By Ellie Nash, Digital Account Executive

2021 has undoubtedly been the year of TikTok. Since the pandemic, the video-sharing app has blown up and allowed organisations across the globe the opportunity to see their business quadruple in growth all because of a 30-second video.

Most businesses would say that TikTok is just for B2C brands, but we’re here to tell you why your B2B organisation SHOULD be using TikTok and why it’s worth experimenting with.

What is TikTok?
Unless you have been living under a rock, you should know what TikTok is. But, if you’re still unsure, here’s a rundown of what the app consists of.

TikTok is a video sharing focused platform that was created in 2016. The videos have a duration of 30 seconds to 3 minutes and can consist of anything from dancing clips, comedy sketches to educational how-tos.

In my opinion, this app is a playground for creatives and allows the opportunity for people to sit back, relax and indulge in easy-watching content that takes the load off from the day.

Why should my B2B organisation use TikTok?
In a recent March 2021 Kantar study, it was reported that “30% of TikTok users in the U.S. said they have watched less TV, streaming and other video content since joining TikTok.” This creates a huge opportunity for B2B marketers to fill this empty mainstream media hole.

But… What shall we post?
It’s hard to know where to start when creating your TikTok account, but remember, this isn’t LinkedIn. You need to discover your business’s niche.

For the most part, this is a chance to show off the personality of your business, the talent of your team and the fun you have within the office. Most of the TikTok audience tune into the app to watch entertaining content that distracts them from the stress of their daily lives, so keep that in mind.

Understanding your niche is vital for the success of your videos. It will help you land on the correct people FYP (for you page) to optimise them engaging and resonating with your content.

Here are a few examples of content that we would recommend you post, depending on the type of business you are:

– How to’s
– Meet the team
– Product highlights
– Humorous videos (get involved in World Hot Dog day or April Fools!)
– Influencer marketing

… These are only a few examples of some of the content that could make your business go viral, be creative!

But… What if our content goes down like a lead balloon?
TikTok is all about experimentation. Do not let low views or negative comments dishearten you from pushing out new and creative content. This journey will help you understand your businesses tone of voice and what you want to promote. We recommend keeping trying and being yourselves because who knows what style of content will resonate with your audience, it’s definitely worth a try.

How do you become ‘TikTok’ famous?
Unlike other social platforms like Instagram and YouTube which is driven by followers and subscribers, TikTok is algorithm based so every creator has the opportunity to go ‘viral’ and have their content appreciated through likes, comments, shares and views.

How long will TikTok success take?
This success will take a little time and patience. TikTok success is not an overnight thing, (it could be but it’s very unlikely), your first 10 videos might only get 10-12 views but by staying persistent and keeping at it, you could become an overnight sensation and get millions of views just like mochi ice-cream brand, Little Moons.

Here are a few of our favourite examples of B2B TikTokers who have made it big due to personality and creativeness:

Adobe – Since starting their account, Adobe has curated almost 200K followers. Their highest-ranking video has a whopping 2.9 million views and contains a man ‘painting’ a grey sky to make it bright and blue. Within the video, there is no mention of the Adobe product it is promoting within the video itself but the hashtags in the caption give away that this is a feature of #AfterEffects.

Watch it here:

@adobe

Reach high and touch the sky with this edit from @curlykidlife. #Adobe #learnwithme #learnontiktok #AfterEffects #TipsAndTricks

♬ original sound – Adobe

Canva – Another great B2B TikTok account is graphic design company, Canva. On the platform, Canva, much like Adobe, are verified, which confirms that this is the authentic account of the business. Canva has curated 54.5K loyal followers with their highest-ranking video reaching 167.4K views. This video, unlike Adobe’s creative video, is a how-to video. It is showing the viewer how by using their service Canva, they can create a mess-free, organised desktop.

