This month we have taken the opportunity to throw back to an article we posted exactly a year ago. It is as relevant, even more so now, as it was then,  as AI appears to be the “centrepiece” story in the media for Business right now.

 

Last year we interviewed Mrs. Angharad Holloway, head of Talbot Heath School about the importance of preparing for tomorrows jobs that are not yet here today and giving younger generations the skill-set required to deal with the technological changes in future industries.

“According to the World Economic Forum (January 2018) and the Future Of Jobs And Skills report, 65% of children today will end up in careers that do not exist yet”

Whether our ever growing technological advancements are something that fill you with excitement or dread. The big question is, are people ready? Do we have the tools and training in order to embrace AI and future technologies into our day to day lives in the workplace?

 

Do we even understand it or how it is going to affect our work or our chosen industry? 

 

AI and other advancing technologies can be a daunting idea for people of all generations!

With the retirement age extended and people working later into life, workforce’s can become a magical multi generational group where different skill-sets and attitudes can really help teams to cross-skill and even up-skill collaboratively.

Some may worry their job could be taken over by AI and others may simply wonder how they will adapt to using it. What does it look like to your business and how will you move forward in implementing it when necessary?

 

(Angela Piromalli — Founder and Owner of Rock and Angharad Holloway — Headteacher, Talbot Heath School —  from our article back in June 2018)

 

The importance of providing support and training and plenty of opportunities for your team to Up-skill and gain confidence in change is more necessary now than ever. Mrs Holloway highlighted this point last year that seems to be as relevant now as it was then.

 

“The ability to adapt and embrace change is critical. It could be approaching tasks in a different way, adopting a flexible mind-set and seeing challenges as an opportunity and not a threat. The future is not about learning for AI, bots and automation. It is about learning, confidence and communication.”

 

Our team recently attended Social Media training from our one and only Fleur in order to keep our Online presence flowing after she leaves to embark on the next exciting step in her journey.

At RISE we try to consistently train and regularly attend Networking events such as “Startup Grind”, “Women in Tech”, “Resilience Training” and “Wellness Wednesday” that has just launched at Barclays Eagle labs to constantly develop in order to keep Relevant and Knowledgeable in our industries.

Interestingly enough, with our Social Media training, we found that we struggled more with our Self Confidence in our ability rather than the actual process of posting on Social Media.

Using our “soft skills” we are able to support each other and help each other gain confidence in areas that we had no previous experience in, collaborating as a team to cross-skill rather than outsource.

 

To quote our previous article, Back in 1998, Papert said:

“The skills that you can learn when you’re at school will not be applicable. They will be obsolete by the time you get into the workplace and need them, except for one skill. The one really competitive skill is the skill of being able to learn. It is the skill of being able not to give the right answer to questions about what you were taught in school, but to make the right response to situations that are outside the scope of what you were taught in school.”

 

This idea was also highlighted previously by Mrs Holloway:

“We need to explore the importance of soft skills,” she highlighted. “We have a system where everyone is judged on tangible data and how people perform in an exam, under time pressure. Everything is linked to exam performance, which is narrow minded and aggressive.” 

 

The importance of Communication, Self Confidence and being able to learn from criticism are great ideals to teach our younger generations, as well as the Technical user side of learning, and are ultimately, necessary tools in helping us to move forward and “not get left behind” as things advance.

 

“The future is not about learning for AI, bots and automation. It is about learning, confidence and communication. Critiquing has to be standard within education. People need to be able to fail.”

 

So I guess the question now is, how do we obtain a balance between learning the Technological skills we need to move into the future whilst adopting the necessary “soft Skills” in order to progress together, as a Collaborative Community.

 

At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

 

 

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you. 

We had a chat with Rebecca Pearl a freelance copywriter. Here we pick up on a few things; messaging, re-branding and being consistent with your content.

 

 

 

RISE: What is your name and role?

Rebecca: Rebecca Perl, Director of Messagelab Communications Ltd.

 

RISE: How long have you been a copywriter for and how did you get into it?

Rebecca: I’ve been a professional writer for 16 years. I started my career as a journalist in Munich, then moved into university comms back in the UK. I started copy-writing seven years ago. It’s the perfect culmination of my previous writing experience and my creative writing degrees.

