Let’s Stick Together

July 8, 2015 by No Comments | Category Our work

It’s not every day you’re paid to find out who was a child model, who has a statue of Elvis as their twitter profile pic and who interviewed Frankie Goes to Hollywood for their school paper. But relax (sign of my age?), I was doing some really serious and important work on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Yes, I was at the Scottish Communicators’ Network, Collaborating for Success event on Wednesday 24 June. All of the revelations above were part of our people bingo warm up exercise, led by Gregor Urquhart @gregorurq (the person with over 1,000 followers on twitter it turns out…)

Scottish Communicators Network
“Collaborating for Success”

Around 60 members of the network from across the public sector in Scotland came together to explore how public sector communicators collaborate and what will help us do more of it and do it better.

Our pre-event survey reported that over 80% of those in the room worked collaboratively and over 90% said collaboration was worth the effort. A good start then.

Our keynote speaker, Chief Superintendent Ivor “Never Mind the Buzzcocks” Marshall, gave us plenty to think about with his TV themed slides. Ignore the jargon – collaboration isn’t new to us. The importance of shared values, putting people first and not being frightened to show “competent vulnerability” were the key messages I took away. Ivor’s honest reflection that collaboration can be messy and ambiguous was referred back to throughout the day.

Other speakers inspired us with case studies from across Scotland. Clare Smith @clarebearalert explained why WWI commemorations are still relevant to today’s audiences. Patsy Convery @patsyconvery told us about the incredible reach and engagement achieved through cross-sector collaboration and community involvement on the ambitious Generation exhibition. Andrew Walker @ajwalker73 spoke about the importance of a strong, single narrative to effective joint communications on Commonwealth Games safety and security.

The presentations were refreshing, honest and had some common themes: the importance of putting audiences first, a strong central narrative, leaving egos at the door and pooling our collective talents and resources.

Members also shared their own views on what collaboration is all about, why it matters and how it can be supported. Those who couldn’t join us could tweet.  There’s more material from the day on the Scottish Communicators Network (SCN) site.

All of this will feed into our review of how the SCN can enable collaboration on public sector communications. I’ve taken some great learning points away from the day that will help us to help members make the network their own. Join up if you’ve not done so already, get tweeting and remember what Charles Darwin said “Those who have learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed”.


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