Watch it here:

https://www.tiktok.com/@canva/video/6961403177727986945?is_copy_url=0&is_from_webapp=v1&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=7008124659314279941

ShopifyShopify, as well as being TikTok verified, have an impressive 56.6K followers with a total of 852.3K likes. Their most popular video accumulated 1.6M views! It is interestingly all about the power of TikTok and how 1 viral TikTok video accelerated the searches and sales for cranberry juice brand, Ocean Spray.

Watch it here:

@shopify

in case you were thinking of skateboarding with a bottle of ocean spray #feelinggood #smallbusinesscheck #entrepreneurtiktok #fyp #didyouknow #info

♬ original sound – Shopify

So, what have we learnt from the above brands? What has shown them success?

– Be creative
– Show off your products but subtly
– Jump on TikTok trends
– Create how-tos
– Be educational and informative
– Have fun with it!

But why should we?…
If we haven’t convinced you to create a TikTok account by now, I don’t know what will!

Did you know that 62% of TikTok users are aged between 10-29. That’s not Gen Z… That’s a generation of young businessmen and women who could be decision-makers. To make that statistic even more impressive, that’s 62% of 689 million people (and this statistic was uncovered in January 2021 so you can imagine how many more people are now on board with TikTok)

Above all, have fun with it… Let your creative juices start to flow and let your marketers have a laugh and create funny or informative content that fits your brand’s message.

We wish you all the best with becoming TikTok famous!

Amber Chawner, Senior Account Executive

Last week’s announcement from Boris Johnson revealing the rise in national insurance tax to fuel health and social care has left promise for further investment in technology to help increase efficiency and allow for better resourcing. However, that isn’t to say that progress hasn’t already been made in this department, with exciting new developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and healthcare hitting the headlines every day.

As we wait in anticipation to see what is to come, below I take a look at some of the ways that AI is already being used to revolutionise the health and social care sector.

Using AI to detect dementia up to 15 years earlier
A disease that impacts more than 850,000 people in the UK every year, Cogentivity has partnered with InterSystems on a solution that uses AI to detect dementia up to 15 years earlier than conventional methods. Its Integrated Cognitive Assessment (ICA), teamed with InterSystems IRIS for Health data platform, tests how the brain reacts to certain types of images and detects the earliest signs of disease before the onset of memory symptoms. It has already been deployed at North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust and is currently the subject of a UK government-funded study in collaboration with the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

AI remote monitoring software to allow people to remain in their homes
Health tech company, Lilli has recently partnered with Dorset Council in a three-month pilot to help identify cost and time-savings in the care sector. With 100 people involved in the trial, sensors are installed in their homes which then track behaviour and electricity usage. AI then comes into play to analyse the data collected and spot any potential health problems. With additional strain being placed on the NHS at the moment, this kind of solution helps to keep people out of hospitals, while also allowing them the freedom to remain in the comfort of their own homes for longer.

Scientists are developing an app that uses AI to diagnose conditions by listening to their cough
Imagine having an app that can determine what illness you have just by listening to a cough?! For a lot of people, a cough is just a cough, but this group of scientists are recording millions of coughs and then training AI to identify what is causing the person to have the symptom. After the events of the last year and a half, this kind of tool could become instrumental in helping diagnose conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or even Covid substantially earlier – freeing up hospital space and increasing overall hospital efficiency.

AI-enabled software which allows surgeons to rehearse brain aneurysms procedures
Oxford Heartbeat has designed the PreSize technology – an AI solution that allows surgeons to rehearse brain aneurysms procedures. Currently being used by the NHS at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, the medical device software helps to plan neurovascular surgeries by predicting the behaviour of a particular stent in a patient’s anatomy. It then automatically creates an accurate 3D model of the patient’s vessel tree and indicates where a stent should start and finish in the vessel model, allowing the surgeon to select the best option from a library of all certified stents.

With these exciting new developments already well underway, keep your eyes peeled to see the other innovative ways in which AI can be used to revolutionise the healthcare sector.

