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12 June 2023

33 min

S9 - E1: I’m proud to be a CommsHero – Francesca Carpanini

Francesca is an award-winning, chartered PR practitioner, who has been working as a senior leader for eight years across public and private sector organisations. She has been working as a comms professional for 16 years. She is a passionate about her industry, having recently taken on a lecturing role with the University of South Wales within the Business School teaching PR and Reputation Management, alongside Consumer Behaviour and Strategic Brand Management; all while doing her day job working as a communications consultant.

In her spare time, you can either find her in the saddle riding her horse or throwing axes with her fiancé James, as well as walking their scruffy terrier on the beaches. She loves books and is currently attempting to write a children’s book based on the adventures of her horse Pedro.

Being able to love what you do is a luxury and an honour. Working in comms – whether that’s being a jack of all trades, specialising in PR or marketing or digital – is an opportunity to be able to experience different sectors, meet incredible professionals and work on topics you’d never thought possible. No career is perfect, but it’s what you learn along the way that matters, from the first campaign fail or joining an organisation that was the wrong fit. It’s how we share that learning with others and how we must continue to invest in our own learning – comms doesn’t stand still, so why should our understanding of it?

Podcast questions

  1. What makes you love what you do after all this time?
  2. Who inspires you to better?
  3. How do you share your experiences with others?
  4. As a Chartered PR practitioner, what difference does this make to your role?
  5. Should we own up to mistakes?
  6. What advice would you give to the next generation of comms heroes?

Disclaimer: this is an automated transcript. Please don’t call the grammar police on us. You never know, we may have ChatGPT writing our next one…

Hello and welcome to another episode in the You’re my CommsHero podcast. And I’m your host, Asif Choudry. Today my guest is Francesca Carpanini. Francesca is an award-winning, charted PR practitioner who has been working as a senior leader for eight years across public and private sector organisations. She’s been working as a comms professional for 16 years now, and she’s passionate about her industry having recently taken on a lecturing role with the University of South Wales, within the business school, teaching PR and reputation management alongside consumer behavior and strategic brand management, all while doing her day job, working as a comms consultant. And in Francesca’s spare time, you can either find her in the saddle riding her horse or throwing axes with her fiance James with I said not at clear make, let’s make that one clear. As well as walking their scruffy terrier on the beaches. Um, she loves books and we’ll talk about that in a second. organisations, and is currently attempting to write a children’s book on the adventures of her horse, Pedro. So Francesca, it’s a pleasure to welcome you on the podcast. Thank

Francesca Carpanini (01:13):

You very much for having me as if it’s really exciting to be the other side of the, organisations, podcasting game, organisations, for a, for a different point of view, I suppose.

Asif Choudry (01:25):

Yeah. And organisations, we had, um, Clarissa Langham who, organisations, was on this season’s, organisations, podcast series and she’s, organisations, writing a book at the moment as well, and you are writing one as well. So I did say to Clarissa and I’ll say the same to you. So, um, hopefully we’ll get a signed copy from you before you are asking for payment for autographs and stuff like that. Then Francesca,

Francesca Carpanini (01:49):

Well, we’ll see. It’s, um, it’s a bit of a challenge my mother gave me, um, my horse is Spanish and we always say that he sounds like Antonio Banderas if you could talk. So we’re seeing if I can write something that’s funny that can incorporate some of that. But he looks a bit like Max Tangled, the Disney film, so he’s got plenty of personality to fill the pages.

Asif Choudry (02:11):

Excellent. So we look forward to, organisations, seeing that. And you’ll have to tag in hashtag com zero and we’ll help promote that and get those sales up, but as a bestseller on its way there. So let’s get to know you a little bit, France, Francesca, and I’ve got some questions here. So let’s kick off with, we talked about books and you’re a lover of books, so ebook or printed book

Francesca Carpanini (02:32):

Printed? 100%.

Asif Choudry (02:36):

Okay. What is it about printed books that you like so much?

Francesca Carpanini (02:38):

Um, I love old books and I love the smell of old books and the fact that some of them have actually seen the history go through, especially where they’ve been well cared for. I’ve got paperbacks and modern books, but I’ve got 1800 versions of the place of Shakespeare and it’s this beautiful set. They’re huge and you’re never, I’m never gonna read them. But the fact that these books have survived in such beautiful condition and they, they tell their own story amongst the stories that they’re telling. So I just don’t think any ebook can ever find that, that ability to have that, I dunno, I can’t even describe that sense of,

Asif Choudry (03:15):

I think it’s the connection, isn’t it? Yeah. organisations, that, yeah, you just wanting to keep them on your bookshelf and give them to friends and family and stuff, and they can be marveled by everyone. Whereas your eBooks are, um, well they’re just sat in your Kindle, aren’t they? And, organisations, I mean, I like audio books myself. I, I use them on the commute or, organisations, doing the household chores and I get through more books that way, but I’ve only got into reading myself over the last two or three years. Um, organisations, so I wish I was an, organisations, you know, an avid reader as something that I’d done for years and years, but it’s not the case. But, um, but yeah, audible definitely helps, but I do enjoy, I tend to retain information better from printed books. Definitely.

