Why humour on social media should be part of your strategy

People tell me that they can’t do humour on social media, or any fun content, because their comms is for an organisation that does important work. “It’s very serious indeed, the tone would be way off if we were to get all jokey” “We can’t be light-hearted when our work helps people going through darkContinue reading “Why humour on social media should be part of your strategy”

Creative social media during the coronavirus crisis – 5 tips

This is a practical guide to maintaining creative social media during the coronavirus crisis.  Actually, all of the advice here is relevant at any time, but it’s pretty vital now. There’s loads more I want to tell you, but I’ve brutally edited it down to 5 areas that I think will be most useful forContinue reading “Creative social media during the coronavirus crisis – 5 tips”

Comms and PR stress, and the workload dilemma

Stress is often seen as part of the job of being a communications, PR and marketing professional. But I don’t think the pressure we face is healthy, or even necessary. Sometimes, the people who love their jobs most, are the most stressed out. My focus is on training people to be more creative, fearless andContinue reading “Comms and PR stress, and the workload dilemma”

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”

Dealing with negative social media comments – dos and don’ts

The subject of dealing with negative social media comments crops up in almost every social media training course I run, so I thought I’d share my simple dos and don’ts to make things easier. So, this is how to handle unfavourable posts people might tweet your organisation, leave on their Facebook page, or any socialContinue reading “Dealing with negative social media comments – dos and don’ts”

Is your fear stopping your social media comms from saying anything?

Communicators often confide in me that they don’t really like using Facebook (and other social media) for their organisations because people will probably post snarky things in the comments section of each post. Especially if they’re communicating potentially controversial work. The general gist of what I hear is this: ‘If we talk about this, we’ll haveContinue reading “Is your fear stopping your social media comms from saying anything?”

A comms guide to the ‘sorry not sorry’ statement

Is it ever OK to respond to a breaking story about a mistake your organisation has made – with a joke? A BBC story about Cardiff Council I read this week, demonstrates that sometimes, using humour can be a great way to diffuse tension. Somebody at the council found the Christmas tree they had ordered wasContinue reading “A comms guide to the ‘sorry not sorry’ statement”

Writing statements: avoid clichés like the plague

If you write media statements, advise colleagues or clients or speak to the media regularly yourself – it can be comforting to fall back on familiar phrases and reassuring sayings. But try to make your statement sound like it wasn’t composed by a cliché-bot. In this scribble, each item of clothing is made up of myContinue reading “Writing statements: avoid clichés like the plague”

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”

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”

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?”

Seven Twitter mistakes we all have to make

The brilliant Comms2point0 guys let me post on their site earlier this week about messing up on Twitter. I’ve republished here but if you get a minute take a look at the amazing resource they have on their website for communications people. Of all experiences we have when using Twitter for our work, blunders, cock-upContinue reading “Seven Twitter mistakes we all have to make”

Seven social media headlines of 2012 and what they teach us

Last week when the awesome Nick Atkin of Halton Housing and I talked to some clued-up housing sector professionals* we looked at social media in 2012 and what’s in store for next year. Here are just some of the social media stories from 2012 we looked at and what they teach us for 2013. 1.Continue reading “Seven social media headlines of 2012 and what they teach us”

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”

Beginners’ tips for the new public sector tweeter

For public sector types starting to tweet, it can be a bit daunting making a start. So here are some basic tips for getting started – these are just a few that I have found worked for me. [Photo by rikulu] Finding people to follow Finding people to follow is a good start but takesContinue reading “Beginners’ tips for the new public sector tweeter”

Social media for social care: Monmouthshire foster carers support each other with Yammer

Our foster care team is always looking at ways to give foster carers information to support them and here’s summary of what we’ve done to shake up how foster carers talk to us (Monmouthshire council) and, more importantly, to each other. What we did At the beginning of the year I met the team toContinue reading “Social media for social care: Monmouthshire foster carers support each other with Yammer”

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”

Thoughts on productivity and being boring

In my work as a communicator I’m always looking for examples of good practice and tips on how to be more effective at work. I’ve been thinking recently about what kind of communicator I don’t want to be (not thinking of anyone specific, honest!) to try to keep to the point and stop myself becomingContinue reading “Thoughts on productivity and being boring”

Twitter: more than talking about your breakfast

There are still a load of people out there who dismiss social media sites like Twitter as being where young people LOL and ROFL and talk about their breakfast.   Janet Street Porter was taking pop at Twitter on a TV show last week and repeated lots of the same arguments we’ve probably all heardContinue reading “Twitter: more than talking about your breakfast”

Public sector people – do you want a place to talk social media?

Anyone who works in PR has probably come across unflattering assumptions that our job is to cover up bad stuff and pump out good news. We know though that we want to inform and engage, particularly in public sector PR. We work using our personal ethics, a commitment to be non-political, the CIPR code ofContinue reading “Public sector people – do you want a place to talk social media?”

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”

To follow or not to follow on Twitter? Are you part of a community or are you aloof?

One of the hundreds of things that are great about using social media is the capacity to build communities – it’s one of the useful elements I’ve found while managing a twitter account for a local authority.   An organisation has an opportunity to find out what people think about what it does, what interestsContinue reading “To follow or not to follow on Twitter? Are you part of a community or are you aloof?”

‘Go away’ and social media

I’m aware this might make me sound like a very grumpy woman, but is there any need for anyone to tell someone to ‘go away’?    I heard somebody saying it to a man who politely asked for some spare change outside Starbucks in Cardiff today.  I was embarrassed.  It’s not really about an old notionContinue reading “‘Go away’ and social media”

My waffly first blog about Opentech 2010 & being a PR amid techies

As a public relations officer for a Welsh council my role is about, of course promoting and maintaining the reputation of the authority, but our focus is about true engagement. I’m really interested in opening up channels of communication between ‘us’ and residents, partner organisations and all stakeholders really.   Which is why Opentech 2010Continue reading “My waffly first blog about Opentech 2010 & being a PR amid techies”