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my comms new year resolutions - from 15 people

With New Year not far away, we asked some communications, digital and PR people what their comms resolution for 2016 would be.

by Dan Slee

New Years day is a new blank page on a book with 365 pages. It's a chance not just to turn over a new leaf but open a new book too.

There's something wonderfully Buddhist on looking not to the past but to what you can do and achieve from now.

Forget the past. That's gone. Look to the future. We've asked some comms people we admire for some New Years resolutions.

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best of 2015: 22 of our best posts from the past year

Every working day we post content to Twitter and on many of those days we post blogs to the website too. We've always had a broad church and on a range of subjects. Here are some of the best from 2015.

by Dan Slee

One of the founding principles of comms2point0 was that it was a place for people to do and then share. That's not changed.

As we enter our fifth year much has changed behind the scenes. It's gone from a spare time activity to a full-time thing for both of us.

Both Darren and myself would probably agree that the community that has grown-up around it is many things. But it's always keen to experiment and to share. 

Here are some posts we think that stand to be read and re-read.

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15 predictions for public sector comms in 2016… and one for 2020

It's the time of year for predictions. Some may come off. Some won't. Which may?

by Dan Slee

The best political reporters don’t make predictions, Judi Kantor once said.

So, seeing as I’m not a political reporter for the last few years I’ve made predictions about what may happen in my corner of the internet.

Looking forward, 2016 will be my seventh year of blogging, my 23rd year in and around the media industry and fourth year in business. I’m struck by the pace of change getting faster not slower. It’s also getting harder.

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#nhs4xmasno1: a powerful message is not just for christmas

An NHS choir are making themselves heard through song. It's a campaign to show timely support. There's plenty to learn from this.

by Sally-Anne Watts

Over recent weeks I’ve been watching as word has spread about the campaign to make ‘Bridge Over You’ sung by the choir from Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust the Christmas number 1. 

It’s a simple enough message – show your support for something you believe in and help others by downloading the song.  It doesn’t cost much and you will feel good afterwards.  What’s not to like?

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star wars: content, brand re-boot and how to recover $4.1 billion

It's been hard to avoid it online, on TV, on the radio or in the school yard... there's a new Star Wars film. But this buzz isn't an accident and there's a lesson to learn.

by Julie Waddicor

A word of warning before we begin: if you haven’t seen ‘The Force Awakens’ and intend to, stop reading now. I am probably going to ruin it for you. These aren’t the droids you are looking for.

If you are still with me, you’ve either already seen it or aren’t going to, either of which is fine for our purposes. I saw it recently, and enjoyed it. I wouldn’t describe myself as a Star Wars fan, but I’ve seen all of the films, appreciated the original three and hated the more recent trilogy. I have bought a range of merchandise over the last month for the man of the house who is a fan (more of his opinion later). So, I went to see ‘The Force Awakens’ with no particular axe to grind nor any desperate need for it to be brilliant.

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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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newspapers are now the least popular way to get news

Always Ofcom throws up fascinating research and a report trailed in The Guardian is no exception.

by Dan Slee

This is significant: printed newspapers have become the least popular way that people use to keep up to date with what is going on in the world.

According to a report in the Guardian the annual Ofcom news consumption study will say that 31 per cent of the population read a printed newspaper to keep informed. This is a fall from 41 per cent the previous year.

On the other hand, TV news on 67 per cent, the internet with 41 per cent and radio 32 per cent are all comfortably ahead of breaking news on the news stand.

To anyone interested in the media landscape this feels like hugely landmark news in itself. To communications teams geared-up to service the needs of newspapers first and foremost this feels especially important.

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notiz - a new neighbourhood app for residents comms

A new app has been developed which enables councils to send neighbourhood alerts on a whole range of service information. And, importantly, with very precise targeting abilities.

By Simon Jones

Imagine if there was a form of Twitter where at a touch of a button you could decide if the message went to a single house, street, neighbourhood – or even an entire town, city or county depending on the need.

It would revolutionise comms around things like bin collection changes, road closures, school closures and planning apps – right?

Think about the savings of never having to produce a direct mail again – let alone the reputational value of keeping residents informed.

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united we stand

Managing a team can be a tricky business. Balancing egos, personalities, ideas, grafters, blockers and dodgers. The best teams usually boast a natural leader. Or two.

by Phil Jewitt

There’s a film called The Damned United which tells the story of the managerial partnership of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. Together, they successfully led Derby County and Nottingham Forest to football glory in the 1970s but not so successfully* after they went their separate ways. For those too young to remember or not remotely interested in football, you can replace Brian and Peter with Ant and Dec, The Hairy Bikers or any other successful partners.  

It’s probably fair to say none of them would have achieved the success they jointly have without the relationship they created and maintained and their understanding of each other and their teams.

