News

London Design Festival

Posted in Events on 26 August 2016

The London Design Festival spans dozens of locations, includes hundreds of exhibits and has one clear mission: to prove that our city is the capital of design. The majority of events take place from September 17-25 2016 and it's the perfect chance to explore craft and design at its very best. With some mighty London museums at the helm and loads of events in 'design districts' across town, where do you start? We've picked the highlights below so you can design your ideal visit to London Design Festival.

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Totally Thames: what's on this year?

Posted in Events on 26 August 2016

The Totally Thames festival will once again grace the banks of our much-loved waterway this September (Sep 1–Sep 30 2016). An annual celebration of the River Thames, dive into a month-long party full of arts festivals, community events, regattas, river races, foreshore archaeology and environmental activities. With new installations for 2016 and an event line-up bigger than previous years, check out our pick of highlights below and head down to the river for one of the many London events in September worth making a splash about.

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Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

Posted in Events on 26 August 2016

Date: 26th - 31st August

Buckingham Palace

Poke around the palace while the royal family are on their hols.

Every summer London's most famous house opens for tours with an accompanying exhibition. As well as exploring the state rooms, visitors in 2016 will take in an exhibition of royal clothing, 'Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen's Wardrobe'.

Whether you’re royalist or republican there is no denying the incredible might of Her Majesty’s wardrobe; she’s almost as famous for her impeccable style as she is for, you know, being Queen. Over her 60-year reign, she’s seen trends come, go and come back again, so this exhibition is also a filtered history of post-WWII fashion – filtered because whatever is happening in contemporary fashion has to be tempered for the Queen. 
In the ’60s, hemlines crept up, which wasn’t appropriate for a monarch, so she embraced her now iconic A-line skirt suits. When knighting yachtsman Francis Chichester, she wore a cream suit of incredibly clever design: the shape of the skirt places it bang in the ’60s, while the navy trim gives it a nautical look, also tricking the eye into seeing it as shorter.

This exhibition throws a spotlight on the British couturiers the Queen has patronised. Throughout her reign she has worn almost exclusively British designers: from Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies, who created some of her impossibly beautiful eveningwear, to Angela Kelly who was responsible for the Queen’s pink ‘Bond Girl’ dress for the London Olympics

It’s the little details that make this exhibition such a joy. In the main exhibition space, you can see the Queen’s dazzling coronation gown – heavy with embroidery and undoubtedly the most important dress that she has ever worn. It’s brilliant to see it in all its glory, instead of shrouded by the velvet robe, and among the embroidered shamrocks representing Ireland, you can see a four-leaf clover added by Hartnell for luck on the big day.

An entire corridor is dedicated to headgear. Sculptural, feathered, her hats are incredible, perhaps because it’s one part of her wardrobe where she can be a bit less restrained. This exhibition also tells the story of a woman ageing in the public eye. As Britain’s longest-serving monarch celebrates her ninetieth birthday this year, she is the most recognisable and most photographed woman in the world, so not only has her wardrobe responded to fashion, it has developed with her. The full-skirted, sparkling dresses she wore as a young monarch are unthinkable now.

Throughout her reign she has remained a sartorial icon. While Kate Middleton might pick up a bargain in Reiss, compared to her grandma-in-law, her style is beyond basic.Miriam Bouteba

A visit to the State Rooms usually takes around two to two and a half hours. Be prepared for airport-style security and don't expect to get away with taking any selfies.

More details

 

Marketing and Events Administrator

Posted in Jobs on 26 August 2016

International House World Organisation is the membership office for a network of 158 private language schools worldwide that provide language training, teacher training and other related services.

We are looking for an enthusiastic marketing professional with excellent communication skills and a commitment to client-focused service to join our small, dynamic head office team.

Working closely with our Marketing and Communications Manager the main objective of this role will be to promote the International House brand and IH schools to agents, students and other key stakeholders, both in person at a variety of industry events and via online campaigns.

This is a fantastic role for someone with a couple of years’ experience in marketing or sales along with some working knowledge of the language travel industry, who is looking to develop further in this international field. You will use your excellent people skills to build relationships with IH schools and agents across our global network, so you will be working with a diverse and interesting range of people. There will be a number of trips overseas each year to industry events and events organised by IH, but you will be based in our office in Shad Thames, near Tower Bridge.

