Category: Spreading the jam

Pivot and thrive – How to adapt and survive during a crisis

By Carys Bryant,

What’s your first reaction to sudden and unexpected change?

Really it all comes down to your fight or flight response.

For many, a change to their daily ritual can spark uncertainty and concern, or dependant on the severity of the change, panic.

However, change doesn’t always need to be negative. A sudden shift in business, for example, can present diversification and opportunity to help you not just survive but thrive.

This is the question many businesses have faced, under the most severe of circumstances, during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

The word unprecedented really can’t be overstated enough in terms of what businesses have dealt with, but really never before have we seen a risk scenario as unpredictable and confusing as this.

Agility is key

Despite its economically devastating impact, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of agility in business.

Adapting both personally and professionally during this tumultuous time has been key to survival – whether it has been adopting remote and home working, adapting your product, or altering your service.

As demonstrated, some businesses have managed to thrive or pivot in innovative and lucrative ways – and we’re not just talking about the off-the-chart success of hand sanitiser brands!

Here are some of the best examples:

Home Workouts

With self-improvement, exercise, and wellness becoming a dominant theme throughout lockdown, online yoga saw its popularity soar.

One of the most successful online instructors is yoga queen Adrienne Mishler.  Paper magazine called Adriene (of Yoga by Adriene) ‘the patron saint of quarantine’ as her online yoga tutorials became essential viewing for the lockdown masses.

Her videos gained such popularity that if you Google online yoga, she’s top of the search results, and her already die-hard fan base of over six million subscribers before the pandemic, leapt by one million over the past few months – with her classes soaring to over 770,000 views in June.

With the pandemic driving many to exercise at home, Adriene’s online yoga classes offered an easy, accessible, and affordable solution to keep your body and mental-wellbeing in check.

Digital streaming services

Watched all of Netflix during lockdown? Then you’re not alone.

Netflix saw an additional 15.7 million subscribers sign up for the streaming service in the first quarter of the year, as lockdown measures were implemented.

And the launch of Disney+ also coincided with millions of children being told to stay home from school. And thanks to the addition of films such as Frozen 2, and Hamilton, it seems like everyone is signing up.

The addition of Hamilton to Disney+ has successfully tapped into the gap in the theatre market, with many theatres forced to close their doors during the pandemic.

Those itching to see their favourite actors tread the boards and soak in the theatre experience flocked to Disney+, with global downloads following Hamilton’s release reaching 752,451, app downloads were 46.6% higher worldwide compared to the four weekends before.

Suddenly, the hit Broadway show that no one could get tickets to pre-coronavirus, is now available worldwide for everyone’s enjoyment.

And the BBC also got in on the lockdown scheduling with Staged (available on BBC iplayer) which is a six-part TV series, filmed entirely with the cast in isolation and over a Zoom call. Featuring A-list cameos from Samuel L Jackson and Judy Dench, this captivated audiences from their living rooms.

Cooking for convenience

Hands up, who’s over-indulged during lockdown?

Yes, comfort food and cooking has reigned supreme during lockdown, with thousands of cooking enthusiasts turning their hand to a recipe or six.

TV chef, Jamie Oliver, recognised an opportunity here and launched his Keep Cooking and Carry On show, supporting the nation’s new-found love for cooking, while adapting recipes if ingredients were unavailable.

Finding that he couldn’t produce a regular TV show from his state-of-the-art studio kitchen, he enlisted the help of his wife and children to film the series on their iPhones. The result of this pivot, a great new TV show in a format we could all relate to, especially with his toddler, River, running in and out of shot.

Food on the go

Can’t cook? No problem!

The food delivery sector has boomed over the past few months, with spending on meals kits and grocery boxes sent to people’s doors rising by 114% in April, according to figures from purchase intelligence platform Cardlytics.

Pizza Pilgims, one of the best pizza restaurants in London, also got a slice of the lockdown action when it diversified its offering. After losing all custom as the pandemic took hold, they decided to pivot and began to offer £15 frying pan pizza kits. The first 50 reportedly sold out in 20 seconds.

