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FEBRUARY LOVE EDITION!


How's it going creative comms pro?

Did you have one of the winter bugs going around?  I had THEM ALL. 

Knocked me for six, they did. But I'm recovering now, thankfully. 

This edition about sharing the love for creative comms. 

BREAKING NEWS: I love you!

For reading this newsletter, sharing your comments and ideas, and taking part in the #commmscreative challenge.

See this issue's cartoon for more on this story.

You are an octopus
 

I'm doing a rebrand of my business at the moment.

And thanks to you, lovely readers, I'm thinking of making my new logo an octopus.

Because WE are octopuses.

Stay with me...

So much of our creativity is about being playful, curious and clever.

This is also a description you could use about the octopus.

They've been known to use tools, and because of their intelligence they get bored easily, if not stimulated.

Often, to do our work well we juggle a zillion ideas, tasks, perspectives and duties. The octopus has eight arms.

But the real zinger is this: we have a lot of heart.

And the octopus has three hearts. THREE BLOODY HEARTS!

We are octopuses, people!

Anyway, that's why it's going to be my new logo I think.

Soon 'Social For The People' will be no more, I'll be going by the Hel Reynolds at helreynolds.com and all training will take place with the Comms Creative College.

That'll be a lovely place with resources, training and all sorts.

So the look and feel will be refreshed soon, and already I've rewritten some of the copy on my website to reflect a new focus of face to face and online training that helps us become more creative, fearless and proud.

 

Recent creative
comms stuff I liked
  

 

Aeroméxico's DNA discount 

This is not a campaign that will convince people to change their opinions on race and politics.

But imagine if your target audience was US citizens who might want to fly to Mexico one day.

This messaging might be 'just the ticket'. Watch the video below 👇

 

 


It's is a creative way to show some people you share their worldview, and that's guaranteed to get shared.

 

The gender reveal lasagna

You may hate this, but it is fun and attention grabbing.

Before I start, let's just say that I wouldn't have a gender reveal party myself. But I still like this.

 

 

I am now aware there is a fast food chain based in the US and Italy, which specialises in lasagna.

We don't have Villa Italian Kitchen in the UK, but we should have!

So, without knowing the strategy behind it, it could be read as:

a) A standard pop culture scaffold

Taking a trend or cultural phenomenon that people  are talking about and building your brand or service around it.

Other gender reveal story hooks have come from beauty salons doing gender reveal nails, bakeries doing cakes, salons doing hair colours that can be covered in a hat until the big reveal.

We try this technique on my Comms Creative Content Programme, and it's a guaranteed way to get people talking (or groaning).

b) A social media influencer campaign

Knowing journos can't resist the need to sarcastically tweet about press releases that seem utterly bananas. Take a look at the Twitter chat about it.

What do you think about this story - crap or genius?

Join my best training programme yet!


Practical online training on making more engaging social media content, for busy comms and marketing pros.

If you:

  • Are expected to create social media content on corporate and dry topics, and then make them go viral
     
  • Have a workload that means you don’t always have time to make great content
     
  • Get given things to work on with no advance notice

This 12-week online programme will teach you how to make your organisation's content engaging!

Take your skills to the next level in only two hours per week.

You'll learn my formula for getting more engagement, and learn each step you need to become a social media create content that is irresistible to your audience.

 

⇒ Live weekly interactive tutorials with me

⇒ Weekly homework tasks with feedback

⇒ Downloadable guides, templates and workbooks

⇒ A supportive online study group

⇒ A special goodie bag to help you study

⇒ Pass the course for the Comms Creative Content Expert Certificate 
 

Term begins on April 30th 2019!

Join the waitlist

Creative tip of the month

Attention grabbing images for home feeds

I first saw the magnificent Glen Ocsko share this. 

Maybe on email it doesn't work so well, but I read this on Facebook exactly as it was designed to be read, and so did lots of people I shared it with. 

It's a useful lesson in how to people's attention as they scroll through busy social media home feeds on their phones. 
 
This might feel a bit literal, but have a go at making a graphic that follows this structure:
  • Main text in the centre, highlighted and big
  • Under that, smaller text
  • Under that even smaller text
Then share it with the comment you want people to read last.

Beware, that this square shape is great from Facebook and Linkedin, but on Twitter you want 2:1 ration for images to be displayed properly in home feeds.

Share your experiements with us all on Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram or the Facebook group with the #CommsCreative hashtag.

@CommsCartoons


 

Special guest Q&A - Hayley Lewis 

 

Our guest in this issue has the most fascinating perspective on comms.

Hayley Lewis is clever and unusual in that she has this impressive ability of being both incredibly likeable and also baddass.

So hello Hayley!


What should readers know about you?
 
Hi. I'm Hayley (aka @Haypsych) - a chartered psychologist, consultant, coach and university lecturer.

Before setting up my own business I spent 11 glorious years in localgov where I had a variety of roles, including head of comms (where I first met, Hel. Yay!).
 
My work is split between executive coaching; team building; management and leadership development; and culture change strategy and delivery.

To say I love what I do would be an understatement.

What are your creative strengths when it comes to comms?

My main creative strength is the ability to simplify the needlessly complex. (Yes, I'm talking about you, academic journals and big consultancies!)

I'm passionate about sharing tools and research via social media which could help managers and leaders and do this via my sketchnotes and blog posts.

I also develop creative activities when training managers, running workshops or delivering lectures to my postgrad students.

