The Co-operative Bank is a bank in the United Kingdom, with its headquarters in Balloon Street, Manchester. The Co-operative Bank has a unique ethical policy setting out the way they do business and are committed to leading the way on ethical, environmental and community matters.
I worked at The Co-operative Bank as Digital Marketing Executive from October 2016 – March 2018. My role at the Bank was to run the social profiles across all networks and plan and ensure the growth of these channels by creating engaging relevant content to customers and potential customers across the year.
Part of my responsibilities when creating content for social was to create any digital assets needed across social platforms, and to ensure these adhered to external brand guidelines, as well to any marketing campaigns used in-branch, or on TV. Below is a snapshot of one of these branch campaigns, for which I created the online and social assets.
For Centrepoint Sleep Out Manchester 2017, I managed a small film crew to record footage and pre-planned interviews of the attendants, and staff of The Co-operative Bank (sponsors of Centrepoint). This was part of our online Christmas campaign, for which I edited the main campaign footage into this short 30 second shareable video.
Shortlisted for Most Effective Use of Social Media by CCA Global Excellence Awards 2018.
One of the challenges when planning and creating social content for a national high-street bank is to ensure all content meets internal and external KPIs. These can be especially specific as they must meet FCA standards, adhere to external brand guidelines, support the ongoing goals of PR, and, when advertising for a financial product, remain compliant. During my time at The Co-operative Bank, the company underwent a recapitalisation, ensuring a need for strict regulation on outgoing content. Considering this significant barrier, I still increased our engagement metrics considerably, and our overall followers by 25%.
Design a clean, user-friendly website for Fry Havoc.
What is Fry Havoc? Set up by Jetta Rae, Fry Havoc is a feverish, slapdash fusion of comfort food and intersectional education.
This isn’t a place for wholesome, well-rounded meals with the freshest ingredients. This is a place to learn what you can do if you have to eat eggs and rice every meal of every day until you get paid again without losing yourself to despair. This is a place to learn how to cook with shit you find in corner stores and gas stations. This is a place to thumb through your great-grandma’s recipes, making notes with one hand and balancing a vegan bacon cheeseburger in the other.
And when you’ve cleared your plate, there’ll be some cookbook reviews, intersectional critique of the food industry, and probably a song or twelve defending pineapple on pizza.
KTP stands for Knowledge Transfer Partnership. They are a part government-funded programme to encourage collaboration between businesses and universities in the United Kingdom.
Each KTP involves three partners:
A company (in this case Mortons Media Group Ltd),
A knowledge base (The University of Lincoln), and
An associate (a recently qualified graduate – in this case, me).
The KTP programme was previously managed by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), now Innovate UK. Due to the nature and potential impact of this project, the partnership was privileged enough to be funded by both the TSB, the Economic & Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Implement multimedia digital publishing technologies and methodology to transform a traditional print publisher, of specialist subscriptions, into an e-publisher, linking a community of users.
KTPs tend to have a core project that kickstarts the innovation of the overall brief. As the project was to measure the potential success and future of digital publishing, we decided to create a digital online magazine with copy taken from its sister newspaper Motor Cycle Monthly (so as to not damage the value of our paid-for titles, we chose a newspaper which is distributed for free at motorcycle dealerships throughout the UK). This was to be called MoreBikes.co.uk, and the aim was to create a central online hub for motorcycle news, where we could experiment with creating a variety of digital content – from audio, video, social and more.
When we started this project, Mortons Media Group Ltd had a very small online presence, and almost none of their titles were available digitally, lacking even a digital department. Within six months we formed a digital department, and within two years had multimedia news site reaching millions of people worldwide. Within three years we hired four new employees specifically to work on digital content, bringing the team to seven members of staff. Similarly, we went from having zero titles owned by the company available online, to all of our titles having their own responsive website and digital content.
Attitudes to digital content from senior readers with limited digital education.
Attitudes to digital publishing from employees within the company.
Giving away free content could potentially damage magazine value.
Understanding of social content.
New content distribution methods.
Disintegration of traditional web advertising.
Reaching a global audience.
Find new platforms for content.
Challenging the infrastructure of traditional publishers.
Utilising multimedia platforms.
Evolution of online advertising.
Created MoreBikes.co.uk – fully responsive mobile-friendly news site.
Introduced MoreBikes Weekly podcast with celebrity guest interviews.
Full online and social presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Seminars and workshops given to all employees on the best use of social media (both personally and as professionals).
