3 things I learned this week – volume 28

A snap round-up of a week in the wonderful world of comms.

by Darren Caveney

Someone close to me had a final interview this week for a role. She was up against two other candidates, one an internal.

She prepped for days, we practiced interview questions. Her presentation was great and she left them with a quality handout too.

The hour long interview, she said, couldn’t have gone any better.

I hoped it was in the bag.

They said they would let her know later the same day.

So, she waited and waited and waited for the call. It didn’t come.

Then she found a crappy email in her inbox. With little to no credible or understandable feedback on why she didn’t get the nod. Nowhere to go next in terms of constructive learning.

So I dug out and reread to her this belter of a post by Jill Spurr on this subject. ‘We regret to inform you’.

It absolutely nailed and called that moment and experience.

Now we have all been there and failed at the final hurdle of an interview. It does smart. But if it’s dealt with professionally and with grace, empathy and, dare I say, manners it can still be a useful exercise 

Not to call after that investment in time is just plain rude. You have to make these calls. It’s your job as a recruiter. It’s reputationally damaging not to too. It’s a small world. What goes around and all that.

My learning

Step up and don’t send a piss poor email. I know that all good comms people would absolutely make that call. But it surprising and disappointing in equal measure that this still happens.

P.S. the internal candidate got it.


Trust. Does it matter anymore?

Patterson-gate this week painted a pretty dreadful picture of the UK constitution which governs us. Just as bad, if not worse, than peak expenses scandal for me.

Reputationally it leaves the image of Westminster and the way it runs itself in tatters. Which is unfair, of course, as there are many decent MPs amongst the 650 in the house. And it should be remembered that only one party actually voted in favour of changing the rules on the way in which such matters are scrutinised and presided on.

But like all tars it will stain all MPs for a percentage of the general public. "One rule for them and one rule for us", “They’re all as bad as each other”, so the mantras go.

Oh course, within an hour of me writing this post the leader of the house announced a U-turn, reverse, collapse – use whichever phrase you prefer – because, shock horror, there was an outcry on social media. That probably didn’t change anything but the front page headlines on the usually supportive Daily Mail the morning after may have done.

And two hours after that Owen Patterson announced he was stepping down in response to the Government U-turn. Imagine being one of the cabinet members sent out to bat with the media for Owen Patterson and the vote just hours earlier.

For many the damage has already been done and trust in the UK Government will be somewhere near the bottom of the scale of further weakened/broken.

My learning

I’ll put on a wager that the whole sorry tale doesn’t make a jot of difference to the next set of opinion polls.

Comms: the career choice for the easily bored

And, finally, let’s finish the week in up-beat mode.

One of the reasons I have loved working in comms all these years is the constant variety to what we do and need to do. I have a slight weakness for getting bored easily so it was essential for me to latch onto a career where that would never happen.

Bingo – welcome to comms!

This working week has been a true blend of variety and the cliché ‘no two days the same’ really has been a truism. I’ve finished a really big comms review, talked about potential new projects, bid for new training workshops, met a mentoree for a (decaf) coffee catch-up and even talked about the potential for some overseas work next year.

Time will tell on what will emerge from the week’s activities.

But one thing’s for sure – I’m never bored doing what I do. And for that I am very grateful.

My learning

If I’ve spoken to you this week thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow.

Stay safe, all x

Darren Caveney is creator and owner of comms2point0 and creative communicators ltd

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Image via Tullio Saba

Original source – comms2point0

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