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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.

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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.

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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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seven things you always wanted to know about the general election but were afraid to ask

You may have heard, there's an election on. Since we're into the closing stages, comms2point0's resident political nerd Will Mapplebeck does some myth-busting and fact-finding about the big day.

by GUEST EDITOR Will Mapplebeck

What are we likely to wake up with on 8th of May?

It's probably coalition time again, but this time it may take more than two to tango. Labour and Conservatives may get between 270 and 290 seats each so it's likely to take a number of parties to get over the magic mark of around 326 which gives you a majority even though, in practice, you'll probably need fewer seats to function as a Government. Remember, just because if either Conservative or Labour get the largest number of seats, that doesn't necessarily mean that they will go on to form a Government.

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whatsapp for elections

A few years ago it was considered revolutionary to use Facebook to tell people election results and now its expected. Now it is experimenting with messaging app WhatsApp that is the latest frontier for one intrepid council.

by Geoff Coleman

At the risk of incurring your wrath, can I mention the election? I know, I know... we're all probably getting a little fed-up with what feels like the longest campaign in history. Personally I'm taking the opportunity to experiment.

I work at Birmingham City Council and in recent years we've gradually built-up our election coverage and the combination of web updates, tweets, videos and more always attracts a decent audience.

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digital councils - new advice and tips for local government

We've worked with the Local Government Association to produce guidance on how to use social media more effectively. There's advice for organisations, elected members and staff. It's transferrable stuff and it's brilliant...

by Laurence Meehan

For many social media is now an everyday part of their lives; something as natural as a phone call or a face-to-face conversation. Twitter, Facebook and the many other digital tools available are now employed to conduct a plethora of tasks: from complaining to utility companies to sharing ideas; from ordering shopping to building networks.

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comms room 101 - part 3

Just as the original Rocky film sparked multiple follow-up movies, Emma Rodgers' Comms Room 101 post continues to inspire new posts...

by Amanda Nash

When Darren asked me to create a Comms Room 101 part 3, I ducked out at first. After all, Comms Room parts 1 and 2 are hard to follow.

There’s many better minds than mine in the wonderful world of comms and surely an aggregated list of people’s asks and tips would be much better than mine alone, right?

And, believe it or not, I don’t really like taking the proverbial out of those who come with to us what we may consider ‘silly’ requests, but that’s a bit harsh. Surely it’s part of our job as communications professionals to offer advice and guidance.

But we do all have our pet hates and it is just a little a bit tempting to share them. I just couldn’t do it without adding a more positive, what to do in response, tip. So here’s five of the things that cause me a wry smile inside and what I do about them…

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meerkat verses periscope – what do they do and which one is best?

You may have already begun to hear the growing buzz around two relatively new mobile video apps. Well here is the brief overview of what they can do, how you can use them, and which one is best.

By Russ Gethings

What is Meerkat and Periscope?
Basically they are free live video streaming applications for your smartphone or tablet. (iOS only at the moment, although Android versions are in the works).

They allow you to instantly stream live video - of an event, or any happening, or even just yourself going about your day, and instantly notify your Twitter/Social media followers. In turn your followers can engage with each other and you during the live stream.

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dear residents, please remember we are all humans….

Social media can be great. You reach residents you don't normally connect with. Of course, the flipside of social media is that can you get shouted at in your own time as this heartfelt blog says.

by A Local Government Officer

It’s a Sunday afternoon and I’m working. It’s raining – fair enough – but I still probably shouldn’t be working. I’ve got a toddler who is demanding attention (and some housework that could do with some, too), but instead I’m at my laptop.

I’m working because I’m part of a tiny (reduced) communications team for a council. I am working on a Sunday because if I don’t, I won’t get everything done that needs to be done during a working week.  I think this type of working is known as ‘doing more with less’, but I digress.

While I wait to be allowed into the IT system, I pick up my iPhone to check the council’s Twitter account We don’t officially monitor Twitter out of office hours, but in reality, we do. We all check in from home so we can stay on top of any evolving issues and keep in touch with what’s being said to us/about us, at evenings and weekends.

I am met wit

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message to comms people: stop being hopeless at telling your own story

A fightback has begun over what local government comms people do. It's good to see. But you can play your part too. It starts with you on the rooftops shouting.

by Dan Slee

An elderly American came up with the line about if the PR person becomes the news, then it’s probably not good.

Think images of spin doctors Alastair Campbell or Andy Coulson being pursued by a Press pack down the street and there's some truth in it. The aim is to be behind-the-scenes, surely?

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instatips: 10 tips to make you better at Instagram - part 1 

When he’s not leading on social media at the University of Warwick, Dave Musson is a photographer and an avid and active Instagramer, with over 60,000 followers. As Instagram is becoming an increasingly important tool in the 21st century comms pro’s arsenal, we asked Dave to share a few Instatips – here’s part one, which focuses on self-improvement.

By Dave Musson

Unlike pets, children or colleagues, there’s no shame to be had or relationships to destroy in declaring your favourite social network. For me, it’s Instagram and has been for a long time – it’s incredibly social, it’s made with mobile in mind and it’s a daily source of inspirational photography.

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does sky tv's targeted ad system work?

Reaching a target audience more effectively is one of the aims of the comms team. But it can be hard. But TV ads? Would they work?

by Anushka Desai

We were approached by Sky TV to try their new AdSmart system to reach a specific target audience for our fostering campaign.  In January this year we ran the campaign for 30 days and you can read more here. 

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