 

RISE: What kind of clients do you work with?

Rebecca: I choose not to be a specialist copywriter, because I love working with a broad array of clients. I’ve written for universities, global charities, tech start-ups, the automotive industry, financial companies and local businesses. I’ve written about dairy farms, cathedrals, mouth guards, scientific breakthroughs, yoga poses, lawns, divorce, mapping software, tea trays…it’s nothing if not varied! I have to become an expert in whatever I’m writing about at the time, and then it’s onto the next thing.

 

RISE: How did you find moving to Bournemouth and starting your business here? Did you find the community/networking groups helpful?

Rebecca: Bournemouth has been nothing but brilliant to me. I quickly built up a bank of local clients, first from a networking group I attended and then through recommendations. I’m still working with some of those clients now, seven years on.

 

RISE: How has the industry of copy-writing changed with the incredibly fast rise in digital? Have you had to adapt in style and format?

Rebecca: I am doing more and more digital copy-writing – websites, apps, email marketing, blogs, etc. I think that’s true of many copywriters as there is more emphasis on digital and less on print. I have to adapt my style for each job I take on whatever the format, so digital hasn’t really come as a big shock. I just have to make sure that I continue to learn and evolve and not get left behind. This isn’t too difficult; copywriters are naturally curious* people.  *nosey

 

RISE: If you were to give some advice to someone getting into journalism/copy-writing what would it be?

Rebecca: Work hard. Read, read and read some more. It’s the best way to learn and perfect your craft. Get out there and meet people and make your own opportunities.

 

At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

 

Clare Groombridge

Owner & Founder of South Coast Social 

 

 

We asked the fantastically knowledgeable Clare Groombridge a little bit about social media now, the freedom it’s given companies and what works best for who.

 

 

Rise: Social Media has grown exponentially over the past couple of years, what would you say have been the highlights and best things to come off the back of this?

 

Clare: I would say the opportunities for brands to engage and interact with their audience. As social media has evolved, so has the need for brands to become more clever with their social media marketing and ‘think outside the box’ to attract valuable followers.  Consumers are definitely increasingly social media savvy, so businesses need to follow suit or get left behind.

 

Rise: Being a part of social media has given companies more free reign on where, when and what they can post. Do you think this freedom has given smaller companies a chance that they wouldn’t have had if all marketing and advertising was still just in print?

 

Clare: Oh 100%!! We work with small businesses who exclusively market and sell through social media. It’s ALL about engagement and being part of a conversation – brands can’t just say ‘here we are! buy our stuff!’ in the same way they used to via print or TV – that just doesn’t cut it any more. It’s given incredible opportunities for those businesses who capitalised on the opportunities social media can offer.

 

Rise: In terms of job roles, there are lots of jobs that exist now because of social media that ten years ago did not exist. What do you think is next in terms of new jobs roles in the social media industry?

 

Clare: Definitely! (our business, for example!) We’ve seen a huge rise in Influencers (e.g. those who make their vlogging / blogging life their full time career – yes, it definitely is a thing!) However, with growing industry concern about authenticity, even this niche is constantly adapting. The huge rise of social media advertising, especially on Facebook has led to dedicated Social Media Advertising Specialist roles, often working hand in hand with a Content Creation Specialist and Data Analyst.

 

Rise: How as an individual can you prepare yourself for the future of the social media revolution, is there any training or platforms for useful information moving forwards?

 

Clare: I think if you’re using social media in your role, try and stay up to date with the latest developments by reading good social media blogs such as Hootsuite, Social Media Today (or, you know, our company blog!). Facebook offers free training for Business users including their advertising platform which could be invaluable if you haven’t had much experience.

 

Rise: What is the best social media platforms to use or does this depend on the sector you work in? For example if you run a creative agency what would be the best platform? Or as an insurance company where would be best to post?