By Hannah Millar, Business Support 

What’s your career background, in brief?
I am currently a student at the University of Surrey completing a business management degree. When I started university I got a job at Sweaty Betty in retail and still work on some weekends. I have also worked at an IT consultancy as an extra pair of hands to help them prepare for audits by digitising the filing systems.

What’s the most challenging job you’ve ever had? 
I worked as a Wimbledon Ball Girl from 16-18, which was very challenging due to the long hours and a lot of physical exercise but the perks were amazing!

What apps, technology items and gadgets can’t you live without?
Airpods! I cannot live without them. I take them everywhere and I use them whenever I can. In any situation where I can listen to music I will!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? 
Life is short, experience everything, good or bad there’s always something to take away from an experience.

Name one thing about your job that gives you a sense of satisfaction or makes you leave the office smiling…
I get the most satisfaction from helping others and making their jobs easier.

Do you personalise your workspace?
No not at the moment, I like having a clear workspace.

What’s the first thing you do in the office in the morning? 
I put all my bags down and start my day with a cup of tea before checking my emails.

What are you reading, watching or listening to at the moment?
Watching Downtown Abbey for the first time and am now addicted, reading Tess of the d’Urbervilles for the millionth time and listening to anything that pops up on my shuffle which can range from Led Zeppelin to Asap Rocky 😊

Work Experience at Whiteoaks
We always love to engage with ambitious young people, hoping to inspire them to embark upon their own exciting PR journeys! Over the summer we were joined by two students, Tom and Clare, who worked with different teams for two weeks to gain an insight into how we operate. Luckily, thanks to the easing of lockdown restrictions, they were even able to come in and experience life in the office! Here is how they found it.

Clare Merrick

Background and Interests:
Currently, I am studying for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick and am in my second, and penultimate, year. In my free time you will most likely find me watching the football (come on you Blues!) or listening to some records from my collection. I live in a village near Slough (which I thought was a bit of a commute!) so I found somewhere to stay a bit closer to the office to be able to come in every day during my work experience. I wanted to get experience in PR because I have my heart set on working in the industry when I graduate, but I felt I didn’t know enough about which specific team I wanted to work with and which area would be best suited to me. Whiteoaks is such a friendly and forward-thinking company that I was delighted to be able to get to do some work experience here. I knew that I would be able to learn a lot from Whiteoaks as they are a leading B2B agency and that they would have just the kind of environment in which I would eventually like to work!

Experience:
Writing at the end of my first week, I have greatly enjoyed what I have done so far and am very much looking forward to the next. This week I have been working with the Content team who have taught me how to write various different styles of pieces for clients. I’ve been doing tasks such as writing articles, press releases and synopses, proof reading, editing and research, and have learned an enormous amount in the process! It was great fun to deploy my creativity in these assignments and to try to utilise my background of English Literature. Some of the tasks were a challenge at first as I was initially unfamiliar with the formats that were required but, albeit with the help of the Cookbook, I persevered and gained some invaluable experience along the way. I will be changing team next week, moving to the Digital team, and am very excited to be working with them and learning a lot more!

Future Plans:
As I will have graduated by this time next year, my thoughts are already turning to what my next steps will be! I am currently mulling over the idea of doing a masters, partly because the COVID-19 pandemic has already robbed me of a year and a bit of the usual “university experience” but have not yet come to any firm conclusions on the matter. Either way, when I have finished my education, I would like to start working in PR and Communications.

Tom Baldry

Background and Interests:
After studying Sociology and Business Economics at The Sixth Form College Farnborough and achieving the results I needed to, I then went on to study at my dream university which is The University of Exeter. The course I am studying at university is BSc Management and Marketing and I am about to head into my third and final year in September after the most amazing first two years. I like to keep myself very busy but when I do have some free time outside of studying and my part-time job, I am most likely to be found going out for dinner and drinks or listening to live music with my friends. I decided that, before I graduate next year, I wanted to put what I have learnt from my degree so far into practice and apply it to working in order to develop my current knowledge and understanding. When I learnt more about Whiteoaks as an agency I realised that it is definitely the sort of business that I see working for in the future as everyone is very approachable and no questions are off limits so therefore doing work experience here was really a no brainer!

