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

7 pointers for pitching 

Unusual view of Tyne bridge and the sage from the Vermont steps
Unusual view of Tyne bridge and the sage from the Vermont steps

The latest CIPR North East event brought together the usual audience of regional PRs with freelance journalist Ian Wylie, who provided a fascinating whistlestop tour of where our local media has come from and more importantly where it is going.

It proved to be a really thought provoking couple of hours on the nature of modern media and what it means for all of us, both professionally and as consumers. As well as being a freelance journalist on some big national titles Ian is also a founder of The Northern Correspondent, a new(ish) print magazine dedicated to long form writing that promises to tell the stories of the North East that are now often forgotten by the mainstream press. Continue reading

NE Comms conversation #24 “A job where being nosey helps”

Next up it’s the amazing Anna-Maria Cooney with her take on comms in the North East.

I first met AM when I interviewed her to join the internship scheme I set up in my former role. It proved to be a great decision and I’ve blogged before that running and meeting a cohort of interns was one of the best things I ever did.

I think I learned more from them then they did from me, so it’s fantastic to see Anna-Maria making such a success of her career a few years later. I should add that she’s one of the only non-native North Easterners to take part in the blog hailing as she does from Ireland.

Here’s what she had to say. Continue reading