The demand grew to such an extent, that they had to open another of their restaurants to satisfy the demand.

On a more local level, we saw the Hare and Hounds in Aberthin and the Ashburnham Hotel in Pembrey, offering delivery of their much loved Sunday Roasts.

Social sentiment equals success

In a time of unprecedented change and global crisis, social sentiment, or supporting a worthwhile cause, has become even more vital.

As house-bound online consumers choose which brand to support, they are drawn increasingly to socially conscious brands which stand for something and represent what they believe.

As such, many brands have made the ultimate selfless pivot and diversified to support the health service rather than generate revenue.

Renowned British brands such as Jaguar Land Rover, Burberry and The Royal Mint have adapted their offering over the past few months to produce PPE and other essential equipment for the NHS.

The Royal Mint, based in Llantrisant, started making medical visors for the NHS, and supplied them directly to The Royal Glamorgan Hospital.

Lateral, and not commercial, thinking such as this inevitably increases positive sentiment from consumers, who are then likely to demonstrate their loyalty to the brands and provide longer-term benefits for their actions.

Pivot and thrive

Clearly, a crisis doesn’t have to spell disaster for business, examine the market, look for a niche, and adapt your offering.

You never know when a pivot could be the key to success.

If you require any marketing or communications support during the Coronavirus pandemic, please get in touch.

Carys is our Marketing Manager here at jamjar and is responsible for developing and implementing bilingual marketing campaigns for clients.

The Thoughtful Marketing Movement

By Carys Bryant,

What is it to be ‘thoughtful in marketing’?

With Father’s Day coming up, we’ve all received numerous emails promoting cards, gifts and mementos to demonstrate you care.

But what if you’re estranged? Or they’ve passed away? These promotional tools could then become constant, and potentially painful, reminders of something that you’d rather forget.

This is just one of many calendar days that could be difficult for people to celebrate, which thoughtless marketing could only serve to worsen.

Companies, which are often oblivious to this level of detail about their customers, could inadvertently be sending out insensitive marketing messages to their client databases, which could create upset.

In order to become more considerate to their customers, online florist, Bloom & Wild, launched opt-out of Mother’s Day e-mails in 2019, which it has expanded to The Thoughtful Marketing Movement in 2020. It describes this shift as “an effort to make marketing a little more thoughtful”.

Reaction to The Thoughtful Marketing Movement

Bloom & Wild reported that the positive response to this was “surprising and overwhelming”.

Those who chose to opt-out of the Mother’s Day emails last year, will not receive any communications this year and, when logged in to their Bloom & Wild account, will also not see any mention of it.

Quite literally, it is putting individual customers first, which is not something that can’t be said for every retailer, especially in an online-only environment.

The movement also got a mention in parliament, with Matt Warman MP recognising its benefit. He said: “If other companies were to follow suit, the dread – and I do mean dread – around this day might be mitigated for many people.”

Growth of the movement

With listening being the key factor in the movement, other companies were quick to realise the potential of simply listening to their customers. Bloom & Wild’s gesture was quickly followed by Wagamama, Paperchase, NEOM, Papier, The Telegraph, Matalan to name just a few.

Aligning yourself with The Thoughtful Marketing Movement has the potential to show your customers you are human and that you are treating them with respect, appreciation, and sensitivity, which can go a long way in the sometimes impersonal world of online retail.

Marketing in a world of uncertainty

As we find ourselves in a world that has taken an unexpected pause due to coronavirus, adopting a more thoughtful marketing approach might be a way to take forward learnings from this tumultuous period.

By following the initiative of The Thoughtful Marketing Movement, customers are put in control of what they receive, and what they do not.

This approach ensures that a customer’s experience with a brand is not only thoughtful but personal and innovative and demonstrates that the brand cares about their world.

At a time of widespread uncertainty, now more than ever consumers need to feel that their favourite brand is a safe haven, where they are prioritised and recognised as an individual, and not a database number.

