Author Archives: vanessapulvera

About vanessapulvera

A student in Marketing Management and Communication in Public Relations at the University of Canberra. Social Media Coordinator at Ivy Social and Marketing Coordinator at Public Bar.

The power of putting yourself first

Since figuring out where my priorities lie; I’ve been able to get good grades, lift my GPA, receive two prestigious academic awards, be offered Honours and land a job that I adore. I’ve become so particular in the way I conduct this side of myself that I shifted my focus to uni and work… and to be honest? I really appreciate myself for doing this because it’s led me to where I am and what I have now. This isn’t to say that I completely dismissed my responsibilities as a girlfriend, friend or sister – I just grew up and learned that there’s a lot of power behind putting yourself first.

But for some? I understand that it felt as if I left them behind.

There are people in my life who don’t need me to hold their hand. There’s a mutual understanding that we’ve got different lives with different responsibilities, which makes maintaining a relationship with them quite easy. It feels like no time has passed when I do catch up with them. You know, there’s no awkwardness or resentment between us… just a mutual level of respect for one another.

If you’re one of these people, I’d like to express my gratitude and send out a big fat ‘thank you’. While it may feel like I had forgotten about you, I never did. The way I see it is that you let me do my own thing and work towards my goals, and you’ve been more supportive than I could have ever imagined. While this may necessarily not be the case, I’m still thankful for having low maintenance people in my life because let’s face it, I don’t think I’m a low maintenance person.

Basically, thank you for not thinking differently of me; for not questioning my loyalty or quality as a human being while I worked myself out.

The last year has been difficult for everyone and I’ve been lucky enough to keep my job and continue my studies, despite everything going on in our world. What made this challenging for me was spending six months away from my partner. This wasn’t easy at all and the heightened pace at work and uni kept me going (…that and the fact that we’re pretty used to the distance by now). For us, we’re equals. He’s never belittled what I do or doubted the path I’ve wanted to pursue. He was never selfish and demanded for my time. He simply supported me and let me do what I needed to do.

So, what I want to tell you is this: there is nothing wrong with putting yourself first.

Yes, it’s important to care for others and be there for them, but it’s also imperative to care for yourself, isn’t it? Whether that’s self-care or dedicating your time and energy to your professional development – there’s nothing wrong with it. Truth be told, I never turned people away who needed me, just like they always had my back when I’ve needed them. There are people in your life who will support you and there are others who will simply crave your personal or professional success.

I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people who respect who I am and also understand how self-empowering it is to put myself first… probably because they do too. ❤️

The three E’s of social media: Educate, entertain and engage

The first time I heard about the three E’s was when I was interning with Ivy Social. I attended Social School, which is a workshop hosted by the legendary Queens of Ivy Social and Good Day PR, focusing on all things social media. I had already learned so much in the first few weeks of my internship but this? This really laid the foundations for me (…and everyone else in attendance).

All too often, we’re seeing brands being on Facebook or Instagram just for the sake of it or because they think they have to be… which, to be honest, isn’t ideal in any shape or form. It’s like playing professional tennis and knowing that the backhand is one of the strokes you can use but not fully understanding how really important it is in the game. If you know just how critical your backhand is, then wouldn’t you train yourself to have a killer one and in turn, get pretty far in a tournament? Yes, yes you would. 🎾

Think of social media like you think of tennis. When you play tennis, you need to understand the game, its rules and the purpose of each stroke in order to get to a particular place, where you’ll likely reap the benefits – social media is no different.

…yeah, I just tried to use tennis as a metaphor. 😂


No matter your industry, your business, your brand, your personality; you have something to offer. So, why not share it?

Why not educate your audience?

Why not show them that you know what you’re talking about?

Why not tell them why you do what you do?

Don’t get me wrong, you have a product or service to sell. That’s important. The reality is that your audience isn’t going to care, they’re not going to listen to you, they’re not going to use your product or service if all you do is sell, sell and always sell. People don’t always like being marketed to so be creative in how you do it through all the platforms available to you.

