Social media strategy: a guide

We all know we need a social media strategy for our organisations.   But when you’re a busy communications professional juggling all the work, it’s hard to set aside time for strategising.   However, investing effort now to plan your brand’s social media will dramatically improve your results.   But where to start? How willContinue reading “Social media strategy: a guide”

Could you work with your brother or sister? Introducing my new business manager, Lel

Hey!  I have taken on my first permanent member of staff, and guess what?  She’s my big sister! Introducing Lel Reynolds: bringing order, ideas and loveliness to The Comms Creative College! I couldn’t think of anyone better to help me grow my business than Lesley (or Lel, as I’ve called her since I could speak).Continue reading “Could you work with your brother or sister? Introducing my new business manager, Lel”

Social Media Marketing Awards: I won!

On Monday, I won Freelance Social Media Marketer Of The Year at the Social Media Marketing Awards! I’m super chuffed, especially since I was up against some incredibly talented social media professionals. ‘But, hang on’, you might be thinking, ‘You’re a social media trainer aren’t you?’. Well, yes. My business is currently a one-woman-band andContinue reading “Social Media Marketing Awards: I won!”

My advice for a career in communications

I’m sharing some advice for a career in communications as part of the second #CommsCreative challenge: to blog useful tips for other communicators (read more about the challenge here). I’m now old enough to have enough bags of experience to fill all of Louis Vuitton’s shops. I started as a press officer, took on more generalContinue reading “My advice for a career in communications”

Communications strategy, snakes and ladders style

Ever have that feeling when you see something so nifty, and simple that you wish you’d thought of it? That was me when I saw this very creative communications strategy template from Sarah Yates, Broxtowe Borough Council’s brilliant Corporate Communications Manager. Very kindly, @haribohats has made this awesome #comms planning guide available to download and print! Brilliant #commscreativeContinue reading “Communications strategy, snakes and ladders style”

Comms Creatives Club newsletter: fancy some inbox inspiration?

Have you signed up to the The Creativity Coffee Break newsletter? Sign up now! Every week, I send an email newsletter with comms stories, ideas and tips. It can be easy to get snowed under with work and get into a a habit of doing things the same way. The Creativity Coffee Break newsletter aims toContinue reading “Comms Creatives Club newsletter: fancy some inbox inspiration?”

Ten tips for comms pros from the NHS Communications Conference 2018

It’s amazing how invigorating it can be to get out of the office to learn and network with other communications professionals. Yesterday I loved hosting the NHS Confederation’s Communications Conference 2018, and I’m so grateful to share some excellent insights into comms and life, from a delegate at the event, Katie Stephenson. It was great to meetContinue reading “Ten tips for comms pros from the NHS Communications Conference 2018”

2018 survey: Comms in the UK housing sector

Busy UK housing communications professionals rarely get time to meet other comms teams to compare teams and work experiences. So in early 2018, I asked PR and comms practitioners in the sector to take a short survey, where they could honestly answer how work is for them right now. Some patterns have emerged, and IContinue reading “2018 survey: Comms in the UK housing sector”

The top 10 of UK public sector tweets of 2017

Yes, public sector tweets can be exciting and interesting! In the public sector, we often have small, or no, budgets for social media. But our organisations do amazing work and our communications teams have bags of talent. I salute communications professionals in public services and government, and I want to say thanks for keeping usContinue reading “The top 10 of UK public sector tweets of 2017”

Standing up for the skills of the expert communicator

Have you ever wandered over to your head of finance and told them how they should interpret the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill of 2014-15? No? Funny how comms people often find colleagues from other professional disciplines advise us about comms subjects of which they have little knowledge or experience. Knowing how to tweet doesContinue reading “Standing up for the skills of the expert communicator”

Some tips for new podcasters

A few weeks ago, I made the trip to London to do a podcasting course at the Guardian offices – this meant driving from South Wales at 5am on a Sunday morning (no public transport to get me there on time) – it was worth it. Podcasting seemed to be seen as quite a nerdyContinue reading “Some tips for new podcasters”

