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the rise of troll farms... can you really trust social media in a crisis?

Web 2.0 saw a promise of online collaboration for social good. But is the party over? Or at least, has the shine come off?

by GUEST EDITOR Chris Bolton 

Way back in 2008 I read ‘Wikinomics’ by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams, and it pretty much changed my life. At the core of Wikinomics was the idea that the large scale collaboration of people online, was going to change everything we do. The ‘phrase d’jour', was Web2.0; used a lot at the time to describe the ideas around 'online mass collaboration', including what we now recognise as social media.

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how to give the smaller people a bigger voice

Know your stuff. Know who covers your patch then get to know them. It's an approach that's as old as the hills but one that continues to bear fruit if done with skill.

by Russ Cockburn

It’s interesting to view how much the economic pendulum has swung since the global recession of 2009.

Back then a large part of the media’s agenda was sewn up with the big boys, the car producers, aerospace giants and the financial powerhouses would regularly adorn the pages of the nationals and the airtime of our major broadcasters.

Stories from SMEs - small, medium enterprises - did get covered, don’t get me wrong. However, more often than not they were neatly packaged away in their own special enterprise section and very rarely did they make it into mainstream news.

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telling the story of srebrenica - offline and online

Some communications tasks are straight forward. Others need careful handling. So, how do you communicate the memory of an event whose darkness musn't be forgotten?

by Tony Moran

Humanity has lived through the darkest of times, but few events have stained our collective soul more than the Srebrenica genocide. Over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were systematically murdered in July 1995 during the Balkans conflict – just because of who they were.

The UN described Srebrenica as ‘the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War’.

Lessons learned from the genocide demonstrate how hatred and intolerance can flourish if left unchallenged - even in a country such as Bosnia and Herzegovina where people of different faiths had lived peacefully together for many years, yet an integrated society disintegrated.

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why your communications strategy might fail without text messaging

Govdelivery's annual UK Public Sector Communications Conference has become an essential part of the September calender. Why? It delivers good content. You can learn more about this year's line-up here. We take a look at one of the key speakers on the role of text messaging in comms.

By Michelle Lee

Look around in a public setting. You will notice more people hunched over a mobile device to communicate or access information than ever before. More than 35 million UK residents own a mobile phone and they’re accessing their devices for an average of 3 hours and 16 minutes each day – the equivalent of almost a full day per week.

Mobile, as a marketing channel, can no longer be ignored in order to succeed in today’s world – especially in public sector communications. Accessibility, convenience, clarity, and universality make mobile an essential channel to communicate with the public.

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other influences make you a better communicator

Every now and then we have a guest editor. They pick five links, write a post and pick a tune and we post them to Twitter. We also ask for a random fact about them that not many people know. Today's guest editor? She was in a team that finished 2nd in the Irish Dancing World Championships in 1995.

by Bridget Aherne

Drawing on other influences is a vital part of being an effective communications practitioner whatever level you work at and that was the thought process behind the random fact I shared today.

Public relations does not exist just to serve itself – it helps businesses perform at their absolute best whether that’s to sell toys or fight fires – so it’s important to soak up other sources of information to understand organisations and those they need to communicate with.

A good place to start is with what’s around us, what culture we’re from, who family members are and, perhaps, what hobbies we’ve been exposed to.

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making video to kill the radio star

Making videos doesn't have to be an epic production as one communications officer discovered on one of our courses.

by Rob McCleary

My memories of making videos at University mainly involved me falling asleep in editing rooms whilst my colleagues did all the work. I always had more of an aptitude (and face) for radio so when I decided to get into video making for my council’s social media page I hopped on a train and headed to the comms2point0 video course only armed with my trusty iphone 4 and a sandwich.

The day long course started off with introductions from Steve from the Film Café whose CV includes working on Dr Who and Torchwood. Our first icebreaker task was, in pairs, to go out onto the distractingly pretty corridors of the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry and film each other talking about what we wanted to get out of the day.

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are emoji’s a fad or a new language?

Emoji's. Here's a very timely and helpful post on the little blighters ;-)

by Lou Invine-Rawlins

Some of you may use these friendly little icons in your messages, some of you may hate them with a passion…but as Sony announces they’re making a movie about them I decided I had to blog/acknowledge their overwhelming existence.

Whatever you think about emoji they’re growing in popularity at a rapid pace and more marketers are using them to communicate with customers and team members alike.

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why handing over those social media reins to customer services isn’t going to do comms people out of jobs

Customer services using social media to meet the needs of customers has been a growing trend for some time. But many organisations are still to crack that nut.

by GUEST EDITOR Nicky Speed

Social media tools offer far greater customer insight than we could've imagined even a couple of years ago. We can respond to posts about services, thank customers with immediate replies and give them useful info about the other great things we do.  We can even scour sector hashtags for possible issues.

