Comms pride, respecting holidays, telling the truth:
The good the bad and the ugly of our weird and wonderful comms world.
by Darren Caveney
1. Comms Pride
This week I’ve finished one large comms review, begun another, and also judged some award entries for the NHS Communicate Awards.
I’m very fortunate to have the chance to see first-hand what hard-working teams are delivering, and I always feel proud of their achievements because I know how hard the job can be. And I never had to manage a team through a global pandemic so my admiration leaps an extra notch for everyone whose work I have looked at recently.
One of the things I’ve spotted is a real jump in the quality of evaluation reports. Now I’m a sucker for an infographical report, partly because I am too lazy to read 10 pages of A4 now. They can really paint a rich picture of the work delivered and, in the process, improve perceptions of comms teams and their work. What I have seen recently has lifted the bar and it’s great that so many teams now use this approach.
I’m a stuck record on the importance of reporting back. You know the “if we don’t tell people what we’ve done how will they know?” thing. I’m not sharing any revelations here. But it’s as true now as it was 20-years ago.
I’m going to see if I can share some of these examples more widely so keep them peeled here on the comms2point0 site.
2. Holiday should mean holiday
On a less positive note I have seen and heard of quite a few examples recently of senior management contacting comms people who are off away on annual leave. This just isn’t right.
Yes, there will be times when there is a genuine emergency and a call needs to be made or an email needs to be sent. Comms people I know wouldn’t have an issue with this. But what I am talking about is non-urgent, business as usual stuff.
After the past 18 months the least comms pros should expect is a week off free of work interruptions. It’s unnecessary, sets a poor leadership example, and is doing nothing for the mental health and wellbeing of individuals.
It’s always tricky calling out your boss so there should be agreed policies on these behaviours and practices, and which HR teams should be leading on. If it needs a new policy great, create one, agree it and everyone stick to it.
It’s all very well saying that mental health and wellbeing is important but the evidence in some organisations is actually showing that this is merely lip service.
Come on, we need to do better than this. And you wonder why people leave jobs?
3. “Just because you say something…
… doesn’t mean it’s true”
It’s become a favourite line of mine in recent years.
Blame Brexit and its bag of lies.
And any number of other things to want to shake a stick from the past 18 months.
But in recent weeks there have been other examples closer to home which have angered, disappointed and frustrated me in equal measure.
Make of that what you will.
I shall remain professional and say no more.
Well I’ll say it again. For added effect:
Just because you say something, doesn’t mean it’s true.
Look out for a new line of comms2point0 T-shirts with that emblazoned across the chest.
I promise to return less grumpy next time 😆
Stay safe, all x
Darren Caveney is creator and owner of comms2point0 and creative communicators ltd
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Mug via the very kind Josephine Graham x