Tips on social media for local government


In some cases local government and social media don’t mix. Many councils haven’t been actively using Facebook and Twitter and that has to change. It can be a long and complicated process. Here are some tips to get you started.

by Maria Loupa 

Plan ahead

  • It is vital to understand that SM should form part of an overall comms plan

A comms strategy should be already in place and social media will be integrated gradually into it.

You need to comprehend the mentality behind each channel; each organisation is completely different and tools need to be customised to its needs. You need to experiment and see what works; different tools might apply to particular campaigns.

  • You need to consider your social media involvement carefully; once you decide to go for it, you have to go all the way.

As we recently heard from #RUDay ‘You can’t be half pregnant’. If you are not prepared to put the resource and effort behind social media, maybe it’s not for you. Lack of time shouldn’t be an excuse, as social media are gradually becoming part of the press office duties at the very least. Tweetdeck, Sendible and the likes can be used to schedule posts.

Don’t forget that social media channels have to run as a constant campaign, which is occasionally customised to each project’s purposes; messages have to be consistent and coherent and a combination of the tools helps achieve best results.

  • There has to be at least one devoted social media person able to understand how social media work, and you might want to start considering implementing a social media policy or guidelines for the rest of the staff as well.

Tweets and posts can for sure be deleted, but once they go live they can be retweeted and shared, and there’s no recovering them. Also, people respond best to authentic communication; so it’s advisable to use a more personal tone even on official profiles- in moderation-.

Keep in mind that it is best not to have more than 3 accounts in each channel because it will be hard to keep them regularly updated, plus it will confuse people and discourage them from using them

  • Evaluation and measurement

Evaluation is part of the planning procedure; what is the point of implementing a strategy if you can’t measure whether it’s effective or not? The key principles of social media presence are: Listen, Measure Understand and Engage, and you will definitely need an evaluation and measurement tool to follow them. The list is endless, you just have to find which one works for your organisation:  Google analytics, Tweetstats, Backtype, Nearbytweets Netvibes Social Oomph, Radian6, Sprout social, Hoot suite, Google Insights, Social Mention,  Sysomos… even Facebook Insights can get you started!

Most of them can produce reports, conduct comparison with competitors, search conversation history, etc. and give the opportunity to:

i.         check the competition- see how other councils are doing; there is hardly any virgin birth anymore, so why not see what worked best for someone else and give it a try.

  ii.         Monitor conversations about your council; what is your audience and what do they say about you? You could even use Twitter’s much under-estimated Search feature for that.- Understand your audience in order to be able to engage with them effectively.

Practical tips


  1. Works best to promote future events/announcements, as it allows more long-term involvement on thread.
  2. Competitions/surveys are also most effective on Facebook, as it allows for more visual elements; an image is more powerful and will generate much more click-troughs than plain text.
  3. The first few lines are the most important ones; hook your audience, use capitals, slogans & abbreviations if necessary to keep their attention and click through to read more. If you are including a link (esp. to link back to your website or your other social media channels), make sure it’s within these lines.

If the link is too long or confusing use a Bitlly or Tinyurl to shorten links and make them more memorable. Customising links will make evaluation easier too as they can be better used by the relevant tools; by allowing you to access analytics and see how many people are clicking on your links. This is information that you often wouldn’t have access to when posting links on social channels.

4. There is a time and a place for everything. Avoid posting to Facebook after 8 p.m. and before 8 a.m., and on the weekend.

Links posted from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. result in the highest average click through, with the peak time of the week being Wednesday at 3 p.m.

5. Communicate information without spamming; the last thing people want is log on to Facebook to find an endless line of posts from the council on their Timeline; they will most likely either unlike the page or they can now customise their settings to hide updates from your pages.

 For Twitter:

  1. The old KISS rule applies (Keep it short and sweet) – Tweets must be under 140 characters, however try and keep it around 120/125 to allow for re-tweets.
  2. Use abbreviations where possible to avoid wasting characters- use figures and symbols where possible.

Sometimes grammatical sins have to be committed, but due to the nature of the organisation they have to be kept at a minimum- opt for most widely used abbreviations instead of making new ones up!

Twitter works best with real time events/announcements and a more Q & A approach, and can be very effective to start conversations and initiate two-way communication. Since it is by nature much faster paced than Facebook, it is possible for people to skim past tweets and miss them. In order to tackle that and remind to your audience of an event, it is advisable to tweet about it multiple times with slight word variations but in moderation- avoid spamming.