Experience:
My first week of work experience at Whiteoaks is coming to an end and I have already done and learnt so many new things thanks to the brilliant team I have been working with. In this week alone I have done many different tasks such as working on social posts, data mining, research, editing and even contributing to the Whiteoaks website and so much more! I have really enjoyed all the tasks that I have done this week and have found it gratifying being able to put the knowledge I’ve learnt from my degree to a use.

Future plans:
As a result of the pandemic ruining many people’s travel plans including my own, after hopefully graduating this time next year I plan on going travelling for around six months to a year around Southeast Asia which has been a lifelong dream of mine. On the return from my travels, I think I will make a decision as to whether or not I want to go back to university to complete a masters program. If not, I will hopefully go into working in social media marketing.

Podcasts have been around for a while but over the past 18 months, they have seen a new surge of popularity. Maybe because it was an obvious and easy thing to do while being stuck inside. The Oaksers have been talking about which podcasts they most enjoy listening to. From parenting, PR, to true crime, there are suggestions for everyone to get stuck into.

Tara Williams, HR Manager:
My two favourites at the moment are The HR Uprising and Seeing Red.

The HR Uprising is hosted by Lucinda Carney and explores “hot” HR topics either as a “conversation with” or “in focus”. The in focus episodes delve into a specialist HR subject giving practical advice on how to deliver real value to the business. The conversation with episodes are interviews with experts such as HR professionals, OD or L&D professionals taking about their specialist subjects.

Seeing Red as I am sure you can guess is a true crime podcast! But not just murders and death, they cover heists, scams and unsolved cases too. It’s a male/female duo who take it in turn to tell each other about true crime stories, they did an excellent episode on The Life and Crimes of Kenneth Noye.

John Broy, Chief Client Officer:
I’ve recently found a really good and entertaining running podacast called Running Commentary. It’s Hosted by two comedians, Paul Tonkinson and Rob Deering – who, over the course of 45 minutes or so, talk about all things running and their general day-to-day observations – whilst running. It’s a nice distraction at the end of a busy day.

Ellie Nash, Digital & Social Executive:
Since lockdown, I have discovered a real love for going on long walks around my local Airport and Business Park. I have recently really got into a podcast by YouTubers, Sophia and Cinzia, which is called ‘The Girls Bathroom’. This podcast is almost like an Agony Aunt, where girls across the globe send in their latest boy troubles or any girl chat and gossip. It’s a perfect podcast for a real belly laugh! I love it because it feels like I’m talking to my besties, definitely one to listen out for.

Suzanne Griffiths, Managing Director:
I enjoy listening to RunPod, hosted by Jenni Falconer who interviews a range of special guests all of who have some interest in running.

The guests range from amateurs to Olympians and they all have a fascinating story to tell with lots of different perspectives on the simple hobby of pounding the pavements.  Sometimes I’ll listen while running and other times when I need the motivation to get out there! I’ve picked up lots of tips and tricks along the way…as well as some things to avoid!!

I also enjoy listening to The High Performance Podcast which is hosted by Jake Humphrey and a leading organisational psychologist Damian Hughes who works with many sporting organisations to create high performing teams. Their guests include a range of high-achievers from all sorts of different fields and I’ve picked up some great ideas which I’ve rolled out in both my personal and professional life to help to gain the leading edge which these people have achieved.

Hannah Graham, Senior Designer:
I usually don’t get a lot of time at home to listen to podcasts so I usually (pre-Covid!) will take the commute to work as an opportunity to listen to some of my favourites as the 40 minute journey is timed just about perfectly. My top podcast has to be Fearne Cotton’s ‘Happy Place’ – a podcast that sees well known (some not so well known!) people interviewed on the struggles they’ve had in life and how they have overcome them to be in a much better place. It’s a really great listen and offers quite gritty, frank discussions that tackle some difficult. It also is a great podcast that promotes good mental health.

