Working at DocHQ – Creating Data Driven Blog Posts

My work at DocHQ was varied, to say the least.

A start-up company providing video medical appointments and advice to employees to help reduce staff absences due to illnesses and medical appointments, what would a social media manager do?

Every Monday I scheduled the social media for the week.  That would involve writing 10 Facebook posts (2 per day, usually a morning one of current news, and an afternoon one of health and well-being advice), 5 Twitter posts, 15 Instagram posts, and two LinkedIn post, all scheduled to post automatically throughout the week.

But that was the only constant in my role.  The rest of the time, I could be writing blog posts, contributing to the website wording, writing white papers, or even checking the wording of the company terms and conditions.  One of the projects that I enjoyed the most was a focused blog post on Reducing Absence in the Non-Profit Sector.

The concept was to design posts specifically targeting the different employment sectors to enable managers and Human Resource departments to understand the full extent of the impact of absence on a company.  I began by researching the different types of illnesses reported by each sector, both long and short term, which provided me with 54 pages of data… a little excessive.  I worked to condense the information into usable figures.

I then progressed to research why absences in the charity sector were different than the private sector.  I could understand why office workers and manual labour workers had different illnesses, but not why a difference in non-manual work in different sectors would be a thing.

Through reading different articles and case studies, I began to build a picture of the different stresses and activities faced by non-profit companies.

I then needed a way to present this information in an easy to absorb manner.  An infographic seemed the ideal method, so I gathered my research and created an infographic to display it, complete with DocHQ branding.


I then looked into the specific illnesses that the charity sector workers experienced, and what was causing them.  This allowed me to do more research, and then I could write a blog post which not only explained what the problems were, but also provide advice on the best ways to help the health issues, and how to avoid them recurring in the future.

I used my knowledge of key words to specifically tailor my post to appear in relevant search engines, whilst also including links to other DocHQ posts to encourage readers to subscribe and read more of our work in the future, creating a feeling of being able to trust DocHQ with the information and support which they provide.

The final task was to include information about how DocHQ could specifically help them with managing employee absence, in a way that felt natural, rather than repeated mentions which would make the piece feel more like an advertisement rather than a post providing support and information.  This I did by the use of an asterisk in amongst one set of figures, and then providing a link to the packages offered – unobtrusive but informative.
It was a challenge to make a fairly dry seeming topic sound interesting, but it was a challenge that I enjoyed, and I hope that my work has been able to help people in some way.

Go Out And Talk

This year I have worked as part of the “GOAT” team at Bournemouth University.


GOAT, the GOut And Talk team is a Student Research team for the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University. GOAT members go out and talk to fellow students collecting feedback on pre-set topics in face-to-face interactions, which is recorded on tablets. This feedback is then analysed and turned into reports that can be presented at BU committees so that the Students’ Union can work with the University to make changes that benefit students. GOAT members can be involved in every part of this. By collecting student opinions face-to-face, the GOAT team can find out if an issue is widespread as well as identifying specifics which need to be worked on to benefit students.”

The Power of a Moment

Creative writing assignment… 1500 word short story.


The Power of a Moment

Amy held her new-born daughter and looked as the glimmering lines formed into numbers.  Fifteen years, six weeks, four days from then.  The tears silently rolled down her cheeks as she tried to remind herself that it might be ok.  It might not be the end.

In the years since they had discovered there was scientific evidence for auras, research into discovering what their purpose was had been intense.  As with most great discoveries, their becoming clearly visible was an accident.  An experimental cancer treatment allowed people to See them.

Amy was personally selected for the project; Dr. Sebastian Thompson had been through university with her and knew that she would be ideal.  The team made up of Amy, Seb, Daniel, Jo, and Phil, became close through the long evenings studying the rats, trying to find more answers for The Sight.  It was the fifth generation of rats who showed the changes.  She knew that Mike, her husband was missing her, but that he understood that since the latest mutations had occurred, showing glimmering, ever shifting numbers in the auras, that her need to solve the puzzle was going to consume her until she did.