In short, social media is quickly changing what's expected in today's customer service world.

So why are so many organisations still scared to hand over the reins to their customer service teams to operate social media channels?

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the weird and wonderful watching habits of the comms and digital community

The Twitter community is one of the greatest research resources in the world. If you need to know something, just ask Twitter. The results never cease to amaze.

by Darren Caveney

I have watched a lot of TV in my life. And I mean a lot. I don’t mean the middle of the road twaddle that gets served up in the name of entertainment and puts me off ever checking the TV listings. No, what I mean are the real quality TV shows whose watching via ‘boxsets’ has become a bona fide pastime.

I have seen all of the classics. But now I am adrift and in need of something new to get into.

So I was after some recommendations and what better way than to ask the rather marvellous comms2point0 followers to chip in. And boy did you respond, with over 40 suggestions emerging.

And if you also fancy checking out something new this is a pretty great list from which to choose.

So what did we learn?

Well we learned that Paul Masterman’s favourite shows are Bullseye and Nogin the Nog. Well, “you can’t beat a bit of bully”.

Seeing the Brummie classic, Crossroads, on the list was a tad unexpected.

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coping with political change as a communicator

The impending election for a new leader of the Labour Party is perhaps a timely reminder that change comes in many forms.

by Andy Carter

If you’re a public sector communicator, it’s likely that your organisation is going through some kind of change right now.

I’ll hazard a guess that it’s probably because of financial pressures caused by budget cuts.

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my best piece of advice to someone working in digital comms in 2015

Advice. It's maybe something we should all ask for more of. So asking the comms and digital community for their best piece of digital advice seemed a good place to begin.

by Dan Slee

The best advice about falling, Chevy Chase once said, is never to land.

Wise words from the star of ‘Spies Like Us’ but does it apply to the landscape of digital comms? Maybe. Maybe not. So, we decided to ask some people we rate for their best piece of advice.

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from local gov to the nhs: comparing comms across the sectors

Plenty of folks have switched sectors in their careers, and many more follow. In this fascinating post we learn all about the differences, and similarities, in communications in local government and the NHS from one of the best comms pros around.


Hello and welcome from your friend in the North.

I’ve been a long time reader and occasional contributor to comms2point0 so it’s a real treat to be guest editing and a genuine honour to be asked.

Having moved to work in a hospital, after spending the last seven years at various councils the thing I’m most commonly asked is what’s the biggest difference? Clearly, that’s about as boring as asking how many times Newcastle United will concede more than four goals this season, but I do see some interesting parallels between the NHS as a whole and the average public sector comms team.

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influence needs context: lissted & and a top 250 twitter list

Everyone loves a list. A regional newspaper published a list of the most influential Twitterers. We're in it. Woohoo! But what were the metrics? And what was the behind-the-scenes story?

by Adam Parker

Last week the Birmingham Mail and its sister titles published a list created for them by us at Lissted of the Top 250 West Midlanders* on Twitter based on their significance to the rest of the UK.

Reaction to the list has been great, with lots of people getting involved, highlighting the appearance of people they know, or sometimes a bit of self promotion! The list has also generated a number of questions from people about the rankings and who’s on the list and who isn’t.

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more popular than eastenders: a university graduation week 

What was more popular than EastEnders? The University of Warwick’s graduation week on social media. It is a landmark week in the life of a student. It's a landmark week for a University too. Their acclaimed social media officer lifts the lid on how they did it.

by Dave Musson from University of Warwick

Working at a University, there are plenty of great things going on all year round, but arguably the best time to be on campus is during graduation week. There’s an almost magical buzz in the atmosphere, with happy graduates, proud parents and flying mortarboards in every direction you look.

But what about transposing that buzz from real life to online? Here’s how we did at the University of Warwick, armed with little more than a hashtag, some mobile phones and plenty of enthusiasm.

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what makes a great post? learning the lessons from four years of comms2point0

We know that writing for the web is different. But what helps to make a blog post fly? Here are five simple tips to help you write your next masterpiece.

by Darren Caveney

We’ve put up over 700 posts on comms2point0 over the past four years and leaned an awful lot along the way.

They cover a wealth learning, ideas, campaigns and case studies from colleagues across the communications and digital community

I have read every single one of them.

I have also monitored each one to assess what works best in terms of views, comments and shares, as well as what doesn’t work so well.

So if you’re writing with a digital audience in mind here are five simple lessons that may help you along the way to writing your next post…

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