3. Use dedicated hash tags for specific campaigns, or whenever you consider it appropriate, in order to increase the visibility of your tweets

4. Part of Twitter savoir-faire- If you retweet someone, add RT; if you RT  and edit it change the RT to MT

5. The best time to post to Twitter is in the afternoon, early in the week—from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.The peak traffic times, are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Last but not least, both Facebook and Twitter can be used to drive traffic to the website and as excellent customer service tool.

Any feedback or additional thoughts will not just be welcome but appreciated!

Maria Loupa is comms intern at Northumberland County Council.

*As published in

Britain In A Day: Uncovered

The project

On Saturday 12 November 2011, a diverse range of British people responded to a call by the BBC to turn the camera on themselves and their everyday life. For the first time, even film captured on mobile phones could not only be of an almost professional standard, but of broadcastable quality.
The result? A 90-minute film directed -which in this case means edited-by BAFTA winner Morgan Matthews, executively produced by Ridley Scott and Kevin Macdonald, which offers a candid look at 21st-century life across the UK, crafted from over 750 hours of footage, including 11,526 clips submitted to YouTube.
Following on from the feature film Life in a Day, Britain in a Day is an extraordinary project telling the fascinating story of the British public in their own words, while being an example of the crowd-sourced film phenomenon. The difference between the two films lies in their global vs national character; the first included clips from around the world, in an attempt to underline the similarities of all humanity. Britain In A Day’s goal was that the resulting film and on-line archive would be a powerful and moving snapshot, a specific moment in time which separates Britain in A Day from most reality-based documentaries.

This captivating self-portrait of Britain is a meaningful project, which fulfilled a need of people to allow others into their lives and offer a remarkable insight into their thoughts, fears and hopes and be part of something bigger. Although the individual videos might be seemingly insignificant, when put together they become a powerful and overwhelming piece, so much more than a film.

For more information,

You can also follow Britain in a Day on Twitter using #BritaininaDay and  join the conversation

The process

BBC Learning was looking for people from right across the country to help select and archive clips from their local area on the BBC2 Britain in a Day project; it was an opportunity to create a time capsule for the future. As an extension of the project, the BBC has partnered with universities from around the UK to create a permanent on-line Britain in a Day archive; a number of multimedia/journalism students were selected from each university to participate.

The chosen students would work to the following brief and outcomes:

• Watch all videos submitted in their region and to assist the BBC in reviewing the crowd sourced footage for compliance
• Curate their region’s showcase of approximately 200 clips which comply with BBC guidelines and have any required guidance or warning labels suggestions.
• Provide a top 10 curated clips playlist, with commentary telling a story about their region, and provide their own version of Britain in a Day through compiling a playlist of 10 films
• Contribute to a blog/social media about their regions selection, how they chose the clips, how they were edited, their thoughts and feelings on the archive.
• 2 students from each university were invited to their local radio station in conjunction with their regions archive launch to be interviewed about their clip selection.On the 29th of each month starting with June, 2-3 regions went live on the archive.
You can see the films that were submitted to the project, as well as the full-length versions of films featured in the BBC2 programme by visiting the archive here:

BBC Open Day

BBC held an industry open day event on the 12th November (the anniversary of the project) at Media City UK in Manchester to celebrate the completed gallery (24 playlists in total). All partners involved in delivering the project were invited to come along and travel expenses were covered by the BBC. The event consisted of 3 sessions, combining the opportunity to speak to staff as well as putting our skills into practice. The outcomes from the day are described shortly below for those who couldn’t join us on the day.

The 3 sessions were:

1. Elevator pitching

Working to a brief in order to prepare a pitch and present to the people who make the decisions.

Pitching to a panel of accomplished professional is never easy; it was an opportunity to experience the pressures of pitching and receive on the spot feedback. Thankfully we were creative enough to pull off a unique idea and present it in a decent and hopefully comprehensive manner.

Things to consider before pitching:

• N- Why do I NEED it
Your audience must be convinced that your idea is essential and why they should go with it

If they do go with your idea, what’s in it for them? What will this idea offer?

What is the target audience for the idea? Who you intend to approach, how and why?


Is your idea unique or has it been introduced before? What will differentiate your idea from the norm and make it compelling?
In general, it’s best to treat it as a hypothesis and define all relevant variables (including the ones above).

2. Editorial policy in action

How  is it decided what gets broadcasted on the BBC?