My second (and slightly more light hearted!) go-to podcast is Giovanna Fletcher’s ‘Happy Mum, Happy Baby’ which I’ve been listening to for a few years now. As a parent of a 4 year old myself it’s nice to listen to other people’s journeys to parenthood, how they navigate through every stage of their child/ren growing up, how they’ve changed as people themselves. It also helps massively to know that being a mum is not always plain sailing!

Tom Addison, Senior Marketing Executive:
I’m a big fan of podcasts so have listened to lots of different ones over the years. The one I listen to help with work is Everyone Hates Marketers, aimed at helping you not fall into trap of bad, boring marketing. Another one I listen to just for the lightheartedness and entertainment value is Smartless with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes – where one of them each week invites a surprise guest on (normally a celebrity friend) to interview. It can be really funny as there is no structure and most of it is just nonsense, just like a conversations down the pub with friends…

Hayley Goff, Chief Operating Officer:
I enjoy and regularly listen to the PR Moment podcast. It’s interesting as its often about a hot topic or issue that we may be experiencing or looking to capitalise on.  Also, often from well-known people in industry so calibre of spokesperson is strong.

Hannah Buckley, Head of Content:
As someone who loves to cook (and loves eating even more), my favourite podcast is Off Menu, hosted by comedians Ed Gamble and James Acaster. Each week they have a different celebrity on talking about their dream meal and the choices are always surprising! I dare you to listen to it and not compose your own dream meal as you do!

Susan Richter, Marketing Communications Manager:
I’ve recently discovered a dog training duo that boost their real world training with both videos and podcasts. One of the podcast series is called Sexier than a Squirrel and despite its name, it’s been really useful in understanding my dog’s behaviour and the best thing is that you can listen to it while walking said dog! I also really enjoy Jon Ronson’s series on BBC probably because I love his books, his neurosis and his dry wit!

By Annabelle Tooby, Junior Account Executive

National lockdowns, the rule of six and not forgetting the monotonous ‘hands, face space’ has meant that for the past year and a half socialisation as we know it ground to a halt. But, with large scale festivals, dancing in nightclubs and holidays abroad already starting to return, it seems as though normal(ish) life is nearly within our grasp. And for us in the PR industry, it means we can finally start to get excited about the return of face-to-face events.

Post-Freedom Day, many people are still feeling slightly apprehensive about jumping straight back into office life and eventually the return of F2F events. Who can blame them, after a year dominated by remote working and so many lockdowns in the end we lost count… However, the outlook of the nation is looking encouraging, with 97% of UK sports fans itching to get back into stadiums to watch their favourite teams play once again.

It’s safe to say 2020 shifted the PR landscape more than we could possibly imagine and we were forced to adapt at speed to our ever-increasing digital lifestyle. So, with that, let’s take a look back at the trials and tribulations of online events while also throwing it forward to hopes of F2F returning to their former glory days soon.

Technology is PR’s best friend
With the past year or so stifled by Zoom calls and email-only interaction with journalists and clients, the industry saw a dramatic shift towards virtual events. One of the first organisations to shift its annual global event online was Salesforce, an American cloud-based software company. In the wake of the pandemic, events must go on and Salesforce reported that a whopping 80,000 people live-streamed the event, proving that if done right virtual events can be a huge success.

Compared with the previous year’s in-person event, which only 10,000 people attended, the ability to host online broadened the companies reach 8-fold on this occasion. The only downside with this approach is that no matter how creative, elaborate or entertaining, virtual events just can’t replace the in-person conversations and relationship building that F2F events allow.

