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the bridge

For my money it's the best of the Scandi-Noirs and it's just returned to our TV screens. But what do bridges and comms have in common?

by Darren Caveney

I’ve grown to love all things Scandinavian (with the huge exception of IKEA, that is)

Everything they do seems stylish, sensible and with people benefits not profits at their heart (with the huge exception of IKEA, that is) And all with seemingly effortless ease.

So, no surprise I’ve been enjoying their TV programmes so much of late. And the most recent, and perhaps the best, finished on BBC4 this weekend just gone – The Bridge.

If you didn’t catch it, you missed a treat.  Look out for the inevitable repeats coming your way some time soon.

The Bridge is, as its title kind of suggests, centres upon a bridge -  the Øresund bridge which links Copenhagen and Malmo (and a very stylish and handsome bridge it is, obviously)

The show begins with a dead body being found on the bridge at the absolute half way border point between Denmark and Sweden. This means that both countries city police forces have to work together to solve the case, as they both have ‘jurisdiction’.  A really clever idea and one that lends itself to culture clashes, tensions in working the case, and differing interpretations to the best way of solving the conundrum. There are, however, little to no language barriers – languages are something else the Scandinavians are totally at ease with.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen it I’ll not give away the storyline and ending.  But If you did watch it, and you’re suffering withdrawal symptoms, you'll enjoy this.

This premise of the bridge actually reminds me of the oft discussed, and continually topical, juggle of blending traditional and new comms channels.

It can feel like two different worlds at times with a real mix of characters, some of whom regularly cross the bridge, some who stay on one side or the other, and a few who, I suspect, are thinking of flinging themselves off said bridge.

If you think about it, bridges are all about connectivity, progress and passage. Just like good communications should be – joining up two points, assisting the journey.

Bridges usually give a pretty good view of the world too – they allow you to look down (often a bit scary) to look sideways (often revealing), and upwards, often with uninterrupted views.  In other words – they offer the chance to horizon-scan. To see both sides.

Dan Slee regularly talks about there being no ‘silver bullet’ which delivers everything a comms bod needs when solving a solution. This has never been truer than it is today.

And as the next round of public sector budget cuts do their thing later on this year we can expect even greater challenge to reaching our customers in the way which suits them best.

Crossing the bridge, using the best resources from both sides and travelling the swiftest route at the most appropriate time is now fundamental to the job of the public sector comms person. 

If you missed episode one of this new season of The Bridge here's the link

Darren Caveney is co-creator of comms2point0 Chair of LGcomms and Head of Comms and Engagement at Health Education West Midlands


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Reader Comments (2)

Hi Darren

When Sarah and I drove around Europe in 2007 we crossed the Øresund Bridge - it's a magnificent piece of engineering. Our motorhome was * just * over 6 metres long (by 6cm / 2 inches) and the toll people slugged us with an extra 34 euros which bumped up the toll to 68 euros. I thought they could've been a bit more forgiving! I will look out to see if this series is being shown any time soon in Australia, sounds good!



May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Murray

Hi Matt, good to hear from you.

Sounds expensive to use the bridge, but I bet it was worth it. I would love to tour around that part of the world. One day...

Best wishes


May 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterDarren Caveney

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