Having reviewed the Britain in a Day clips we all had an idea of the “flagged up” issues, but in this session the non-obvious factor was examined and we had the chance to see if we had what it takes to comply clips for broadcast. Tommy Nagra introduced the basic points of editorial policy and tested them through a series of practical examples. It’s always better to be safe than sorry with compliance, so make sure to check the few basic and substantial points below:

• Editorial is divided into Legal and Regulation.

• Informed consent- legally, you have to be 18.
For TV etc. and regulated purposes: 16-18 is considered a young person (for topics including bullying, drugs, alcohol, sex). Permission has to be granted by the head teacher or the parents. However, it can be withdrawn if the situation changes; for example, if the title is not the initially agreed one, that could be a deal-breaker.

• Audience expectations is a vital factor.
If people are not expecting violence from a specific show/channel they will react; cursing or tolerance regarding racism for example depends on the specific book/movie/presenter. There is a common sense about what is generally accepted; meaning that especially when introducing a new concept, additional caution is required.

• Family or people’s identities in general shouldn’t be exposed without their consent; elements linking to their identity shouldn’t be mentioned or implied.

• Endorsing should be avoided when discussing especially sensitive matters like drugs, alcohol etc.

• Releasing a story can lead to personal implications. For example, someone could lose their job if they aren’t in the right state of mind to be filmed; and even if they are, they could still lose their job anyway for mentioning sensitive topics!

3. Meet the staff

The final part was a 1 hour session with members of BBC staff-journalists, producers and researchers- sharing their experiences and offering tips and advice about getting into the industry, followed by a Q&A in order to find out what it takes to get a dream job.

Gordon Burns narrated how he made his way into journalism, during the era of Rolling Stones and sexual freedom. Things were different back then and it took hard work and guts to get into the job. He created a school magazine and “managed” to get it banned due to school regulations, which made the issues “sell like cupcakes”. After this he realised what he wanted to do and after hunting a job at the Belfast Telegraph, it escalated from there.
Burns underlined the importance of luck, which appeared to be on his side. Above all you need to bring yourself to a position to get that luck and make something for yourself by constantly trying to prove what you are capable of. Luck can help you get one foot at the door, but the other one will come with hard work. Social media and the web might have hardened the game, but some rules still apply.

  • When preparing for an interview, do your homework

Each organisation is different so take the time to research its background and the people you will potentially speak to. You must be prepared for whichever interview and really want the job-or at least act really well like it!-; always show your passion. You have to be keen, bright and enthusiastic about what you do; creative ideas/thoughts in particular are gold for TV.

  • Programme making requires in depth research

Sometimes you need to take a step back and shadow someone for a while, watch what they do and how they do it in order to improve your skills; always be willing to learn new things. Know how to behave, don’t hustle people too much, make suggestions, offer help, and get as much work experience as possible.

  • Try to network as much as possible; after all, the best jobs are not the ones advertised.
  • Establish yourself after university with work experience, develop and perfect your skills.

Multi-tasking is a necessity for the media professional of today; you must be able to report, shoot videos, record sound and take great pictures, so it’s best to move around in order to gain new skills. If the question is to specialise in something or not, be aware that specialising might close doors in the sense that many people will be after that one job; but if you broaden your skills you automatically broaden your job horizons and are more likely to get a job. Multi-tasking is key and can be the factor that will set you apart from the crowd.

  • With the rise of technology and hence, community journalism, everyone is a journalist in a way

What differentiates journalists is their credibility. Information needs to be checked, especially in the online times we live in; check check and check again, as there is no excuse for inaccuracy. A good practice is to have two credible sources, independent to each other in order to fact-check information.

Newcastles of the World 2012

Visitors from a dozen different Newcastles will gather in the original Newcastle in the last week of July. Around 70 delegates from “Newcastles of the World” will be getting together in Newcastle upon Tyne to discuss their branding and marketing and to explore setting up a joint Newcastles tourism initiative, with everyone promoting the other Newcastles as well as their own as a place to visit and invest in.

 John Nicolaou, once a resident of Newcastle but now living in Spain and the man behind the idea of bringing all the Newcastles together, said “I’m delighted that Newcastle upon Tyne will now be host to many of the towns and cities around the world who take or share our name”.

Delegates at the conference will also be taking part in a range of cultural projects that have been in progress over the past few months. There’s an exhibition at the City Library of photographs, films and postcards from the different Newcastles, and a publication of poetry to be launched, with poems about each Newcastle contributed by local writers.