Francesca Carpanini (03:52):

Yeah, I, I love it. And it’s, I can talk about them all day and once you get me started on some of my favorite authors, you probably should cut me off at some point cuz I’ll get carried away on the, on the, on the, on the, on the tail coats of, of Legends.

Asif Choudry (04:08):

Excellent. Okay, so let’s ask you, are you, um, apple or Android? Android, yeah. The, I’m always surprised when people say that and gimme that answer. It’s not often, but go on. What’s, why Android for you?

Francesca Carpanini (04:22):

I, I’m not a fan of Apple. Um, I never have been. I used them when I was on my placement year and I’ve used them throughout my career, but I just, they made them complicated for no reason. The only thing about Apple I like is Airdrop that Android doesn’t have, but other than that I’ve, n i I love my Android phone and I’m never gonna be converted otherwise. <laugh>

Asif Choudry (04:43):

Do you the passion in that answer. Amazing. It’s not un genuine. It’s always a surprise when I hear Android and that’s probably a, the most, um, compelling reason over and above, um, price that’s come up before. So, so, organisations, an Android fan of the operating system. Well, there you go. There’s one <laugh>. organisations, and I’m sure you’re gonna start an army of Android users, organisations, organisations, you know, organisations, tweeting into comms hero, organisations, and starting their own, organisations, movement. But let’s, let’s wait and see. But yeah, it’s always a surprise when I hear that. So tell us, Francesca, are you an early riser or do you love a lion?

Francesca Carpanini (05:21):

I do love a lion. Um, if I had to choose to stay in bed for longer than, yeah, I’m a, I’m more of a night owl than a, an early, an early bird.

Asif Choudry (05:33):

Okay. And then final one, um, Twitter or Instagram or do I need to add in LinkedIn and TikTok onto this now

Francesca Carpanini (05:40):

TikTok definitely not. I’m still learning the, what TikTok means, <laugh>, so I know I should from a comms perspective. But yeah, if I had to choose, I think, um, maybe Instagram more so than Twitter. Okay. Even though I love my Twitter, I think INTA is, yeah, you can, yeah. I feel you could be more human on Instagram.

Asif Choudry (06:05):

Okay, good. Well that’s been nice to get to know a little bit more about you and our listeners will have enjoyed that I’m sure. So we’re here because you are, the title of this podcast is, I’m Proud to Be a Comms Hero and being able to love what you do is a luxury and an honor working in comms, whether that’s being a jack of all trades specializing in PR or marketing or digital, is an opportunity to be able to experience different sectors, meet incredible professionals, and work on topics you’d never thought possible. And no career is perfect, but it’s what you learn along the way that matters from the first campaign fail or joining an organization that was the wrong fit. It’s how we share that learning with others and how we must continue to invest in our own learning. Comms doesn’t stand still, so why should our understanding of it do the same? And that’s what we’re gonna pick up. And that’s your overview and it’s, it’s a really nice title and I’m looking forward to asking you some of these questions. So let’s get straight in there, Francesca. So what makes you love what you do after all this time?

Francesca Carpanini (07:10):

I think it’s the ability to change. I’m, you know, we, we all say we are scared of change or change is scary. And as comm specialists, we’ve all worked on change campaigns in organisations where there’s been restructures or m and as mergers and acquisitions and, and it has a huge impact on, on people. But as communicators we have to be really, really fixed from the point that change is scary and that’s okay, but at the same time, change brings evolution, not revolution. And for me, when I was thinking about this and thinking about why I love what I do is that in the 16 years that I’ve been doing my job, I have changed a lot as a person, not as, as a professional. I’ve changed jobs plenty of times, but every single time was an opportunity for me to spread my wings, push myself outside of comfort zones that I never thought would be achieving, learn from mistakes, learn to trust my guts. Cause actually my gut’s always been right and I’ve always bought it sometimes and I just think maybe it isn’t true. And I genuinely like going to work every day to make a difference and to bring some joy and creativity and just show people why comms is in the fluffy side of an organization. That it’s a truly strategic support function that has benefits beyond writing and coloring in pictures.