Introduce low-cost methods of quickly and easily creating multimedia digital content in-house.
Assisted in building new partnership with Lincoln County Council Technology Hub.
Maintained mutually beneficial ongoing partnership with the University of Lincoln which continues to this day.
Worked closely with the university to set student briefs commercial work that would significantly benefit student portfolios.
Academic poster presented at KTP National Conference 2015. Runner up for the award of ‘Best Poster’.
Shortlisted ‘Best Use of Mobile Technology’ Award at Lincoln Digital Awards 2015.
Earning 4p per unique visitor (4x the average).
Going from 0 to 100% of titles available online.
100% 5 star reviews of MoreBikes app.
98% saved in online web production costs.
Highest earning digital brand in Mortons’ portfolio.
Achieved Certificate in Management from Ashorne Hill Management College.
Achieved Certificate in Digital Marketing from Google Squared Online.
Runner Up for ‘Best Poster’ at KTP National Conference 2015.
As part of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, and as the associate of the project, I was offered an opportunity to present an academic poster at the National KTP Conference in 2015 to put forward the economic benefits of the project to the national modern publishing industry.
Responsibilities in this role:
– Implement multimedia digital publishing technologies and methodology to transform a traditional print publisher, of specialist subscriptions, into an e-publisher, linking a community of users.
– Develop a publishing model and system of work which can be transferred to any publication or application. Introducing new income streams through additional advertising.
– Aquire commercial income streams beyond previous capability through commercialisation of appropriate online and digital platforms.
– Introduce cultural change throughout the business developing a new business model moving away from traditional publishing models, offering full training wherever necessary.
– Full understanding and development of stronger relationship with our current audience to maximise brand exposure, reach and retention.
– Publish into new markets reaching a worldwide audience rather than distribute through our declining domestic news trade system. Increase readership by 50%.
– Work across two different organisational cultures and find ways to bring about change through collaboration.
– Research design and manage new ways of engaging with readers/audience.
– Create platforms offering potential for commercial growth.
– Awareness of commercial contexts to developments.
This is part four of a series of posts about how to make a podcast. For the rest of the series, just follow the links below.
For most people, this is where things get tough. This is where your patience and hard work is really tested. To keep things running nicely you must maintain certain standards. Keep posting to Twitter and Facebook and respond to messages. Frequently post to your social accounts (and website, if you have one) when you release new episodes, and in between those times, post funny pictures, videos, articles or anything relevant to your podcast topic. You want to make sure that people don’t forget you, and that means reminding them that you exist every day. Why not try asking your audience for feedback, or join a relevant conversation? You want to keep giving your audience fun tidbits to keep them going between episode release. This takes a lot of organisation to do well, which is why so many people give up at this point. It’s boring and short term it feels unrewarding. Long term, it’s 100% completely necessary for success. No exceptions. I know that it’s sometimes hard to come up with ideas of what to post, and if that sounds like something you’re struggling with, I suggest you check out my online content plan here.
NOTE: I really, really recommend sticking to the topic of your podcast here. For us, that means that posts about wrestling or by wrestlers get uploaded. Anything else goes on our personal accounts.
As you establish an audience on your chosen platforms you can decide if you have the time and/or energy to sign up with new platforms, or even get yourself a website if you haven’t one already. If you’re hoping to monetise your podcast, Patreon can be a fantastic platform to connect with your audience and I can’t recommend it enough.
Once you’ve done all of this, you’re on your way to podcast success! It’ll take time, patience, sweat and possibly tears, but if your idea is solid, you should be getting a steady increase in followers from word ‘go’.
This is part three of a series of posts about how to make a podcast. For the rest of the series, just follow the links below.
It’s time to make your social media accounts public, invite your friends to like and follow and start to build your audience. We had a considerable advantage here – thanks to Kefin’s other podcasts we had access to big audiences before we’d even conceived of our idea, and thanks to some carefully timed tweets from those accounts, we had 200 followers in under an hour. By the time we actually released our first episode, we had 500. With an already established host, these kinds of numbers are nothing special, but if you’re starting from scratch it can be a lot harder. Try not to worry about it and remember that these things take time. You have to prove your content is great before people will tell their friends about your show (which is the number one way people will hear about you, by the way).
Your online presence during your launch is incredibly important. It might be difficult to think of things to post this early on, but it can be incredibly beneficial to start a conversation with your listeners if possible. If you don’t have many yet, this might be tricky, but don’t fret about it too much. Just post frequently (for the first month you should be posting to Twitter several times a day and to Facebook at least once a day) and ask questions, respond to replies, follow relevant people and you should gradually start to build a follower base.
