your chance to learn from the unawards winners. for free

The UnAwards15 were my highlight of 2015. Having the opportunity to see the passion, creativity and results from some of the brilliant work taking place across the UK and beyond was quite a privilege.

by Darren Caveney

The UnAwards ceremony was a belter – well, I swear I heard someone say that on the day.

It was a unique event which placed an important spotlight on our industry and in a way which was accessible to everyone regardless of budget or grade.

After the event, many of you asked for the chance to see and hear more about the winning work.

So, with just one shake of a billy goat’s tail, we have organised an UnAwards Winners Masterclass.

Actually, that’s a lie. We have organised three.  This gives us the chance to take the Masterclasses around the country with regional events taking place in Leeds, Birmingham and London.

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death of a president

History teaches us many things. Not least how we have responded in times of crisis.

by Will Mapplebeck

"The Lincoln continues to slow down. Its interior is a place of horror. The last bullet has torn through John Kennedy's cerebellum, the lower part of his brain. 

"...at first there is no blood. And then, in the very next instant there is nothing but blood...Gobs of blood as thick as a man's hand are soaking the floor of the back seat..."

I recently read The Death of a President, William Manchester's brilliant unflinching account of the events leading up to and the aftermath of the assassination of John F Kennedy in November 1963.

You can see the Wikipedia entry about the book here.

Everything is in here, from the paintings on the wall of the hotel room where Kennedy spent his last night alive to the layout of the emergency room the president lay in at Parkland Memorial Hospital as doctors tried vainly to save his life. 

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know someone brilliant? nominate them and make their day

We know that a common complaint from comms folk, and others for that matter, is a lack of recognition for their work.

Whether it’s a brilliant campaign, managing communications through a crisis or just turning up every day of the year and being the best you can be it’s not a lot to ask to get the odd ‘well done’ or ‘thank you’.

But it doesn’t happen often enough and that is the ultimate reason behind the comms2point UnAwards 15. To shine a light on the colleagues proudly flying comms flags across the sectors.

by Darren Caveney

Now there’s only one thing better than being shortlisted for an award and that’s being nominated by someone else for an award. It’s a special thing.  It means you’ve caught someone’s eye, demanded their attention or impressed them with your creativity, doggedness, enthusiasm and skills.

Know someone like that? Then why not nominate them in the UnAwards 15.

All you need to do is complete this dead easy entry form here.

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10 gems to take home from #psdigital

An event for public sector comms people was staged in Cardiff. There was a lorry load of learning. Here's a snapshot from one of the organisers.

 by Will Barker

Last week in Cardiff saw the culmination of a good few months of work for Kate Hammond (@GlamHamm) and myself (@willdotbarker) – yes Will and Kate and no, not that Will and Kate – at our #PSdigital conference that we’d set out to organise on behalf of 1000 Lives Improvement and Public Health Wales.

Cool, but what exactly was #PSdigital?

We’re glad you asked (I’d recommend taking a look at the hashtag or this Storify if you have five minutes, which you probably do as you’re reading this blog).

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your new 3-person comms team. who makes the cut?

Very rarely in life do you get to choose a brand new comms team from absolute scratch. You normally inherit folk and work with what you've got. But what if you had a blank sheet and the chance to choose. Who would make the cut?

by GUEST EDITOR Ben Capper

Let’s just say you were creating a Comms team totally from scratch.

Let’s also say it can only include three people.

Sure, you could always buy in a bit of agency time here and there, but that’s essentially your lot.

Who makes the cut? Who doesn’t? Why so?

Would this be the same as it would have been five years, or even a year ago?

How do we future-proof ourselves? What experience, and what attitudes would you want to see?

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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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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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making video to kill the radio star

Making videos doesn't have to be an epic production as one communications officer discovered on one of our courses.

by Rob McCleary

My memories of making videos at University mainly involved me falling asleep in editing rooms whilst my colleagues did all the work. I always had more of an aptitude (and face) for radio so when I decided to get into video making for my council’s social media page I hopped on a train and headed to the comms2point0 video course only armed with my trusty iphone 4 and a sandwich.

The day long course started off with introductions from Steve from the Film Café whose CV includes working on Dr Who and Torchwood. Our first icebreaker task was, in pairs, to go out onto the distractingly pretty corridors of the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry and film each other talking about what we wanted to get out of the day.

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being the clip art and comic sans police. and why it matters.

Brand identity is hugely important and many comms folk will relate to this post on the subject. It's an instant classic. Print it out and put it on your office wall today...

by GUEST EDITOR Ben Capper

comms2point0 is one of my favourite websites.

There are loads of interesting ideas and a great community. There’s stuff on here that helps me to find solutions to issues on a daily basis.

Not very colourful though is it?

Don’t know about you, but sometimes I think it’s crying out for a bright splash of pink, maybe with some orange writing on it.

And that typeface. It’s OK for some people I guess, but surely something friendlier, some more hand-writing-ish would make it look, you know, just a bit nicer.

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the problem with open data is open data people

For comms people the message 'look at the data' is important to shape what you do, what you say and who you say it to. The open data movement and communications people should be best friends. The trouble is, they are not. Is it time they told their story better?

by Dan Slee

There is a movement that many people haven’t heard of that in theory has the power to re-shape the world you live in.

It can expose fraud, save lives and give new insight into the London blitz.

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why you should go to bluelightcamp

 

An annual free event that has grown to be an essential event for public sector comms people who may be involved with emergencies of any description.

by Ben Proctor 

comms2point0 sits at the heart of a fantastic community of people who want to make communications better, want to innovate with digital tools and want to drive change in organisations, especially public sector organisations.

We need that community to turn that energy and focus to emergency situations. Organisations are already doing great work to communicate with the public in emergencies but we can do more and one thing we know is: emergencies are always different.

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