What’s in a name?

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A debate raged on twitter last month about whether internal communication should be called internal PR. Most of the replies were: No, No, No… Everyone hated the idea, were repulsed at the connection to PR, which most consider to be broadcast communication aimed at selling.

Read more about it here from Jenni Wheller, Committee chair for CIPR Inside.

It got me thinking too about how I label my business, what is PR, what is corporate communication, and what is communication. I wonder whether the industry will ever be able to shake its poor reputation. What a thing for the industry that is responsible for preserving and promoting the reputations of big business! Can it solve its own reputation crisis? Who will do the PR for the PRs?

(more…)

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#thebigyak – my three things

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On Saturday 28 June, I joined nearly 150 internal communicators and headed off to #thebigyak organised by The IC crowd, and facilitated by Benjamin Ellis.

Yes it was the weekend and yes we all went to this event because we love what we do. You could not find a more motivated bunch of communicators than those willing to take a whole day in a weekend and go off and talk shop.

The format of the day was an ‘unconference’ which puts the agenda in the (hairy) hands of the delegates. (more…)

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Brilliant People, Amazing Culture – All About People

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On Thursday 5 and Friday 6 June a group of like-minded people gathered in a seafront hotel in Bournemouth for the All About People conference. I find the culture of organisations and the shift to people focussed business fascinating, so I joined the event and I’ll share some of the insights from the two days here. Andy Swann, the creator of the event first wanted to just bring a few people together to share ideas and have some fun, but it soon grew into the All About People event. In Andy’s words from his welcome: “I’m not going to tell you want to expect from #aapcon14, the opportunity is there to create your own experience. Informal yes, idealistic maybe, human certainly.” And that nicely sums up exactly what the event turned out to be. (more…)

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All about people, work and workplaces

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I spent 5 and 6 June 2014 in the company of some really brilliant people in my home town of  Bournemouth. The All About People

What was the creative brief for this image?
What was the creative brief for this image?

Conference, organised by Andy Swann, Head of Ideas and Mistakes at My Amazing Team @AndySwann was really inspiring. There was so much great stuff covered, my head is still buzzing with ideas to take to my clients and beyond. It was great to see Bournemouth hosting an innovative and provocative event. As a local passionate about great communication, internal comms and the way we work it was a great opportunity. (more…)

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#ioiclive14 conference – part two

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To follow from the part one blog post of #ioiclive14 here’s part two which I’ve written for cirinside.co.uk and sharing here. It covers the introvert extrovert debate, neuroscience, Bupa and the extra mile, and Peer 1 Hosting and their approach to providing an environment and culture that enables engagement to flourish… (more…)

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#ioiclive14 conference – part one

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On Friday 2 May, 100 plus internal communication professionals gathered at #ioiclive14 in Brighton. I was really looking forward to the day. I love learning and taking the time to meet new people who who share a love of comms.

I was there with two hats, one my own, and one for CIPR Inside the specialist group for internal comms at the CIPR.

In the true sense of sharing and partnership across institutions, CIPR Inside’s chair, Jenni Wheller was one of the speakers on the day and was involved in the conference organisation. (more…)

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Absent friends

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Wow it’s been a crazy few months. I’ve been working on some really exciting stuff, and just recently enjoyed a bit of quieter time to recharge my batteries. It’s that time which has allowed me to re-focus on what’s important to me. Afterall time’s precious, none of us has enough of it, and numerous clichés remind us of time trickling away before our eyes. (more…)

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Internal Communications Insight

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Katie Marlow profile Oct 2013

Back in November, Denise Cox from Newsweaver invited me to answer a few questions about my insight on internal communication.

Here’s the article:

In an ongoing series, I invite internal communications experts to blog about their thoughts on the state of our industry, challenges we are facing – and what they think are essential in order to face the challenges. Today’s blog post contribution is from Katie Marlow. Katie’s consultancy Little Bird Communications, helps businesses and organisations tell their story. (more…)

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Three years on

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It’s my third anniversary of working for myself this August. It’s been an exciting time and I’ve learned a lot freelancing from my home office in Bournemouth.