As well as being an exceptional communicator you will be highly organised with a keen eye for detail, able to juggle the range of logistical tasks that come with event management. You will also have the opportunity to use your creative streak in contributing to social media campaigns aimed at raising awareness of IH language programmes.

This role has three key areas of activity and time spent on each area will vary according to the time of year.

Marketing:

  • Provide input to the COO and Marketing and Communications Manager on the annual marketing plan.
  • Work with Marketing and Communications Manager to produce engaging and interesting content for social media and post on social media, including creating video and campaigns to create user generated content.
  • Monitor and analyse the success of content on social media and on website through analysis tools such as ‘google analytics’.
  • Arrange advertising for fairs and in publications (online and print) including advertising organised on shared cost basis for IH schools. Coordinate design work, when necessary, and ensure print deadlines are met.
  • Produce materials, documents and case studies to support IH schools - Community and Study Abroad - with branding and marketing, in consultation with colleagues. (To be shared on the IH Brandbox website).
  • Work with the team to ensure brand compliance across the membership.
  • Build relationships with partner organisations and colleagues within the industry.
  • Monitor and analyse the activities of competitors within the industry and report on this to member schools and management.

Agent Relations:

  • Maintain & extend IHWO’s relationship with Study Abroad agencies and manage the IH Agent database.
  • Respond to enquiries from students and agents about Study Abroad courses.
  • Oversee the IH Partner Agent scheme and work to ensure its integrity and growth.
  • Source and produce content for newsletters and other communications to Agents and Study Abroad schools.
  • Coordinate and communicate with the IH Study Abroad Committee that represents IH Study Abroad schools.

Events:

  • Plan, coordinate and take part in the annual International House Study Abroad Roadshow event. This responsibility includes managing the budget for this event (with support from line manager) finding venues, generating sponsorship, coordinating attendance by IH schools and agents and producing associated documentation. (Additional small IH SA events may arise subject to future IHWO strategy).
  • Play an active role in the organisation of the annual IH Directors’ Conference by generating sponsorship, assisting in preparations for the event and sometimes working during the event.
  • Plan for, arrange and represent IHWO at language and language training-related fairs, exhibitions and events such as ICEF Berlin and ALPHE. With the aim of promoting the IH brand and IH schools as well as building relationships with agencies.

Person specification

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills: client focused with a warm and friendly manner.
  • Solid B2B marketing experience, preferably in international education or travel.
  • Experience of conceptualising marketing materials and coming up with brand driven copy.
  • Open-minded interest in other cultures, languages and people.
  • Excellent administration skills and proven organisational skills.
  • Demonstrable project management skills with the ability to think quickly and creatively.
  • Experience in managing a budget and the ability to bring products and events in on target.
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Database Management.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication in English.
  • Good team player who enjoys working in small team.
  • Ability to work calmly under pressure; commitment to deadlines.
  • Flexible approach to work tasks, duties and working hours; and to changes in these.
  • Willingness to travel 3-5 times per year and work occasional weekends and evenings.

The following skills and experience are desirable:

  • Marketing qualification
  • Experience working in language school environment or in agency care role
  • Working knowledge of a second language
  • Working knowledge of graphic design software, preferably Adobe InDesign and Photoshop

Salary - £26,000 - £29,000 depending on experience

To apply please email with your CV and a cover letter outlining your experience and suitability for the role. Deadline for applications is Thursday 15th September 2016.

Please apply here. 

WhatsApp to Share User Info With Facebook

Posted in News on 26 August 2016

WhatsApp will soon be sharing user data with its parent company, Facebook.

The change comes as the social network revamps its privacy policy to enable businesses to communicate directly with users of the platform.

“People use our app every day to keep in touch with the friends and loved ones who matter to them, and this isn’t changing. But as we announced earlier this year, we want to explore ways for you to communicate with businesses that matter to you too, while still giving you an experience without third-party banner ads and spam,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.

“Whether it’s hearing from your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction, or getting notified by an airline about a delayed flight, many of us get this information elsewhere, including in text messages and phone calls. We want to test these features in the next several months, but need to update our terms and privacy policy to do so.”

The newly updated policy reveals that users’ phone number, profile name and photo, online status, last seen status and receipts will be shared. Content of messages will not be shared.

Users do have an opt-out option available to them, however, by going to Settings > Account to choose not to share their info with Facebook.

Users can get a step-by-step walk-through here.