Each school is also studying a different Newcastle from around the world, and they will share their projects with the visiting delegates, as well as making a welcome pack for them about Newcastle upon Tyne. This will be part of a more permanent link being developed with a school from the visiting Newcastle.

An even bigger project is the “Song for Newcastle”. Performers in Newcastles in Australia, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, and the USA, as well as Newcastle upon Tyne and Newcastle-under-Lyme in the UK have been writing, singing and filming their Song for Newcastle, all based upon the words and music of well-known local song “Home Newcastle” by “Busker”, the late Ronnie Lambert.  Busker’s song, about a Geordie exile homesick for Newcastle, has become a toon army anthem and is still often played at St James’ Park. The different international interpretations of Home Newcastle will be edited into a single version to be performed at the Newcastles conference.

Hazel Lambert, Ronnie’s widow, said “Ronnie would have been thrilled at the idea that people in other Newcastles around the world wanted to take part in this project based on his famous song and to write and sing about their Home Newcastle. I’ve been pleased to support this initiative and I look forward to hearing their versions and the final edit of the song.”

The “home” version of “Home Newcastle” is being sung by Voicebeat – a community choir based at The Sage Gateshead that  explores different musical styles, including gospel, reggae, pop and folk traditions from around the world. Other versions are being sung in gospel style by the Northern Kwazulu Natal Youth Choir choir in Newcastle, South Africa; by a school choir in New Castle, Indiana USA; by a men’s harmony singing group (“Novatones”) from Newcastle New South Wales in Australia; by the Leuchtfeuer (“Beacon”) youth choir in Neuburg an der Donau, Germany;  by a male voice choir in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and with an instrumental version by a youth showband Les Amourins in Switzerland.

The poetry and the Song for Newcastle will come together on Monday 23rd July at Newcastle’s Live Theatre for the “Night on the Tyne”, featuring the poets, with musicians and clog dancers and also Ouseburn Young Voices, a choir of young people from schools in the east end of Newcastle.

Delegates will also be using the time here to create a “proggy mat” depicting different types of castle turrets, with the help of the “Woodhorn Matters”. The Proggy (or clippy) mat is a rug-making technique traditional to the North East of England. The mat will be produced at the Newcastles conference by members of the public who can have a go, as well as by the delegates. Once complete it will be displayed at Newcastle Civic Centre and Newcastle Cathedral before going on to the other Newcastles.

The delegates will be welcomed to Newcastle with a service at the Cathedral on the morning Sunday 22 July, followed by a parade (with children from local schools) through the city from Eldon Square, along Northumberland Street to the civic centre. There they will open a “friendship garden” which is being designed by apprentice gardeners from the Newcastle city nurseries, before going on to the Mansion House for a welcome event with music and dancing from local performers.

Several of the Newcastle will be sending delegates from their youth councils, and they will have their own events hosted by Newcastle’s Youth Council. “We will have a welcome party, meeting up with young people from this Newcastle” said Gerry Hunwick of The Children’s Society. “We’ll also have important discussions between us on the global environmental challenges and how the voice of young people should be heard on this and other issues; about how young people can set up their own businesses and about perceptions of young people in the media”.

You can download the full programme of activities here


For more information and updates about the events

Creativity captured through Jesmond’s snapshots

Library hosts local photography exhibition as part of festival. Watch this slideshow by Maria Loupa and Nelly Stavropoulou

Jesmond Methodist Church’s photography exhibition, titled “Photos of Jesmond”, demonstrated local artistic creativity as residents submitted photographs that illustrated Jesmond’s identity.

The entries ranged from snapshots of Jesmond Dene’s serene landscapes, to festival-inspired moments and shots of some of Jesmond’s most iconic buildings.

Chris Coleman of Jesmond Methodist Church, one of the key organisers of the event, commented on the quality and diversity of the exhibition, saying that the entries demonstrated the community’s high engagement. He told JesmondLocal: “The conception behind the exhibition was simply to try and capture a sense of the community of Jesmond in photographs and celebrate it.”

Coleman expressed his satisfaction and appreciation to all participants. Watch our audio-slideshow to get a taste of the exhibition’s photos, accompanied by visitors’ comments.

*As published in


JesmondLocal organizes first Bootcamp as part of Jesmond Community Festival

Newcastle Cricket Club welcomed the future community journalists of Jesmond last Wednesday

On the 2nd of May specialists, students and boot campers came together to explore the community journalism possibilities. It was an enjoyable and mutually beneficial evening; the participants got to know each other better and exchanged stories and knowledge.

