Why I joined LGcomms

I get a lot of requests to sign up to something or join something. They are hoping I have money at the end of the financial year or am hopeful that my budget has a moment of looking good (April to May only!) when I might be feeling a bit more generous than normal. The reality is that our money is tight all the time and any decision has consequences. It’s a bit like joining the gym – you kind of feel obliged to go (the guilt does seem to reduce) so why join in the first place.

But I do pay to join LGComms each year and I will keep on doing so. So why do I do this?

Posted on 17th May 2016

Five reasons to apply for LGcommunications Future Leaders

As one of the lucky ones to have just graduated the 2015/16 LGcomms Future Leaders programme, here’s five reasons you should get busy writing your own application:

1) Network, network, network

Hands down the best thing about the programme was meeting like-minded comms professionals in local government.

Posted on 11th May 2016

STOP!

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When was the last time you stopped? I mean completely stopped, took a step back and really looked at how you spend your time?

I am sitting writing this blog while supporting my local council as a presiding officer in the PCC elections. Unsurprisingly this has given me time to think. And while spending 15 hours in a shed in rural Essex is not absolutely vital, I would urge you just to take a few minutes to stop and reflect.

Posted on 11th May 2016

Come on guys, is it really a story?

Our local journalists are under more pressure than ever – that’s a fact. There are fewer of them these days and they are often working on several stories at a time, for a number of different platforms.

There is also little doubt in my view that there remains a key role for ‘the local paper’, and that our local media colleagues do a sterling job of bringing local people together through their publications and online channels.

But with our media colleagues under increased pressure, is there a tendency that on occasion, with demands as they are to fill space – which now goes beyond filling column inches and now increasingly includes creating engaging online content – that ‘stories’ which ordinarily would often be dismissed, are becoming ‘news’ in order to meet the demands of journalists, readers and online followers?

Posted on 3rd May 2016

Six degrees of separation

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A few years ago when I was working at Staffordshire County Council, Catherine Raines, who is now the Chief Executive Officer of UKTI but at the time was director there, led a session on networking at one of our senior manager’s conference.

As we sat the JCB headquarters in Rocester in Staffordshire, Catherine talked us through the different people she knew, how she knew them and the connections and opportunities it had brought using pictures and flow charts. While it sounds a bit bulls**ty, it was actually really, really interesting. It was essentially a massive illustration of the six degrees of separation.

Posted on 27th April 2016

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