In a world which has changed substantially, consumers, their shopping habits, and needs have also significantly shifted. As such, brands must adapt to this new consumer frontier sensitively, or get left behind.

If this initiative is something you are interested in joining, you can register for The Thoughtful Marketing Movement here.

If you require any marketing or communications support during the Coronavirus pandemic, please get in touch.

Carys is our Marketing Manager here at jamjar and is responsible for developing and implementing bilingual marketing campaigns for clients.

Rainbow jar – #jamjarcreations

By Lyndsey Jenkins,

Over the last few weeks during lockdown, we’ve been getting crafty here at jamjar repurposing our used jam jars. 

We wanted to share our #jamjarcreations with you in case you have some jam jars hanging around the house.

The first activity is a great one to do with kids. Not only is it fun to do and easy to make, but it involves some counting and measuring so can definitely be classed as educational!

As the rainbow has become a symbol of support for people wanting to show solidarity with the NHS as the coronavirus pandemic has swept the country, it’s a timely and fitting jar to create at the moment and pop on your windowsill.

What you’ll need

  • A large jar – we used a used 600g peanut butter jar
  • Acrylic paints in rainbow colours
  • Long skewer or prodding utensil
  • At least 60 cotton wool balls
  • Water
  • Cup for measuring
  • Mixing pots or ramekins x 6
  • Measuring spoon

How to make your rainbow jar

  • Fill each ramekin with half a cup of water. You should have six pots/ramekins in total.
  • Starting with red, add 1tsp of red paint to your first ramekin and stir in the colour to the water.
  • Repeat this process with all of your other rainbow colours until have a ramekin for each colour.
  • Divide your cotton balls into six piles of 10-15 cotton balls.
  • Start with the first pile, pull each cotton wool ball apart a little bit and place in the jar. Use your skewer or long utensil to push the cotton wool balls down to the bottom of the jar.
  • Slowly pour your purple mixture on top of the cotton balls. Try and pour your mixture so that it covers all of the cotton wool balls. Use your skewer to move the cotton wool balls around gently until they absorb all the paint. You want the cotton wool to absorb all the paint mixture to keep the colour in place without having leftover mixture that can leave into the other colours.
  • You can add more cotton balls as needed.
  • Repeat the above for each layer and colour of the rainbow in this order: Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red.

And bobs your uncle, you should have jar that resembles a rainbow!

A few things we learned along the way…

  • Don’t press down too hard with your skewer once your colour mixture has been added as the paint squeezes out of the cotton balls and may mix with the next layer
  • Keep the jar fairly still when and after assembling so the colours don’t separate
  • Eventually the colours will mix…just like a real rainbow….but they look great while they last

Our chief jammer had a great time doing this with her girls and we hope you have fun too.

If you have a go, we’d love to see your rainbow jars so please share them on your social channels using #jamjarcreations.

Finding creativity in the world of COVID-19

By Carys Bryant,

For many, Covid-19 has disrupted every aspect of our professional lives. Within the marketing industry, there has never been such a fundamental shift in planning and action.

Despite this, research carried out by Kantar found that just 8% of the people surveyed thought that brands should stop advertising. However, there was a clear consensus that brands needed to address the current situation, inform customers what they were doing and not exploit the situation.

As a result, we have seen some really poignant and memorable creative work emerge from marketing and advertising departments. The reason for the success of these particular campaigns and adverts? Being sensitive to the situation and remaining relevant during this health crisis.

Here are a few of our favourite campaigns from the last few weeks:

BBC – “Don’t Quit”

A video that includes the clips from the best BBC TV shows and real footage captured over recent weeks. The voice-over is a reading of Edgar Guest’s poem ‘Don’t Quit’, read by none other than Idris Elba. It’s heartfelt, warm, emotional, thoughtful and captures the mood and heart of the country.

IKEA – “Hello, I’m your house” video

Showing your home the love and respect it deserves is very Marie Kondo (if you haven’t already, check out the Netflix series) and Ikea taps into that feeling with its “Hello, I’m your house” advert. Taking a step back to think about all the things you have done and experienced in your home really does make you think hard and appreciate the four walls around you.

