Focusing on what matters (and avoiding what doesn’t) in 2020

As things return to normal after Christmas, I’ve thought a lot about what 2020 will be like for myself and those close to me.

It’s my 45th year, which makes me officially middle aged and will soon see me enter a different age drop down category in online surveys. It’s a big one for me personally and professionally. I feel grateful to start it in good health, with a happy family and a brilliant role as director at Social’s South West office.

The last decade has brought huge changes – political, social, technological – which confounded many predictions and upended the status quo. We started it as a family in Manchester before moving to the South West in 2010 and making a new life here. Through all of that, the most important and constant factor for me was the people: family, friends and colleagues, some of whom I worked with in 2010. They helped make 2019 a year to remember.

Continue reading “Focusing on what matters (and avoiding what doesn’t) in 2020”

How social can fuel great local conversations

“The profession is polarising between those practitioners that are cracking on and using new forms of media to engage publics in two-way dialogue and those that continue to spam journalists with press releases.

“The former have a great future in the business. The latter will be out of job within a generation.”

Stephen Waddington (@wadds) on the future of PR

After thousands of discussions, the West of England’s #WEbuildourfuture consultation ended yesterday (Friday 29 January).

This was an important and challenging conversation about housing and transport for the area’s four local authorities. Where 85,000 new homes should go and how transport should work are complex and thorny issues, with many differing and competing opinions. The last three months have seen the councils engage in genuine and thought-provoking exchanges. I hope it demonstrates the good practice Steven Waddington refers to in his quote above.

Continue reading “How social can fuel great local conversations”

State of social media in the States set out

I’ve come across this presentation from Nielsen called The Social Media Report today. Although it is focused on the growth of social media use in the US, it contains some interesting snippets for people who are getting to grips with it in the UK. One message comes through: if you’re not using social media, you’re missing out.

How (anti) social media can come back to bite you

I’ve just come across this research, courtesy of Mindflash, which looks at the things companies are finding out about their staff and prospective hires from the information placed on publicly available social media platforms.

There are a few warnings for prospective job hunters, who may be busy deleting damning photographs from their Facebook profiles if they have read the blog.

But there are some positives too which demonstrate how social media can boost people’s professional profile if used with a bit of common sense.

I’ve no doubt that the idea of employers trawling online personal profiles would be chilling for quite a few people.

Facebook, which is more of a network of friends than work associates, is different to professionally focused tools like LinkedIn – although both can be made private so that those who don’t know you can’t see what you are saying. For many users, Twitter tends to sit between these two platforms in the social v professional spectrum and is a much more public tool, as Joey Barton has found out recently.

Yesterday’s news of two men being sent to jail for four years for ‘inciting riots’ on Facebook is proof of how the misuse of social media can come back to bite people, in this case pretty swiftly.

Click on the graphic to the right if you want to expand it for more detail on the Mindflash research.

Links I like 11.08.16

What’s in a number? Why 1m Facebook Likes isn’t enough – Chinwag
This is a great post by Simon Caine about Facebook and how some corporates still don’t ‘get’ social media and why it’s worth using (or not). He writes about how a recent brief from a major brand to secure 1m ‘likes’ led him to the conclusion that such an objective is virtually impossible for UK-based organisations, and pretty pointless in any case. This highlights a key point about social media for me: talking about numbers of ‘followers’, ‘likes’ and other such stats are impressive, but they do not tell the full story of what it can actually do for a company or brand or why it matters. That requires a bit more insight, and a whole lot of effort to fully grasp.

 

Links I like 11.01.11

‘Social enterprise has found a new home in housing’ – Guardian Professional
The Guardian’s Social Enterprise Network 
ran a piece yesterday about how social landlords are finding different ways to deliver better homes and stronger communities. My HCA colleague and director Colin Molton is quoted, alongside a number of organisations who have at one time been clients of my former employers IPB Communications.

IPB appoints new director
Speaking of IPB, it would be rude of me not to mention their news, and a huge day for my former colleague John Quinton-Barber. The company has just announced that John (who was senior consultant for three years) has been promoted to the board. I see from his Facebook entries the announcement was made on the same day as his youngest daughter’s first birthday. He has never done things by halves. Congratulations and good luck, JQB!