Source

10 new Android Nougat features you should check out now

Posted in News on 24 August 2016

Google is starting to roll out the latest version of Android. If you have a Nexus device, you can grab the update now.

 

While many of the biggest improvements — like longer battery life, better security updates and VR-ready features — won't be immediately obvious once you get the update, there are still plenty of new features to get excited about.

From new emoji and data-saving superpowers to more customization features than ever before, here's a look at our 10 favorite features in Android Nougat.

 

1.) Split-screen multitasking

One of the biggest additions to Android is the ability to use two apps at once in a new split-screen multitasking view. Tap the overview button and drag the app you want to use to the top of the screen, then choose a second app to run beneath it. The windows are resizable too.

2.) New emoji

 

The Nougat update adds the 72 new emoji Unicode added earlier this summer. The new characters include the selfie, bacon, and avocado emoji, as well as support for skin tone variations. There are also are 14 new "animals and nature" emoji and 12 new "activities" emoji.

3.) Customizable Quick Settings

 

Quick Settings, the shortcuts that you pull down from the notifications shade, are now customizable. You can drag them around to re-order them or add new ones, like the option to turn on data saver mode or invert your display colors.

4.) Notifications reply

 

You can now reply directly to notifications without switching apps. Use the feature to reply to emails, texts and notifications from other apps.

5.) Quick Switch

 

Among the new multitasking features is something called Quick Switch, which allows you to quickly move between your two most-recently used apps. Double tap the overview button to toggle between the two.

6.) Split-screen gesture shortcut 

 

This may be best suited to power users, as there are a few steps to enable this, but there is a hidden setting that allows you to enable split-screen viewing with just one gesture. First, you'll need to enable a secret settings menu called "System UI Tuner" by holding down on the settings icon in the notifications shade. Wait until you feel a vibration to let go. This activates the System UI Tuner menu in the device's main settings.

From there head to Settings —> System UI Tuner —> Other —> Enable split-screen swipe-up gesture  and turn the setting on. Once enabled, you can switch to split-screen from within any app by swiping up on the overview button. It's important to note, though, that Google is constantly changing what's in the System UI Tuner so any settings you find in there could disappear without warning.

 

7.) Advanced notification controls 

This is another one you'll only be able to access through the System UI Tuner menu. From there, enable the setting for "Power notification controls." (System UI Tuner —> Other —>Power Notification Controls.) This allows you to prioritize notifications on an app-by-app basis and fine tune what actions notifications can take. For instance, you can mute sounds and vibration for a specific app or block its notifications from appearing on your lock screen. Simply hold down on a notification and adjust the slider to change its settings.

8.) Data Saver

 

Android Nougat comes with a new Data Saver mode that helps you reduce the amount of data your apps are using in the background. Additionally, you can add the option to your notifications shade so you can easily toggle it on from Quick Settings.

9.) Call blocking 

 

The way that Android is handling blocked calls is improving. The numbers you block from texting and calling can now be shared with other apps so the same numbers will be blocked across all the services you use.

10.) Picture-in-Picture (for Android TV)

 

Similar to split-screen mode, Google added picture-in-picture support to Android TV devices so you can browse apps during video playback. Select the picture-in-picture icon while watching a video to pin the video to the top right corner of the screen. You can then browse different apps while watching that video. Press and hold the home button to switch back to the original video or a different recently used app.

Note that Google's Nexus Player is the only set-top box that supports Nougat for now, though it will eventually be available to other Android TV-enabled devices. The feature also requires developers to opt-in, so not all your apps may support picture-in-picture right out of the gate.

Source

Research says using GIFs can lead to more success on Tinder

Posted in News on 19 August 2016

Dating is hard, online dating is its own hell, and opening lines can make you want to cease human contact altogether. It's awkward to straddle the line between just the right amount of forwardness and tact to total strangers when you're not actually interacting in person. 

 

But panic no more: new research by Dr. Jess Carbino, a sociologist at Tinder suggests that users are 30 percent more likely to get a response from matches if they open with a GIF.

"Instead of searching for the ultimate opening line, sending a GIF lets you show your personality and sense of humor," Carbino told Mashable via email. GIFs immediately lighten up the tone of a conversation and are a great way to push past the small talk."

 

Conversations with GIFs also last twice as long as those that don't have them. That maybe explains the 100 million GIFs that have been sent so far since the app introduced support for the file.

