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our survey said: ‘almost half comms people don’t switch off on holiday.’

That week in the sun. That stretch in the tent. It’s supposed to be downtime from the busy day job. We thought we’d stage a survey just to see how many people really do disconnect.

By Dan Slee

If you are on the beach checking your work emails the chances are you are not alone.

In fact, for comms, digital or PR people the out-of-office doesn’t mean out-of-range.

We thought we'd stage a quick snap unscientific survey to test out the theory and see how many people would admit to working while not working.

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NEW: comms2point0 skills workshop: essential media law for social media and communications

If you work in comms, PR, HR and legal you need to know there are new media laws which will affect how you do your job. That's why we are staging a new workshop with acclaimed media law expert David Banks.

by Dan Slee

It seems that every aspect of society is being disrupted by the internet and other changes and the field of media law is no exception.

A raft of changes are in the offing and we thought it would be a bright idea to offer you a workshop with one of the brightest brains in the field to help you make sense of them.

David Banks is a highly experienced figure in the arena of media law. He has co-authored recent editions of McNae's Essential Law for Journalists, he trains national newspaper groups and has worked extensively in local government and the public sector. In short, he is the 'go-to' man in the UK in the field.

We'd love to see you there. Our previous workshops have sold out and we expect the same for David's session so do be quick. 

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using buzzfeed to create a buzzing community 

Buzzfeed is one of the world's largest social news websites and one of the most shared on Facebook. It's known for pioneering 'listicles' which are lists of facts more easily digested and shared on the web. However, it also allows you to create your own content. Here's what happened when one comms officer did so.

by Karen Jeal

It’s that time of year again at Gravesham where we get all green fingered and the town looks blooming marvellous as part of our efforts to scoop the top prize for Gravesham in Bloom.

Although this year is different. The stakes and stems, for that matter, are higher. We won Gold last year so expectations are at an absolute max to grow for gold once more.

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my favourite app: 45 of the best from 16 people

Apps. There's thousands of them. But which ones are worth looking at? We asked some bright people what their favourites were. Here they are. Some for work and some for life away from work.

by Dan Slee

A good app can be a real help so we thought it would be a good idea to ask our community for some of their favourites.

There's a real range and what's striking is the range and variety that people swear by.

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12 things I learnt from the comms2point0’s essential video skills workshop

It's always good when a workshop really works. Our essential video skills session has been tweaked and improved and we think really delivering the goods. So it's good to see a delegate to a session write a post on what he learned. More info on the next workshops here.

by Kacem Jlidi

You’ll probably have heard by now that video is the next big thing on the internet but not sure what to do about it and how to start incorporating it in your communication plans effectively without going bankrupt.

I was there until I luckily got myself a seat on one of the Essential Video Skills Workshops run by comms2point0 and Film Cafe.   

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the hidden secret to digital transformation

Every organisation is looking to transform what they are doing. There's a major role for good internal comms. Did you know?

by Kane Simms 

There’s one thing that’ll guarantee digital transformation success… and it’s not what you think.

It’s not the:

  • Digital design
  • Integration
  • User centricity
  • UX design
  • Data and analysis
  • Agile methodology
  • Lean processing
  • And so on

Long lasting digital transformation hinges, like everything else in life, on people. It depends on your staff.

Your staff have the service area expertise needed to design epic digital services and their enthusiasm and involvement is critical to solutions being adopted. Without your staff’s investment, you’ll be short-cutting back to old habits quicker than Paul Gascoigne leaving rehab.

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being the clip art and comic sans police. and why it matters.

Brand identity is hugely important and many comms folk will relate to this post on the subject. It's an instant classic. Print it out and put it on your office wall today...

by GUEST EDITOR Ben Capper

comms2point0 is one of my favourite websites.

There are loads of interesting ideas and a great community. There’s stuff on here that helps me to find solutions to issues on a daily basis.

Not very colourful though is it?

Don’t know about you, but sometimes I think it’s crying out for a bright splash of pink, maybe with some orange writing on it.