Who is your creative hero? 

I've been following Sue B Zimmerman on Instagram and YouTube. She's a Bostonian so very direct and a bit of a potty mouth, which I quite like.

Her expertise is using Instagram to build communities and create a thriving business. She uses herself as a guinea pig with Insta and shares this with her followers so they can learn.


What is the piece of creative work you’ve seen that you wish you’d done, or that you’d like to see more of in comms?  

I just wish that public sector orgs could be as unfettered and free to be funny, direct and provocative as needed.

A lot of the social media feeds I follow are still a bit corporate and a bit broadcast.

This means that organisations like Doncaster Council stand out with their cheekiness.

And I'm still in awe of the Lidl response to the John Lewis/Elton collab.

What advice would you give to a comms professional to help them tap into their creativity? 

Make room for 'white space' in your diary.

I've been doing research into the power of not filling every minute of every day with meetings, report writing and tasks.

The more stressed we are the less able we are to be creative and solve problems. It's okay to take time out and think.

Go for a coffee. Go for a walk. You'll be a more creative expert and leader for it.

What projects are you working on right now?

I'm developing my first online course for managers. The various modules will cover the things that come up the most in individual and group coaching sessions.

I'm also writing a book (working title 'Seven deadly sins of management').

And I've got a few projects with clients - including a culture change programme with a government quango; a programme of team development for a university IT team, using my High Performing Team © framework; and a management development prog for a local authority. 

Sounds awesome, Hayley!  And awesome is what I have come to expect from you. I can't wait to read your book! Cheers for sharing your wisdom with us.

This month's #CommsCreative Challenge

 

Remember the three rules of the #CommsCreative challenge

 

1. The thing you create doesn’t need to be brilliant, it’s about playing. Van Gogh was probably rubbish the first time he tried painting.

2. Taking part is fun, but also a good opportunity to think about things a bit differently. Do something new.

3. Share your efforts on Twitter and Instagram and chat with people who have shared theirs!  We’ll keep each other motivated and inspired. 
 

PRIZES!

 

To say thanks for taking part in the Comms Creative challenges, I've rolled over some prizes from the postponed December draw into a big stash of cool stuff.

A prize draw will be at 11am on March 4th.  

To enter, you need to have posted a comms creative challenge between the dates 1st December 2018 - March 3rd 2019 on Twitter, Linkedin or Instagram.

 

 

  • TWO CARTOONS: I'll draw you in all your glory with the comms unicorn, and send the cartoon in the post.

 

  • PLUS: I've got 3 mugs, 4 notepads and 5 bars of Comms Creative Dairy Milk.


That's FIFTEEN LOVELY PRIZES UP FOR GRABS!

The more entries, the higher the chance of winning!

To win:

 

Everyone who has posted a comms creative challenge between 1st December 2018 - March 3rd 2019 on Twitter, Linkedin or Instagram.


February: visualise your comms style (15 minutes) 

 

We might all be working in a similar field, but each one of us is unique.  What talents, values, skills and quirks do you bring to your work?

This task is mainly about capturing your style in a positive way, and recognising your qualities as strengths. 

You're going to make a graphic that you might use as your Twitter or Linkedin header, or just have pinned to the wll to remind you what you're about.

Let me show you what I mean:


Not a masterpiece, but a handy description of what it's like to work with me.

I'm sneakily trying to get you to see that your contribution to the world of comms is wonderful! 

We're more creative when we're confident.

To be great, you don't have to be great at everything.

Did I say 'punctual' or 'tidy' or 'early bird'?

Nope. 

I'm not. And so what. 

Did I write 'not brilliant at teamwork?' No, I wrote 'independence'. 

Because I believe there are many circumstances where this part of my work style is a real positive. 


Be good at what you're good at, and that is more than enough.

Be proud of the comms creative you are.

WHAT YOU NEED
 

1. A pen and some blank paper.
2. A phone to take a picture (or scanner if you're fancy).

or

A design application like Canva.


STEP 1. THINK ABOUT YOUR CAREER SO FAR

 
  • What are your strengths?
  • Do you have any mottos, or phrases you regularly say?
  • What motivates you or fuels you?
    What do you love working on?
  • What are you like to work with?
 

STEP 2. VISUALS YOU CAN ADD TO THE MIX


What are symbols and shapes that add to the picture?

Thinking of emojis you could use may help with this.

 

STEP 3. DOODLE OR DESIGN IT


Then take a scan or photo of you image, or download it if you're making it in an app.
 

STEP 4. POST IT SO WE CAN SEE YOU!


Publish it for other people to find.

Take a picture on your phone (or scan it if you're fancy) and post it to your social network of choice.

If you're shy, just post it in the Comms Creative Facebook group, where we're all lovely and supportive.

 

STEP 5. DON"T FORGET TO TAG IT WITH #COMMSCREATIVE


Have a look for other people's posts and get a chat going with other creative comms people.

Comms training with me


If you need a masterclass in creative communications, I am your woman.

You can book me from April 2019 to come to your offices to deliver training, or have a fab away day at a snazzy London hotel. 

You get workbooks, goodie bags and most importantly, skills and confidence to bring back to your desk.

 

Cheers all

 

I love doing this newsletter, I always end up having the most fascinating and inspiring chats with you as you share your stories and experiences of being a comms creative.

So thanks, and lots of love to you this Valentine's day.


If you'd like to show your love, then please share this email with a comms pro who might enjoy it.

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