This is part two of a series of posts about how to make a podcast. For the rest of the series, just follow the links below.
Wait, record? Surely it’s time to launch! NO!
Record an episode first. You have no idea how the first episode will sound and you might need to re-record it later with changes to the format. As far as microphones go, you don’t need to spend much if you can’t afford to. I know a lot of excellent podcasts that record using only £20 mics, but if you want high-quality audio, the Blue Yeti is fantastic and what we use on our podcast. It’s around £100 so consider it an investment.
Recording takes longer than you might think. Quite often there’s research involved and note taking and, of course, planning the episode format. With How2Wrestling this takes a few days, as we watch matches, documentaries (takes around 3 – 4 hours, depending on what we decide to cover), write notes, research each wrestler (takes around an hour) and decide on the outline. For our most recent episode, we made up 6 pages of notes, not including images. Due to the format of our podcast, which has a big emphasis on including tidbits and info from our listeners, this takes longer for us than other podcasts as we must gather all the comments from Facebook and Twitter. This can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour.
Once you’ve recorded your first episode, you’ll need to edit it. This is something you can choose not to do, but do so at your own risk, as iTunes’ hidden algorithm appears to give preference to well-edited shows. There’s perfectly fine audio editing software available for free online (such as Audacity) but we choose to use Adobe Audition for certain features it offers. The main things worth editing out are coughs, burps, misspoken sentences and weird laughs. In our case, this takes between 4 – 6 hours, because we also edit it to make us sound more coherent. Once you get confident editing audio you can rephrase sentences, take out ‘um’s and ‘ah’s and make that word you mispronounced sound like you said it perfectly first time. Kefin’s been editing so long, he can recognise an ‘um’ by waveform alone, and edit it to sound like you said pretty much whatever he wants you to have said. Very useful for guests who stumble over their words.
Now you’ve edited your episode, you can finally do what you’ve been waiting for all this time.
I see the inevitable has happened, and you’ve reached my article. I’ve written in a few issues by now, so my antics may be familiar to some of you. For the rest, my name is Jo Graham and I don’t know much about wrestling. It’s a thing. I know enough to hold a conversation – names, gimmicks, current plots. Beyond that, nada. Do I let my lack knowledge stop me from spouting my nonsense wherever possible? Absolutely not! I will gladly push my uninformed opinions right down that throat of yours with no shame whatsoever.
After thinking long and hard over what my next article would be about, I decided to veer ever so slightly from my normal piece on wrestlers that look like hams (or testicles or hotdogs) and instead focus on the positive attributes certain wrestlers can bring to the ring. Today, I will be writing about which wrestlers I personally think are the most hansy. Hansy means handsome, by the way. This article will be subjective, fuelled entirely by (my) opinion and isn’t worth anything to anyone. BUT I’M DOING IT ANYWAY. To make things a little more objective, I decided to talk to the boys from the Attitude Era Podcast; Kefin, Adam and Billy, and learn more about their tastes on hansy hunks from the position of being mostly straight men.
Without further ado: the top 10 hansy hunks in wrestling.
10) CM Punk
Birth name: Phillip Jack “Phil” Brooks Height: 6 ft 2 Age: 36
Just barely scraping his way onto the bottom of the list is Chicago-born CM Punk – the outspoken, anti-establishment mixed martial artist currently married to fellow retired wrestler (and Divas Champion) AJ Lee. At 36, he’s old enough to be my Dad but looks damn good considering. In fact, you could easily compare him to a fine wine, improving significantly with age. CM Punk is straight-edge and has been his whole life, which is maybe why he’s so well-preserved. He’s also co-written a couple of Marvel comics, including the upcoming Drax series, whatever that is.
Why he’s a hansy hunk: He can REALLY pull off that whole Hugh Jackman Wolverine look. Not so much the lanky ponytail.
Adam says: “CM Punk is possibly the hottest of all time, which is amazing considering he was at a time possibly the worst looking person ever”
Birth name: Claudio Castagnoli
Height: 6 ft 5
It’s no surprise Cesaro’s made it onto this list, considering there’s probably not a single person who wouldn’t have him in their top 10. Cesaro is very tall, and very very handsome. Having grown up in Lucerne, Switzerland, he’s also fluent in five languages, which is impressive by anyone’s standards. Although some say his baldness detracts from his hansy levels, I’m of the opinion that it simply accentuates his perfectly angular face. Meanwhile, Cesaro’s body looks like it’s literally been sculpted by Michelangelo himself, with the chiselled pecs of a Greek god.
