how shooting your own star wars video delivered a safety message

There are huge numbers of people who like Star Wars as the launch of a new film in the franchise shows. So how would they react if a fire and rescue service used the force to deliver some safety messages? Rather well, it would appear.

by Mark Roberts

Kent Fire and Rescue Service is rethinking its approach to digital communications, with a new strategy already being worked on to coincide with the launch of a new campaign calendar for 2016/17. 

As the resident sci-fi nerd in the Comms team, I managed to persuade the powers-that-be a Star Wars parody would be an interesting and fun way to do a smoke alarm safety message - which is often a hard sell due to audience complacency - capitalising on the huge exposure generated by the release of the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens.

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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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glass half-full comms

With cuts cutting deeper it's time to ask some deep questions of how to communicate them.

by Dan Slee

Are we better off saying the glass is half full? Or empty? Or pretending it's full?  

That was the iconoclastic view of London Fire Brigade's head of comms Richard Stokoe.

Back at the annual LGComms Academy earlier in the year he spoke eloquently about the challenges the public sector is facing and his take on what it should do.  We shouldn't pretend that things are fine when they're not, he says.  Neither should it try and bea cheerleader for business as usual because business as usual is over.

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24 more pearls of wisdom from lgcomms academy birmingham: day 2

by Dan Slee

Okay, so maybe we should stop pretending things are all great when they're not?

Maybe we should just say that we used to do that but now we don't?

And that we didn't do that thing very well, maybe?

It cuts against the grain of many comms people but that was more or less the bold position of Richard Stokoe from the London Fire Service at the second day of the annual LGComms event.

As a former LGA comms head Richard has hard won experience of looking after the reputation of councils.

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