Comms, cake, camping and chat

One Saturday recently, it became clear that my tweetstream has a lot of public sector people for whom communicating is a key part of their job because so many of them were attending CommsCamp13 in Birmingham. Of course, I had heard quite a lot about this unconference because I happen to follow the three people who organised it: Dan Slee, Darren Caveney and Ann Kempster, and various other people who were involved (not least, the Official Cake Monitor, Kate Bentham).

I was unable to follow most of the event’s tweets and live video feed due to being busy doing other things, but it seemed that people were enjoying the day and getting a lot out of it. It must have been a properly posh sort of unconference because they had Lloyd Davis facilitating and Paul Clarke photographing it (check out his CommsCamp13 set on Flickr and see some of the Weekly Blog Club contributors). I hope that we will see more CommsCamp13 posts in Week 10 when the Official Cake Monitor is looking after Weekly Blog Club but we had three to start us off this week, two from Dan Slee – COMMSCAMP: Die Press Release! Die! Die! And six other things PR people need to know… and #COMMSCAMP13: My 20 wishes and hopes list – and one from Kate Bentham: Why I Loved CommsCamp13.

Also on the subject of public sector communication, Derek Barron looked at whether discussions on social media, specifically tweetchats, could be regarded as an element of Continuing Professional Development for nurses and midwives in PREP requirements and #tag chats. Jo Smith turned her attention to an equally but very different tricky problem in  communicating: Could council budgets be better (presented)? Her advice would be useful to many in public sector and charities who have to do presentations on other topics too.

Continuing the public sector comms theme, Carolyne Mitchell was focusing on proof reading her council’s magazine and shared some of the contents with us in Read all about it (the road idea interested me, as the bad weather has opened up yet more holes in our roads), and she shared a chocolate brownie recipe. There was more reading in Ben Whitehouse’s contribution In praise of reading aloud (and some tips for the fearful) which set off memories of poems that were read to me when I was very young.

How healthcare professionals in New South Wales support young people with mental health issues through education was the focus of Norma Clark’s two blog posts this week: Reflections from Sydney and Squeezing the Juice out of Orange . . .. Norma is visiting there from Fife, Scotland to find out how they do things in New South Wales. Back in Scotland, on the Ayrshire Health blog, Dr Philip Korsah was considering Reanimation – Defining Quality Health Care. I think that many of us who have ever had acute conditions that needed a stay in hospital would have very much liked to be reanimated.

Although high quality work should always be a goal for all of us, sometimes we need to recognise that we will never get anything done if we continually strive for perfection (a lesson with which I still struggle!). Chris Bolton’s post this week – Good Enough is Good Enough, the law of diminishing returns – certainly made me think.

The post that I found most surprising and heartwarming this week was A Study in Mustard by Karen Hart, in which she relates how one online forum about a radio serial had so many other unexpected and deep effects on people’s lives, including her own (she found her husband there).

There was plenty of colour in Richard Overy’s picture post this week: West German Beauty. Although I did not mention it, Germany is one of the places said to be the origin of the subject of my own post, Soul food – scouse, a hot dish that is an essential part of my cultural heritage and links Liverpool to continental Europe. Phil Jewitt was seeing a link between the other side of the Pennines and a more exotic place in From Yemen to Yorkshire, and brought us back to innovation in public sector communicating. I am looking forward to reading more about what they are doing in Leeds City Council and how it works in the next few months.

Thank you very much to all those who have read, Liked, commented on, followed this blog (and our members’ blogs), tweeted and retweeted our posts as well as to those who have contributed posts. If you want to join in, more about how to can be found on our About page. If you want to volunteer to look after Weekly Blog Club for a week, do have a read of what is involved in Admin Info. It does take time but the others who have tried it so far have always seemed to enjoy it.

The general [entirely optional] theme for March is women because this is the month during which women’s history and issues are the focus internationally. Sunshine and spring flowers might provide you with other inspiration? The lovely Kate Bentham is now taking over for Week 10 (you are in good hands). Enjoy your week – and do remember to write!


Janet E Davis

Summary of Week 9 posts.

Read all about it by Carolyne Mitchell.

In praise of reading aloud (and some tips for the fearful) by Ben Whitehouse.

Good Enough is Good Enough, the law of diminishing returns by Chris Bolton.

PREP requirements and #tag chats by Derek Barron.

Reflections from Sydney by Norma Clark.

Squeezing the Juice out of Orange . . . by Norma Clark.

COMMSCAMP: Die Press Release! Die! Die! And six other things PR people need to know… by Dan Slee.

Reanimation – Defining Quality Health Care by Dr Philip Korsah on the Ayrshire Health blog.

Could council budgets be better (presented)? by Jo Smith of Vindicat PR.

A Study in Mustard by Karen JK Hart.

From Yemen to Yorkshire by Phil Jewitt.

West German Beauty by Richard Overy.

Why I Loved CommsCamp13 by Kate Bentham.

#COMMSCAMP13: My 20 wishes and hopes list by Dan Slee.

Soul food – scouse by Janet E Davis.

Weekly Blog Club was set up in early January 2012 to encourage people to blog regularly, and especially to encourage those working in and with the public sector, charities and voluntary organisations in the UK to find their own 'voice' through writing.

Posted in #WeeklyBlogClub summary, cake/caek, charitable trusts, communicating, communities, cooking, cultural heritage, digital technology, education, family, health, ideas/innovation, national government, photography, public sector, radio, social media, storytelling, Third sector, unconferences, working practices

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