3 things I learned this week – volume 26
A snap round-up of a week in the wonderful world of comms.
by Darren Caveney
1. IRL is back, baby
This week has felt a little like those old pre-covid days. Hitting the road, running training workshops in person and spending time with comms people to work through problems together. It’s been rather lovely.
Remembering what in person events entailed was a trip down memory lane too – everything from the polishing of shoes to the remembering of leads to connect to projectors.
And then today I was able to shoot the breeze with two sharp minds over a tasty (decaf) coffee. It was non-rushed chat about work and actually some personal stuff. I probably learned more about my two coffee shop guests today than in all of the previous meet ups.
I wonder what the real appetite for IRL events now is in our profession. At Comms Unplugged it was clear to all that we loved being back together to spend some quality time with comms pals new and old.
But if I put on an event at a venue what would be the appetite for attendees to come along in person instead of staring at a laptop screen? The truth is we don’t fully know do we. Many people I speak to are more than up for it. But will their employers be happy to invest in a train ticket and, in some instances, a cheap hotel room?
Zoom and Teams have been proper life savers and I am very grateful that they have helped us through a tumultuous 18 months. But this week has reminded me if it were ever needed that there’s
2. Facebook. A reminder.
I’ve said for a long time now that organisations should own their own platforms, invest in them and make them as good as they can be – websites, emails, ezines. And that putting too many eggs into platforms we have little control over is a risky approach. I used to (only slightly) joke about what would happen if a foreign state took Facebook down and a key comms channel was lost?
Tuesday’s Facebook outage was a really good example of this. Yes it was only for six hours but that will have been an expensive six hours for some. And a worrying time their comms teams. Although many enjoyed its disappearance!
It became pretty much the leading news story for 24 hours and teams and organisations will have begun to increasingly worry as the outage went on in what has been a pretty bad week for Mr Zuckerberg.
Was it a one off?
Who knows. I gave up trying to make predictions some time ago.
But it wouldn’t be a surprise. So if you feel your organisation relies too heavily on Facebook it might be time to review your options.
3. Operation decaf
A few years back I tried to give up coffee. The resultant headaches that week were quite shocking and so I went straight back to the coffee, never to try decaf again.
Fast forward to last month and I found myself listening to a Matt Walker podcast about improving your sleep. My sleep has been a bit pants since lockdown one. No particular reason. But it’s become a definite pattern.
No prizes for guessing that caffeine is the number one cause of poor sleep. Now I knew about the advice of not drinking coffee after noon. But what I didn’t know was that drinking a coffee at noon would see a quarter of it still left in your system at midnight. And that will absolutely affect your sleep.
Matt – who is a professor of neuroscience then gave out the pretty grave statistic that if you’re not getting 8-9 hour’s sleep on a regular basis each night you risk dying prematurely. Wow.
That was the prompt for me to try a switch to decaf.
I’m into week 5 and after a slightly fuzzy head the first week I’ve not had any headaches. Reducing down to one to two regular coffees a day in the past six months has helped me I think, rather than going completely cold turkey as per my previous experiment.
I’ve noticed a slight improvement in my sleep. Not massive but a little better. So that’s good.
And I would say there are pros and cons. The downside is you don’t get that caffeine pick me up which I had come to rely on. On the plus side I’m no longer getting those lulls where the body is asking for its next hit.
The trick is going to a proper coffee shop for a decaf. It makes all the difference and a really good one can taste just as a nice as a regular flat white. And I never ever thought I would say that.
Stay safe, all x
Darren Caveney is creator and owner of comms2point0 and creative communicators ltd
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