Voice of the people
It seems, however, all has not been lost during lockdown as there is a positive optimism surrounding the return of F2F events. In a survey conducted over the past year by events company Freeman, 85% of attendees are hoping to return to F2F events by the end of the year. It is certain that one of the biggest challenges faced by hosts will be to regain the confidence of their audience and to make them feel safe should they choose to attend. To combat this, ensuring events have the correct regulations in place to reassure people will be crucial. Enticing an audience with engaging and exciting events is now more important than ever.

Journalists have also expressed their views on various online forums, with the majority voting to bring back in-person events. As always, there has also been some scepticism and opposition with one journalist commenting that they won’t be risking F2F meetings or events in the event they are “pinged” by the NHS track and trace app. The newly coined term pingdemic has been floating around the media recently and unless double jabbed I am inclined to agree with the journalist on this one – especially when I have a holiday coming up!

But before we throw away our face coverings, ditch the elbow bump greetings and get back into a room with masses of people, let’s first think about what we can expect from PR events in the coming months and even years. Will we converge the in-person event with virtual and present a new era of innovative hybrid events? Definitely food for thought.

Whether you’ll be rushing out the door or stopping in and attending virtually, it’s safe to say that we have all missed the buzz and real-life experience that F2F events bring. Perhaps the best way forward is a hybrid blend, either way, it’s an exciting time of change for PR events.

By Adam George, Head of Finance

Name, title and how long you’ve been at Whiteoaks
Adam George, Head of Finance, two-and-a-half years.

What’s your career background, in brief?
Prior to moving to Whiteoaks, I spent 12 years working in finance for a London based recruitment agency. I started in a very junior role and worked my way up to become CFO during my last few years. I also have a relatively strong background in payroll which is where I started my career many moons ago.

What did you study and how has it helped you grow your career?
I actually studied History at degree level. Whilst this didn’t directly impact my subsequent finance career, it did give me a great basis in creative writing and written communication which has helped make me a more rounded professional. To supplement my career, I also completed the ACCA accounting qualification a few years back.

What’s the most challenging job you’ve ever had?
Without a doubt, the most challenging job I had was my very first job working in an industrial laundrette. I worked on a conveyor sorting dirty laundry from hotels and restaurants. Hot, dirty and smelly.

What apps, technology items and gadgets can’t you live without?
That’s got to be my PS5 – perfect for unwinding. I suppose my phone too, much as I hate admitting it.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Life is too short to let the little things get to you. Why bother spending time and energy getting worked up about something that won’t matter in 5 minutes time?

What are you reading, watching or listening to at the moment?
I’m reading Michael J. Fox’s recent autobiography, ‘No Time Like The Future’ currently. I’ve always been a fan and respect the fact he’s not allowed a debilitating illness to impact his career and instead used it to raise awareness and funding for Parkinson’s Disease.

We love to binge-watch series, so currently we are working our way through Parks and Recreation which I somehow missed during its original run and, just to balance things out, we’re also watching Series 3 of The Killing (love a Scandi Noir).

Music-wise, I’ve always been a fan of dance music, Prodigy albums are never far away from rotation on Spotify!

If you didn’t work in finance, what would your ideal job be?
When I was a kid, I really wanted to be a rally driver.

As pandemic restrictions have continued to ease in recent months, our content creators, much like everyone else, have been making the most of the return to freedom. For periods of downtime however, we’ve not squandered the opportunity to delve into a good book, watch some fascinating TV series and even perfect our cooking skills! Here’s the rundown from the team:

Ollie
I’ve just finished reading Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell. It’s the tale of a fictional band’s sudden rise to fame – and subsequent fall – during the late 60s. Some of the dialogue is a bit wooden and there are some cheesy and predictable moments, but despite these flaws I actually found the book hugely enjoyable. You get the impression Mitchell had a lot of fun researching the era, trying to capture the zeitgeist and making this fictional band’s story come alive among real life characters and events.

