5 reasons why you should review your communications. And one reason why you won’t.

There’s nothing new in saying that we should review and evaluate work to see what works. It’s obvious and it’s important. The problem is that many of us don’t do it often enough.

By Darren Caveney

The chances of there being a comms person out there today who doesn’t think that reviewing and evaluating their work is important will be tiny.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – we know it’s important, but when there are 10 people asking for my help, three comms plans to write, the phone ringing off the hook and the impacts of a comms team which has been cut in half it’s a lot easier said than done.

Sound familiar? Yep, me too.

Amongst the many things I learned in 10 years of leading comms teams it’s that standing back and taking a good hard look at your work is 1. Absolutely vital, and 2. Something of a luxury to do often and well. Like wanting a brand new car but settling for paying the bare minimum to get the old car through another year’s MOT (and that sounds familiar too)

With the consultancy work I have been doing with comms2point0 I have had the incredible opportunity to review a dozen organisation’s communications activity in microscopic detail. This is fascinating work and I thoroughly engross myself in the detail of these reviews. They tell stories and give clear indicators to the ‘what should we do next?’ question.

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a message from cipr presidential candidate andy green

The CIPR is a membership body for public relations in the UK. It is a major voice for the profession. In the race for the Presidency of the organisation Andy Green takes on Jason McKenzie. We carry a message from both Andy and Jason.

by Andy Green 

Public sector comms faces massive challenges in this age of austerity.

Digital transformation continues. We are working in an increasingly networked society where old models of command and control are now no longer valid.

 A context of ever rising expectations starkly contrasts with a reality of less resource.

We face the task of ensuring CEO’s understand the value of public relations.

An effective CIPR means you don’t fight these battles alone. A CIPR that increases your resilience. A CIPR that leads the way in redefining a ‘New School PR’ that helps you prove your worth.

I’m going to put a plaque in CIPR HQ reception saying: ‘We are a members led organization’.

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10 years of being a head of comms and what do I have to show for it?

10 years in communications is a long time. 10 years being a head of comms is a really long time. Lessons are a plenty so here’s a post which attempts to capture the key ones.

By Darren Caveney

Well here’s the thing. I woke up this morning and for the first time in 10-years I am not a head of comms. This is a good thing because it means I have moved on to an exciting new phase of my career.

It’s an obvious time to reflect. Has 10 years of being a head of comms made me a better comms professional? And would I recommend the role to someone else? Here’s my take on it, my top tips and answers to these two simple questions.

I have had some fantastic opportunities. Worked with some brilliant colleagues. Won over a dozen industry awards with them and learned way more than you could ever capture in a single post. I have also sat in some dreary meetings. Had to argue the case for comms, over and over and over and over, and crossed swords with some quite unpleasant people. The rough with the smooth. You know the score.

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the UnAwards are open

The comms2point0 UnAwards 2015 are now officially open. How can you enter? how can you nominate and how can you attend them? Here’s the lowdown…

By Darren Caveney

So you’ve delivered some great work this year which has made a difference. And you might just feel like it deserves a little smidge of recognition. Well you’re in luck because the comms2point0 UnAwards have arrived giving you the opportunity to show off your best work.

It might be a social media initiative which delivered amazing returns or it might be a shiny new website which has made your online business purr. How about a campaign which has made a difference to your residents, patients or customers. Or a good old fashioned piece of great storytelling.

Whatever you’ve created this year there’s almost certainly a category amongst the 15 in this year’s UnAwards.

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why your communications strategy might fail without text messaging

Govdelivery's annual UK Public Sector Communications Conference has become an essential part of the September calender. Why? It delivers good content. You can learn more about this year's line-up here. We take a look at one of the key speakers on the role of text messaging in comms.

By Michelle Lee

Look around in a public setting. You will notice more people hunched over a mobile device to communicate or access information than ever before. More than 35 million UK residents own a mobile phone and they’re accessing their devices for an average of 3 hours and 16 minutes each day – the equivalent of almost a full day per week.

Mobile, as a marketing channel, can no longer be ignored in order to succeed in today’s world – especially in public sector communications. Accessibility, convenience, clarity, and universality make mobile an essential channel to communicate with the public.

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other influences make you a better communicator

Every now and then we have a guest editor. They pick five links, write a post and pick a tune and we post them to Twitter. We also ask for a random fact about them that not many people know. Today's guest editor? She was in a team that finished 2nd in the Irish Dancing World Championships in 1995.

by Bridget Aherne

Drawing on other influences is a vital part of being an effective communications practitioner whatever level you work at and that was the thought process behind the random fact I shared today.

Public relations does not exist just to serve itself – it helps businesses perform at their absolute best whether that’s to sell toys or fight fires – so it’s important to soak up other sources of information to understand organisations and those they need to communicate with.

A good place to start is with what’s around us, what culture we’re from, who family members are and, perhaps, what hobbies we’ve been exposed to.

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unawards update: shortlist announced tuesday at 11.59pm

We thought the unawards would throw up some good stuff. We just didn't guess just how much good stuff. 

by Dan Slee, Darren Caveney and Emma Rodgers

If we were American we would be saying right now that the lovely wonderful comms2point0 community are 'awesome.'

We may also be busy high fiving people and 'whooping' very loudly.

But then again the three of us have drunk an awful lot of coffee since the deadline to the comms2pint0 unawards passed on November 12.

Let's just say we were taken aback at the entries. There was the small total of 202 landing into our inboxes. That's 202. TWO HUNDRED AND TWO. We've spent around 50 hours reading, logging, grading and shortlisting.

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16 gems to help you start to understand internal comms

Internal comms can often be the Cinderella part of PR and communications. It's often undervalued. But big schemes that need to be communicated well need to start with engaged and informed staff. There's a report that has stood the test of time is a good place to help start your understanding. 

by Dan Slee

Here’s a confession. It wasn’t until long into my career in communications that I realised the value of internal comms.

I used to stupidly think internal comms person was when you failed at being a press officer. There I’ve said it.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

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seven reasons comms getting involved early is a good idea

As we put together commsforchange14 there's a regular complaint... comms is always asked to come along too late. In this post we put forward seven things you'll find if you start early or late.

by Dan Slee

We've all been there when the email comes in with news of a major launch or announcement the next day at 6pm the night before.

You are already batting with one hand behind your back before you even start to look at what the project is about.

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excellent... a survey and whitepaper for #commsforchange14

In September, some of the brightest minds in public sector comms will come to Birmingham for our rather fine #commsforchange14 event. Know what's even better? We're also publishing a whitepaper at the event and we're launching a survey to help shape it. Can you help?

by Dan Slee

The single biggest problem with communications, George Bernard Shaw once said, is the illusion that it has taken place.

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signs of health: ill or good?

How are you today? In good health? Health is massively important, to everyone. And communications is a vital if relatively recent professional function in the NHS. So why is it that it is often misunderstood, ignored or mistreated?

By Alan Taman

There are many PRs whose employers or clients misunderstand what PR is. The role of the PR then includes education about the realities of the profession and the process. But it is ironic that, to most health professionals, the communications function as it relates to public relations is something they are unfamiliar with.

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step back and look at the view

We're all so busy racing around trying to get good at the latest 'next big thing' that sometimes we forget to take a step back...

by GUEST EDITOR Nic Davies Uley

Working in communications, reading about communications, communicating about communications, it can all get a bit too much. If working for myself has taught me one thing, it’s to step back and look at the view.

But you can’t look at the view, unless you take the step back.

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