Leading a team can be a tough. Support is often in short supply and there is generally a weight of expectation and pressures a plenty. A new support group for senior leads has been launched to help tackle this growing problem.
By Darren Caveney
I shared a post two weeks ago – SOS: Save our Heads of Comms - and have been quite stunned at the response. But also worried.
The post is approaching 2k views now I have been contacted by dozens of comms leads about the issues affecting them right now. The post seemed to capture what many people across the sectors are going through right now. It’s also sparked others to write posts sharing their experiences and we’ll be posting these in the coming weeks.
The support group is something I’d toyed with for a while but the response to this post convinced me that a safe place for communications leads was not just needed it was a necessity.
Over 100 senior comms leads have joined already creating a powerful and influential network. This group can do great things through some simple collaboration. What’s not to like?
Here’s the lowdown on the support group…
Is this group solely for heads of comms?
No, the job title isn't important. Whether you're a director, assistant director, head, manager or any other comms lead job title variation that your organisation has bestowed on you this support group is for you. If you lead on comms, pr, marketing or digital this group is for you.
Why a group?
From personal experience of being a director and head of comms I know the pressures of the role. It can be an isolated place at times and so it’s very important to be able to connect with like-minded people and talk about the big issues.
I also know that whilst social media is brilliant it isn't the place that a senior comms professional is likely to open up and share with others. So that is where Slack comes in.
What is being discussed?
Everything from creating comms structures and models fit for 2017 and plans and campaigns, through income generation ideas and internal comms challenges.
For example, this morning’s conversations have included some sharing feedback on the opportunities offered by Facebook at Work (Workplace)
But the group is there for you to share, ask and collaborate on whatever is troubling or taxing you right now. It’s your group (I'm just in a fortunate position where I am able to facilitate and promote it)
Because it is ever so easy to use. The mobile app is great too. It allows everyone on the group the ability to set up their own discussion channels, chat with all members, or message individuals. If you haven’t used it before I think you might like it. It’s a good chance to take a look at Slack for your own uses too.
Is this an exclusive group?
I was asked this last week by a couple of people. No. Absolutely not. Exclusive doesn't fit with my values or how I work. It is purely a safe place for senior folks to connect and collaborate and because it felt like a gap.
So far the group is virtual but face to face meetings have been raised as an idea. I will be asking what the group wants with a view to setting up regional and/or national events. These will be free to attend so if a suitable partner would like to support with coffee and cake give me a shout.
So over to you. Come and join in with the conversations.
This is a group whose time has come. In fact it's long overdue.
If you're an in-house senior comms marketing pr or digital lead this is a safe place for you to usefully hang for 5mins each day. If you're a HR or customer services lead it may be helpful for you too.
You won't regret it.
Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and owner of creative communicators ltd
image via UW Digital Collections