For example, one of my clients is a sports technology company with the vision to help athletes reach their goals and become their best through velocity-based training. Rather than consistently sell their product to our audience, we tell them about this type of training and how this product can help them. ⚡️

Why? Because not every athlete is going to understand velocity-based training, let alone the purpose of this particular device. So, we provide valuable content that people are likely to read. The idea is that it gets them thinking about how they train, which leads to them considering purchasing the device, which results in a positive experience that they share with others.


I’ll keep this one short and sweet: don’t be boring. 💥

The easiest way to do this is to make use of what each platform offers you. Use photos and videos but make them interesting by putting your brand personality at the forefront of all that you do. Use polls, ask questions – use it all if you really want to!

Take Public Bar as an example. It’s just another bar in Canberra, right? I’m clearly biased but I think it’s one of the best bars in town. There are so many great qualities to the place but the downside is that the hospitality industry here is booming. At the surface, every bar in Canberra is just like the next one: an awesome set of staff, cool cocktails, great wine list, delicious food – even Happy Hour. Everyone has Happy Hour. You just need to dig a little deeper and pull out that brand personality that I keep going on about.

If you humanise your business, you’ll connect with your loyal customers or reach a new pool of people that are likely to convert into loyal customers.

So, how do I do this with Public?

  1. I put names to faces, especially the staff that have been working there for years. People love to see people that they recognise. Actually, they love to see people in general.
  2. I create a subtle and friendly competition between two managers using the polls feature on Instagram. I’ve asked who does better latte art or who’s going to make the most Espresso Martinis. People froth over this kind of stuff.
  3. I write captions in a conversational manner. Similar to my last blog post, ‘How to write content for social media’, steer clear from one-liners (…because they’re boring).

Find ways to entertain your audience to keep them looking for more instead of feeling like they’re constantly being sold to.


Given that social media is actually called social media, then it makes all the sense in the world to do just that: be social. Surprisingly enough, there are businesses out there who receive a decent amount of comments and don’t respond to them. 🚫

Would you ignore a compliment in person?

What about a complaint?

How about a question?

Would you ignore a customer?

No, you wouldn’t. And you definitely shouldn’t. The same goes for your online activity. Respond to every comment, like every photo you’re mentioned or tagged in – you can even share photos to your Instagram stories if you want to. The more you engage, the more a platform likes you, the more your content is visible, the more people see your stuff, the more you grow. Get it now? 🙌

Just like your backhand in tennis, the three E’s of social media will get you to a place where you continuously progress. If you educate your audience, entertain and engage with them – then your presence will soar.

How to write content for social media

Someone once told me that “online relationships mimic offline ones” and that statement has well and truly stuck with me (..thank you to my boss at Ivy Social for allowing me to interview her for a uni assignment! 🤓).

I’ve been writing content for social media for nearly a year now. I may be starting out as a junior in my field but what I know is this: when you write for social media, write as if you’re talking to your audience face-to-face because, like my boss said, an online relationship is just like an offline one.

Now, this doesn’t always mean long captions. Not at all. If anything, I think it’s great to have a combination of short, medium and long captions for social media. If they’re all long, your audience can eventually ‘not be bothered’ to read it. And if they’re all short? Well, one-liners are great and all but for social media, it’s not going to get you very far (…don’t forget that social media is a consistent and long-term marketing tool).

I mean, think about it. Would a one-liner give you a passing grade at school? Would a one-liner win you that job you’ve been longing for? Would a one-liner get you a long-term relationship? Probably not.


Because one-liners aren’t how we communicate with one another and to be quite frank, how boring would that world be? We create relationships with other people by talking to each other and consistently building on that.

By working in a social media agency, I liaise with clients from various industries so when it comes to content writing week, I’m often putting my ‘client thinking cap’ on two or three times a day (…it was up to four times when I was working from home). When I say ‘client thinking cap’, I literally mean I step into their minds, their brand, their business.

