28
Aug
Nyree

A Scot in London: an introduction

Posted by Nyree

By Blair Grant

As the sunlight gleaming off the River Clyde slipped into the distance with my train pulling out of Glasgow Central, I knew there was no turning back.  I was finally moving to London.

 

Funnily enough, any of the nervousness which was certainly there as my taxi drove past my now old flat and the BBC Scotland building disappeared as I took my seat in carriage B, only to be replaced with excitement.

 

I settled into the journey, reading with great interest the New Statesman’s fantastic London edition, as the woman opposite unknowingly lessened my mood by slurping loudly from a bottle of cheap white wine.  I politely refused as she offered me a swig from the no doubt warm bottle, grunting: “I don’t have any glasses”.

 

We’ll skip my arrival, the stress of trying to find an electrical fan (who would have thought it so hard?) and more importantly a flat – note to self for future reference: do not attempt to fit nine flat viewings in during one day – and go straight into my first day here at Stand Agency.

 

Now everyone knows you have to make a good first impression when starting a new job.  Clean shaven, the costume de rigueur comprising a sharp suit, crisp shirt and polished shoes and above all else, getting into the office early.

 

I have friends in London and have visited many times, however, crucially I have never been on a ‘rush hour’ train.  On Monday morning I lay awake at 5.30am and mentally prepared myself.  I envisaged extricating myself from the mass of Metropolitan Line bodies with a mixture of guile and force.  I was ready. I needn’t have bothered.

 

Arriving at Finchley Road tube station it gradually dawned on me that I was going to be early for work. Too early.  I read my copy of City A.M. and found a nice cafe to while away the hours – yes hours – until I was supposed to be in work. It was an experience, to say the least.

 

But I’m here now, I have a flat and I have my electrical fan and I’m absolutely loving working and living in London, something I’m sure those reading will learn more about during the coming months.  My background is a political one with understandable interest in the political landscape of Scotland and while far from being an aficionado, I’m sure you’ll hear all about that, too.  Referendum debate, anyone?  Watch this space.

 

 

21
Aug
Nyree

Is there any reality left in reality TV?

Posted by Nyree

By Nikki Peters

As the viewing figures for X Factor saw a drastic drop from 11 to 8.1 million for the first show of this series, many speculated that the demand for reality TV has dried up. Maybe it is heading that way but the question on my mind whilst watching X Factor auditionee Zoe Alexander outburst on Saturday night’s show was where’s the reality gone in this particular reality show?

The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of Reality (noun) provides some clues to what we should be seeing when it comes to reality TV:

  • the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them
  • a thing that is actually experienced or seen, especially when this is grim or problematic
  • a thing that exists in fact, having previously only existed in one’s mind
  • the quality of being lifelike or resembling an original

In case you had better things to do on Saturday night, here’s a brief re-cap on how this current debate started… Zoe Alexander turned on the X Factor judges when they gave her four resounding “it’s a no from me”’s because she showed no originality and was too much like Pink.  Her problem, the production team had told her to replace her choice with a Pink song.  Now the bleeped out outburst definitely increased the drama but I am questioning whether it really did X Factor the good they thought the drama and extra column inches might bring?  Viewers definitely switched off but the longer term impact comes from people like me saying “hang on, don’t think I am stupid enough to think this is real, give me more credit than that.”

 

Reality TV as we know it hit our screens in 2000 with Big Brother and the contestants were all real, sometimes boring, people. This concept endeared the British public who tuned in to watch the natural personalities develop and interact in the house. This honest approach to reality TV continued through Pop Idol, X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and many more.

 

There was, however, a turning point for reality TV when producers started making changes to the format. There are pre-audition auditions for contestants to weed out the “uninteresting” and only broadcast the good, the bad and the ugly to viewers. Some contestants were followed to their homes by camera crews piecing together their personal stories to be used at later stages in the competition. Finally there is the division of air time for contestants. When you vote to save contestants how will someone you have seen a 30 second clip of fare against their rival whose family you feel you know inside out?

 

The Truman Show leaps to mind at this point. Where reality was created for Jim Carrey’s character and edited so he experienced what television companies believed he should. I can’t help but feel like this when watching some reality TV and I’m not convinced that fiction is more interesting than fact. I think the reality was what made us tune in and now that has gone, we have switched off, or better still, rented a film – remember that…?

 

 

21
Aug
Nyree

Stand Agency wins Chartered Management Institute brief

Posted by Nyree

 

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has chosen to work with Stand Agency on its latest project after a three-way pitch.

 

Stand Agency will promote the CMI Management Book of the Year competition which, backed by the British Library, celebrates the country’s finest business and management books. The competition this year has already attracted entries from high profile names including: Former Tesco CEO, Sir Terry Leahy; Financial Times columnist, Mrs Moneypenny; and Anders Dahlvig, the former CEO of IKEA.

 

Piers Cain, Head of Knowledge Management at CMI said:

 

“We’re delighted to be working with Stand Agency on the CMI Management Book of the Year competition.  They brought a fresh approach to the competition and impressed us in the pitch with their understanding of our business and willingness to go beyond our initial brief.”

 

Laura Oliphant, Managing Director of Stand Agency said:

 

“We’re really excited to be working with CMI and the British Library.  They are fantastic organisations and the Management Book of the Year looks set to be a huge success.

 

“Our approach to the brief centred on using the authors and content of the books to generate debate and discussion about management and leadership in the UK.  We can’t wait to get started.”

 

The CMI Management Book of the Year has previously been promoted by Kindred as part of their retained contract with CMI.

26
Jun
Nyree

A first time for everything

Posted by Nyree

Hello and welcome. If you’re exploring the world of Stand Agency, you’ve just landed on Standpoint, our blog, and you’re in the process of reading our first ever post!

First posts are always exciting. They’re a chance to shape your identity and give a hint of the personalities behind the business. We thought you might like to know what we’ve got in store over the coming weeks and months, so we’re going to tell you what and what not to expect from Standpoint so hopefully you’ll want to come back again and again to read what we have to say.

Standpoint will be a heady mix of the interesting and topical, with the occasional frivolous post thrown in for good measure. This isn’t the place to find regurgitations of the latest news or opinions from the loudest commentators, and it won’t be a spot for industry analysis. This is a stage for open and honest discussion on real issues that are relevant to you, our clients and the team at Stand Agency.

Whether it’s our take on boosting British business or baking perfect cupcakes (we mentioned frivolous), you’ll be reading our opinions.

We’ll try our very best not to indulge in any shameless self-promotion, but if we have some fantastic news to share, you’ll probably read about it here.

Finally, Standpoint isn’t just about us. We’d love to hear your opinions too, so feel free to let us know if you agree, disagree or simply have an amazing cake recipe to share.