Tony joked about trying it on themselves, just an offhand comment, but as time passed, they were no closer to getting permission for human testing, nor talking rats.  The joke began to niggle, each of them returning to the idea more and more.  Amy couldn’t talk to Mike about it, he understood the time dedication, but using herself?  No, he wouldn’t agree with that.  But still… it wouldn’t only give answers, but it would mark her career.  She could change the world.  No-one was really sure how they ended up agreeing, but one winter’s night, the experiment proceeded.  After waiting hours to see changes, they slept, seeing if the morning would produce results.

Amy woke first.  Looking in the mirror, she saw nothing, but personal auras had never been visible.  She sat with her coffee and waited for the others.  One by one they descended, and she looked at them.  There were numbers now, but instead of the constantly changing flicker, they were set.  Each aura containing 10022028, that morning’s date.

The realisation that the numbers just showed the date when The Enhanced Sight became active was bittersweet.  They had answers, but no new meaning.  Resigned to starting afresh, they gathered their things and headed in their separate directions.

She walked home through the cold streets, the first few commuters beginning their trek to work.  She glanced at them, no numbers, since it was only rats and the five of them who had TES.  She felt her phone vibrate, and looked at the message, Mike asking when she would be home.  She slid the phone back into her pocket, running through conversations in her head.  He wouldn’t have agreed with the idea of the experiment, but maybe if she spun it right, he could understand why she’d done it.  She glanced up at the man in front of her and stumbled as she noticed the numbers glimmering over his head, 10022028.  It made no sense.  She called out, and rushed towards him, they needed to talk with him.  Amy gasped as time slowed.  The man turned at her voice, the car horn blared, tyres screeching as they tried to swerve.  Within moments the man was on the road, his aura, and the numbers, gone.

After waiting for the ambulance, and directing them to her hospital’s mortuary, she called the others to meet her at the lab, she would talk with Mike later.  They had to find out how this man had TES, how he’d gotten it on the same day, if there were others.  The four of them arrived about the same time, and rather than waiting for Seb, she explained everything she’d seen.  They had seen no numbers going home.  Hours passed, and still Seb did not appear.  Then the call came from his wife, a massive heart attack.  He was gone instantly.

The lab spun as Amy’s heart raced and she struggled to process the information.  The panic was immediate.  The numbers were today, but what if they weren’t the date they got TES, but the dates of death?  Everybody has a set day to die?  How could she tell Mike now?  She felt herself pulled in two as she fought with her urge to go home, and her need to know more.  The others were single, they’d given their hearts to the jobs, they didn’t see her pain.  Accepting, she sent the least painful text:

‘Close to something at work, staying on.  Love you xx.’

Trying to think rationally, they decided that finding someone close to death was best, give them the TES, and see the numbers.  But who would give permission for experimenting with the dying? They could only wait, anxiously looking at each other, waiting for the next death.

Amy couldn’t take it anymore.  She made excuses and left the lab, dodging into the sample room as she went.  Syringe in her pocket, she made her way into the main hospital and up to ICU.  Alone, it was just her on the line.  If she was dying today anyway, did it matter?  She slipped in, walking past the silent figures and pumping machines.  Checking the charts, Amy knew who was most likely.  The patient in bed C was pale, thin, and importantly, alone.  She stopped as she approached to apply the TES.  His aura was visible, pale, as is common in the very ill, but so was the silver flicker, the same numbers.  She slid the syringe back into her pocket and took a blood sample instead.  Walking away, she heard the long steady beep of his life support machines.




‘I’m going to die next week?!?!’ Sarah’s face flooded with panic and horror.

‘No! Yes… I don’t know.  Let me explain…’  Amy realised that it was too late now, that she would have to explain everything to Sarah.  All of the last two years.  She remembered that first night after telling Mike, the pain, tears, and accusations.  Taking a deep breath, she began.

‘We don’t know anything.  You remember the rough patch with Mike?’

Sarah nods uncertainly.  ‘It wasn’t about the hours that I was doing in the lab, but it was about work.  I, we, the team used ourselves.  We gave ourselves The Enhanced Sight.  It was the only way to get answers, we’re still fighting for human testing now!’  Taking another gulp of her wine, and a shuddering exhale of breath, Amy continued.  ‘The numbers stopped moving.  We’ve been through so many theories about what they mean.  Not everyone has numbers visible, it might be linked with emotional closeness.  The one thing that we do know is, often those numbers are the date they die.  Not always though!!!  We just don’t know!’