My client pool has covered hospitality, premium cars, wedding planning and sports technology to name a few. Who would’ve thought I’d see the day where I work with a sports technology company? 😂

Tip #1: Know your client

With that said, it’s important for me to know my client – especially when I’m smashing out multiple batches of content in a day. It might be pretty obvious but you need to know that you’re not managing a brand’s channels just to be able to write for yourself. I was once told that I had a style with how I managed Public’s platforms and I couldn’t really understand that because I was running the business’ socials, not mine.

In order to know your client, you need to take the time to get to know what they do, the kind of business they have, the industry they’re in and more importantly, who their audience is. This is what makes up your ‘client thinking cap’ or whatever you’d like to call it.

When I was told that I’d take the lead on the sports tech company, I was super nervous about it. I know nothing about fitness, let alone the type of training that their product is targeted towards. I won’t lie to you: I worked really hard getting to know about this client. My boss and I spent two hours with them for a workshop and from then, I dedicated about 90% of one week reading the materials they sent us, reading their website and product reviews, researching hashtags, seeing what other people wrote about this type of training – the whole lot.

And for someone who has next to no interest in sports and technology combined? It was worth every second because now, it allows me to write their organic content without wasting time each month thinking about what to write next. ⚡️

Tip #2: Speak to your audience

Like I said earlier, write as if you’re talking to someone face-to-face and more importantly, in a way that resonates with them. Let’s work with an example:

Caption A: “Mondays are for two-for-one pizzas.”

Caption B: “We think Mondays are always the hardest… but not if you leave the cooking to us! Enjoy our two-for-one pizza deal while you sit back and ease into your busy week.”

Can you see the difference? Caption A is a one-liner. It’s direct, straight to the point but also very boring (..especially if it’s a recurring special). When you read Caption B, it taps into a regular human thought of “Mondays suck, I can’t be bothered cooking tonight”.

You could even spin it away from a negative connotation (e.g. “Mondays are always the hardest”) and turn it into Caption C: “Mondays are always a good time with our two-for-one pizza deal. Why? Because you leave the cooking to us while you enjoy your favourite glass of wine.”

Boom. Now I feel like pizza. 🍕

Tip #3: Just write

Starting is always the hardest part.

Whether it’s an assignment or the first batch of content for a new client, I always struggle to start – it’s almost as if I psych myself out. Truth be told, if you know what you’re writing about then it’s actually not that difficult and it gets easier the more you do it. One of my clients actually told me that he barely made any changes to the July content because I just got it. It took me months to get to this point and that’s not to say that he’ll never need to make edits. It’s more that I finally got to this point because I just started and I just keep going.

The more you write, the better you get. ✔️

Give love, get love

While social media has changed the way we do our marketing, it’s pretty easy to get caught in the more obvious metrics like, “How many followers do I have? How many likes did yesterday’s post get?”.

Don’t get me wrong, they sure do have a role to play but if that’s all you’re measuring, then I’m here to tell you that there’s a lot more to social media than you think (..take it from someone who’s learned this in the last year). The thing about social media is that all the little things contribute to the big things. Seriously, think about it. 🤔

Your account grows because more people see your content.

How? Because it’s showing up in their feeds and they’re intrigued.

Why is it showing in their feeds? Because you’re providing quality content and engaging with your audience.

So? By doing this, you’re working with the algorithm. You’re doing things that it likes.

Then what? The algorithm pushes your content out further.

Where? To more people.

Do you see how it’s an ongoing cycle? ♻️

As I write this, Public has 4,673 Facebook page likes and 1,789 Instagram followers. Not bad, right? It’s higher than some of our competitors and lower than others but the thing I pride myself on? We’ve got an incredible engagement rate. For example, the reopening announcement post was published a few days before the big day and it reached 9,000 people and generated slightly below 2,000 engagements collectively between the two platforms. Mind. Blown. 💥

That one post? It resonated with people because it was relevant to the community. Public had temporarily closed throughout COVID so the announcement was very exciting to the Canberra community – not just to people but to businesses too. There’s a human connection (..despite Public being a business).