IKEA – “The Stay Home Catalogue: Family Boredom Solutions”

Another great idea from Ikea was an edition of their new catalogue. The retailer worked alongside McCann to turn its famous catalogue into a workbook for bored children stuck inside during quarantine. I haven’t yet met a young child who doesn’t love Ikea so what a perfect way for them to while away some at-home hours.

Co-Op – #LocalHeroes

We’ve all had to learn the ways of video calling in recent weeks. The “can you hear me?” and “sorry, you go” that sporadically fills the conversation, the weak wifi signal, children and pets photobombing…it’s all too familiar a scene which is why Co-Op’s advert has resonated so well with its viewers. Its message struck a chord too “even though we can’t be in the same room we can still pull together and help those in need” which is what we all want to do during this difficult time.

Tesco – “Food Love Stories”

Using their existing Food Love Stories campaign now as a dedication piece, the advert is a compilation of home videos of families making and sharing their favourite recipes digitally. Tesco has created an emotional and heartfelt advert that can’t help but bring a tear to the eye and also a whole wave of nostalgia for loved ones we aren’t able to be with. It shows us that we’re all in the same boat and we’re all in this together.

Persil –“Home is Good”

Changing their famous “Dirt is Good” slogan to “Home is Good” while showing a montage of empty playgrounds and outdoor spaces from around the world, Persil thanks the public for adhering to social distancing and lockdown rules. Again, the message of we’re all in this together is loud and clear.

If you’re after a creative campaign to resonate during the Coronavirus pandemic, drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.

Carys is our Marketing Manager here at jamjar and is responsible for developing and implementing bilingual marketing campaigns for clients.

Social media content during the Coronavirus – why your channels don’t need to lockdown

By Ellé Holley,

Following on from our last blog where we emphasised the importance of remaining digitally ‘present’ even if your business is temporarily closed due to COVID 19, here we share our tips on approaching social media content over the next few months.

Be sensitive

Social media planning is proving to be a tricky task during this global pandemic.

The virus is having a huge impact on social media for brands and the situation is changing day-by-day, leaving many marketeers and business owners unsure on what they should and shouldn’t do during this lockdown.

The main thing to remember is to be sensitive to the situation and remain relevant during this health crisis.

Your usual posting schedule is going to be turned on its head, but that’s okay – it is a good learning opportunity.

Take the time to put more thought into the content you’re posting and look at its tone. Ask yourself if your message sounds or looks out of place next to a post about Coronavirus. You don’t want to be seen to be glossing over the situation at hand.

Although everyone is looking for ways to keep their businesses afloat, this isn’t the right time to overtly sell on social media unless you are providing a local service which the community needs.

This is your opportunity to get social. Use this time to engage with your followers on a more personal level. Connect with your followers about their questions and concerns. Learn more about your market. And most importantly, show that you care. If your followers see you as a brand that cares, they are far more likely to support you.

Be smart

Each of the main social media platforms have seen a drop in engagement. Facebook and Instagram have seen the largest declines both with a 14% drop. However, Twitter seems to be weathering the storm a little better with only a 7% drop.

This is because people are turning to Twitter for live updates, breaking news and information. They also want to connect with brands and organisations instantly with any concerns they may have.

Facebook and Instagram have seen a decline due to their algorithm heavy feeds; people don’t want to be bombarded with curated and paid-for content during this period of concern.

Higher education and media are seeing the highest engagement, as they are at the centre of some of the nation’s main concerns. They are also working around the clock to keep their followers and stakeholders up to date with the latest developments.

The above means that you need to adapt to this new social media landscape. Be smart about where to focus your efforts and plan your content around what your followers want and, in many ways, need to see right now.

Be straight up

All aspects of life are a bit upside down at the moment and people are taking time to adjust to the ‘new normal’.

Children are jumping in on zoom calls, parents are adapting to being teachers and businesses are having to change their business models to stay afloat.

None of it is easy so be straight up on social media and tell your followers how you’re finding it. People will appreciate your honesty.

