There’s a new event and place for higher education comms, pr and marketing people to connect. Interested? Read on…
by Julie Waddicor and Kim Graakjaer
Over the years, comms2point0, commscamp and various other places where public sector comms people get together have been a lifeline. They've been a source of information, advice and inspiration; a place to vent and a place to remember why we do what we do. They bring together a fantastic community of like-minded souls, and long may it continue.
These forums are very public sector focused, which is a great thing. However, higher education, where we work, is a bit of a strange hybrid. Legally and traditionally, it is a public sector environment. Increasingly, with tuition fees, the competition to attract students and ranking through customer satisfaction-based league tables, it's a private sector environment. This makes the challenges we face as comms people slightly different, and our audiences are different to those of the NHS or local authorities.
We met on Slack through the amazing Comms Leads group*, and have been chatting over the last couple of months about having a forum for comms people in higher education. And hence, just last week, HE Commsflab was born.
Our main focus is to have occasional meet ups in Manchester (and maybe the wider north-west) in a cool venue to talk about HE comms, but we've set up a Twitter account too @HECommsflab.
Our first get-together is on Thursday 17th August 5.30 - 7.30pm at the Foundation Coffee House, off Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter. We'll be talking about Freshers’ Week, engaging academic staff and whether people would like future meetings. We'd love you to join us, whether you're in HE comms already, want to get in to the sector or work somewhere else and have an opinion to share!
Obviously the event is free but we need to limit numbers to 20 people for the venue, so we've set up an Eventbrite to manage it. Get your ticket here.
We're really looking forward to this... making new friends who understand what we do makes us happy. If it makes you happy too, we hope you can make it. And if not, but you'd like to be involved in the future, just drop us a line.
Kim and Julie.
Kim Graakjaer is Marketing and Communications Manager for IT at the University of Manchester.
Julie Waddicor is Head of Student Experience and Engagement at The University of Salford.
You can follow @HECommsflab here for all the latest news and discussion.
*If you’re interested in joining the 'Comms Leads Group' on Slack please email Darren on firstname.lastname@example.org
image via the State Library of New South Wales