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Sunday
Mar292015

how london ambulance service ‘newsjacked’ zayn malik

Sometimes comms is about thinking on your feet and being creative. Even when a boyband member quits.

by Dan Sutherland 

When you think of One Direction, the flashing blue lights of a London ambulance cruising through the night taking a seriously ill patient to hospital doesn’t spring to mind. Unless the patient they’re taking is one of the boyband’s billion fans worldwide.

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Sunday
Mar292015

cherish the things you love for one day they will be gone

There’s a certain age and point in your life when you begin to reflect on things that little bit more than you did in your care-free twenties…

By Darren Caveney

I’ve reached that point.

Reflecting.

These reflections include work life and personal life and that’s a good and natural thing. Questioning what you’ve achieved and delving a little deeper into what you really want to do with the rest of your life.

And events which occur in our personal lives add to this and can't help but remind you that nothing lasts forever.

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Friday
Mar272015

download and blog: unpacking purdah: what do pre-election publicity restrictions mean in practice?

In a set period before an election tight restrictions come into force on what comms teams in the public sector can and can't do. The Local Government Association have written a rather fab guide from a local government perspective. Follow the link in the blog to the download.

by David Holdstock

The countdown for local and national elections has started and communications teams in councils around the country are working out what this means for them. In response to requests for guidance, we recently produced a short guide to the publicity restrictions during the run-up to an election.  Nearly 5,000 downloads later, even I’ve been surprised by the level of interest.

The term ‘purdah’ has come into popular use in both central and local government to describe the time immediately before elections and referendums when, amongst other things, particular care must be taken in the way communications teams operate.

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Thursday
Mar262015

will we use social? can you help our care act survey?

Almost two million people in the UK recieve some kind of state-funded care. There are some big changes coming down the track. One of the big comms challenges facing the public sector is to help communicate that. To help this, we've been going back to our local government roots. We're working with IEWM in the West Midlands. Can you help with our survey?

by Dan Slee

First, imagine your Dad has Alzheimers and relies on people coming in every day to help him.

You rely on the help but maybe you've heard there may be changes to what the council can do because of a change in the law.

Where would you go for advice? To a council website? Or would you telephone a voluntary group? Or would you ask a question on social media?

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Monday
Mar232015

gearing up for #trustmebrum

It's fitting our 650th post is about an event that will challenge convention and involves a number of bright people we rate.

by Dan Slee

When we first kicked around the idea for what comms2point0 would look like we had this idea that it may be a place for ideas to be shared.

We were also keen to make it a place where people could challenge conventions. So, it's rather fitting that our 650th post should be about an event with one of the most iconoclastic authors we've ever written about.

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Monday
Mar232015

200 comms tools & platforms tried and rated on pr stack

What started as a chance conversation online has turned into a collaboration and a really useful tool.

by Dan Slee

Back in the day a bloke at the start of events used to ask two questions to a room full of people 'hands up who knows everything?' 

Of course, no-one did put their hand up which unless you are an idiot is the right answer.

The truth is that we all know a little and when we put our heads together then we all get to learn something.

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Friday
Mar202015

how we communicated the homes for britain campaign rally 

The Homes for Britain campaign held the biggest housing rally ever in the heart of Westminster to get the housing crisis firmly onto the general election radar – and on the national news agenda. What's the comms story?

By Anne Arnold

It used to irritate me that the housing crisis wasn’t in the news more. House prices sure, but not the housing crisis. That sinking feeling when you realise you’ll never be able to afford to buy near your family, not now, not ever.

Couples delaying having babies because they’re forking out half of their wages to live in a flat the size of a shoe box, graduates bunked up back in their childhood bedrooms, people having to move further and further out of the cities and towns where the jobs are, commuting for hours each day to get to work.

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Wednesday
Mar182015

to specialise or not to specialise… that is the question

It's an interesting dilemma for a comms professional - is it best to specialise or to generalise? Or do you need to be a generalist with some specialisms?

by Nicky Speed

‘Press Officer needed to manage the media and write lively copy’ the job advert headline read. Really, is that all you’re asking for? Do those jobs actually exist anymore? To have the luxury of having such a big communications team to be able to specialise sounds great in theory – but in the digital age and more demands placed on communications people, is that realistic?