Next up is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles which is about a Russian aristocrat living under house arrest. Can’t think why I put off reading this one during lockdown…

Natalia
Being a self-proclaimed chef, I always dive deep into my quite large collection of cookbooks. As I wasn’t able to celebrate all the birthdays and anniversaries over the past 18 months with the usual tour-the-hidden-restaurants, I transformed my kitchen into a very messy food sanctuary. I’m currently trying out Mauritian recipes from my signed copy of Sunshine On a Plate by MasterChef winner Shelina Permalloo. Truly great fusion cuisine with African, Asian, and European influences, perfect for sharing, and those who have to follow a gluten/dairy-free diet like me.

In between flicking through cookbooks and, of course, football, I got to enjoy a good binge-watch session on Netflix. A thriller mini-series The Woods based on Harlan Coben’s bestselling novel kept me in suspense, biting my nails and munching on toffee popcorn. If like me you can’t wait to get hooked on the next intriguing mystery, and don’t mind English dubbing or subtitles, I can recommend this absorbing, well-written piece of Polish cinematography. Whilst I’m tempted to re-watch Lucifer for the 3rd time, I promised my friends to catch up on The West Wing, a gripping American political drama from the early 2000s. Off to buy some more popcorn then!

Alex
Listening to music has always been one of my favourite ways to escape stresses of daily life, and it’s proven no different in 2021 during lockdown and restrictions. New albums by Wolf Alice, Royal Blood and Twenty One Pilots have been on repeat on my Spotify! Euro 2020 fever has also struck me during the last few weeks and I’ve enjoyed listening to the Peter Crouch Euros Podcast on BBC Sounds as they take a light-hearted analysis on games in the tournament. I’m currently reading Born to be Mild by Rob Temple, an autobiographical journey by the man behind the popular Very British Problems profile on social media.

Hannah
We’ve recently moved house, so I’ve been watching a lot of short programmes to keep me entertained while decorating. At the moment, that’s Younger, a show about a woman in her 40s who pretends to be in her 20s to get a job in publishing. Looking a bit further ahead, I’m very excited that not one, but two(!) film adaptations of Jane Austen’s Persuasion (my favourite book!) are currently in the works. It’ll be a while before we get to see the finished results but I can’t wait to see what they do with Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth’s story!

I’m also reading the award-winning Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. It’s a bit of a departure from what I usually read but I’m enjoying it so far!

Richard
I really enjoy reading history and biography and am currently combining the two by working my way through a book about Clement Attlee called Citizen Clem. It is a fascinating insight not only into Attlee’s life but also into 20th century Britain. I’d highly recommend it. In terms of television, I’m a huge armchair sports fan and I’ve been following the Euros avidly but also keeping in touch with all the latest from Wimbledon and the international cricket. Great escapism in these stressful times.

Hugh
I’ve gone back to The Times Atlas of World History, starting from the bit where it’s all pictures of skull fragments and hairy hominin ancestors. I’ve got as far as the destruction of Mycenae and Knossos, which remains mysterious. I was dipping in and out, but the chronological approach is more fulfilling.

I’ve also been catching up on Ed Reardon’s Week on BBC Sounds. A journalist colleague once compared me with the irascible, feckless, ale and cricket-loving hack writer Ed Reardon and I was sadly proud.

By Ellie Nash, Digital Account Executive

What’s your career background, in brief?
Previously to starting at Whiteoaks, I worked at a B2B IT Managed Service provider in Fleet, Hampshire. This was my first role in Marketing and where I completed my Level 4 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. I worked there for almost 2 years and within that time assisted with multiple campaigns, a re-brand, email marketing, social media management and content writing. Before, I had multiple part-time jobs which I worked at whilst completing my A-Levels at Farnborough Sixth Form.

What’s the most challenging job you’ve ever had?
The most challenging job I’ve ever had was most definitely my previous role. I entered my role at only 18 and had no experience within Marketing. I joined as the only girl on the team and the first Marketer, they had not even heard of Social Media Marketing before I arrived… Within my time, I taught myself everything I know now; from Adobe Creative Suite to SEO, I was able to build their Marketing from the ground just by regularly attending seminars, webinars and watching YouTube videos. It was extremely difficult but I am grateful for the opportunity as it allowed me to build my skill-set and come away with a Level 4 qualification.