‘You experimented on yourself?  You have been able to see what you think is my death date for years?  You said nothing?  What things have I missed because I thought there was time?’ Anger and fear growing, Sarah continued to process the information.  She asked Amy to leave her to think.

Amy walked home silently, instantly sober.  After surviving the first night, they knew they had so much more to learn.  For the first couple of years they couldn’t publish any results.  They were never meant to have experimented on themselves to begin with, so whilst they petitioned for human testing of TES, they were the only subjects, trying to understand the numbers.

In the lab, results were frustratingly varied.  Whilst Amy could see someone with one date, the others would see similar dates, or totally different ones.  Passing people in hallways, some would see dates, others nothing.  They needed a larger subject pool.  The five of them were not enough to begin to understand what was happening.

It was a week later when Amy got the call, Sarah told her that she just couldn’t face her

anymore, and to not call her again.  The end of a friendship.  Amy began to wonder… was it ends that were being dated and not deaths?  It was the end of her longest friendship.  It had been the end of their times with the dead.

Gradually the research expanded, with more subjects, numbers, experiences.  It became clear that it wasn’t so much endings, but importance being shown.  Important events leading to changes.  The numbers were showing life, actions, events.  The points in which a soul cannot help but be changed in some way.  Knowing this meant planning, predicting, and dreading. It meant glancing at a stranger and knowing if they were just a passing being, or a significant influence.  It meant holding a partner and wondering if their number was an end, or a beginning.


Amy sat and held her new-born daughter.  Silent tears falling to the blanket wrapped bundle. No way to know, but the calendar always ticking down.


Fifteen years, six weeks, four days…


Sample blog post.

So, you’re a man in a rock band.  You have all the support you could need on vocal care, relaxation, and more, but there is still one aspect that you need to look at.  That beard.

It isn’t enough to just stop shaving.  No, a beard to be worshiped requires love, attention, and nurture.

You wouldn’t get a puppy and expect it to just grow up fine with just food and water would you?  Your beard is that puppy.  It needs food, water, love, walks… ok, maybe not walks…

Here are 5 easy tips to Beard Magnificence.


Where are you going with that face scrub?  You don’t want to dry out your beard, or even worse, exfoliate it.  You do need to keep it clean and fresh though.


Shampoo your beard like you would the rest of your hair, mild shampoos are more gentle.  Make sure you properly rinse that bad boy though or you might go flakey.


Rock beard doesn’t have to mean it feels like rock too.  Use some conditioner when you wash it too, so that your beard hair feels softer, like the puppy.



That puppy is now all soft and clean, but its fur is a mass of knots.  Using a boar hair brush, and/or a beard comb will remove those tangles and make a subtle but huge change to it.


Here is where you can get fancy.  Beard oils, balms, and waxes are available to help make your beard and mustache shiny, sleek, smell amazing, or into some awesome shapes.



Now, you can cut your own puppy’s hair, or you can take them to a groomer.


Taking your beard to a professional who knows exactly how to shape it is that final step to make your beard ascend from Magnificent to Godlike.  Barbers spend their days looking at beards, and making them do their bidding.  Trust them.

There you have it, how to have an amazing rock puppy.  I mean beard.



Artistic Architectural Advances


The Arts University Bournemouth has a fascinating display into the evolution of architectural design processes across four decades.  From handmade models, to the latest in 3D and virtual technology, Zaha Hadid Architects, working with the BA (hons) Modelmaking course at AUB show the range of techniques.

The lower floor shows work from the students, recreating iconic ZHA designs, in a variety of mediums such as modern 3D printing.


There is also the more traditionally hand made from copper sheet, copper wire, brass rod, and timber veneer.


As you progress through the exhibition you will see more of the designs created by ZHA themselves throughout the decades.


Make sure you visit during opening hours though, or Angry Lady will introduce herself to you….