Having to reflect on the last 12 months as a comms professional is sure to bring on one enormous headache – especially if you work in local government. Whilst we are used to working under extreme pressure and deadlines every day, these unprecedented times have certainly put our skillset to the ultimate test.
by Liam McCallion
From the numerous announcements on service alterations, to capturing the community efforts from a safe distance at home and responding to those late night briefings that put your area into a new tier of restrictions, the list is endless – and that’s before I even talk about BAU.
So when I was asked to put together a 2020 round-up video of Oldham, I really didn’t know where to begin. So much has happened over the last year, there were simply too many great stories to tell.
From the hard work of our voluntary groups, to honouring the dedication of our key workers and highlighting the charitable efforts of our residents – how was I going to fit all of this into a reasonably timed video?
Now I am not usually a writer of poetry but on this occasion I thought it may help with the dilemma I had of trying to visualise the journey of our borough – and my hometown – during this difficult period.
It took me a good hour or so to jot down a very long list of things I thought I could mention, and then it took me another hour on top to cut it down into a sensible amount and put it into some kind of order that would make sense to those watching it.
Realising I had no chance of hitting that one minute video target on Instagram or the two minutes twenty on Twitter for that matter – I thought what the hell with timings and produced a poem than when recorded came to just over four minutes long – so Facebook and YouTube the platforms would be when it came to publishing.
After many hours of sourcing and editing the content, I finally put together this video which on reflection fills me with a great sense of pride.
It is truly heart-warming to have witnessed the community spirit of my hometown, which has shone through in the face of real adversity – and it has been an even bigger privilege to rave about it on our various channels throughout the last year.
I just hope in this video, I’ve done their great work some real justice.
Stay safe and take care everyone. May you all have a better 2021 and one which by this time next year will be a lot less manic!
Liam McCallion is comms officer at Oldham Council. You can say hello on Twitter at @LiamMcCallion23
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Image via The Laird of Oldham