Devolution, taxis and brown ale

B2LuLL_IMAAefx9

It’s the same the world over. If you want to understand the mood of a city just ask a taxi driver.

Well, the organisers of our devolution update did just that and found their Newcastle cabbie knew all about it, but he sagely warned that “in ten years time it will all go back round again and powers will re-centralised”.

The idea of a cosmic wheel that just keeps spinning round certainly isn’t the communications challenge I was expecting but actually it does have some basis in reality. Continue reading

25 tips from the cream of North East PR

IMG_4714

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

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

NE Comms Conversation #21 “It’s about changing people’s perceptions and making a difference”

Poster produced by London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) to promote rail travel to the East coast of England. This poster, entitled 'Sun Bathing', was second in a series of six posters illustrating the various pastimes that could be enjoyed on the east coast. The posters formed a continuous scene when placed next to each other, but each was designed so that it could also stand alone. Artwork by Tom Purvis (1888-1957), who rallied for the profesionalisation of commercial art. In 1930 he was one of the group of artists who founded the Society of Industrial Artists, which campaigned for improved standards of training for commercial artists in order to broaden their scope of employment.

Helen Fox is another ace marcomms professional that I’ve met since starting the in the NHS last year.

She works in the award winning communications team at NHS North of England Commissioning Support and is someone who has really stood out to me since I joined the sector. Here’s here hints and tips on being a successful communicator. Continue reading

NE Comms conversation #17 “No we don’t repair telephones”

936full-platoon-poster

This week it’s the MD of DTW, former chair of the CIPRNE and all round good egg Chris Taylor. Chris is always a first call for anything happening across the region. Here’s his take on what’s happening in our region.

How have things changed in the last 5 years?

FAST. The choices, channels and options we have today are incredible and growing exponentially and the skills we need reflect that. One thing stays the same though – the need to be outcome focused in all we do and always ask WHY?  Continue reading

NE Comms conversation #16 “I’d do my own stunts”

devito-twins

Last year I curated a series of blogs by a bunch of talented comms people from across the North East.

The response was so positive that I’m back again with a host of blogs from some of the most talented PR people from across the region. Last year the results were funny, insightful and interesting but most of all excellent learning material for anyone working in the profession.

First out of the trap this time it’s the dangerously tall Andrew Ward laying down some knowledge – for free. So, here we go with the 2015 volume of the NE Comms conversation. Continue reading