Cesaro is also married to fellow wrestler and current Assistant Head Coach of NXT, Sara Del Rey, making them a strong contender for the made-up-just-now-by-me WWE Power Couple award. According to Wikipedia, Cesaro’s ring name was at one point ‘Mysteriously Familiar Ice Cream’, which for some reason I find intriguing and sexy.
Why he’s a hansy hunk: As Billy says, “he can say “you look beautiful tonight, I love you” in five different languages” and the whole perfectly sculpted body sure does help too.
8) Hideo Itami (also known as Kenta)
Birth name: Kenta Kobayashi
Height: 5 ft 9
Hideo Itami is a Japanese wrestler currently in NXT. Somehow he’s the same age as Cesaro, despite looking at least 5 years younger than him. He’s also only 5 ft 9, making him the shortest wrestler on this list, and only two inches taller than me. I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Itami, except that since moving to America he’s been teaching himself English at an amazing pace, and that he’s incredibly handsome. He sports a rather fetching beard, which I’m a big fan of, and is the most stylish man on the list (sorry Cesaro). Seriously, just look at his suits. In fact, go right now and Google ‘Hideo Itami suit’, sit back and enjoy the endless photographs of him in a simple grey single button blazer, white shirt and thin black tie. Those suits weren’t made for him, oh no. Hideo Itami was made FOR suits.
Why he’s a hansy hunk: Nice beard, great suits, and his face and body certainly don’t hurt either.
7) Cody Rhodes
Birth name: Cody Garrett Runnels
Height: 6 ft 2
Next up is a wrestler so handsome, it was his gimmick. “Dashing” Cody Rhodes’ ‘thing’ was that he was incredibly vain, claiming to be the best-looking wrestler in WWE (which was probably true). Extremely protective of his beautiful looks, if he was hit in the face he’d throw a tantrum and have to consult a mirror immediately. In a match against Rey Mysterio, his nose was accidentally broken, and as such, Rhodes declared he was no longer dashing and required facial reconstructive surgery. Obviously they did an incredible job, because he’s still hot as hell.
Why he’s a hansy hunk: I’ll never forget the first time I saw Cody Rhodes minus his Stardust makeup and literally did a double-take. That man could be an underwear model.
Kefin says: Cody Rhodes is so dashing he made a bar full of grown ass men I was in watching a PPV all stand up and boo him one time. No-one who inspires that much anger in men with low self esteem can be anything other than beautiful.
6) Sami Zayn
Birth name: Rami Sebei
Height: 6 ft 1
Onto my number one fave hansy man, it’s Sami Zayn! Sami is Canadian born and of Syrian descent; a fact I didn’t learn until around 4 months ago when he gave a promo in Arabic. In fact, Zayn is a close contender to Cesaro, in that he can speak four languages: Arabic, English, Spanish and French. As one of the most graceful wrestlers I’ve ever seen, he gets hansy hunk points for having a rather hairy chest. Unfortunately he loses some for his awful flat cap and love of ska.
Why he’s a hansy hunk: I love an underdog, and he has that down to a tee. His cheeky grin and really, really, REALLY nice beard offer bonus points. Wish he’d stop wearing that hat.
Kefin says: “Seeing as he frequently ends up in severely dramatic and emotionally crippling storylines where he is literally and figuratively crushed, I figured the least we can all do is tell Sami he’s actually number 1 on this list. It’d be great for his confidence”.
5) Kofi Kingston
Birth name: Kofi Nahaje Sarkodie-Mensah
Height: 6 ft
Kofi Kingston is an undeniable hunk. Member of the loveable trio The New Day, he was born in Ghana and raised in America, although WWE billed his country of birth as Jamaica “because of Bob Marley and reggae music”…which makes absolutely no sense to me and as such I will file it under INEXPLICABLE WRESTLING DECISIONS – a place where logic and reason go to die. Although the entirety of The New Day wouldn’t be out of place on this list, Kofi’s undeniable charisma, sparkling smile (AND MEGA HOT BOD) made him my choice for the number 5 slot.
Why he’s a hansy hunk: Xavier Woods is the clever one, Big E is the funny one, which makes Kofi Kingston the undeniably hot one.