The first half hour was focused on explaining the purpose of these boot camps and the role of community journalists in general, by Ian Wylie from JesmondLocal. These meetings are an opportunity for residents of Jesmond to get their stories told, through different media routes.

Hyper-local is more alive than ever; regional news aren’t as local as they used to be, leaving a gap for people who are interested in matters taking place next to their doorstep and not to the other end of the country.

Any story can be of interest to a group of people: from a local street performer to local elections, as long as the narrator is passionate about it. Using online tools makes it possible for everyone to become a storyteller, share their views and experiences. It’s fast, easy and –for the most part- free. Pictures, audio and video can be the story or used as part of it. The possibilities are endless; it just takes a few hours to familiarize yourself with this new set of interactive and shareable tools.

Further on, Adam Perry of Media Trust provided some helpful tips on shooting video, particularly video interviews, with just a camera phone. He stressed the importance of preparing the interview in advance; you should think about where best to shoot the video (light, background noise, etc.), write down some questions, and think about how you will introduce and end the interview. The focus should be put on the story telling and not on getting the perfect shot; it’s all about the message and not the medium that you chose. Practice makes better and these bootcamps are held to prove that people don’t need ridiculously expensive equipment to be heard; simple items used in everyday life and free apps will do the trick!

The second part of the boot camp was more practical, with students and bootcampers paired up and worked in teams to shoot some short audio and video interviews. Students shared their advice with bootcampers, some of whom experimented with video for the first time. One of the bootcampers said “I didn’t even know how to use my phone camera before” and another was enthusiastic enough to immediately upload it on YouTube!

By the end of the session, the teams brainstormed ideas for possible topics. Each bootcamper was left with some advice and the challenge to decide on a story regardless of specific subjects or ways of telling it; it could be anything they find interesting and could be told either through video, audio or photos. A final result should be presented by the end of the last bootcamp.

Next Wednesday’s bootcamp is expected to be even more lively providing hands-on practice. With some new boot campers added to the team, we will be taking a look at the role of social media in story telling.

For those who missed the first bootcamp and are interested in more information about video journalism, you can visit:


*Parts of it published in under the title “Storytellers in training”

or check below:

Blues night gets the festival foot-stomping – video

Oxfam treats locals to night of live music for a charitable cause. Maria Loupa and Charlotte Krol report

Ben WatsonThe 78s and Spanish Battery rocked the opening weekend of the Jesmond Community Festival with lively sets at a blues night in the British Legion Club. The acts entertained the audience with a variety of roots music, ranging from traditional and acoustic blues to blues-rock and Americana.

All proceeds from the event went towards Jesmond Oxfam Books and Music’s Trailtrekker team, who are walking 100km in 30 hours around the Yorkshire Dales for charity on 26th May.

The Oxfam Blues Night is one of many music events taking place during the Jesmond Community Festival. Have a peek at some of Saturday evening’s performances here:

*As published in


Seven deadly housemate sins

Refusing to wash the dishes, blasting dubstep at 4am, never replacing the butter? Sound familiar? We selected the most often committed, and worst, of multiple occupancy crimes. Don’t think they’re a big deal? See if your flatmate agrees…

by Indiana MurphyMatt AspinLuiza StefanovaEmily RaeMaria Loupa,Lauren Windas, andColette Hunter

Playing the sexaphone

There is a massive difference between knowing it happens and hearing it happen through your wall at 2am. For example, I knew of a girl in halls that would have such loud, shall we say, ‘sessions’ with her boyfriend every time that he came to visit, that the poor girls living next to her resorted to pinning a note to her door saying ‘Please keep the sex noises to a minimum during anti-social hours.’ It instantly made her business common knowledge to anyone who walked passed her door. Well, until the girl hastily took it down. Sure it must have been really embarrassing for the girl but if it made her more considerate from then on I would say it was well worth it. Not only is it very disruptive  (a woman was once given an ASBO after a particularly loud lovemaking session!) but also it’s just common courtesy to be considerate of the people you live with, just like you wouldn’t leave the loo without flushing. If the tables were turned I bet you wouldn’t want to hear your neighbours going at it, particularly in the early hours of the morning.