 

Clare: We have a mantra we always roll out to our clients – ‘pick your networks wisely and do them well’! Rather than specifically your sector, it depends where your audience is, and what you want to achieve from your social media networks – is it website traffic, brand awareness, follower growth…

We work with niche, luxury brands that simply have an Instagram profile and we ensure this is beautifully crafted with stunning, impactful imagery and carefully constructed captions. However, if you’re a B2B business, LinkedIn might be the perfect place to be to engage with supplier and potential clients. Whatever you choose, if you’re going to manage your social media profiles in-house, ensure you have the time to post frequent, relevant content.

At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This is part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

Marcus Wincott – Media Lounge

 

We asked Marcus Wincott from Media Lounge a little bit about e-commerce, technology and upcoming trends as well as some advice for those interested in getting into industry.

 

 

 

Rise: Thank you so much for being a part of this Marcus. I want to kick off with a bit of an open ended question and ask how has the world of e-commerce changed over the past few years?

Marcus: The biggest challenge for online retailers over the last few years has been offering a service that the typical online shopper has now come to expect. As shoppers, our expectations in terms of delivery, returns, personalisation, payment methods and communication have been set by the giants of eCommerce like Amazon and offering a comparable service or a unique differentiator can be difficult. Advancements in payment methods and personalisation of content and product recommendations have been key in the last few years and will continue to play a very important role in the success of online retail stores.

 

Rise: Have recent additions to apps like Instagram shopping made a huge difference in the way that people consume?

Marcus: Although the addition of buyable pins on Pinterest, Facebook marketplace and Instagram shopping functionality are interesting and will undoubtably work for some merchants, I’m not sure how big the direct impact on sales will be. As an industry we design for ‘mobile first’ as a rule but the fact is that the majority of online purchases still take place on a desktop device so mobile-heavy platforms like Instagram will have less of an impact on buying habits than we perhaps think.

Having said that, it’s well known that over 80% of smartphone users turn to their device to help them make a product decision, either in store on online so the impact on the entire journey to purchase is undeniable, it’s just whether that impact is easily measurable.

 

Rise: As an experience shopping and buying has become much more personalised and easy. How do you see the future of e-commerce panning out, how can we go further than paying for something with our fingerprint/facial recognition?

Marcus: Until new technology is developed that allows us to pay in other ways, I don’t think this will be the biggest area of change in the coming years although widespread merchant adoption of things like Apple, Android and Amazon payment methods is still to come. I think payment options rather than methods are still changing at quite a rate and ‘pay later’  and ‘split payment’  options will become more widespread with solutions like Klarna facilitating an Amazon-style, one click payment method across thousands of websites.

Personalisation of site content as well as product recommendations will continue to improve and eventually each user visiting an eCommerce store will get a completely different experience based on their personal circumstances, browsing history and buying habits.

 

Rise: There are many different types of e-commerce platforms, could you please give me a few examples and why it is that so many types have been developed?

Marcus: There are many different eCommerce platforms out there and put simply, this is to serve the needs of the merchant. An online retail startup would typically use a platform like Shopify or WooCommerce (WordPress) because of their ease of use and lower cost of entry. As a merchant grows, their requirements will change in order to service their customers and these platforms may no longer be fit for purpose. A larger retailer may turn to an enterprise solution such as Magento (Adobe), Hybris (SAP) or Demandware (Salesforce) as they offer scalability in terms of both order volume and site functionality. For example, a business retailing across multiple countries in multiple languages and currencies would not be suitable for a platform like Shopify.

 

Rise: If you were to give advice to someone that was looking to get into the eCommerce industry, what first steps should they take?

Marcus: Working in eCommerce from an agency perspective is as fast moving as it is interesting so the best piece of advice I can give to someone interested in taking their first steps not this industry is to constantly research and monitor the marketplace for new design trends, developing technology and best practices. It’s the only way to stay ahead of the competition and more importantly, add value and remain relevant to you clients.

One word of caution though, the noise about new technology can sometimes be distracting so always do your own evaluation and ideally, real-world testing before recommending a course of action for your clients. We’re lucky at Media Lounge to run our own successful eCommerce store so we have a ready made testing bed and it has proven invaluable over the years.

 

A huge thank you Marcus for giving us his time and knowledge about the world of eCommerce. We also delved into the topic of the importance of being unique, have a read here.

