PRide awards 2017

I'm very pleased to have won a Silver PRide award on 17 November 2017. The category was Outstanding Independent Practitioner, within my CIPR region, the South of England and Channel Islands. I've never entered awards as an independent consultant before. I knew it was about time I did. After all,…

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smileexpo 17 – my notes

Last Tuesday saw the latest smileexpo event in London (23 May 17) and I was lucky enough to attend. As ever it was a packed agenda, with over 100 people in attendance to chat with too. Here are some of my notes from the day.

Setting the scene

Consider this – when did you last email a friend? And yet at work we still rely heavily on email. But it is often over used and becomes a burden stopping us from working to our most effective. Then consider this - 50% of the work force will comprise millennials by 2020. So business has to get ready for this – it’s only three years away and if we aren’t using email in our personal lives millennials certainly aren’t.

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Millennials and your business

I was born to boomers, I’m a mother to centennials and a generation X myself. When you consider that our sense of ‘purpose’ is defined by the time we are 13, it’s no wonder we all find it hard to understand each other’s viewpoints at times. Just think about being 13 in the 1950s, 1980s, 2000s and 2020 and beyond for a minute… The contrast is huge, with different experiences, technologies and work. A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to go to ‘Simon Sinek in conversation with Reggie Yates’. They discussed purpose, millennials in the workplace and some of the criticisms following that now infamous video.

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Fear and the damage it causes

Every day people go to work. They turn up, they do what they feel they should do, but not always what they could do. They follow the rules, occasionally with good results, sometimes with OK outcomes, other times with poor or even damaging results. Fear can be at the centre of this, unknowingly to us, it holds us back every day from doing things. Some recent examples of how fear manifests itself in work.

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Love learning all about communication and engagement?

While writing a blog about continuing professional development (CPD) and professional memberships for communicators this week I had a small revelation about myself. Not only do I love learning, but I actually ‘need’ to keep learning. I don’t mean ‘need’ to with regard to keeping my communication expertise and knowledge up to date, that’s a given. What I mean is, I realised I’m happiest when I am learning something new. Working independently in communication allows me to learn in two fundamental ways:

One

I take charge, fund and make my own time for my learning and development by working independently. I go to the events I want to attend, read up on the topics I want to learn, join webinars and more as my schedule allows to develop my knowledge and skills (which of course my clients benefit from too).

Two

Because I get to research, analyse and understand my clients’ businesses in a deep way I’m always learning something new about the businesses I work with and finding solutions to their challenges. Good communicators spend time learning about the business strategy, stakeholders, culture and purpose. This is essential to help clients and employers to communicate and listen effectively to be more successful and I really enjoy this process.

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Getting Chartered

At the end of January I put myself through a rigorous Chartered Assessment day. No one made me do it. No one paid for me to do it. I did it for myself to prove something to myself.

What is it?

The CIPR is the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. As a Chartered body it can reward members with Chartered status when they prove they have reached a senior level of professionalism in their work. Just as accountants, surveyors, engineers and many other professions have Chartered assessments to demonstrate their ability and commitment to their professions. For years, getting Chartered with CIPR involved researching and writing an academic paper then presenting it to a panel of senior professionals. It was difficult and a little off-putting for many. So the CIPR reviewed its approach and designed an assessment that was still professionally rigorous but more accessible to everyone, no matter what their route to working in PR and communication. The new Chartered process started in September 2015 with the first cohort of eight successfully passing the assessment in November that year. There are currently 168 Chartered Practitioners of the 10,000+ CIPR members.

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Little Bird is branching out

It’s been over six years since I started my comms consultancy. And for much of that time I’ve been working with CIPR Inside providing communication consultancy, running the #insidestory awards and continually reviewing and evolving the awards since we launched them in 2012. On Monday 16 Jan '17 we held a brilliant judging day as part of the fifth #insidestory awards.  I loved meeting the entrants and judges and hearing their stories. Everyone enjoyed the day. But now it’s time for me to branch out more with my business. So that judging day was my last task to support the group. The committee are all set for the party when the big news of who wins will be announced. I’m coming too. Just try and stop me going to the zoo!!!

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#my3words – Voice

Each new year brings a chance to review, refresh and re-direct your business and your profession.   At new year Chris Brogan, CEO of The Media Group invites you to set yourself three words to guide your success for the year ahead. I subscribe to his emails. It's one of a handful of subscriptions that I enjoy and read. I like Chris's approach to business and his writing style. After a busy 2016 building my business, growing my network, learning and delivering a host of projects with a range of clients, I wanted to start 2017 with a renewed focus. When Chris's #my3words email landed in my inbox, the timing was spot on. I chose #my3words for 2017 without hesitation. In no particular order, they are:

Voice

Moment

Human

These words are important to me and I've chosen them because they each have multi-faceted meanings and influences for me in both my professional and personal goals for 2017 and beyond. I'll explain why I've chosen each word in turn this week, starting with voice here.

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