni!) The bath towels aren’t huge, but thats because I am used to bath sheets (the huge ones) but they are really nice. The material is not too thick so I don’t feel too weighed down and they are great for you hair! Overall I love this set, they give you everything you need and they are super cheap.

Candle– £3.00 candle

Candles are one of those non-essential things I was talking about in the intro, as well as that they are also something you are most likely not allowed in uni halls. However one of the things I was looking forward to this year was my candle! This candle is a very bright almost christmasy color and smells amazing. It is a Warm Spiced Apple scent, and I really think that its a true description of the smell and MY GOSH! I love the smell! I have to say this came in very useful when I lost light in my bathroom and was great for relaxing me when I my essay was due in.

Mug- £1

As the days have got colder I have been more and more attracted to warm drinks. So I decided I wanted to try out a Matalan mug. I have to say It is a really nice mug. I got it in Purple, (matching the dinner set you can read about next.) I think it is a good size and looks great. For £1 can you really go wrong?

Dining set– £12.00

I always feel like your dining set is one of the biggest thing you need at university. You can live without a lot of kitchen stuff but you will need something to eat off. Unless you plan to eat out every night. This set is a great value, you get 4 large plates, 4 bowls and 4 side plates. This is a great number if you have friends stay over as well as meaning that you don’t have to do the washing up every time you eat. Mine is in purple, matching with my mug and I think it looks really good in my draw as it adds a nice touch of colour.

basketNylon Basket– £5.00

Looking at this basket on the website, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. However I wanted to try it out to see if it was any good. It feels quiet plastic-y but looks like a wicker woven basket, just in fun colours. This material is great for holding clothes or food as you can wipe down the basket if anything is spilt on it. I have found that this is the best basket for my laundry. It is the perfect size for a load of washing in an average washing machine and the wet clothes doesn’t stain or ruin the fabric, so I can use it to carry wet washing.

Although the items reviewed in this post were sent to me by the company, Matalan, all the opinions expressed in the post are completely my own. Matalan have had no input into what has been said in the review, they have simply provided me with the products to review.

Talk to you soon!

Love lauren blog sign off

Moving in: The review

Moving in year two: The Review

At the end of last year I did a number of posts reviewing the year I had, when I came to writing all of the posts I struggled to remember the way I felt and the little details.

So this year I decided that I would write a few review posts as I went through the year. So this is my first one: moving in!

Over the summer I had become slightly addicted to organizational things. So I started planning my move to uni a few months before I had to go, I am not saying a spent everyday sorting out moving. In fact a lot of the work was because I decided to create a household binder and a recipe book to take to uni with me.

I am going to be doing a post about both of my binders at another time.

I always feel really bad when I move out because it always falls a few days before my Mum’s birthday. This meant that the friday evening I spent with my mum and stepdad celebrating her birthday. This was really nice as it was a sort of birthday/ going away meal with my family.

I woke up early on the saturday morning so that I could finnish getting everything ready. I packed the last few things I needed, and made sure I had enough time to pack the car.

I was running around the house, packing, dressing and moving long before the rest of the house emerged from their room. Once he emerged from his room my stepdad managed to become some kind of tetris wizard and fitted all of my stuff into the car. I still don’t know how it fitted.

It doesn’t take long for us to drive from my home to university, although the drive felt like forever that day. Once I turned up in my university town I had to head towards the estate agents to pick up my keys.

I have to say been given 3 keys has never felt so much fun, so grown up. As we drove through the maze like roads to my new house I felt the excitement building. As we pulled up in my road I looked at all of the houses, there pretty blues doors made it feel a little bit like a disney village. The builders quickly killed that thought with the constant banging.

I opened the door and walked through the house looking at my home for the next year. I walked into my bedroom, the first floor front of the house.

I have to say that as I started to unpack I felt so overwhelmed. Looking around the room and seeing all of my belongings and the room it has to fit into. My new house has such little storage space. There aren’t any shelves so working out where everything goes is actually really hard.

I have to admit that I am still moving in properly.

My boyfriend, Chris, moved in a few hours later than me, not long after my parents left. Seeing him again and knowing her was staying here was so much fun. I will happily admit that I missed his over the holidays. We each spent the day trying to sort out our own rooms.

That evening we got a takeaway and finally got to spend time together.

Sorry I don’t think this has been my best post but it has been one of those days. Hope you enjoyed anyway!