Cover bands don’t save the world and 7 other lessons from Birmingham


It was an epic journey to get to AHCM and by the end I was more like Homer Simpson than Homer’s odyssey, but traveling around the uk by rail certainly takes on the feel of a quest in Greek mythology.

However it was well worth the trip from Newcastle, as healthcare communicators from across the UK came together to hear the latest trends from across the NHS.

Here’s my take on some of the key lessons from the day:

#1 Some leadership insight from an inner city GP
“Cover bands can’t change the world, but there’s nothing new invented under the sun,” said Dr Nick Harding. It’s that unique blend of vision, delivery and understanding the reality on the ground that will determine the success or failure of our work. Continue reading

Communicating change


Somebody once told me that the only people who like change are babies with dirty nappies. Over the past few years, through hard, grim experience of changing babies nappies, I’ve subsequently discovered that even then they’re often not totally cooperative.

So what hope do we have as communicators when to comes to engaging with people around difficult and often controversial change programmes?

To help answer that NHS Confederation hosted an event earlier this week bringing together some excellent speakers to look at the issue of communicating change across the health sector (you can see details here). Continue reading

25 tips from the cream of North East PR


What started out as a germ of an idea with a couple of my contacts on Twitter has grown into a broad series of posts about the North East PR and communications scene.

What came out of a few light hearted and sometimes tongue-in-cheek questions was a really positive picture of a region that’s getting its mojo back after some extremely tough years.

If you’re looking for some hints and tips from some of the best comms and PR people you’ve come to the right place.

I was also so impressed (but not surprised) at the willingness of PR professionals in these parts to share their ideas so readily so that others can learn from them. Make no mistake – I’ve learned loads from looking at these posts and would say they make some essential reading for anyone looking to break into the profession.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who contributed.

Last year a newspaper that should probably know better caused outrage with a  pretty shabbily informed article comparing the North East to the run down US city of Detroit. It implied a sense of hopelessness and self pity, well if you work in comms take a look at some of these and see if it changes your mind……

Continue reading