At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This is part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

We asked Jake Moore cyber security expert from ESET Internet Security some questions about keeping informed and getting your company safe whether you are a big or small business.

 

Rise: What is your name, where do you work, and what do you do within your role?

 

Jake: Jake Moore, Security Specialist for ESET Internet Security. I am the spokesman for the company commenting in the national news on a daily occurrence in the field of cyber security.

 

Rise: Can you give me a brief description of Cyber Security?

 

Jake: Wow “brief”?! That’s tough. I would say it’s the imperative requirement to tighten defences on any internet connected device because of the increasing ways in which gremlins get in to try and either steal information, cause havoc, and extort you or all three.  Sadly there is no silver bullet that can do this but with a range of tools to combat it, this risk can be reduced.

 

Rise: Why has there been such a rise in the need for Cyber Security in the last few years?

 

Jake: More and more interaction and human activity now relies on the internet with the ever increasing need for speed when it comes to communications, services and transactions alike. This inevitably means that there will be more vulnerabilities for hackers to take advantage of and compromise. From companies storing confidential data which could potentially be hacked to people using the same passwords for all online accounts, people sadly still need to up their security to stay ahead of the game. It probably feels like there is a new scam or cyber risk in the press on a daily basis and this tends to be because the general public are still slightly behind on the educational requirement to mitigate the threats.

 

Rise: How can we start to take steps to make sure we are safe against safety breaches? Do you have some top tips?

 

Jake: There are some really simple steps we can all take to reduce the chance of getting our own devices or information hacked in to. These steps won’t take you long to set up and once you are used to them, they will actually make your online life easier. Firstly, download a password manager application on your phone and create unique strong passwords for all of your accounts keeping them stored in the manager app. This will save you from most simple hacking breaches. Secondly, implement 2 factor authentication on all applications that hold sensitive information such as your email and social media accounts. All this involves is inputting your mobile number to the application so that when you log in on a new device, it will text you a code to input quickly making it so much more secure as hackers will not have your mobile phone. Even safer is by downloading an authentication app such as Google Authenticator. These generate codes only you can see. And finally I suggest you backup all your data such as photos, music or videos that you could never ever live without. No one wants to experience that feeling of losing those precious moments such as your kids photos or a special holiday should the worst ever happen.  

 

Rise: Do news releases like this mean good news for the industry of Cyber Security? https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-universities-recognised-for-excellence-in-cyber-security-research

 

Jake: Of course good news is excellent when it comes to cyber security. If there is anything that tries to balance out the negative stories we hear and read on a daily basis, then that’s a good thing in my opinion. We are in desperate need to entice new people from all backgrounds (especially more women) into the industry as it has been documented that there still aren’t enough people in the cyber defence world to tackle the ever growing demand.

 

Rise: Are we well equipped for the future with the huge increase in technological advancements? Surely the more tech and digital platforms that are produced the more ways we can be hacked?

 

Jake: We are getting there but it has to be a combined effort and shift in culture to maximise the war on cybercrime. Companies need to understand their own risks and in some cases, employ more people equipped to reduce those threats. Moreover, the public need to understand that burying your head in the sand won’t make the problem go away and in fact, simple cyber security hygiene isn’t too difficult to implement. As soon as people allow computers and cyber awareness training be a part of life, you could potentially eradicate 80% of cybercrime.

 

Rise: What great advancements has there been in terms of security for businesses and your everyday individual?

 

Jake: Simple advancements such as a change in policy, education and verification techniques are the actually the most powerful. Due to the fact that hacking people is far easier than hacking systems, by simply upping staff and the general public in awareness will impact greatly on society. There is still a slight “technophobe” attitude which harpers our future but this is slowly eradicating.

 

Rise: Do you think there is enough public information around Cyber Security so people know how to be safe?

 

Jake: There is a plethora of public information on cyber security. Absolutely tons! However, the issue lies people wanting to access it. If we change the culture or even stigma around the subject then everything will fall into place and we will be a much stronger society when it comes to defending against cyber-attacks.

 

A huge thank you to Jake Moore for being a part of this series and answering all of our questions!

 

If you haven’t seen the first Q&A of this series click here to have a look.