Also of importance is the kind of GIF. Rather than just the same GIFs that always come up when you type "Hey" in the GIF search bar, try something topical or culturally relevant. (Currently, the most successful GIF on Tinder features Jimmy Fallon.) And once the conversation gets going, Carbino saw that GIFs related to a common interest do particularly well.

Source

5 Steps to Creating a Killer Marketing Strategy

Posted in News on 19 August 2016

Not every marketing plan is a good marketing plan. There are certain qualities it needs to meet to be able to do what it is supposed to do and be considered an effective plan that will convert customers and be successful.

It is easy to tell a "potentially successful" marketing plan apart from a mediocre marketing plan. Generally, there is a framework that a killer marketing strategy would follow. This article will look a five qualities of such a plan. I’ll be using example of a fashion brand since it is easier to follow.

1. Focus on the market.

Your target market should be narrowly defined. You can't please everybody. Doing so will actually put more pressure on you and may result in losses. A fashion brand’s target market can be anyone, but it has to be narrowed. You have to first decide between genders (male or female) and then the age factor.

Everything else in your plan will be essentially based on your target audience. Other factors that need to be taken into consideration are your target audience’s likes and dislikes and purchasing power. The formula lies in choosing, dividing and then conquering.

2. Focus on the product.

This goes hand in hand with the market focus, but needs its own heading. If you’re targeting working women in their 50s then offer quality, formal and semi formal dresses. Also, explain what a certain product does. For example, if you offer shoes that help gain height, explain how they work. Such a product will further narrow down your target audience to shorter women, allowing you to market even more effectively.

3. Have measureable specifics.

Everything should be quantifiable and ideally in numbers. Include all major and minor details with proper dates since a timeline is important. A good marketing plan is driven by strategy, but the details and tactics will give it the push it needs.

The plan has to show result of each activity so that it becomes easy to measure ROI.

A fashion brand cannot have vague goals like "product quality clothes" or "make clients happy." While, it is important to produce high-quality products and have happy clients, such goals are not quantifiable and hence should not be a part of such a plan. Instead, have solid goals like "reach $1 million sales in five years.” This again, depend on the timeline if your marketing plan is for one year or five years.

If you are starting a new business you can have both short-term and long-term marketing plans. Both these plans need to be interconnected, i.e: your short term marketing plan should help you attain your long-term goals. However, make sure your goals are attainable.

4. Accountability and responsibility.

Do not count on people to do their job, especially in groups. The truth is that groups get done very little when compared to individuals. To get better results, have a specific task for every individual and ask them to work on it.

Take care of the accountability factor and keep an eye on results to make sure all individuals are putting their best foot forward. Be sure to reward achievement and reprimand for failure to meet the desired goals.

A good marketing plan needs more than just involvement -- you need to be committed to it. Everyone should know their job and be aware of the outcomes of performing or not performing their part well.

5. Revisions and reviews.

A marketing plan is really a planning process and not a plan. We live in a dynamic environment and cannot afford to have static marketing plans. A good marketing plan will do everything from setting goals to tracking performance and measuring it in quantifiable units. It requires to be reviewed regularly and revised as necessary.

The marketing group should sit together to see how their plan is working and if anything needs to change. Even if is a five-year plan, it does not mean you will sit down and talk about it at the end of the five-year period. You have to discuss the plan regularly and see if it is going as planned.

For example, in case of a fashion brand, your prices may change within a few months due to high demand or change in the prices of raw material. This would require your marketing plan to change as well since your goals will need to be revised.

Source

Brexit sets Ireland and UK on divergent jobs paths

Posted in News on 19 August 2016

Following June’s landmark Brexit referendum in the UK, the jobs ship is in choppy waters. At the moment, Ireland is a happier port of call.

This week, two very interesting reports emerged from Morgan McKinley, with jobs in Ireland dominant. On the one hand, a slight reduction in professional job opportunities in Ireland was offset by a stark drop in those looking for new jobs.

On the other hand, London saw opportunities plummet in the financial services sector.

Jobs in Ireland

According to Morgan McKinley, in Ireland, a rise in job opportunities of 2pc between June and July was overshadowed by an 8pc drop on this time last year.

However, the report also found that 19pc fewer professionals were seeking a new role this July, while the usual suspects of pharma, medtech and IT continue to lead the way in terms of growth.