Kefin says: “Not only is he a lovely lad, he once worked in a position of moderate responsibility in Staples, which by all accounts is a fine company. I would however advise against hanging around with The New Day too much, as they all seem to have the clap.” Booooo.
4) Jimmy Uso
Birth name: Jonathan Solofa Fatu Jr.
Height: 6 ft 2
I feel kind of weird about putting a twin on this list without including the other twin, but I’m a jerk so I’m doing it. Jimmy Uso is one half of The Usos, the incredibly handsome Samoan twin brothers tag team. As it happens, they’re related to number 2 on this list, so hansy-ness clearly runs in the family. Jimmy’s married to fellow wrestler Naomi, who is currently working as The Usos manager. For a while I was put off Jimmy Uso when in an episode of Total Divas he injured his foot, and the camera operators wouldn’t stop dramatically zooming into his bloodied toe, nail hanging off and all. Luckily I’ve managed to put that behind me, and as such he’s made his way to number 4 on my list.
Why he’s a hansy hunk: Have you seen his smile???
Adam says: “Jimmy Uso is not as hansy as Jey Uso”. Adam is wrong.
Birth name: Trevor Mann
Height: 5 ft 10
I don’t know anything about Richochet. The only reason I’m including him on the list is that someone mentioned how handsome he is and I Googled him and sure enough he’s basically the most handsome man to ever walk the earth. Wikipedia wasn’t too helpful with providing fun facts on him either, as you can see:
That’s it. That’s the entirety of that section. According to the internet he’s only 26 which means he’s the only person on this list young enough for me to date without my parents judging me.
Why he’s a hansy hunk: Look, if you’re so good-looking you can get me to put you at number 3 on a list of hansy wrestlers even without ever once seeing you wrestle, you’ve probably earned the right to be there. Keep up the excellent work, Trevor.
2) Roman Reigns
Birth name: Leati Joseph Anoaʻi
Height: 6 ft 3
Controversial opinion is this one. The half-Samoan, half-Italian Roman Reigns scores very highly on the hansy list for a few reasons. One, he’s very, very hansy. Two, he’s a dad (and by the looks of it, a really good one), which is hot in its own way and scores some heavy hunk points. He’s a retired footballer, meaning there’s lots of great photos of him in those big shoulder-pad things, which as we all know are inexplicably sexy, and he studied management at college. Reigns loses some hunk points with his kinda odd goatee thing, and this writer thinks he should just grow full beard already.
Why he’s a hansy hunk: Looks like an action man figurine.
Adam says: “I’ve genuinely never understood the “Roman Reigns is gorgeous” gimmick, and I’m not just saying that to be one of those anti-Roman guys because I quite like him these days” Gimmick????
1) Seth Rollins
Birth name: Colby Lopez
Height: 6 ft 1
And so we come the the number one slot. Seth Rollins. It’s no coincidence that as I’m writing this, Seth is the World Heavyweight Champion. In fact his recent purchase of three brand new Apple watches to Kane and J&J Security gained him some serious hunk bonus points. Not only did it show he’s generous, but also that he’s thoughtful and appreciative of hard work. He bought Kane his first ever vacation! To Hawaii!! He’s also not afraid to give out compliments, telling his team that they “look so good!!” in their new gadget wristwatches.
It’s not just his new found money that makes him appealing though. Seth’s been cultivating a rather lovely beard recently, and if he thinks I haven’t noticed his newly groomed chest hair, he’s sorely wrong. He looks great in leather pants, has abs of steel (with a cute fuzzy tummy to match) and his ring-wear is always exceptional. He also scores some bonus hunk points purely due to a feud I have going with Adam Bibilo from The Attitude Era Podcast over who is the most hansy out of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. I figure that by making Seth the number one most hansy hunk in an article published in a wrestling magazine, it makes it official. I WIN.
Hey Attitude Era boys, who’s the most hansy hunk in wrestling?
Billy Keable (@billykeable)
Cesaro. He loves coffee and we could go on some dates to some amazing artisan coffee shops and he’s so strong he could carry me around all the time. Everyone loves a European gentleman. He has found a way to big swing my heart.
Adam Bibilo (@biblops)
Finn Balor. He’s got like, that handsome footballer kind of look about him. I can totally see him advertising cologne. And that’s not normally my bag, but he’s a wrestler so it works.
Kefin Mahon (@KefinMahon)
Bull Dempsey. I really just figure I’d feel really safe being held in his arms.