why faceless civil servant is never a good look

We've come a long way, baby, as country singer Loretta Lynn once sang. Once, the idea of using social media in the public sector was bold and revolutionary. Now it is common place. Perhaps the greatest thing about this is that it puts a human face onto civil servants who are human too.

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crisis comms: it's about people not processes

People often argue about the definition of what's a crisis and what's an emergency. That's maybe missing the point. This post highlights the really important thing - how it affects people.

by Christine Townsend

Having been asked to be part of the judging panel for the UnAwards is a real honour for me. Seeing colleagues and fellow comms people work hard in the public sector is always heartening and I'm proud to count myself amongst their number.

The crisis comms category sits comfortably with me as it's where my experiences lie. For once, I want to be comfortable and not challenged - this is something I'm enjoying doing without running on adrenalin, squinting at a screen, getting wet whilst plastic tape flickers in the background and I'm trying desperately to get reception on my mobile. I've had sleep, I've eaten a meal that consists more of a soggy sandwich and countless donuts and I'm ready to go. 

However, this made me wonder what a crisis really is and seeing the entrants has done exactly the opposite of what I was looking forward to - challenge me. Or rather, challenge my perceptions of what a crisis is. 

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failing to avoid the new John Lewis TV advert... and what it means for comms

It's hard to avoid the new John Lewis TV advert. In fact, you are far more likely to see it not by watching TV at all. Pick up a newspaper, magazine or go online and you'll come across it.

by Dan Slee

Well, I wasn't going to. And I didn't seek it out but the new John Lewis TV ad gives a perfect lesson for where comms is right now.

You may know it. It's a two minute film of a little girl spotting the man on the moon looking sad and sending him a present to cheer him up at Christmas time. An old Oasis b-side has been re-recorded for the music. 

Not watching much television I wasn't aware of it. But of course, I remember the penguin TV ad from last year. But I didn't have to watch TV to find out about the new TV ad. It was being discussed on BBC Radio 5 on the way home and all over Twitter.

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telling the story of srebrenica - offline and online

Some communications tasks are straight forward. Others need careful handling. So, how do you communicate the memory of an event whose darkness musn't be forgotten?

by Tony Moran

Humanity has lived through the darkest of times, but few events have stained our collective soul more than the Srebrenica genocide. Over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were systematically murdered in July 1995 during the Balkans conflict – just because of who they were.

The UN described Srebrenica as ‘the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War’.

Lessons learned from the genocide demonstrate how hatred and intolerance can flourish if left unchallenged - even in a country such as Bosnia and Herzegovina where people of different faiths had lived peacefully together for many years, yet an integrated society disintegrated.

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launching the UK government's comms plan

There are launches and there are launches. The launch of the UK Government's Communications Plan is worth a look. The Government Communications Service has set some high standards in recent years and how they go about their business should be of interest to everyone involved in the field.

by Alex Aiken

This is our communications plan for the year ahead. It sets out the main campaigns that are designed to help deliver the priorities of the Government and the ways by which we are going to improve our professional practice.

The Government’s One Nation narrative provides a clear focus for our work, providing the framework for Government policies and programmes to help working people, spread opportunity, bring our country together and secure Britain’s place in the world. There will be major campaigns to improve public health, get young people into apprenticeships, encourage the right to buy, recruit to our armed forces and explain pension provision. In total this plan contains 77 communication campaigns, from encouraging blood donation to reducing tax avoidance.

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#ournhs24 – learning from commscamp15

CommsCamp has been the source of many an idea and plan. But one vision, for a new NHS comms initiative, was sparked before-hand and road-tested at the event for communicators instead. Good thinking.

by Amanda Nash

I’ve never felt so naked in a room full of hundreds of strangers. I don’t want to put women off pitching at conferences, in fact Emma Rodgers’ blog inspired me to get up off my seat.

But the reality is, you’re up front alone, with just your idea for a session and a microphone in hand. It could be a great idea, if could be a really bad one. At the point when you see everyone out front staring at you expectantly, that’s the moment you think it’s probably the latter … but it’s too late. You have 30 seconds to sell it.

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