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”

Just how social is your social media?

Most are not serial killers – in fact psychopaths are more likely to find their way into politics, boardrooms or media organisations than be jailed for murder.” Will Black In this post, I want to show how some of the behaviours that have become standard or accepted in the world of social media communications, share qualitiesContinue reading “Just how social is your social media?”

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”

#probooks: Join the Cardiff Professional Book Club

A book club where we read business and professional development stuff – if you’re near Cardiff and your New Year resolution is ‘read more’ or ‘improve my career’, this might be just what you’re after. Why? Talking to a new friend, Florence Jillett, this month, I noticed she had a bunch of interesting books in her bag: onContinue reading “#probooks: Join the Cardiff Professional Book Club”

Council social media: forget about the price tag

A great report from business advisory and accountancy firm BDO, Direct Message, has been released this week, showing results of councils reported use of social media. According to localgov.co.uk: “Two-thirds of councils are now using social media, with 77% saying it can lead to savings if used correctly, according to a new report. …[It] found that responsibility for socialContinue reading “Council social media: forget about the price tag”

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”

Public sector comms: how to not be evil

(Or, ‘How social media helped me get my heart back’) I’m going to keep this quite short considering this is post about obedience, public sector managers, the nature of evil and social media. I’m going to argue how findings of a few psychological studies suggest the modern communications person needs to be more in touchContinue reading “Public sector comms: how to not be evil”

Three ways leaders can get more from social media

If you’re a chief exec or a leader, you’ve probably given Twitter, blogging or even Facebook a go. Maybe you love it. But are you getting the most from it? Sometimes people tell me they’re on social media, they’re starting positive conversations about their work but they’re fed up of the same old topics croppingContinue reading “Three ways leaders can get more from social media”

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!)”

Isn’t it time ALL employees were encouraged to use social media?

I’ve been banging this drum for years now – organisations should be encouraging all employees to use social media. At a conference I spoke at yesterday, two PR legends, Professor Anne Gregory and Jørn Madslien referred in their presentations to the Edelman Trust Barometer and what some of the fascinating insights in the report meanContinue reading “Isn’t it time ALL employees were encouraged to use social media?”

Three ways to get cool stuff done quickly at work

Paul Taylor was kind enough to let me blog on his great site last week – he’s been a real inspiration so I’m chuffed he let me post there. He was very kind in his intro as well – what a gent! Anyway, hope you find it useful or interesting. This post is about turningContinue reading “Three ways to get cool stuff done quickly at work”

Your organisation doesn’t need a social media expert, it needs its experts on social media

[Photo by Pete Prodoehl] I learned the other day that Homebase don’t refer to their employees as ‘staff members’ or ‘colleagues’. They call them experts. I love this: it shows that they’ve hired people to be good at their roles – it boldly acknowledges the skills and know-how each person there brings. Here are fiveContinue reading “Your organisation doesn’t need a social media expert, it needs its experts on social media”

Google Glass could make the world better – is social care going to be revolutionised?

This post will look at five ways Google Glass (and the inevitable other brands’ wearable devices) may change our understanding of how to protect vulnerable people, look after youngsters and improve life for older people. Google Glass, if you don’t know, is a wearable computer with a head-mounted display – it takes voice commands andContinue reading “Google Glass could make the world better – is social care going to be revolutionised?”

Unrestricted staff access to social media – case studies from a local authority

Free use of social media across a whole company – it’s not a concept everybody agrees is productive. But where I work, it’s helping us to achieve some of our organisational values of openness, fairness, teamwork and flexibility. I speak about this very often with people interested in the approach taken where I work, MonmouthshireContinue reading “Unrestricted staff access to social media – case studies from a local authority”

Interview: six social media ‘dos and don’ts’ and the role of the social media manager

Digital agency Coup Media asked to interview me this month for their blog – they’re doing very cool things so I was honoured to chat about how I work with digital communications. They’ve let me re-post it here – in this chat I talk a bit about my job and give six social media ‘dosContinue reading “Interview: six social media ‘dos and don’ts’ and the role of the social media manager”

YouTubing a budget consultation and how a great blogger improved our work

Here’s a post about using video to communicate a budget consultation. A bit of experimentation and help from all sorts of people have helped us get better. Hopefully next year we’ll improve again thanks to feedback from this year. [Photo by Rego – d4u.hu]

Influence, not ROI, matters for local government social media

On the whole, UK councils are doing a nice job of using social media – possibly we caught on early because we’re used to making the most of tools that don’t cost much.  ‘Fair play ‘ as we say here in Wales, we’re doing getting better at engaging. But there’s loads of room to improve.Continue reading “Influence, not ROI, matters for local government social media”

Making mistakes and giving staff access to social media

Some very clever people I’ve learned lots from over the past few years have let me publish guest posts on their blogs. They are all about social media and based on my experiences so I thought I’d group them here. They all touch on the following subjects: giving staff access to social media what thatContinue reading “Making mistakes and giving staff access to social media”

Social care recruiting using social media – how a council recruited a senior leader using YouTube

Today’s the deadline for social care professionals interested in the vacant post of Head of Children’s Services to apply for the post – hopefully those who go for job have a good idea about what to expect after watching potential colleagues and the previous Head of Children’s Services on YouTube. What did we do? SimonContinue reading “Social care recruiting using social media – how a council recruited a senior leader using YouTube”

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”