8 tips for NHS comms in 2018

You know when a baby wakes you at 4am every morning of it’s life so you don’t set an unnecessary alarm for the one day of the year when you need to be on the 6:30am train to London?

Well, you can guess what happened next and the slapstick, desperate race to the station ensured that I made it onto the long commute with literally seconds to spare.

Despite this the sweaty indignity was well worth it to catch the latest NHS Providers Communications leads network session which featured Daniel Reynolds, Stephen Waddington, Claire Riley and Darren Caveney. There was some excellent advice and discussion but here are my key takes for NHS Comms folks: Continue reading


10 comms lessons from 2017

IMNR7857As we collectively polish off the last of the After Eights, think about starting that new fitness regime and contemplate the sheer horror of Dry January, looking back over the past 12 months is often a very timely distraction.

It’s always interesting to take a look back and see the key themes from the year and try to understand  the most popular topics. Looking at the most read posts on this blog during 2017 gives me a sense that many of us are facing the same challenges and seeking the answers to many similar problems. Continue reading

Nine leadership lessons for communicators


Over time it seems that the term ‘leadership’ has become part of the jargon of middle management that infuriates so many comms people and leaves many thinking of a po-faced Ian Fletcher from W1A. However we shouldn’t make this mistake because if you look closely at every organisation you’ve worked in the difference between good and bad performance is so often to do with leadership.

Certainly when you look across the NHS and the Public sector more generally the most successful organisations are the ones that are really well led. Continue reading

Rules for writing


Tweets, status updates, videos, animations and many other must-have skills have all become part of the daily tools for people working in PR.

As the number of communications channels proliferate comms professionals need more skills than ever before to engage with their publics effectively.

The way people access information, connect socially and interact with news has been revolutionised over that past decade and the communications industry has changed to match this. Continue reading

The ship of Theseus, Trigger’s broom & the 10 key comms skills


How do things survive change?

There’s lots of philosophical and academic thinking around objects and concepts but what about people or teams?

In the classical thought experiment Theseus’s paradox we’re asked to consider if a ship that returns from a long voyage, but has gradually had every part replaced, is still the same object or something completely new? Continue reading

5 lessons on NHS comms strategy


Is it an art or is it a science? That seems to be the perennial question asked of corporate comms so it may be that the NHS was trying to tell us something by hosting a North East Event at the International Centre for Life.

The International Centre for Life opened in 2000 and as well as being an excellent visitor attraction,  almost 600 people from 35 countries work there including researchers, doctors and nurses.

Much of the day went on to focus on how communications teams can use a more planned, scientific approach to their work allowing them to add much more value at a time of increasing change and shrinking resources. Continue reading

Back to the floor

As a comms person in any sector it’s vital that you have a good understanding of the business and how it works on a day to day basis.

In a service industry like health it’s even more important and one of the risks of having a wide helicopter view from the top of an organisation is that you can miss what’s happening on the front line. Continue reading