Financial services, in general, is doing well, thanks to a resurgence in funds and compliance opportunities, while Brexit has made SMEs rethink their accounting and finance strategies.

Meanwhile, London saw a stark 27pc drop in opportunities, far outweighing the fall in those seeking employment.

Not aggressive?

Despite these significant figures, the results are “not as aggressive” as Morgan McKinley expected following Brexit, according to Hakan Enver, operations director at the company’s financial services division in the city.

Last week, a report from Markit and the Recruitment Employment Confederation (REC) found a “dramatic freefall” in the number of people hired into full-time positions across the whole UK.

Posting its weakest figures since May 2009, REC claimed a growing number of “highly-cautious” companies is a worrying sign.

It all makes for potentially beneficial news in Ireland, though upskilling is key.

This is notable in biopharma, too. At the start of the week, the Government warned that, without training and educating the Irish workforce, a potential 8,400 new jobs by 2020 are under threat.

“The availability of people with the right skills and talent to work in biopharma will be critical to the continued growth of the industry as these investments come on stream,” said Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD.

The report by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) suggests a mixture of graduate intake, upskilling of those already out of the education system and continual internal development within companies.

Source

5 Steps to Creating a Killer Marketing Strategy

Posted in Tips on 15 August 2016

Not every marketing plan is a good marketing plan. There are certain qualities it needs to meet to be able to do what it is supposed to do and be considered an effective plan that will convert customers and be successful.

It is easy to tell a "potentially successful" marketing plan apart from a mediocre marketing plan. Generally, there is a framework that a killer marketing strategy would follow. This article will look a five qualities of such a plan. I’ll be using example of a fashion brand since it is easier to follow.

1. Focus on the market.

Your target market should be narrowly defined. You can't please everybody. Doing so will actually put more pressure on you and may result in losses. A fashion brand’s target market can be anyone, but it has to be narrowed. You have to first decide between genders (male or female) and then the age factor.

Everything else in your plan will be essentially based on your target audience. Other factors that need to be taken into consideration are your target audience’s likes and dislikes and purchasing power. The formula lies in choosing, dividing and then conquering.

2. Focus on the product.

This goes hand in hand with the market focus, but needs its own heading. If you’re targeting working women in their 50s then offer quality, formal and semi formal dresses. Also, explain what a certain product does. For example, if you offer shoes that help gain height, explain how they work. Such a product will further narrow down your target audience to shorter women, allowing you to market even more effectively.

3. Have measureable specifics.

Everything should be quantifiable and ideally in numbers. Include all major and minor details with proper dates since a timeline is important. A good marketing plan is driven by strategy, but the details and tactics will give it the push it needs.

The plan has to show result of each activity so that it becomes easy to measure ROI.

A fashion brand cannot have vague goals like "product quality clothes" or "make clients happy." While, it is important to produce high-quality products and have happy clients, such goals are not quantifiable and hence should not be a part of such a plan. Instead, have solid goals like "reach $1 million sales in five years.” This again, depend on the timeline if your marketing plan is for one year or five years.

If you are starting a new business you can have both short-term and long-term marketing plans. Both these plans need to be interconnected, i.e: your short term marketing plan should help you attain your long-term goals. However, make sure your goals are attainable.

4. Accountability and responsibility.

Do not count on people to do their job, especially in groups. The truth is that groups get done very little when compared to individuals. To get better results, have a specific task for every individual and ask them to work on it.

Take care of the accountability factor and keep an eye on results to make sure all individuals are putting their best foot forward. Be sure to reward achievement and reprimand for failure to meet the desired goals.

A good marketing plan needs more than just involvement -- you need to be committed to it. Everyone should know their job and be aware of the outcomes of performing or not performing their part well.

5. Revisions and reviews.

A marketing plan is really a planning process and not a plan. We live in a dynamic environment and cannot afford to have static marketing plans. A good marketing plan will do everything from setting goals to tracking performance and measuring it in quantifiable units. It requires to be reviewed regularly and revised as necessary.

The marketing group should sit together to see how their plan is working and if anything needs to change. Even if is a five-year plan, it does not mean you will sit down and talk about it at the end of the five-year period. You have to discuss the plan regularly and see if it is going as planned.

For example, in case of a fashion brand, your prices may change within a few months due to high demand or change in the prices of raw material. This would require your marketing plan to change as well since your goals will need to be revised.

Source

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