  • Let your followers know how your business is doing. What are you doing for your staff to help during this time? How are you all adapting if you’re working from home? Give a behind the scenes look at your new normal.
  • Working from home with kids is no easy task. If you have any tips on this, share them!
  • What are you as a company doing to help others right now? Are you supporting workers on the front line? Donating to charities? Offering discounts? Anything you are doing to help during this uncertain time places you as part of a wider support system, and that is the type of content that consumers are interested in right now. 
  • Amidst the doom and gloom sharing some positive content can be a game changer. Let your followers know if your business has had some good news, won a new contract, survived another day of home schooling…anything that has made you feel happy that day!

Be a source

With the pandemic running rampant across the globe, people are turning to social media for news, information and advice.

If you are in a position to be a source of information on a related aspect of the pandemic – be it employment law relating to furloughing employees or financial advice for weathering the storm – use social media to showcase your expertise and provide advice.

With the coronavirus ‘infodemic’ in full force, if you’re planning on sharing content on social media make sure it’s from a reliable and trusted source.

Be supportive

Above all, despite these unprecedented times, remember that we’re all in this together. Social media is a great community tool so use it to show your support to others in your network.

If you require any communications support during the Coronavirus pandemic, please contact us.

Elle is our Senior Communications Executive here at jamjar. With a wealth of PR experience, there isn’t a comms challenge she can’t manage.

Top tips for businesses on coronavirus communication

By Gemma Gwilym,

For many, it will have been business as usual up until a few weeks ago.

Client meetings, brainstorming with colleagues, popping out for lunch, and the usual daily routine will have seemed incredibly mundane until they were transformed in an instant by the Coronavirus pandemic.

This drastic change has led to a time of extreme concern for businesses globally, with anxiety surrounding the impact on clients, staffing, and finances.

As staff up and down the country adapt to working from home, the most fundamental change businesses will be facing day-to-day is with communication.

Businesses are being forced to re-evaluate, and in some ways reinvent, how they can most effectively communicate with their clients, their staff, and their entire professional community under the most challenging of circumstances.

And they cannot afford to get it wrong, because right now effective communication is key.

Here, our Communications Manager Gemma Gwilym shares her top tips on how to communicate effectively within your business during this unprecedented health crisis.

Be human and authentic

With stress and worry inevitably having an impact across all levels of the business community, this is a time throw the corporate spiel out of the window and replace it with compassionate communications.

Whether you are communicating with staff who are worried about job security, clients who are concerned about the financial impact on their business, or industry colleagues who are in the same boat as you without a paddle, the same well-considered, empathetic communications approach applies.

In all forms of communication – from emails to virtual meetings and newsletters to media statements, ensure you are communicating honestly, and paying particular attention to the audience you are speaking to and the effect this is having on them.

When this is over, it’s that compassion and understanding, which will speak volumes about your business and what it stands for.

Don’t forget internal communication

While it’s natural to think external first in times of crises, with news suggesting that 25 million jobs will be at risk globally because of the pandemic, workers are going to be understandably worried.

As employers, loyal staff are now more crucial than ever to the continued running of your business, so it’s essential they are kept informed.

Consistent communication is the most effective way to address and eradicate any growing concerns. Keep senior leaders visible during this time and send out regular internal updates, even if there is ‘no change’, to help staff feel informed about what is going on.  

It’s also crucial to communicate openly and fully in relation to company decisions which directly impact their lives, and ultimately livelihood. This could include flexible working, reduced hours, an inability to work from home, or childcare. Issues which impact a worker’s family life are likely to be more emotive, so timely and honest communications are more likely to make staff feel supported and valued.

For customer-facing staff, there may be questions or concerns coming in from clients or suppliers. Ensure these staff are briefed on what can be said externally and how to deliver those communications.

Be meaningful and useful

At a time when most businesses globally are panicked about the overall effect this virus will have on their ongoing survival, be sensitive about what you communicate.

While you may be panicking internally about your sparse prospect list, now is not the time for a hard-sell.