That one post? It was more important to get our message out by telling our audience how Public would operate with this stage of restrictions… but that didn’t stop me from tapping into their emotions, even in the slightest bit. By ending the caption with “We’ve missed you Canberra and we look forward to welcoming you back very soon. 💚, it was the easiest and most effective way to connect with our audience. Again, human connection.

That one post? I opted for a team photo because that loyal community we’ve already built and maintained? They’re the ones who already know who we are and what we do. For some, they’re used to seeing our faces on a regular basis. They missed us too. Another human connection.

Since then, Public’s social media presence hit a little burst and we continue to see growth in followers and reach. When I took over the marketing, my goal was to build an online presence that would be reflected in the venue. From that one post, we received so many phone calls, emails and DMs on socials to book, even though our capacity is limited.

As it is with anything and everything else; if you put a little love in, you’ll get a litte love out. ✔️

Three ways to unwind from your busy week

As I write this, I look back three or four months and I’m baffled at how I managed to do what I did before all of this pandemic business. To give you some context: I was at the Keep Co office four days a week, where I worked three days with Ivy Social and one day interning for Good Day PR. I was working one or two night shifts a week at Public Bar, in addition to being responsible for the venue’s marketing activity. Should I also mention that I tried to keep a somewhat social life?

Yeah, I was busy. But I loved it.


Well, for starters, I really, really enjoy all the work that I do and I like to live a semi-on-the-go lifestyle. In saying so, you really need some downtime and after this week in particular? It’s necessary.

So, I’m here to share with you my favourite ways to unwind after a big week such as:

  1. Taking my time with my skincare routine
  2. Binge-watching my current go-to TV show or movie series
  3. Have a big glass of wine (very, very important)

Skincare routine

As much as I love to put makeup on, I love taking it off just as much. When I was younger, I wrongly invested my money into makeup when really, I should’ve put it towards skincare. If you read my last blog post, this was one of those silly choices that I made back in the day. 😂

My skincare routine is something that I will always do, every morning and every night. It doesn’t matter how exhausted, emotionally drained or drunk I am; I’ll do it, even if I’m not wearing makeup. On a day-to-day basis, we’re talking: double cleanser (…yep, double), toner, eye cream, serum and moisturiser.

Most of the time, I can do my regular routine without even thinking but after a massive day or week, I really like to take my time… sometimes, it can take me up to two hours. Yes – you read that right. It can take me so long because a) I work each product into my skin more than usual, and b) I add a few extra steps like a face mask and an eye mask. Plus, it feels like a mini pamper session and what girl wouldn’t want that? 💆🏻‍♀️


As a millennial living in an era of online streaming, how could binge-watching not be one of my favourite things to do? Not just after a busy week but all the time.

I have a few TV shows and movies on rotation that I watch every year; like Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Gilmore Girls (..although I’m getting quite sick of it as I get older), Younger and my latest addition? Schitt’s Creek, which I love every little thing about. I can’t tell you why I watch them year in and year out but I like that I can have them on in the background when I don’t want to listen to music or a podcast, or even as I fall asleep. If I need a little bit of action in my life, my go-to films include The Hunger Games, Divergent and most things from Marvel (hello Chris Hemsworth).

By watching all these TV shows and movies, they help me get lost in their world just so I can escape reality for a little bit. Plus, my life is nowhere near as dramatic or action-packed so it’s a nice reassurance that my life is totally fine. 😂

Fun fact: I actually wanted to become a film director when I was about 16 so I got really into the industry. Like, I’d watch movies with the commentary on to get an understanding of every decision that a director, writer or actor made… safe to say that this particular dream didn’t last me very long!

Big glass of wine

Now, let’s talk about wine. Ah, a good ol’ crisp glass of freshly poured Riesling really does the trick. Do we even need to get into why it’s one of my favourite ways to unwind?

I think it’s really important to be able to have some downtime, even if you live such a busy lifestyle or work from home. You need to be able to take a break from things otherwise it’ll just consume you.

And before you ask… yes, I did all three things after I finished work this week. ✔️