What apps, technology items and gadgets can’t you live without?
I am a social media girl through and through; I could not live without Instagram or TikTok… Being without my phone would be the end of my world.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
I personally love quotes; Pinterest is a great place to find some amazing motivational speakers. My favourite quote at the moment would be “Work hard in silence and let your success be your noise” said by Frank Ocean. I feel that we live in a world where, Instagram especially, has given us a platform to show off all the best parts of our lives like fancy sports cars or a new designer handbag. Although it has taken me a while to learn this, I feel succeeding in silence will bring you ultimate happiness and pride; nobody else needs to know how much you earn or how well you’re doing. Do it for yourself!

Name one thing about your job that gives you a sense of satisfaction or makes you leave the office smiling…
I love being part of a team that has the ability to transform the digital side of a business. It brings me so much satisfaction to see rising analytics of the success of recent campaigns and being able to present it to the client and show how we are assisting them towards their goals; whether that be new business or just a greater social media presence.

Do you personalise your workspace?
I LOVE personalising my workspace! I haven’t had the opportunity to do so as of yet at Whiteoaks as I’ve been working from home the majority of the time however, I am very excited to bring in a plant, a photo and some organisers!

What’s the first thing you do in the office in the morning?
Definitely make myself a cup of tea… I am an avid tea drinker and cannot function without one in the morning.

What are you reading, watching or listening to at the moment?
I’m currently watching Narcos on Netflix and I LOVE IT! I used to live in a Spanish speaking country so I really enjoy watching a Spanish series (Money Heist is my ultimate favourite). Narcos has been a really captivating watch and definitely one to binge on the weekends.

By Chloe Knowles, Junior Account Executive

In light of World Ocean Day on June 8th, it made me think. Other than looking pretty whilst at the beach or on holiday, does the ocean really need its own day? The ocean covers approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface, with the Pacific Ocean alone covering around 32% (which is almost 10 times the size of Russia). But, with only 5% of the ocean having been explored and charted by humans, how impactful is the ocean on our lives and why do we need to look after it?

If current trends continue, experts speculate that the amount of plastic waste polluting the oceans will grow to 29m tonnes a year by 2040, which is the equivalent of 50kg for every metre of coastline in the world. To put this into perspective, a study done by the University of Georgia found that 18 billion pounds of plastic wind up in our oceans each year. Which is enough rubbish to cover every foot of coastline around the world with five full bags of rubbish…every year. If these expected stats become facts, this could impact our lives in many ways.

That’s why this year and the coming years are some of the most important in protecting our oceans. This is the first year of the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. It aims to utilise advanced technologies and research that are being developed to help sustain the Blue Economy, which will tackle climate change and spur economic growth, to name a few.

How ocean pollution affects humans 
– 70% of the oxygen we breathe is produced by marine plants
– 97% of the Earth’s water supply is contained in the Ocean
– 30% of CO2 emissions produced by Humans in absorbed in the Oceans (which helps to slow the rate of Global Warming)

How can we pitch in to reduce ocean pollution? 
– Use a reusable water bottle instead of a single-use plastic bottle
– Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Reduce your usage of single-use plastics.
– Avoid buying products with excessive packaging.
– Bring a reusable bag for shopping (e.g. supermarket, retail shops, etc.)
– If you are to buy/use a product that contains a plastic holder, be sure to cut it before disposing of it as in the ocean, these can strangle or trap wildlife

Fortunately, there are some great causes out there that are trying to combat the pollution, such as The Ocean Cleanup that is developing and using advanced technologies to help rid the ocean of plastic. As well as smaller groups like local beach clean-ups – each group plays their part in the aim to reduce pollution.

So, although the ocean does look nice for a photograph background whilst on holiday, it really is an integral part of our lives, and we all need to ensure to do our part to look after it.

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