Use your communications efforts to add value to your network, be it through blogs, vlogs, webinars or social posts.

Offer meaningful and useful advice which in turn will highlight your expertise.

Before sending out a piece of communications through your network, ask yourself:

  • Is it meaningful and useful?
  • Is this something I would appreciate?
  • Does this reflect our brand?

Be present

While you may feel like burying your head in the sand until this pandemic subsides and normal business resumes, during times of crisis being present – or in this case ‘digitally present’ – is crucial.

Even if your business is temporarily closed, stay front of mind with your customers through regular communications.

With people looking to social media for news updates and ‘light relief’ content while they stay at home, use your social channels to stay present.

From giving people an insight into what you or your colleagues are up to during the ‘lockdown’ or have meaningful conversations with people within your network, there are a number of ways you can remain ‘digitally present’ despite it not being business as usual.

If you require any communications support during the Coronavirus pandemic, contact jamjar on 01446 771265 or email or

Gemma is our resident media mastermind at jamjar. If you need that journo shine added to a story and an inside look into the mind of a reporter, she’s your gal.

Five things all journalists look for to spot a good news angle

By Gemma Gwilym,

How do you spot a good news angle?

That’s a question that I, as a former journalist turned PR professional, get asked quite frequently by clients.

Before writing an article, press release, or blog, everyone will ask themselves if the topic they are considering writing about is, in fact, interesting enough to warrant further discussion.

The term we often use to refer to a good article angle is whether it is newsworthy or not.

Identifying a newsworthy story can be the difference between achieving great coverage, or sending an article out into the media abyss.

Gemma at jamjar HQ

1) Newsworthy or not?

But how do you know if something is newsworthy?

Generally, a good news angle is deemed to be something which is genuinely new, interesting, informative and provides a unique perspective which promotes widespread interest and discussion.

However, when it comes to PR, this can be tricky. What a journalist deems newsworthy, and what a business believes is newsworthy maybe two totally separate things.

There are many reasons for this. It can be difficult for managers or those personally invested in a business to separate what’s interesting to them, from what’s interesting to the general public.

Being realistic and truly assessing the wider news value of your company information, can often shed a light on whether something is actually newsworthy.

When deciding on news value, it’s always handy to carry out a little bit of research online into similar industry stories and gauge interest.

2) Tapping into the news

Then there’s current events and news.

This could be seen to be an easy win for businesses in achieving coverage.

It allows businesses to comment on a story with in-built media interest while offering their own specialist opinion and adding genuine value to the article.

Any time a company can legitimately further the discussion around a news story or widely discussed topic, they are ensuring their story is newsworthy.

Let’s be honest, if you’re talking about something in the news, chances are the public will be too.

3) Human interest

Heartfelt human interest stories are particularly newsworthy and effective in engaging with the general public in an emotive way.

Readers will empathise with articles which detail personal achievement, overcoming adversity, tragedy and triumph, and heartfelt struggles. This enables them to form an emotional attachment with the story’s subject matter increasing their engagement and understanding of your message.

But this can be challenging when you are searching for a human angle in a business story.

Ask yourself, did this promotion come after years of tireless work and personal achievement for the staff member? Has an MBO allowed a family member to continue their family’s business legacy? There could be something you haven’t considered!

Obviously, this should only be used under appropriate circumstances and when there is a legitimate story to tell.

Photo: Vanilla Bear Films

4) Statistics and figures

What catches your attention more effectively – ‘Workers taking duvet days due to stress’ or ‘Over 1.8 million workers forced to take duvet days due to stress’.

Using statistics and figures within an article, and headline, not only strengthens it and draws in the reader by quantifying what you are discussing, but it backs up your point with numerical evidence and legitimises it.

More people are likely to be engaged by an article that discusses specific figures that they can relate to, rather than something vague, such as terms including ‘large sum’, ‘significant amount’ or ‘numerous’.

If a story said: People in Wales were consuming 100 chocolate bars per hour – I’d definitely want to read it! And be honest, you might too …

5) And finally…

Overall assessing whether a story is newsworthy or not is really about being realistic, doing a little bit of research, using some news savviness, and exercising honest non-biased judgement.

