TV Times

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This blog first appeared on www.comms2point0.com 

It’s not often that I’m nervously tuned into ITV right before Coronation Street, furtively waiting for a middle aged TV star and former hit-maker to wax lyrical about my patch.

I say not often, when of course I mean never. In fact,  last Monday is probably the first time I ever pressed the ‘3’ button on my TV.

But working in local government comms has taken me to some strange places in recent years. Continue reading

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Northumberland fun: a social summer

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A guest post from our new comms intern Jenn & her perspective on our latest social media campaign (@msjennjennPR)

For those of you who see‘#’ and are looking at the text abbreviation of Northumberland, please don’t judge me and think I’m one of these young ones who can’t spell and write everything like I tweet it!

It’s actually the brand of a great campaign I am currently involved in, Northumberland Fun. Continue reading

You are the message

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I’ve just finished reading a book that was written in the 1980s and like big hair or grindingly depressing economic news much of the advice contained in its yellowing pages seems to be back in vogue.

Roger Ailes wrote You are the message in 1989 and although it’s primarily about speaking in front of an audience, there’s a wealth of communications & PR advice that’s still relevant today.

In fact, Ailes himself defines an ‘audience’ as anyone more than yourself. It could be two colleagues in a meeting or a million people watching on TV.

Continue reading

Travelling in your own back yard (and getting a social buzz for your event)

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This time seven years ago I was sitting at an airport with no job, no responsibilities and a round the world flight ticket burning a hole in my pocket.

The only thought on my mind was which fruit would be going into my Daiquiri and how many countries I could fit into my carefully planned flight schedule.

How times have changed and although I wasn’t getting on a flight this week, my thoughts have been closely focused on tourism and how we use social media to inspire our locals to live like a tourist in their own backyard.
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Power to the people

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‘People power’ is probably an overused phrase but in this increasingly crowd sourced, community-led, two way street online world it’s one that’s at the very top of the PR agenda.

There’s seemingly a new example every month and this week it was the turn of 17-year-old Paris Brown to act as a case study on the shifting sands of modern news, PR and social media.

So now would seem as good a time as any to help push an excellent event taking place for communications professionals that will look to try and make sense of this rapidly changing environment. Continue reading

Snow blower

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So, you’ve had some snow recently? There’s been so much written about it in the last week that the only remaining headline is a reference to robot-based 1980’s comedy movie Short Circuit.

But while you were kicking through a light dusting of white powder, I hope you spared a thought for us in the most Northern English County. Redesdale in Northumberland was the snowiest place in England with 33cm in a single day. On top of that we had 12 foot snow drifts and a 3,500 mile road network to worry about. Continue reading

I never make predictions………and I never will (looking back at 2012)

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“I never make predictions………and I never will” – One of the most famous utterances of footballer Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne which has passed into commentary legend, but actually makes more sense than we all think.

If experience teaches us anything (and it doesn’t) predicting anything is utter folly. To stay with the North East footballing analogy, last season Newcastle United were flying high in the league and ended up qualifying for Europe.

The darlings of TV and regular scorer of inspiring goals (Chelsea away) the owner rewarded the manager with an unprecedented 8 year contract. Last night they conceded seven goals and dropped to within three points of the relegation zone.

Fate and time make a mockery of all predictions so instead I thought I’d look back over the last year – only to find that makes a mockery of expectations too.

Continue reading