The social media election in nine tweets

It’s getting a bit of a cliché to describe it as a ‘social media election’ but things have changed drastically since 2010. In 2010 adults spent 14.2 hours per month on the web, but, thanks to widespread use of mobile devices, our total use of media and communications averaged over 11 hours every day in 2014. And 34% ofContinue reading “The social media election in nine tweets”

The public sector has no obligation to be boring: tweets that show the funny side of gov

I’ve been lucky enough to work with people doing some pretty important, serious stuff. Social work, policing, health, public finances, planning, housing, community safety: it’s all critical work. I’ve noticed that lots of people in the most serious jobs are very comfortable expressing a sense of humour.  As my mum often says: “if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry”. LaughingContinue reading “The public sector has no obligation to be boring: tweets that show the funny side of gov”

Why Awards Matter – Communication, Leadership and Rhetoric

Note from Helen: It’s such an honour to share a guest post on this blog from a communicator I have admired for years, Laura Davies. As a judge and a winner of awards, I’ve experienced how outside recognition helped individuals and teams improve their work by boosting their confidence to make bolder decisions in theContinue reading “Why Awards Matter – Communication, Leadership and Rhetoric”

#samaritansradar: Appealing for real in the social media apology

Samaritans have suspended their Twitter monitoring app.  I initially thought it was a nice idea but I was being naive and the case for rethinking it was made well online and in the media. Loads of people have written insightful things abut why the app could have been harmful – take a look at this, thisContinue reading “#samaritansradar: Appealing for real in the social media apology”

Livestreaming council meetings on YouTube

Broadcasting meetings to residents live on the Internet needn’t cost the earth, as Monmouthshire County Council has demonstrated in recent weeks. The council has bypassed expensive monthly fees from livestreaming services by directly streaming meetings, from the council chamber in Usk, to YouTube. Joanna Goodwin, my old mucker from my time at Monmouthshire, works onContinue reading “Livestreaming council meetings on YouTube”

Digital Leaders: I won! A big big enormous thank you

I promise not to harp on about this after today but I WON AN AWARD! I asked people here to vote for me in the local government official category of the Digital Leaders 100 Awards and some you lovely lovely readers must have actually done it.  Thank you! It’s so thrilling to have that kind ofContinue reading “Digital Leaders: I won! A big big enormous thank you”

Digital Leaders 100: on impostor syndrome (also, vote me!)

This is a unusual post from me that:  a) asks you a favour (I want your vote!); b) ponders why talented people are so modest. a) The favour  I’ve been added to the 2014 Digital Leaders 100 list! I’m very honoured. It’s open to a public vote and I would like you to vote for me! Continue reading “Digital Leaders 100: on impostor syndrome (also, vote me!)”

IC Space: three social media ideas for internal communicators

Here’s an article I wrote for the IC Space, sharing three social media tips for internal communicator. You can read the original posting over on the Government Communications Service website. The IC Space is a fantastic place for internal communication professionals across government to learn and network so I was delighted to be asked toContinue reading “IC Space: three social media ideas for internal communicators”

Facebook: 10 reasons why councils should embrace it as a tool

Last month, Facebook had its tenth birthday and I wrote a piece for the Guardian on council use of the platform.  You can read the original article on the Guardian website. Facebook: 10 reasons why councils should embrace it as a tool http://t.co/jkDVdRryrl — GuardianLocal (@Guardian_local) February 13, 2014 Councils can get good use fromContinue reading “Facebook: 10 reasons why councils should embrace it as a tool”

Five lessons social media managers can learn from the police

As a bit of a public sector social media obsessive, I’ve picked up lots of examples of police use of social media from twitter and the news. Police forces have done some fascinating work using social media that all PR and social media people can learn from.  So here are five principles we can considerContinue reading “Five lessons social media managers can learn from the police”

Live Q&As – getting people talking to their council on Twitter

Here’s a summary of how/why we do our live Q&A Twitter session with cabinet members.  I would love any suggestions on how we can improve or comments of any kind really, the beauty of social media is being able to learn from you all. Councillor Twitter Q&As   The idea began last September when ourContinue reading “Live Q&As – getting people talking to their council on Twitter”