If in doubt, the PR team at jamjar are always here to help steer you in the right direction! As content and media specialists, we have a ‘nose for news’ and are happy to advise you on what has news value.

Gemma is our resident media mastermind at jamjar. If you need that journo shine added to a story and an inside look into the mind of a reporter, she’s your gal.

The importance of work experience

By Raspberry Jim,

Olivia Brayley recently joined us at jamjar from Swansea University as part of an internship programme. Here, she gives us her insight on why she found her work-experience at jamjar so rewarding and how it has helped her as she prepares to make the big jump onto the career ladder. For anyone about to graduate or considering a career in a creative industry, this is a must-read.

As the end of university looms, lecturers are constantly talking about employability. At first, I thought they were saying it just because they had to. But, since starting a placement at jamjar, I can see exactly why they encourage it so much.

With thousands of students graduating with media, PR and communication degrees across the UK every year, all seeking jobs in the same competitive market, the pressure is on to find a way to set yourself apart from all the other applicants.

So, why is work experience so important?

Employability plays a major part in securing jobs after university, especially in a career which can be somewhat unconventional. The media industry is ever-changing, with no two days the same, so gaining work experience prior to getting your first graduate job will prepare you for what you’ll likely be doing after university.

The tasks that media professionals carry out will undoubtedly vary, stretching from blog and social media posts to press releases and crisis communications. Working at jamjar, and being able to gain so much versatile experience, has made me so much more comfortable with the idea of what my future job will be like.

How can you benefit?

Although it’s easy to think ‘maybe next week’ or ‘I’m too busy right now’, the time, resources and University support you have at your disposal as a student makes it the perfect time to boost your CV.

Interning is such a good way to gain first-hand industry experience and is a world away from the theory and essay writing you’ll learn at university. Of course, having those written communication skills are still essential, but adapting those skills to the real working-world is exactly why work experience is key.

Working with a group of people that you don’t know also really helps to boost your confidence, as well as develop your communication skills, which will help you to be less apprehensive when you attend job interviews.

Go with the flow

Before I started my internship, I was hesitant about doing things outside of my comfort zone. But working with jamjar has taught me that stepping outside of my comfort zone is the best thing you can do. I even ended up in a promotional video! Learning lessons like this before you start work in the industry shows the need of work experience.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and take chances – it may not feel like it at the time, but it honestly helps with your progress and development.

Make sure it’s what you want out of a career

The great thing about work experience is that you get to try out an industry before you commit to it. This way, you can be 100% sure that you’re going into a career that is right for you.

I feel much more comfortable with the thought of life after university and can honestly say it is because my work experience placement has prepared me, and given me the confidence, to take the next step in my career.

So, if you get the chance to intern or gain work experience, go for it!  

How to use typefaces effectively

By Anna Jarvis,

Have you ever wondered about the significance of the style of words you use within your branding? Or how the use of a particular typeface or font can convey different messages to your customer? Come to think of it, what is the difference between a typeface and a font? Don’t worry, we’re going to delve into the world of fonts and typefaces to help you figure it all out.

What is the difference between ‘font’ and ‘typeface’?

Typeface originally meant a particular design of type, while font is a type in a particular size and weight. Typeface encompasses many fonts, however, because of the advancement of digital design you’ll often hear them used interchangeably, hence the confusion around the meanings.

Serif vs sans serif: What’s the difference?

A serif has a slight projection finishing off a stroke of a letter. And so sans serif, quite literally means without (sans) a serif.

Example of a serif font (left) and a sans serif font (right)

And what does the font say about your brand?

First impressions are incredibly important in the world of branding so make sure your typeface reflects what your brand stands for. Typically, serif is considered more traditional whilst sans-serif is considered to be more modern and current. If your brand has heritage and tradition, consider a serif style, but if you’re wanting to project that your brand is forward thinking and innovative, consider using a sans serif style.

