Our industry is full of brilliant people, there’s not another I’d choose to work in because of this. But every now and then you come across someone really exceptional and a bloody good person to boot. This post celebrates one such person…
by Coventry City Council’s Communications Team
We’re saying goodbye to a legend in Coventry today, Fran Collingham our amazing Head of Communications and comms2point0 lifetime achievement award winner.
Fran’s been an institution here at Coventry for the last 13 years and has skilfully guided us through many a comms challenge and taught us all a thing or a hundred about good comms.
Most importantly, she’s taught us to use our unique position at the heart of the organisation to do good things, make a difference and speak up when things aren’t right, for whoever they’ll impact.
As we say goodbye, we thought we’d share some of her words of wisdom, so here’s just 10 of the many things we’ve learnt from Fran along the way:
· Never be afraid to ask a question, no matter how stupid you think it is. And always ask why?
· Stay calm under pressure and keep a sense of humour during the most chaotic moments.
· We’re in a unique position to advise and speak up when things aren’t right. It might mean we’re sometimes the lone voice, but that’s okay.
· Be approachable and supportive and you’ll get the best out of your team. Cakes, biscuits and tea also help!
· It’s not always about the suits. It’s about the people their decisions affect.
· Write about the things people care about in the way they want to be spoken to – forget jargon, remember people.
· Give people the freedom to make mistakes but make sure they learn from them!
· Be strategic. Offer advice, support and show the value of comms to those making decisions on the future of services.
· Have good networks. Whether for support in times of crisis, sharing knowledge and experience or just knowing what’s happening around the organisation, your networks can make the difference.
· Work together – as a Comms Team, and with colleagues and partners – that’s how we get the best results for local people.
And, she’s even taught our Chief Executive Martin Reeves a thing or two.
· Sometimes it’s the little things, the smallest of issues that trip you up. It’s great to be strategic, visionary and looking ahead to a beautiful sunny horizon, but be sure not to fall down a pothole on your way!
· Egos are precious – so sometimes you need to nurture them!
We’ll miss you Fran. You’re a legend in the comms world but we’ve been the lucky ones to have you as our boss.
by Coventry City Council Communications Team
image by PicturePress