Being a ham-burglar  

There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning only to discover that the family-sized carton of fruit juice you had bought in preparation for the next day’s hangover, or that eight pack of sausages which you were going to devour for breakfast, have been stolen. What’s worse is when you realise that those who have taken it are, in most cases, people who are your friends and who know full well how much it annoys you! Of course, there is almost certainly never any malicious intent behind such an act, but knowing that at the time the culprit was highly intoxicated or that they ‘were going to replace it’ when they next ventured to a supermarket is hardly a comfort at 8am after a night of trebles. What’s more frustrating is that the perpetrator in question is often not subtle or discrete. They don’t take some juice, but rather the whole carton and they don’t have a few biscuits, but instead the whole packet, leaving the empty packet and crumbs scattered across the entire kitchen. If you find yourself reading this and have no idea what I’m talking about, the chances are, you are the one committing the sin!

Not such a goody-too-shoes

On your way back home you find cash in your pocket that your mum secretly gave you before coming back to uni. Some retail therapy is in serious need as some nice spring promotions are, like, begging for your attention! Can’t resist, can you? While walking for hours and hunting for the perfect prey in shop windows, those impatiently anticipated heels that you adore now have a precious red ‘SALE’ label. Your mind is already living the dream of the long-awaited celebration, as these beautiful shoes, that had always belonged to you, become yours. The battle is won. You even imagine how you are going to match your make-up for the night with the colour nuances of your newly-bought treasures…

Guilty or not, in the moment that your flatmate decides your heels would work well for a Sinners’ Friday night out they have taken an important decision. It’s a sin, isn’t it? But what can you do? Maybe the shoes didn’t have your name tied on their fancy spirituality after all. You can do it. Move on!

Tasteless tunes

This housemate is easily recognisable by their bleary eyed stare and multiple ear infections due to prolonged headphone usage. Music, like clothes, is a very personal choice. Both are considered forms in which you can express yourself. However, with music, unlike clothes, sometimes you do not get to choose the type you want. Hearing your international housemate belt out their best Adele impression in the shower can be quite endearing, a constant dubstep beat accompanying your breakfast cereal, not so. This is one occasion when the bass dropping is faced with despair that the song is continuing rather than frenzy on the dance floor. The only way this housemate can be deterred is to start a song battle (think School of Rock). Select a song, preferably something genre-clashing and let the battle commence. They get louder, you get louder. You may lose the friendship of other housemates in the process but it’s a small price to pay for your eardrums intact. Whoever loses has to endure solely the other housemate’s choice of ‘chooooons’ for a week. Just be grateful they haven’t formed a classical violin quartet.

Moment murderer

If it is bad enough listening to your roommate going at it like a possessed cheetah shouting “Geronimo”, imagine how much worse catching the live show could be. Trust me when I say that some things cannot be unseen… Unless you have a kinky and perverted side in you, you will not enjoy running into your roommates caressing their loved one, or while they are releasing their tension in the toilet. Once you’ve seen their ‘happy ending’ faces, things will never be the same again! Just try to knock every single time before you enter a room, and you are guaranteed a scarred-free place in flatmate heaven.

Selfish squatters

Whether it be outstaying their welcome or disappearing loo roll, an extra body in an already busy house can cause tension. Weekend stays are perfectly acceptable, but when it’s every weekend or a long haul visit, an ‘adopted’ housemate may not be appreciated.

With danger of all the other sins being committed by your loved one combined, this sin could be considered the worst of all. Perhaps one of the easier sins to commit – if your relationship is good then it’s sometimes hard to notice when you’re spending too much time together.In a student house, the line between guest and household member can easily become blurred. So at what point do you hint for him or her to start contributing to the weekly Tesco run? It may be a difficult topic to discuss and there is potential for friction and awkward confrontations but just remember: love is blind, but your housemates aren’t!

Chunder blunder

This is probably the messiest (and most disgusting) sin to commit as a housemate at university. With Newcastle’s renowned nightlife, many of us are bound to stroll in at early hours of the morning pissed off our faces. Those unfortunate students may have already experienced the unpleasantness of waking up to a flat covered in vomit, and those offenders are likely to have lied in a bed full of the mess too. Getting drunk and throwing up everywhere will definitely not make you popular with your flatmates and it is more than likely that you have to clean up the mess. This sin is clearly not one to repeat, so you may want to rethink that last shot of tequila next time before you end up in this unfortunate and unhygienic circumstance.

All illustrations: Daisy Billowes

*As published in

Guess which one is mine..!



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,528 other followers

%d bloggers like this: