Reading, Romans, bleepers & leaving local government. My 6 key 2014 moments

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This dry January thing is dragging on a bit isn’t it?

After living like Oliver Reed since the back of December, two full days of total sobriety is breeding a cumulative hangover so devastating that it’s threatening my sanity. That aside there’s plenty to look forward in 2015 (like the last series of Mad Men).

A brief look back at my blog stats from 2014 shows that the most popular posts align unerringly with some of the biggest themes for me in the last 12 months.

These were six the most popular posts and hopefully they say something more about the current PR economy and landscape. Continue reading

The tinker, tailor, soldier, spy of social media

George Smiley in the film version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
George Smiley in the film version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

There’s a bit somewhere in the middle of the George Smiley spy trilogy where the characters reach a point where they know their place in the world is facing huge change, an era of cold war and Empire is coming to an end, and while their methods seem increasingly outdated they carry on regardless for want of anything else to do.

As bizarre as this may sound these amazingly atmospheric set of novels provided a nice parallel for two social media events that I went along to last month. Continue reading

How do you solve a problem like health & wellbeing?

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That sounds like a fairly abstract question I know and it reminds me of a Louis CK stand-up routine, where he plays the part of someone trying to explain to an angry god what a ‘job’ is.

The premise of the joke is that a benevolent creator has provided everything we need to survive and the minute his back is turned the humans have massively overcomplicated everything, leading to a need for jobs, double shot Frappuccinos and bacon cheese burgers.

So there lies the problem for big thematic questions like this, because dealing with big problems is inherently complex, can’t be tackled by one organisation in  isolation and there isn’t  a narrative that’s easy to communicate. Continue reading

Six things that PR can learn from healthcare

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So I’ve worked in the NHS for five months now and I’m a bit further along in understanding how it all fits together.

So far in life I’ve been pretty lucky with health, so this job is my first real encounter with hospitals and medical staff and it’s fascinating to see how they work.

In my usual cross eyed way these are my six lessons that comms and PR people can learn from the medical profession. Continue reading

A different type of tablet on Gateshead hospital wards

This week I’ve been working on something slightly different that puts another spin on the omnipotent use of tablets and smart phones.

Nothing as exciting at the ubiqetious iphone6 launch, but something pretty impressive to me (as a newbie to healthcare and the NHS)

Look around you almost anywhere in public and you’ll see a wall of faces staring into electronic devices or tapping on tiny, shiny black touchscreens.

Now even medical teams will be doing the same, but in a way that’s good for your health. Continue reading