Thursday, 16 April 2015

Interview With The Primark Web Team #InternSeries

Meet the Web team behind Primark.com. Put a face to a name and get to know who does what and how it all works. Working with this team recently was an amazing experience and I feel throughout my internship they gave me plenty of opportunities to try new things and grow my skills during this process. I was lucky enough to interview them when I was there and they have enlightened me on how they got to where they are as well as some tips on how to break into the fashion industry.



What is your job title? 
Jodie Jones (JJ): Digital Content Assistant
Ebony Nash (EN): Digital Content Assistant
Caroline Murray (CM): Social Media Assistant
Jayne Bibby (JB): Digital Content Editor

How did you get into this role?
JJ: I always wanted to be a fashion journalist, so after graduating with a degree in Fashion Journalism from UCA, it was natural for me to pursue positions that allow me to write about fashion and lifestyle. Online is a particularly exciting platform as it reaches a wider audience, it’s a relevant medium for our core reader and it’s fast paced.
EN: After starting a blog in 2012 and heavily featuring Primark clothing, I applied for the job and sent along some sample posts that I’d written. Two months after graduating from university with an English Literature with Creative Writing degree, I found myself here in Reading and haven’t looked back!
CM: I studied Textile Design at university and after a mixture of internships in both design and marketing I made the decision to focus on the marketing side. In my second year at university I was lucky enough to work for the luxury knitwear brand John Smedley where I was asked to focus how to increase brand awareness through social media. After completing my placement I was asked to continue working for them alongside my degree which helped me build the experience needed to apply for my current position at Primark.
JB: I have worked in the fashion industry for eight years now, previously being at WGSN in a number of different positions before becoming their Catwalks Editor. I then made the decision to move in-house and work for a brand – and here I am.

What are your key responsibilities at Primark?
JJ: Creating fresh, inspiring and relevant written content for Primark.com. I predominantly cover homeware, womenswear and a bit of menswear.
EN: Writing predominantly womenswear, beauty and kidswear focused articles for Primark.com, building relationships with both well-established and fledgling bloggers and moderating Primania.
CM: Creating engaging imagery and written content to push across our social channels. I work closely a variety of teams and bloggers to create a visual representation of the brand.
JB: I oversee the full digital content team for Primark.com and make sure we are continuously delivering exciting, relevant and fresh content across our nine sites, which are translated into six different languages. I also manage the Studio Coordinators – one in Reading, one in Dublin. Out with all of this I look after the strategy for the online business and strive to push it forward.

What is your favourite thing about your job?
JJ: The variety and opportunity. As a relatively young team still establishing itself, there is a lot of room for growth and exciting ideas are always whizzing around the office.
EN: The fast-paced nature of the team, constant wealth of opportunities and amount of creative freedom. Doesn’t hurt that everyone in the office is a hoot, too.
CM: My role is varied which makes everyday exciting! Working in social media for Primark is great as there is so much product- you can never run out of ideas!
JB: Having my work read by million of people each week and being part of Primark.com while it’s still in its early stages is amazing. I’ve been allowed to be part of the driving force behind building the brand online and also seeing it launch in the US.

Favourite project?
JJ: I really enjoyed the London Fashion Week coverage and trend reportage we ran recently. We hired a really cool street style photographer to snap all the best-dressed LFW attendees and created trend reports to keep our readers up to date on the latest looks.
EN: Working with Company Magazine for their Bloggers Style The High Street event was a fun experience. Stressful – but fun!
CM: #PrimarkMeets In The Frow. This was an event we held at our Press Office with fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger Victoria (In The Frow). We invited aspiring bloggers to attend the Q&A session which we then featured across social and the website. It was a great evening!
JB: I think it would have to be creating content from London Collections:Men and London Fashion Week, dressing members of the fashion industry for the event and creating trend reports from our street style content. I love to feel right in the middle of major fashion events so those were amazing projects allowing us to do just that.

What are the future plans for creative content?
JJ: Primark.com is currently going through an exciting phase and is about to relaunch. The new site will be a lot more dynamic and editorial focused, so we’ll be looking to develop new content angles and features with a much more ‘lifestyle’ edge.
EN: We’re looking to branch out with a complete aesthetic overhaul very soon and turn our attention to creating on-trend, culturally relevant editorial content to make Primark.com a destination in its own right.
CM: At the moment we’re waiting for the new website launch which will open doors for new and exciting content! We’re also opening stores in America in September which brings a whole new audience!
JB: We are just about to relaunch the website to give it a new look and feel and also give it a new editorial focus. This is a really exciting time for us and we can’t wait for launch day! We are also about to open out first store in the US, which has been a huge project in the making and we are making sure this new territory is reflected within our online content.

What are your desk essentials?
JJ: I always have fruit, water and coffee on my desk. And a tub of peanut butter in my drawer!
EN: Hazelnut butter, a spare MAC Russian Red lipstick and a lucky Chinese beckoning cat.
CM: My desk is a mix match of random things! I always have a big bottle of water on my desk and a pot of honey and oat biscuits in my drawer for those 4pm munchies!
JB: A big bottle of water, beautiful notebook and coffee, coffee, coffee!

What is your advice for a fashion intern or someone wanting to get in to the industry? 
JJ: Pick the right internship for you, don’t settle on something that is irrelevant to your ultimate goal for the sake of saying you’ve interned. That will only  waste your time and the company you intern for. Also, quality is much better than quantity – don’t pack out your summer interning at hundreds of random companies. If you can, pick one really good one and see how long they’ll have you.
EN: Think outside the box and put yourself out there. For my own internship when I was in my first year of uni, I found out the Market Editor of ELLE Magazine was going to be at an event at my local River Island, so plucked up the courage (after a couple of complementary cocktails, mind) to introduce myself and ask about internships. Three weeks later, I was interning at Hearst’s headquarters in London.
CM: Experience! The more you build before you graduate the easier you’ll find the job hunt. It also helps pin point what you want to do career-wise. You don’t have to put them all on your CV, just what’s relevant!
JB: You have to stand out and make sure you’re remembered. There are so many interns coming in and out of fashion companies, that you have to make sure you make a lasting impression. And network as much a possible, it might sound cliché but the fashion industry is so small that it REALLY is all about who you know.

What do you look for when people apply for a role with you?
JB: I look for someone who shows a genuine love for fashion and knows their stuff in terms of terminology, industry specialists and commerciality. The bottom line is finding someone who will fit well into the current team, will push their role forward, really making the most of it and will inspire other members of the team.  

I hope their answers inspired you all and will go on to help you start of your career. Thanks again to the Primark Web Team, it was a pleasure!

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4 comments

  1. Ah this was really helpful, its so difficult to get into fashion especially when you have an English Lit degree! x

    http://ariannachatz.blogspot.com

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    1. I can imagine - hard enough with a fashion degree but glad I helped you out! x

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  2. This would be such a great job! I currently work in site merchandising for a fashion retailer, but I would love to get more into creating content like these ladies!

    COOCOO FOR COCO

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    1. Definitely I had such fun working with them recently, go for it! x

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