My five favourite 2014 tweets with pictures

Social for The People

My top two most read blog posts this year were: number 1: a ‘how to’ flow chart, and number 2. a look at how social media can help public servants be less evil.

Both are quite visual: they each include charts that make a point with more impact than lots of words.

I had a look back at my tweets that were most shared this year and noticed the lots of things I’ve enjoyed included a great visual too.

Here are my five favourite visuals I shared on Twitter this year (and what I think they say or what we in the public sector can learn from them).*

1.The Election

Public sector organisations need to show political impartiality so they couldn’t have shared this (not with a #ukip hashtag anyway!).
But it’s a a simple lesson in sharing punchy…

View original post 461 more words


The start of a New Year has made me mindful of just how quickly time seems to pass. Yeah, it’s an ‘old man’ thing, I think. 2014 was pretty successful, professionally. I’m taking a few minutes now to pause and reflect.

My agency, Liquid, was recognised as ‘Consultancy of the Year‘ in June in the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) Midlands DARE Awards. That was followed by winning a Gold and Silver (respectively) in the ‘Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy‘ category in ‘South of England and Channel Islands’ and ‘Midlands’ Chartered Institute of Public Relations PRide Awards.

On a personal front, I was installed as a Freeman of the City of London Guild of Public Relations Practitioners and completed my MA in PR at Birmingham City University. Throughout the year, I also enjoyed being a visiting lecturer at BCU, teaching principally on the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Advanced Certificate postgraduate courses. I’m looking forward to continuing teaching: it’s fulfilling.

Inspired by last year’s CIPR president, Stephen Waddington, I served the Institute in 2014 as a national Council member – and was re-elected in September. I was also elected to serve on the CIPR’s Board of Directors and selected as chairman of the Professional Practices Committee.

2015 will start with Liquid moving its Midlands offices into the centre of Birmingham. That should act as a catalyst for further growth and development.

My next learning and development challenges will be to become a Chartered Public Relations Practitioner and to continue upskilling in digital and social media. I’m also wondering whether 2015 will be the year to embark upon a PhD. 80,000 words doesn’t seem too daunting, but the reading, research and analysis underpinning it does. I’m trying to work out whether to undertake doctoral work in the broad media and communications field, or to narrow it be political public relations and campaigning. Any input would be gratefully received. If I embark on this course of study, I want to see it through to the end!

Whatever you seek to accomplish, personally or professionally this year, I wish you every success. Let’s make this year a purposeful one.

If you only read one book this Christmas…

My bookshelves heave with books. I cannot resist adding to my collection.

Whilst I’ve read some of all of them, I’ve only read all of some of them.

One notable exception is David Ogilvy’s ‘Confessions of an Advertising Man’, which I dip into often and have read through twice.

My battered old copy was printed a decade before I was born and bought for R30 in 2004 in a second hand bookstore on Cape Town’s Long Street. The proprietor told me that it was his favourite book. To this day, I don’t know whether he was telling the truth.

Ogilvy was a legend who lead a fascinating life. He was a chef in the Hotel Majestic in Paris, an Aga salesman in Scotland and worked at the British Embassy in Washington, before launching his own advertising agency.

This book is packed with wisdom, wit and business-savvy observations. Ogilvy was a copywriter, storyteller and wordsmith par excellence. I guarantee that you will benefit from his sagacity.

“In your day-to-day negotiations with clients and colleagues, fight for the kings, queens and bishops, but throw away the pawns. A habit of graceful surrender on trivial issues will make you difficult to resist on those rare occasions when you must stand and fight on a major issue.”


CIPR elections 2014

I’m delighted that Rob Brown will be the CIPR president-elect next year. He’s a visionary, dynamic and articulate champion of the PR profession.

I’m also excited about the prospect of continuing to serve on the Institute’s national Council. There’s much work left to be done. I’m eager to keep playing a role in the modernisation of the CIPR and making sure that it is increasingly relevant to its members, the wider PR industry, the business community and beyond.

My nominees are Rob Brown, Stephen Waddington and other champions of the PR industry, including former presidents Sally Sykes and Lis Lewis-Jones. I’m grateful for their support.

If you’re a CIPR member, I’d value your vote in September.

My statement of candidacy is here.



A quick guide to answering people who use social media to talk to your organisation

Social for The People

When going on holiday and handing over a social media account or talking to a new member of staff, I often show a rough ‘how to deal with people on social media guide’.

Hopefully, you or someone in your team will find this flow chart handy.

If you think it’s useful, you can download a PDF.Answering people on social media - vertical

03/06/14: Note – I forgot to say, this image is issued under a ‘steal, modify, scribble on or take the piss out of’ licence (that I just made up).  If you have a use for it, go ahead – it’s a present from me!

View original post

Professionalism in PR. Not optional.

I care passionately about the PR industry making the transition from craft to profession.

Professor Anne Gregory recently noted in the Global Alliance newsletter that ‘Having a relevant and contemporary qualification is the first step in any profession having self-respect and a ‘licence to operate’ in the world of work.’ She’s right. Check out her article here.

Qualifications and experience must go hand in hand, but the days of an amateur with a cellphone and laptop being able to describe himself as a PR expert – and still be seen as legitimate – have to go.

I’m looking forward to the first meeting of the CIPR’s professional development and membership committee tomorrow. I hope that we can agree a roadmap from student/trainee, through training, qualifications and continuing professional development to Accredited status for all and Chartered status for those operating at the pinnacle of PR.

The world is moving fast. We can’t afford for life-long learning to be a tick-box exercise. Horrid cliché. Must get myself on a writing refresher…