Key typefaces

The most popular and recognisable serif typefaces are:

The most popular and recognisable sans serif typefaces are:

Sans serif is perceived to be easier to read on screens which is why, in this digital age, it has become so popular, even moving into logos.

Many big brands have also moved to use a sans-serif style in recent years to make their logos more digitally viable but also to project a clean and modern style. Here are some big brand examples from the luxury world who have followed this trend:

Old (left) and new (right) Burberry logo
Old (left) and new Diane von Furstenberg logo

Banks have also been following suit, keen to shake their old, traditional images. A new logo using a sans-serif typeface projects a contemporary and fresh feel:

So how about the ones you shouldn’t use…? Do you remember Comic Sans, Kristen and Curlz from your school days? No matter what you’re designing, they’ll always make your designs look ‘childish’. While they’re not quite sophisticated enough for the adult world, they’re the perfect fit for school text books.

Here’s a great graphic we found which shows what big brand logos would look like in Comic Sans…they don’t quite have the same gravitas, right?

Image via

Despite the simple generalisation that is made between the usage of serif and sans serif, there are always exceptions to the rule and it’s important to use design to challenge perceptions and conventions meaning you can challenge the norm by creating a stylish, modern look using a serif typeface and vice-versa.

In fact, be a trend-setter not a trend-follower and take a leaf right out of the pages of the biggest trendsetter around. VOGUE. A cool, timeless and stylish brand that thinks that serif works perfectly well for them, thank you very much.

Image via

Jam with us!

We could chat about typefaces and fonts all day long and so let us know if you need any support or advice in updating your logo and branding, we’d love to jam with you. Get in touch!

Anna is our zen master designer with an eye for detail. If it’s branding, print or digital graphics you’re after – she’s your font-tastic fairy godmother and knows how to make a creative project ‘pop’!

How to reduce stress and increase health and happiness in the workplace

By Raspberry Jim,

To coincide with World Mental Health Day, we decided to take a breather here at jamjar HQ and put the kettle on for a chat as part of the Mental Health Foundation’s Tea & Talk initiative.

“Talking is good for your mental health…People who are more socially connected to family, friends, colleagues or their community are happier, physically healthier and live longer, with fewer mental health problems than people who are less well connected.”

Mental Health Foundation

What is Stress?

Put simply, stress is our body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event.

What are the warning signs that you’re experiencing too much stress?

  • Feeling anxious and irritable
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle tension or headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Problems concentrating
  • Eating more or less that usual

Here are some ways to help alleviate stress in the workplace:

Form positive relationships – Chat to your co-workers, share your thoughts and get things off your chest. Annie McKee, in her book How to be Happy at Work, says that:

“Happiness matters at work as much as it does in our personal lives. And when we are happy, we are more successful.”

Organise your day – Prioritise tasks and delegate when you can. Taking on too much is a sure trigger for feeling stressed.

Take a break – Plan regular breaks throughout the day. Stop, take a deep breath and put the kettle on. Problems seem more manageable when you’ve had a little time to think and process. Perhaps even take some time to do some desk chair meditation. Not heard of it before?

Do you have one minute and seven seconds right now? Let’s do a mini meditation from Headspeace:

Keep moving – At lunch go for a walk and get some natural light. Even if it’s just a short walk around the block. Walks through out the day are a way to alleviate stress. Perhaps even try a walking meditation? Take a look at some suggestions here.

Eat well – Reduce sugar to avoid energy crashes in the day which can make you feel low and avoid stimulants like caffeine or nicotine. Pop out and get some decaf coffee for the team’s 3pm cuppa.

Sweet dreams – Aim for eight-hours of sleep a night and try and avoid looking at your phone in the hour before you want to go to sleep.

Here at jamjar the well-being of our team is very important and we always strive to make sure that we are supporting each other in every way we can.

In fact, we have a little jar of mindfulness that you can dip into when you need a little pick-me-up and a reminder of how valued and fabulous you are.

If you have any concerns about anything discussed in this blog, please visit MindCymru or any other Mental Health Charity who are ready to offer you support.

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