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branding: a simple truth

There are professional lessons all around us, literally on tap every day if you look hard enough - even on a trip to the seaside.

By Darren Caveney

I love ice cream. I’ve tried them all. Compared and contrasted and, in my own head at least, decided which are the best.

The Italians are masters of ice cream. But the best of the lot is a British brand.

What adds to their appeal is the masterly way in which this product is branded. So simple, so clean, so stylish and with echoes of its past. It perfectly complements the product. And that’s the trick with branding.

The company is called Hockings, and it you’re a visitor to North Devon you may have sampled their fine good. That’s not a typo either – it's ‘good’, singular. Because this product is so good it comes in only one flavour – vanilla.

It’s been made in Appledore by the same family since 1936 and their small fleet of branded vans has been travelling the North Devonian coastline selling their vanilla-only product to locals and visitors alike for nearly 80 years.

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video tells the story of drama at sea 

Video footage of good work far out at sea is helping to tell the story of the RNLI

by Mike Rawlins

I volunteer as a Lifeboat Press Officer (LPO) for the RNLI at Macduff in Aberdeenshire where we have the only lifeboat in the RNLI that comes with its own truck and crane for launching, if that ever comes up in a pub quiz, you’ll ace it.

I have to say I have no affinity with the sea or seafaring blood in me, as far as I am aware. I’m from Manchester so the closest we ever got to the sea was the Manchester Ship Canal or Blackpool beach in summer. There was an incident with the pedalos at Weston Super-Mare in 1974 but that’s best forgotten.

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should pr really shape how everyone speaks for themselves online?

Speaking for yourself online is a key skill for everyone no matter what job you do. But should that always be left to PR and comms people? 

by Anke Holst

Public relations, communications: broadcasting to the world outside what the organisation needs it to know. Social media seems to be an ideal way of doing this, so it's added to all the other channels comms teams know about and serve.

'Go where your audience is.' So far, so good.

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why video is important to comms and pr 

Video is becoming a skill that comms people can no longer ignore. To mark the launch of our new round of viodeo workshops we've set out some of the reasons we think that video will impact on your world.

by Dan Slee

For a few months now I’ve been convinced that video is going to be absolutely essential for communications and PR people.

Throw a stone, it seems, and you come across forecasts, trends and predictions. Put them together and you create a powerful argument for video.

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dealing with the death of a colleague - help is at hand

Kathy Stacey is Head of Corporate Communications at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Bridget Aherne is Head of Corporate Communications and Admin at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service. They are Chair and Vice Chair of FirePRO and here they tell us about how they developed a toolkit for fire and rescue communicators in case the worst should happen…

by Bridget Aherne and Kathy Stacey

The death of a colleague is unthinkable and the idea that someone we work with could lose their life at work is just awful – but that terrible possibility is one that we in the emergency services must face.

Deaths in the line of duty are, thankfully, rare but each and every single one is a devastating event that has an enormous impact on family, colleagues, organisations and all those connected to the person or people involved.

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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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the great universal sticky 'do they get it?' problem and the three types in your team

It's a problem we all face. How do we get everyone motivated, creative and innovating? Sometimes, it's not you. Or the idea. 

by Dan Slee

Twice in the past couple of weeks I've been reminded about about the great universal sticky problem and what to do about it.

The problem that almost dare not speak it's name is how much your team are keen to change, innovate, be creative and explore new ways of communicating. Do they see an infographic or Snapchat and want to know more? Or do they roll their eyes and look at the clock?

In short, do they 'get it'?

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what’s your best work?

Wow, 20-years. 20 years working in the comms and marketing industry. That’s a good time to reflect on the best bits of work you’ve ever delivered.

By Darren Caveney

Yesterday I had the opportunity to present some day job work to a panel of awards judges. And it got me thinking about what I thought had been my best work ever. The projects which I’d enjoyed most, had delivered the best results, or just given a sense of satisfaction and achievement.

A few sprang to mind...

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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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fearless filmmaking: taking the plunge with video

Our first video workshop was a success. So we asked our man just how he got good and advice for people wanting to experiment but might be a bit wary.

by Steven Davies

I’ve made films for as long as I can remember. Honestly - I can't think of a time when I didn't shoot something for fun. I was lucky that there was always a camera in our house growing up and I was always allowed to play with it.

I was never afraid. I did forward rolls and pretended I was a stuntman, I burned train sets and pretended that melting plastic on the patio was a special effect, I even Duck Taped the camera to cars and got away with it.

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the #prstack book: a guide to digital tools

The #prstack project is something we've blogged about. It's a crowdsourced review of apps and tools that are available for comms people. There has been an ebook published on it. It's worth a look. Here's how one person got involved.

by David Sawyer

I met Stephen Waddington in October last year.

He was speaking at a CIPR event in Glasgow about his 10 pledges to modernise the public relations industry in the UK.

Here was a man speaking my language. New PR.

It wasn't always the case.

Five years ago, like many senior PR pros, I had the digital fear.

But through a combination of sheer hard work and determination, I grasped the digital nettle. 

I grappled with a bewildering array of online tools. Trying and testing them in a bid to make my "new PR" life easier. 

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Instatips: 10 tips to make you better at Instagram pt 2

Ace photographer Dave Musson looked at how to get more out of Instagram in a popular post. This time he shifts his focus to helping you make the most of the photo-sharing network as an organisation.

by Dave Musson

So, your organisation wants in on Instagram?

 I’m not surprised it’s a great community to tap into and you actually still get pretty good engagement rates – at the University of Warwick our Instagram followers are by far the most likely of our social media crowds to do something with our content.

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40 skills for a comms team: how to swim against the tide

There are a list of skills that are needed for a comms team. But how do you start the work in transforming the team, bringing people along and making the changes?

by Dan Slee

Just recently I blogged about the 40 skills a comms team needs to have but something kept on troubling me.

A few years ago, I would have sat back happy. That’s the future. Anybody in their right mind can see that makes sense. Job done. Form a line.

But, no actually. It’s one thing to have an idea of what the future looks like. It’s another thing entirely to bring others along with you. The thing is, all people aren’t keen to bin the press release and run arms out stretched to embrace the digital future. Besides, it’s not all about digital hoverboards or inky press releases. There’s somewhere in between. That’s where most teams are.

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why we are proud of the digital councils resource

We've worked with the Local Government Association on improving social media skills for local government. They're available online. We think you'll like them.

by Dan Slee

One of the great things about technology is a relentless pace of change.

If you're at the bow wave you are always looking ever forward anticipating the next steps.

It would be a huge mistake to think that everyone is at the same place.

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general election emails: how they did and seven pearls of wisdom

While all the attention was on social media, the newspapers and the TV news one battleground was overlooked. And yet the email war has been vital to the impact of a campaign. Here's some things we learned.

by Dan Slee

Email can be the Cinderalla of communications. Unseen, unheard and quietly getting on with it.

Yet the 2015 General Election campaign provided a free masterclass in how to use medium.

For six weeks my inbox rattled with messages that made me smile, frown, and plain indifferent. 

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