My three most read blogs of 2021

Three

My recent blog-writing efforts reflect my tired plod towards the end the year. I’ve been busier than ever in 2021 and have not written and published a full blog on this website for a couple of months. I’ve started a few, but not finished them all. Others were overtaken by events. But those I have written have performed better than they did last year.

It’s a fitting metaphor for a stop-start year: grinding, but ultimately good.

Despite the grind, there’s much to take pride from what we achieved this year. We continued to grow as a team and returned to an office in Bristol (briefly). We were delighted to see our client Gravity’s Local Development Order adopted by Sedgemoor District Council after supporting them for more than a year. And I was honoured to collect our first award, when we were named consultant of the year in South West Business Insider’s Residential Property Awards.

With all that’s happened, I’m glad to have found time to blog about anything. It’s an added bonus that people took time to read them. Massive thanks if you were one of those people.

Here are the three posts that had the most views in 2021.

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My three most read blogs of 2020

Three balloons

Well, that was a year, wasn’t it!? Although I won’t be sorry to see the end of 2020, it’s brought what’s important into sharper focus.

COVID was immensely challenging, and continues to be. Brexit is distressing, but I have come to terms with it and hope we can start to move on from the sniping. Plate-spinning was relentless and exhausting. I’ve missed people. I can’t wait to see family, friends, colleagues and clients again. And I feel encouraged by a growing willingness to rethink how we live, work, travel and consume stuff.

I’ve written more regularly on this blog and for other titles in 2020, after a couple of years when I wrote very little. Along with daily exercise and music, it’s kept me clear headed and in reasonably good spirits. I will hold onto those habits in 2021.

I’m pleased by the level of engagement in the blogs and am grateful to everyone who’s taken the time to read them this year. I hope you’ve found them useful if you have. Below are the three most read posts from the last year. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read, share or comment on these and other posts. It means a lot.

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Media say old habits remain with ‘new’ PR

It’s beyond doubt that PR has changed massively, and continues to do so, thanks to the opportunities created by digital communications and the diversification of traditional media.

CIPR president-elect Stephen Waddington asked a room full of comms people at the South West Communicators’ Conference in Bristol recently how many had bought a newspaper that morning, and only one confirmed that they had. It’s possible that some people in the room were too busy on their tablets or smart phones to realise he was asking them a question. But he had made the key point; that the media is changing rapidly and communicators must respond to this. Many operators in the South West are rising to this challenge with some great work, as Bristol agency Spirit demonstrated with its support for the Gromit Unleashed campaign in the city.

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Links I like 13.06.25

Insights into site search – Government Digital Service
The digital team at the Cabinet Office blogs every day about its work to bring the websites of all Government departments and their sponsor bodies under the single Gov.uk banner. It’s a huge and impressive undertaking which has seen tens of thousands of documents uploaded in recent months, including a few that relate to my work. This post talks about getting the search function right by striking the balance between those who are familiar with the former Government sites and those who have no connection with them and need to access services or information without having to dig for it. The analysis of the ‘long tail’ created by the thousands of search terms outlines the task ahead of them.

Links I like 13.06.03

“Don’t be a dick” – the golden rule of news website comment threads – currybetdotnet
I’ve been researching the many different types of social media guidelines out there recently and have found they vary in length, tone and the extent to which colleagues are encouraged to get involved (‘do’ or ‘don’t’). A lot of what’s said however can be boiled down to Martin Bellam’s ‘golden rule’ which I came across today. I won’t be using this in any professional guidelines, but the sentiment is bang on and worth sharing here.

‘Forgive me, for I have sinned’ – A Shiny World
Civil servant Louise Kidney blogs about using social media without compromising her neutrality. As she points out, it’s a balancing act we manage without concern in just about every other part of our professional lives – but one which raises questions when social media is involved.

Links I like 12.06.26

What a wonderful world (of local government blogs and blogging) – We Love Local Government
This feels like a shameless plug, but what’s a blog for if you can’t self-promote? I was delighted to be mentioned yesterday in We Love Local Government’s excellent round-up of blogs they deemed to be of interest to the sector. The good folk at WLLG were clearly aware of my lack of posts during Euro 2012 when stating that the blog was worth a peek ‘every now and again’. It’s good to be noticed though. The other blogs are well worth a read by the way.