The comms blog

7 tips for fantastic focus groups

I often help my clients to run focus groups with their employees, volunteers and other stakeholders, which is a role I love. Being a facilitator and enabling people to articulate and present their views is really important. However, running a focus group is not always as easy as it seems and if you get it … Read more

10 tips from the public sector comms conference

Yesterday I attended the public sector comms conference and came away with my head buzzing with ideas. It was a packed agenda, with speakers from a whole range of organisations, and sessions covering a variety of topics. A key theme was using effective communication to support behaviour change and here are some takeaways from the … Read more

Retro post: how to understand culture through tea

Since I work with a lot of different organisations, I get to work with many teams and in a variety of environments – the best way to understand their culture is to suss out the tea and coffee making facilities. Back in 2014 I wrote a blog about the things I’d learnt from the humble … Read more

How do you make a dry subject more interesting?

This week I will be speaking about procurement communication at the LUPC & SUPC Conference 2018. I do a lot of work with procurement teams, helping them find ways to engage their internal audiences with the need for compliant action. The teams are lovely, hard-working experts in their field who are striving to do their … Read more

How to avoid hidden messages and misunderstandings

One piece of communication can send many messages, some of which may not be immediately obvious to the person sending it. For example, if you are reporting company feedback and choose to only publish the views of external stakeholders, you may be sending out the message that your employees’ opinions aren’t important. Similarly, if you … Read more

10 freelance communication experiences

Today is the 7th anniversary of the date I officially set up my not-for-profit and higher education communications limited company. I’m celebrating by sharing some of my favourite moments. I love my work When I left Cancer Research UK after 7 happy years, I needed to earn an income, but I also wanted to carry … Read more

How many emails have you received today?

Emails are generally held up to be the bane of business life. In fact, whilst planning this piece, I asked some fellow freelancers about the communication problems their clients faced and over-reliance on email took the top slot. I don’t personally feel that email is inherently evil in itself. I completely agree that it causes … Read more

10 checks to supercharge your communications

Sometimes you have a long time to hone and perfect the communications you need to produce about your project or organisation. And sometimes you don’t. When you are pushed for time, you need a reliable tool to help you through. My clients will often look to me for ways in which they can make the … Read more

10 great communications from 2017

I spend my working life helping my charity and education clients to improve their communications, solving their problems by motivating their audiences to take actions. To celebrate the end of another year where effective communication has again proved a powerful tool for many, I asked some lovely people I know to tell me which communications … Read more

20 questions to ask yourself for a brilliant communications plan

There’s a lot to remember when you’re putting together a communications plan for your project. Who are you trying to reach, would a newsletter be better than a tweet series, what do you want to say and so on….. Use this handy checklist of questions to make sure you don’t forget anything. 1. What is … Read more