Author: Comms Hero

Finding my inner hero…possibly

May 7, 2015 by Lee Grasby in BlogCommsComms HeroComms Hero Manchester | Comments Offon Finding my inner hero…possibly

a blog by Amanda Coleman, Speaker at CommsHero, Manchester

It is just a week until the Commshero event takes place in Manchester and I am honoured to have been asked to take part. I must admit to being a bit concerned about the format as it seems far from your run of the mill communication conference, and as I haven’t been to one before I am not sure what to expect. There are some big names in communication who are involved in the event and I am probably starting to feel the pressure to deliver on the day.

What is clear is that it appears to be a lively event focused around knowledge sharing and networking. That is something I can wholeheartedly support. Communication professionals don’t take enough time in an increasingly stretched and busy world to step back and reassess things. They rush from one thing to another and are so focused on delivering that they can become isolated if they work in-house or distant if they are in an agency.

Learning is an incredibly important part of daily life and I am hugely supportive of all communication professionals undertaking some form of continuous professional development. It is essential if we are to be able to provide the best possible service to whoever we are working to support. I know that every time communicators get together they end up sharing information, knowledge and tips. People go away with new friends and connections that they will be happy to help in the future. A conference that focuses on this sharing, interaction and support has to be applauded.

The interesting approach of Commshero seems to appeal to the creativity within communicators.

Bringing out creativity and new ways of thinking is another essential for communication professionals. Communication at the heart is about problem solving, being faced with an issue and then finding a way of dealing with it. The ways we can do this can be different, unusual and innovative. We just need to keep seeing those opportunities when we are in the daily grind of work.

I hope to see a few friendly faces at the Commshero event on 13 May in Manchester and I will provide a follow-up blog about the experience. Time for me think about learning and to gather my inner creativity ready unleash my inner hero.

Unleash your imagination and you can fly anywhere

a blog from Caroline King, Group Head of Brand & Communications, Torus

Communicating is all about telling a story.

In fact the ‘new’ way of describing the key skills of the discerning communicator these days seems to be about story telling. This irritates me a tad as surely there is no other definition?!

As a child I ate books for breakfast. As an only child with a scary imagination and endless curiously I would immerse myself in books and wile away many a day imagining I was exploring The Secret Garden or going on adventures as part of the Secret Seven (the Famous Five was far too mainstream!). I also fantasised daily about being sent to Mallory Towers on the strength of being able to own a tuck box and indoor shoes! Fast forward over 30 years I am now a story teller to my son and spend most evenings imagining I am George with his marvellous medicine or Charlie Bucket searching for the elusive golden ticket.

Books are stories and communicating is about telling a story, often somebody else’s. In housing communications that might be a story about why moving into that shared ownership home changed the life of Jake and Katie? How getting online helped Jean to save time, money or keep in touch with friends. I could go on. If you work in Comms then every day brings its Jakes, Katie’s, Jean’s and many more characters that you need to bring to life, create a story for and share it with your audience. Without a story to capture their imagination then it can be hard to get across your message. Just think about the adverts you watch on TV every night? They are all stories and some will chime with you and others make you reach for the remote control.

So what does all of this have to do with CommsHero? Well my own personal involvement with CommsHero started in early 2014 when I was asked to Chair the first ever event. In fact as soon as the seed of hero was sown I was asked for my honest opinion in whether it would fly or fail. Anybody who knows me will tell you that the opportunity to create something fresh and different is always my preferred course of action. Throw in a cape and you have yourself a deal!

I was terrified about chairing the first event and had no idea how to pitch my session. The approach I opted for was incredibly simple. Tell one short chapter of my story. I did that and the overriding feedback I received was that my passion for Comms and my job shone through. I am an expressive person, never short of something to say and YES I am unashamedly in love with my job so I wasn’t surprised by that feedback although it was still affirming and flattering to hear.

Having been part of the entire Hero journey to date I can honestly say that I’ve never seen such a happy bunch of delegates at the beginning, middle and end of an event. I have snoozed my way through many an event, dreaming up ways to escape early and head back home!

CommsHero even has a loyal Twitter following who attend in a virtual way and get stuck in, not just at events, but all year round! Lets be realitistic, there are also dissenters. Hero is not for everyone but I want to personally urge you to accept the challenge to be a hero for the day, meet some amazing people, listen to speakers who do the same job as you and I and get stuck into some of the creative challenges we have lined up on the day.

On May 13th head to Manchester and instead of telling other people’s stories, take the first step to writing a chapter of your own.

Hope to see you there.

Find me on Twitter @Caroline_Torus

Tell your Chief Exec

A blog by Lee Grasby, Marketing Manager at Resource & Co-Founder of CommsHero

We’re now on the cusp of our fifth ‘award winning’ CommsHero event. Quite a feat when you think that it was an idea born out of a conversation on a train journey to London. By the time we returned the brand had been established, a strategy was in place and within two months we’d filled 80 places for the inaugural event at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.

Of course such a thing doesn’t just happen by itself. It takes a great team of people to make it happen, in this case resource, because everything about CommsHero (with the exception of the speakers) has been delivered in house. We identified a gap in the conference market. People were delivering the same format, the cost of a ticket was upwards of £250 and it was questionable what you actually took away in terms of knowledge that you could apply in your day job.

Anyway, on to my point. At every CommsHero event, without exception, people have said

“I wish my Chief Exec was here”

or “my Line Manager”. Basically the feeling is that CommsHero is a great opportunity for those who don’t work in Comms or Marketing to appreciate the cool stuff that can really help to shape your business. Sometimes it takes top level decisions to influence changes for the better and I guess that by having the people there who can make those decisions really helps.

But that’s not all. For any curious Chief Exec who’s thinking of attending they can expect to experience a day like no other. It’s a fast-paced, interactive day of learning, sharing, participating and taking away techniques that will help you in your day job and to appreciate the challenges and opportunities faced by those who work in Comms across the many channels we often take for granted.

So tell your Chief Exec to keep Wednesday 13th May free because they won’t regret it.