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Wednesday
Mar182015

the dangerous characteristics of those who make social media fly 

After several years of building and helping others build social media profiles some characteristics shine through. Some of them are good. Others potentially destructive. Is this you?

by Dan Slee

It occurred to me for a while that there are four characteristics of people who run good social media sites and two of them aren’t all that healthy.

For the best part of six years I helped look after social media strategy and tactics for a council and evolved it from one fledgling Twitter to more than 60 devolved accounts.

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Tuesday
Mar172015

40 skills you'll need in your 2020 comms team today 

What a comms team should look like has been one of the things we've been bothered about for longest at comms2point0. We've written about it in the past. This is an updated look.

by Dan Slee

So what occupies the mind of the most successful Olympic coach Britain has ever had? You’ll find the answer surprising.

It’s not next week, the next Tour de France or who will be in the squad for Rio that occupies cycling’s Dave Brailsford. It’s what his best team will be in five years time.

“I find that once you’ve done that,” he told the BBC, “you can work backwards to work out a way to get to where you want to be.”

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Monday
Mar162015

your ‘cut out and keep' guide to saying NO to daft requests

No can be the hardest word. But often the kindest. Here's a cut and out and keep guide to saying no when you really do need to politely shake your head at someone you work with...

by Darren Caveney

There was once a time when many a Comms Team got a bad name for being control freaks who said no a lot. I’m glad we’ve largely moved on and become that listening, enabling service. We are gate-openers now, instead of gate-keepers, who regularly now say yes where perhaps we once said no.

But. There is still a place for ‘no’. Not least when it is a colleague asking for something daft.

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Sunday
Mar152015

so what makes you the right person for the job?

One of our key reasons for setting up comms2point back in the day was to share and to encourage sharing across comms and digital folk. And we said that the ultimate outcome for us would be to help someone find a job no matter how small that bit of help might have been. Well what do you know...

by Ant Gale

I’m trying to remember how I first came across comms2point0. I think it was a random retweet I scrolled across during a work break.

Little bit of back-story on me – I had been working at Sainsbury’s since graduating with a Media Technology degree in 2012 (shout out De Montfort University) and I was doing one day a week work experience at Staffordshire County Council.

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Thursday
Mar122015

five things for a busy, stressed comms person from a buddhist publisher

Just recently, the CIPR annual State of the Profession report put stress as a major issue. It regularly comes in the top two of most stressful jobs in the UK. Journalist is the most stressed. But what can we do? We asked a Buddhist book publisher for some thoughts and advice. It makes for fascinating reading.

by Richard St Ruth

1. How did the Buddha communicate?

 The Buddha was a master communicator. He gave talks to masses of people as well as individuals over a period of forty-five years. His words, delivered approximately 2,550 years ago, were remembered and recorded, and have become what we today call ‘Buddhism’.

 It is not about how successful the Buddha was at transmitting his message, however, that is the issue here; it is the message itself which we might find useful in our lives and in our work.

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Wednesday
Mar112015

what's in your room 101 part two 

There was a tremendous response to Emma Rodgers' blog when it was first posted. A room 101 of comms. A room where you could send all the things you really don't like. After a slew of responses here is the second part.

by Emma Rodgers

Some great Room 101 tweets and comments were shared when this blog post was published. I wanted to include them so captured below is what they said. Thanks to everyone for taking part in the banishing. If only it was that easy. But my oh my that cleansing feels good.

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Wednesday
Mar112015

social media and purdah: your handy guide

In the public sector, Purdah is a period in the run-up to the election  where comms changes. You are not allowed to promote politicians or get involved in a political campaign. Here are some guidelines for social media and Purdah.

by Dan Slee

There’s this funny period in the run-up to an election which sees local government comms team change behaviour.

Gone are the press releases from politicians and in comes quotes from officers. Why? To ensure that the council cannot be accused of political bias in the run up to polling day.

It’s been around for decades and local government comms teams have got a pretty good grasp of what this entails. It means under The Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity (Local Government Act 1986) that newsletters, press releases, conferences, badges and web pages are affected.

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