I posted a while ago about three little things that stood out for me from 2012. They were: Trusting your instinct, Getting the balance right and Taking satisfaction and rewarding yourself for a job well done. (more…)

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Did it work?

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When I last posted, I had about three posts on the go. This is one of those posts, all of which got totally derailed by lots of exciting work. So, at last here’s a quick and simple run down of why you should measure and a list of useful metrics to help measure communication results on a budget.

It is always good to know where you are heading. Even if you decide to change direction, at least if you have a strategy, you can adapt your plan to suit your aim. (more…)

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What is a communication strategy?

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So often we can get caught up writing the editorial, tweeting, designing websites, creating events or any one of the miriad of tactics available to a communication professional, we can forget the importance of a sound and effective communication strategy. I’ve had a few conversations recently with other communication professionals about strategies and plans so I’ve put my thoughts together here. (more…)

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Beautiful questions

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It was raining. That, combined with the bad traffic out of Bournemouth meant I was running late to get to Southampton. I hate being late. It wasn’t a beautiful evening.

But it became more enjoyable. I’m so glad I made it to the CIPR Wessex ‘Creativity Workshop’ with Andy Green.

Andy is an author, international conference speaker, brand consultant, trainer and facilitator. (more…)

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Will you rise to Harold’s Challenge ?

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Life Education Wessex is a brilliant local charity which provides vital education to children in local schools. It teaches children in helping children make healthy choicesDevon, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset, aged between 3 – 13 about health and food, and the risks associated with drinking alcohol, smoking and taking drugs in an age appropriate format.

In April it launched a brand new fundraising initiative, ‘Harold’s Challenge’. I’m doing my bit to help this charity by giving them my time and expertise to promote the challenge as well as undertaking a challenge for them later this year. (more…)

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Winning awards

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I promised I’d write about the #insidestory awards for internal communication back in my last blog post in February. It was an extremely busy month, culminating in the awards ceremony on 28th February. As a freelancer working in a range of communications it was great to be asked to work on this national project for CIPR Inside, the internal communication sectoral group of the CIPR. (more…)

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Learning more

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One of my three things for 2013 was to trust my instinct. I’ve been freelancing in Bournemouth for a little over two years now and as a qualified professional with lots of different experience from my employed work across public and private sectors I’ve been able to attract some exciting work and interesting clients. But I wanted to give my business and myself some focus – a direction for my career. I’ve felt for a little while I wanted to add a specialism to my skills and that I wanted to return to some study to get a deeper knowledge. (more…)

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Pop-up PR and a pint

Last year I created 'Pop-up PR and a pint', a chance for anyone working in comms and PR across Dorset to meet and share ideas, challenges and learning. I'm planning to do more later this year. Business is really busy right now which is great for me as a freelancer…

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Why?

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Why, is one of my favourite words. Why? Because, it’s small, and yet so powerful.

WHY???

It’s a word we use effortlessly as a child. My two children are relentless in their questioning. Why this, why that… I can get quite frustrated, but not because they are inquisitive, but rather that it means I have to find and explain the answer.  This can sometimes be quite difficult when you’ve lived with that fact for so long you just accept it. Does anyone know why the sky is blue? (more…)

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Three little things…

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Last year brought me some challenges and many exciting and surprising new opportunities in my freelance career. It was the year when I gained some exciting new business and started working with some truly brilliant people. I also had to make some tough choices, and still do about the direction of my career. Three things stand out for me from 2012.

Trust your instinct, was one of the most important things I was reminded to do. (more…)

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Happy Christmas

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I wish all my clients, PR friends, contacts and all-round brilliant people I’ve worked with this year, a truly sparkling Christmas and a great new year.

2012 seems to be hurtling to a close and what an exciting and eventful year it’s been. Thank you to all of you for making this my most exciting year in freelance PR yet.
I’m really looking forward to working with you more in 2013, and I’m hoping it will be even better than the last.

(more…)

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