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Monday
Jan252016

video clips on facebook can show your organisation's human face 

It's an important point that still needs to be made. Using Facebook isn't messing about on the internet. It is going to where the people are and talking to them there. Take the excellent Newcastle City Council Facebook page who are mixing video into their updates with good results.

by Hugh Macknight

The only thing worse than being a reporter for the local rag – at least as far as Newcastle taxi drivers are concerned - is to work for the city council.

The council is to blame for faffing about with the street network yet neglecting to grit the roads, sucking up to cyclists, pandering to foreigners, and failing to collect the bins - despite charging too much tax for the service.

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Monday
Jan252016

my favourite app: in praise of uber 

Good apps are heart to find. But for one comms person a taxi app that is revolutionsing travel stands out. 

by Rob McCleary

Uber is the best app ever. Why? Well, for a start, it was almost definitely sent back in time to me by my future self. The future self who lives stress free and absolutely does not turn into the Incredible Hulk every time he tries to get a taxi late at night.

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Tuesday
Jan192016

pr people, stop talking ourselves into the next recession

A comms person who deals direct with industry has a clear message for comms people. Quit the negative talk about the economy.

by Russ Cockburn 

Less than two weeks into a new business year and there is already talk of an impending recession and uncertain times ahead.  Great, just the tonic we ordered to start the year off.

Even by January’s depressing standards this is a new low, yet rather than fighting back to dispel the doom and gloom we seem to have numerous business organisations trumpeting the fact and – certain elements of the media - lapping it up.

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Tuesday
Jan192016

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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Monday
Jan182016

how governments (can) get social

We're always keen to get fresh perspectives, case studies and ideas. And it's good to look beyond the UK too. So here's a new guest post from the Netherlands.

by David Kok

It’s the beginning of a new year. A time to look forward and set goals for the coming year (if you already did, you might like to change them after reading this blog :-)

It’s 2016 and a lot of local governments appear to think that it’s still 1996. What changes should they realize to get into the 21th century by the end of this year (or century)? Based on my personal experience at local governments in the Netherlands, studies on how cities use social media (UK 2013, around the world 2012) and various interesting books and other literature, I see three major changes local governments must make...

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Monday
Jan182016

how do you still have a job in 2020…? do, listen, collaborate and share

We're staging three unawards masterclasses across the country. There are slides in the morning and an unconference in the afternoon where the agenda is decided on the day. But where does it fit in the need to learn?

by Dan Slee

You. If you are willing to learn new things there’s a chance you’ll still have a job in 2020.

This is not a bold statement. It’s surprising how many people quietly have contacted me to say that line resonates.

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Friday
Jan152016

notwestminster 2016: a rock n' roll democracy event

Good communications is all well and good but how about improving the thing? An event in Yorkshire aims to improve how democracry is done and it's of interest to anyone in or around local government.

by Dave McKenna

While controversial council decisions make their way easily onto the news agenda the day to day of council decision making remains invisible to most people. 

Take Council meetings for example. While millions engage with the x factor and strictly hardly anyone is interested in what’s happening in their own town halls.  The problem is not the comms but the product.  So how can we bring council business out of the 1930s and blinking into the sunlight of the mass media age?

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Friday
Jan152016

10 things comms should do after an incident 

As public authorities work to get flood-affected communities back to normal they will be reviewing what went well and what could have gone better. Here are top ten tips for an effective review.

by Ben Proctor

  1. 1. Do an after incident review.

In the midst of an emergency or even while trying to get everything back to normal everyone will be very committed to capturing the learning. As soon as normality kicks in and managers start demanding the full attention of the beleaguered comms team it can be really hard to get people to sit down and think through the incident. It’s important to do it though.

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Thursday
Jan142016

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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Thursday
Jan072016

Be nice: what a free calendar can teach you about community management

What a 2016 desk calendar from Instagram teaches about community management. Nb. Cute animal alert.

by Dave Musson

One of the biggest social networks in the world sent me something nice in the post and I’m instantly falling over myself to praise them to the hills. Is my loyalty really that easily bought? No, actually, there’s a lot more to it. In fact, Instagram offers a fascinating insight into good community management.

Now we’re all into the swing of things again, I can get away with asking this question…how was your first day back at work after Christmas? Good? Hard? Some other four letter word? I hear you.

After toiling through that most Monday of Mondays, I came home to a wonderful surprise; a parcel sealed by tape covered with the Instagram logo! Inside was a 2016 desk calendar, made of up of cute photos of animals published by the Instagram community last year, along with a sweet little note from ‘your friends at Instagram’ – how awesome is that??

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Wednesday
Jan062016

what winning an unaward has taught me  

It's good to write. It's an excellent creative outlet and can provide a real spark to the thinking process. but there are, understandably, reasons why some people feel uncomfortable in publishing their work - if that's you, then this post aims to allay your fears.

by GUEST EDITOR Emma Rodgers

Recently, I was very honoured to be shortlisted in the comms2point0 UnAwards best guest blog post category. The post was shortlisted alongside four other posts which were all there because they were the most read on comms2point0 during 2015.

All five went forward to a public vote. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I had a hope in hell of winning but amazingly (against the odds in my opinion) win, I did. It made me very proud and extremely grateful to those people who voted for me (thanks if you did).

And it also got me thinking. Of late I haven’t been writing many blogs.

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Tuesday
Jan052016

my 15 minutes of fame reminded me of five things

An impromptu party thrown by commuters struck a chord and put one comms person in the media spotlight when it became a good news story. Here's what he learned. 

by Chris Lines

“Great idea! Party on a train. I’ll bring sausages and croissants.”

I may have worked in comms for 30 years but, at that moment, I wasn’t thinking comms. I was just chatting with some regular passengers on my daily commute.

Ten days later, as the 8.08 from Abergavenny set off (late) for Cardiff, the party started. Jeremy brought paper chains and table cloths. John shared the crackers which gave us our paper hats. Allan had the bubbly. Sian had all kinds of spreads. Cellan arrived one station later with chocolates. And I indeed brought sausages and croissants as well as some generous sized toasties.

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Monday
Jan042016

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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Wednesday
Dec302015

an end of year thank you

Phew. Well that was 2015.

by Darren Caveney

It's been an absolutely packed year. I have been fortunate to work on some brilliant and varied projects, from developing a government campaign, running training workshops and delivering a series of strategic comms and digital reviews for organisations.

We have developed new guidance on digital comms for the Local Government Association and we have hosted and delivered over 20 events around the UK. We have spoken at events, made new friends and contacts. And we have continued to learn.

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Tuesday
Dec292015

12 comms people and their top five apps

Research showed that most people only use five apps regularly. So, we asked some members of our community to name five apps they most use.

by Dan Slee

We rely on mobile apps to a huge degree to get things done - but which are people's favourites?

The answers can be personal and give an insight into what makes people tick.

Recently, we read that on average people may have a phone full of apps but only tend to use five. So, which five do you use most?

We asked some people we admire to list what's on their phone and there's some gems on the list. 

Sarah Gill, digital communications manager at Newcross Healthcare Solutions:

Click to read more ...