On my consultancy and training travels around the UK I get to learn so much from other people. And so, I thought I would begin sharing some of it more regularly via the somewhat obvious blog post title of ’Things I learned this week’ 😊
I hope you like volume 14
by Darren Caveney
1. An immense UnAwards return
The 6th annual UnAwards closed for entries at midnight on Wednesday. It’s always an exciting night for me, watching entries land, seeing which categories are busiest and which organisations and teams are involved. Once again our fabulous comms community did not disappoint with a huge 340 entries landing. The last one at 11.59pm – you know who you are.
This must be the largest new treasure trove of comms, PR and marketing learning and insight anywhere in the UK right now. Many of the entries will go on to feature in a new resource bank being created by the good people at CAN Digital.
Now it’s always great to see entries in important categories like ‘best young comms pro’. This year I was chuffed to see so many entries into the all-new ‘supporting health and well being category’. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was popular and that is so heartening to see.
It’s an honour and a privilege for me to be able to run the UnAwards – they are not for profit and I can only do so due to the kind support of the official UnAwards partner, Granicus UK, and the official UnAwards sponsors, the Local Government Association, Orlo, CAN Digital, NUJ PRCC, Alive with Ideas, Perago Wales and, new for 2019, Ineo Digital.
Thank you all, I really do appreciate your support and know that a great many in our industry do too.
2. Can you fall in love with a chair?
One of the many things I go on about a lot is the importance of finding creative thinking space and time away from screens and distractions. Ideally this involves being outdoors but equally important is finding internal spaces which help us think, focus and even inspire us.
I moved into my new house four months ago and one of the challenges I set myself was to turn my rear reception room into my home office. If I’m not on the road training, consulting or mentoring I work from home. So, I’ve decided to practice what I preach and create a space for my own ideas to flourish.
The downside was the room in question was a wood chipped hell, stripped of character and features. So, I’ve busied myself putting that right. I’ve managed to find a cracking desk, which came out of a jewellers in Brum’s historic Jewellery Quarter, a reclaimed original fireplace and I’ve even got a decent sized blister from stripping about eight layers of wallpaper from said wood chip suite.
And then I stumbled upon a chair. A little beauty from the 1970s. And yes of course it’s brown. Ha, we only had the really naff brown 70s furniture when I was a kid.
Now in truth I didn’t need a chair. But I found myself keep checking it out online, which isn’t really like me. I imagined how it would look in my new office. I think I watched too many episodes of Mad Men back in the day and hanker for a Don Draper-style office complete with drinks cabinet and everything (now there’s a thought… )
Heart versus head often sees head winning, right? Well we all need a little bit of heart in our lives too. So, stuff it, I bought the chair (pictured above) and I am justifying it to myself by kidding myself I’ll have some smart business decisions whilst sat in it. And yes, I do love it just a little bit.
3. Being Bercow
Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, stood down yesterday and I for one will miss him. The last three years of UK politics has increased our knowledge in so many areas. And this includes the Speaker’s role. I’m not sure I’d quite realised how important and influential it was in those calmer days before the B word existed.
Anyone who uses the word ‘chuntering’ quite so often gets my vote for speaker.
Ever chaired a tricky meeting? It’s a real skill isn’t it. So, imagine trying to manage 650 MPs in the House of Commons. That’s one hell of a meeting to run. I can see Bercow ending up on TV for sure. And whatever he does it’ll be easier than his old job.
Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and owner of creative communicators ltd
*The new comms2point0 eMag*
The first edition of the all-new comms2point0 eMag was launched last week and hundreds of you have already downloaded the new Comms Grid resource I created with those clever people at Alive with Ideas
If you want to receive the second edition you can sign up to it right here.
image by me