Recent posts by Darren, Paul and Simon explained similar experiences of being a Head of Comms. Relevantly, they all talk about relationships, supporting and being supported by their teams.

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the periodic table of internal communication

The periodic table was created in 1869 to bring together all the known chemical elements under one roof enabling them to be studied, discussed and understood. Russian chemist Dimitri Mendeleev also predicted the discovery of other elements, and he purposely left spaces open for them.

by Caroline Roodhouse

We’ve recently worked with Chuck Gose, Corporate Communications VP, speaker & host of the internal comms podcast, ICology to replicate this original idea for internal communicators. And with hundreds of downloads from comms pros worldwide, it’s already proving to be very popular…

The Idea

The idea was to create a table of terms that would bring together all the elements of internal communication under one roof. We split the table across seven categories: Strategy, Objectives, Themes, Audiences, Formats, Channels and Metrics and populated each category with a number of common comms terms. From there, we’ve built the Periodic Table of Internal Communication, which you can download here.

A cracking response

The feedback so far has been fantastic. We’ve been overwhelmed with the positive responses…

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how to write for the web… even if you used to be a journalist

Writing for the web is an overlooked skill. Journalists can't always do it.

by Dan Slee

Just because you used to be a journalist doesn’t mean you can write for the web.

There. I’ve said it.

Several times of late I’ve had the same conversation.

Firstly, a confession. I was a journalist for 12-years and a public sector comms person for eight. Much of my work was crafted to be cut and pasted into newspapers either through a news story or a press release.

But those skills that work to create a punchy frontpage lead or impress a news editor doesn’t always work on the web. They are two different things.

And by the way, writing for the web isn’t the same as writing for social media. Writing for the web is writing for a webpage. Social media very often should be informal and conversational. But that’s for another blog post.

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so, what can the communications industry learn from jamie vardy?

Ah, the Premier League. It's all about the top four and the £50 million signing, isn't it? Actually, no. Unglamorous Leicester City's striker Jamie Vardy scored in 11 consecutive matches to equal a top flight record that had stood since the 1930s. And he can teach comms people lots.

 by Eva Duffy

Leicester City footballer Jamie Vardy ends 2015 having made history by becoming the first Premier League player to score in 11 consecutive games. 

The 28-year-old striker’s backstory is one of slowburning graft from non-league football to the Premier League and his first England cap at an age when most professionals in the beautiful game are planning their exit strategy via a coaching qualification, semi-retirement in America or a career in televised banter. So what can we in the communication sector learn from the Foxes’ record-breaking golden boy?

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tips for writing effective marketing emails

Email marketing is becoming increasingly important. We contributed this post to the LGA best practice guide you can find here

by Dan Slee

So, you've set-up your email list and you've got some people to sign-up... so what now?

There's a range of things that you can do to increase the chances of engaging with the most amount of people.

So, here's a run through of things.

This list is for the helpful email newsletter or regular email that people have opted in for. It's not for unhelpful spam, okay?

Consider your variables

These are the things you can change around and adjust to see what works best. Adjusting one can have a big impact.

Subject line: That's the line that accompanies your email. You'll need to think of something interesting and eye catching that entices an open. Avoid ‘Weekly email vol 1.' It has all the allure of a soggy novel. Vary it. 

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it’s the most wonderful time of the year: unawards 2015

There was real celebratory feel about the UnAwards15, which we’re pretty pleased about because that’s exactly what we hoped to achieve.

By Darren Caveney

The UnAwards15 saw 140 colleagues from across the industry descend on the very cool Everyman Cinema in Birmingham last Thursday. The mood was one of big event excitement - Christmas party meets trip to a posh cinema mixed with lashing of great communicators celebrating one another’s work.

Holding the UnAwards at Christmas is deliberate too – we wanted to add a little festive sparkle to the proceedings.

We’re a tad biased but we felt the whole day was a little bit special.

Sitting watching the fabulous Planes, Trains and Automobiles with what felt like a great big group of pals was pretty amazing. The film had a whole bunch of relevant messages and takeaways (and if you have ever watched the movie remember – ‘never assume you are cuddling a pillow’)

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awards and getting out more

We staged the unawards and gave away 15 awards. It was an occaion to celebrate but also to connect.

by Dan Slee

There’s a good line about no-one listening to the Prophet in their own land.

I love it because it’s true.

My last job was working in an Edwardian Town Hall. It was as a proud declaration of civic pride built on hardwork and the town’s leather industry. On the outside there were gargoyles carved into the stonework and broad carpeted stairs that led to oak doors of meeting rooms. Inside those public rooms there were fire places and portraits of long forgotten dignitaries.

Visitors impressed would quietly tell me how it must be lovely to work in such a building.

I suppose it is, I’d tell them.

What happens day-to-day gets taken for granted and overlooked. It’s human nature.

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