And that typeface. It’s OK for some people I guess, but surely something friendlier, some more hand-writing-ish would make it look, you know, just a bit nicer.

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video for comms is now way beyond youtube

More than 70 per cent of the internet is predicted to be video by 2017. If you are a comms person it's a challenge you need toio have an answer to.

by Albert Freeman

Online video is becoming more important all the time. There are an exciting and growing number of ways that we as organisations can use it, and ways that people can use it to engage with organisations.

Video is now big news on Facebook

In no time at all video has become huge on Facebook. Organisations need to adapt and take advantage of this. It is no longer enough to simply publish your video on YouTube, and share the YouTube link on Facebook.

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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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what has soft power taught me about campaigns?

Sometimes it's not the direct things that wins people over. It can be the BBC. Or Bollywood. As a talented comms officer from Tunisia who worked for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office reveals.

by Kacem Jlidi

Picture this: a 16 year old boy from Morocco going to the hairdresser to get a 'David Beckham' haircut or doodling all sorts of tattoo shapes on his textbook while in class.

Imagine this South African 48 year old lady spending her evenings binge-watching Bollywood movies and gasping at the sight of her favourite Indian actor’s dancing.     

Wouldn’t you agree that those are basic examples of successful brand engagement – ones that went beyond geographical limits? 

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if staff are our greatest asset why don't we show it?

Staff: Our greatest asset? Don't tell us, show us.

By Darren Caveney

In a recent conversation about intranets and internal communications I fessed up on a theory I have developed.

Staff intranets, we know, are generally unengaging resources, crammed with slabs of info but offering very little in the way of interaction or honest, two-way conversation.

But my theory is that this has very little to do with the intranet sites themselves – they’re just a symptom of a much larger organisational and cultural problem which is that too many organisations – when push comes to shove – don’t truly value their staff. There, I've said it.

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online chat: the great static v social intranet debate

Intranets emerged in the early days of the web as places to put things you needed staff to know rather than the outside world. Over time many have become bloated with information. Hard to search they can be a forest of information wiuth few paths through. Social intranets have emerged that staff can engage with. But will they work in every organisation? We're hosting a web chat with bright people.  

by Dan Slee 

Got a few minutes to spare this lunchtime? We’re helping with a discussion over on Knowledge Hub you may like to join in with as you munch on your cheese sandwiches.

It’s about the possible benefits of social intranets over static ones and we’d love it if you’d swing by.

It’ll run from noon until 2pm on Monday July 20 over here on the internal comms group we look after (Log in required). It’ll be up to view afterwards too.

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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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awards and that loving feeling

A smidge of recognition can spark all sorts of positive vibes into a team. So why do we so rarely do it?

By Darren Caveney

Last week I was fortunate to attend the UK Public Sector Communications Awards and together with a rather brilliant bunch of colleagues pick up an award. It was a reminder of how an award nomination or win can provide a welcome and invigorating dose of feel good factor. A little bit of that loving feeling, even to folks who have been involved in the industry for a long, long time.

I stopped entering awards a few years back for a number of reasons. You don’t need award judges to tell you when you’ve delivered good work, in the same way that you don’t always need a kick up the backside when you know you’ve made a mistake at work. You instinctively know these things and learn from them. But sometimes you work on a project that you know is so good it needs to be shouted about so that your colleagues can receive 15 deserved minutes in the spotlight.

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survey: how good and bad is your intranet?

How many times have you heard it? 'Our intranet?' the voice goes. 'It's rubbish. You can't find anything on it and there'a no social space to collaborate.' But just how good and bad are intranets? We've launched a new suurvey with our friends at Knowledge Hub. We need to fix it. But we need to know the size of the task.

by Dan Slee

Too stuffed with out-of-date information and too hard to find the things you really want.

The bad intranet serves as an albatross around the neck of the organisation. ‘We say we think staff are our greatest asset,’ it appears to say. ‘But we don’t really mean it.’

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