UPDATE: I now work full-time at the University of Salford teaching Digital, Online and Magazine journalism, though I still freelance to keep my hand in.
I’m a freelance journalist and editor, working primarily in the motoring, tourism and leisure industries. I’m also an experienced teacher in HE.
I’ve driven the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife, slept in an igloo and crashed a Volvo in the name of earning a crust in the automotive industry.
I co-founded and co-edit SevenStreets.com – a hyperlocal website covering tourism, leisure, culture and arts in Liverpool – and sister site Liverpool Underlined a visitor’s guide to Liverpool.
I co-edited and co-founded the business-orientated City Tribune in print and online in Liverpool, designed to cover the Liverpool International Festival of Business. A second edition will cover London in late 2014.
I’m also good at social media, SEO and videos. I also write about culture and leisure, cricket, media and marketing.
I also work as an Academic Tutor/Visiting Lecturer at the University of Sunderland, University of Salford, University of Westminster and UCLan.
You can find out more about me below (or browse this site, which largely looks at online journalism, politics and media), follow me on Twitter at @robinbrown78 or use the contact form at the bottom of the page. Hit up my news for updates on what I’m doing professionally.
Thing I’ve worked on
I edited MotorTorque.com for five years, taking it from a sub-section on a lead generation website to an entity in its own right, generating 10,000 automotive leads a year. By the time I left the site had almost 2m Youtube hits and over 5,000 Twitter followers. I also worked as Head of Content, conceiving and overseeing automotive content channels for clients such as Vauxhall, Saab and Lloyds TSB, overseeing a team of five journalists.
I am currently New Cars Editor of PetrolBlog.com and set up PetrolPod.com, an automotive podcast. I write a column on fleet cars for Professional Manager Magazine, the official magazine of the Chartered Management Institute, and write all the publication’s car reviews.
I authored the book Fast Cars – a collection of pen pictures on the world’s fastest cars – for Igloo Publishing in Spring 2013. The book was published in Summer 2013.
I co-founded and co-edit SevenStreets.com – Liverpool’s best culture, leisure and tourism website. In 2013 it was joined by LiverpoolUnderlined.com – a tourism guide to the city for visitors and tourists.
The City Tribune is based in Liverpool but is designed as a pop-up multimedia publication in different cities and on behalf of different brands. The first print edition was published in 2014.
I teach journalism on NCTJ-accredited at the University of Sunderland, where I have taught classes in news journalism, magazine production and social media to undergraduates and MA students.
I have also written and taught a News and Feature Writing module to MA students at the University of Westminster.
I have written and delivered classes on the Digital Journalism and Magazine Journalism modules at the University of Salford.
I teach Digital Journalism at UCLan.
Leisure / lifestyle copywriting
I’ve done loads of copywriting for clients that include Eurocamp, Swan Hellenic and First Transpennine Express.
I contribute articles to a number of magazines, including regular articles for All About History magazine and New Statesman. I freelance for WhatsOnStage writing theatre reviews.
I freelanced for several years, predominantly in the gaming industry. I have worked for NME, The Virgin Alternative Guide, The Big Issue In The North, Tribune, 101 PC Games, Official UK Playstation 2 Magazine and Liverpool Vision over the last 15 years.
I edited two student newspapers – the Liverpool Gazette for the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Student for Liverpool Student Media. The latter was nominated for four (and won two) student journalism awards while I was the editor.
Things I’m good at
I consider writing to be my stock-in-trade and can turn around a lot of work very quickly, something learned through striving to hit tight deadlines in student newspaper days and racing through as much work as possible when freelancing.
Media and the web, cars and the automotive industry, arts, leisure, gaming, Liverpool and sports would be my main topics of authority though I like to think I can turn my hand to most things. I once worked on a medical devices magazine.
Having made the switch to online I’ve become extremely adept at writing for the web, from an SEO point of view and simple readability.
I’ve trained several journalists over the years in a variety of jobs and teach professionally.
I can conceive of – and develop – new concepts for websites and have a track record of bringing digital publications to fruition in a variety of sectors.
I know more about SEO than most, and more widely I’ve developed skills in online marketing and social media marketing. I’ve worked in marketing, generally producing press and publicity materials, on more than one occasion.
I know all the important stuff about social media marketing, which is to say I know the 99% that is useless and the stuff worth concentrating on. I’ve got about a dozen blogs and know all of the platforms.
I’ve worked as a sub on several print publications. I know my widows from my orphans and can spot a compound noun a mile off.
I can turn my hand to page-setting – I’m good on Quark XPress and InDesign and know my way around Photoshop to a decent level too.
I used to do some freelance work as a photographer and can shoot some good stuff to accompany copy if required.
I have presented over 50 new car video reviews, interviewed on-camera and been interviewed. I have good knowledge of conceiving, scripting and presenting videos.
I participate in an automotive podcast and can find my way around the required software and hardware.