Asif Choudry (08:46):

Yeah, the coloring in department as, um, we’re often referred to. So do you think it’s ju you, you’ve, you’ve been in the, um, profession for 16 years, which is a, a long time and a time to see changes in how comms has been perceived over that time. Do you think the pandemic’s made a big difference to that perception?

Francesca Carpanini (09:08):

I think so. I think that because, um, the pandemic changed a lot. You know, I was, I was furloughed during the pandemic, um, just because the agency that I was part of, we were small, we were boutique and it was the right thing to do for the business at the time. But I didn’t let that stop me still bringing my skills to the fall. I worked with the Welsh government as a volunteer doing stakeholder liaison with the local resilience forums here in Wales. And it meant that I could build my networks, I could meet new people. And I think what the pandemic did was open up opportunities. It it taught organisations that they could employ people anywhere in the uk, potentially anywhere in Europe to be able to do the jobs. It wasn’t a necessary space to be in the office. We’ve proved that we don’t have to be in the office nine to five. It’s good, but doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. And also gave us chance to self-reflect on what we were, we are or aren’t willing to accept in our roles anymore from a communications perspective. So culture is one, how, how we’re perceived as a as as a strategic measure, all of those things. I think the pandemic highlighted the importance of comms to be able to keep momentum going for things that we didn’t expect. You know, all of those things. Yeah,

Asif Choudry (10:31):

No, absolutely. And I think that’s, um, I haven’t spoken to quite a few comms people through the pandemic. You know, they all of a sudden now, rather than just being handed the strategy, they found themselves in what they called um, and what were labeled as war rooms where they were actually sat with the C-suite. And because comms had to be so reactive and it was brilliant and you know, the oldest for years, people have been saying, oh, we need to be at the top table and well, you are there now, so capitalize on the opportunity. So, um, that’s great and it’s a really good insight and a lot of people are listening Will I’m sure, um, be nodding in agreement as they’ve gone through their career or looking forward to all these changes that they’ve got coming to them in their career as well. So tell, tell us Francesca then, um, who inspires you, um, to be better.

Francesca Carpanini (11:22):

I think there’s like a two-pronged to this. So the professional inspiration I have to draw on two Sarah’s. So I met Sarah Pinch in March of 2020 just before we all went into lockdown. And she was speaking at an International Women’s Day event, so pretty much this time three years ago. And her passion and her ability to inspire was incredible. And I talked to her at the event, um, cuz she was in Cardiff and I spoke and we’ve kept in touch since. And Sarah inspires me to wanna be best that I can be and seek to wanna be at that top table to be part of the C-suite. You know, I’m still working my way there. Um, but Sarah from Sarah Pinch for me is one of those in incredible women that just shows you that change doesn’t have to stop you being successful and you can do what you need to do to get there and you just have to just trust in your own instincts.

Francesca Carpanini (12:20):

Um, and then the second Sarah professionally, Sarah Sammy, she was my mentor, so I was very lucky to be part of the women in pr pr week mentorship scheme in 20 20, 20 21. And Sarah was my mentor for that year. She was my rock all the way through my furlough. And as I was sort of finding my way into a new role after I was made redundant, she was there for me. She encouraged me to do my chartership, which I got in September, 2020. I would never have gone for it if it wasn’t for that mentoring scheme. So those two Sarahs who I do still keep in touch with, um, are for me those incredible women. And then from a personal perspective, I always say my mum because she’s, she’s the linchpin of our family. She holds us all together. She’s incredibly resilient. She’s had some good times, she’s had some bad times, and she shows you again that if you believe in yourself, that actually you can get yourself out there.

Francesca Carpanini (13:17):

You can manifest success, you can work your way out of a problem. You just need to be able to take a breath. Um, so she, she inspires me every day. And then another lady who isn amazing to me is Audrey Hepburn. I always say that she inspires me because again, she’s a woman that proved that resilience is key. She was, you know, part of occupied, um, heart in Netherlands at the time. She’s part of the resistance when she was barely a teenager and all of those things. Her career, she wasn’t her, she just, Audrey Hepburn is just a shining example of pure humanity, I suppose.

Asif Choudry (13:58):

Amazing. Some great examples. And, um, organisations, organisations, you know, I’m sure for the listeners, you know, who, who inspires you to be better, A good question to ask yourself and to reflect on and um, organisations, say thank you to those people as well. So, um, really nice answer there and a good shout out for your mom as well. Fantastic one. I love that. So tell us, Francesca, how do you share your experiences then with others?

Francesca Carpanini (14:24):

Well, I’m very lucky with my lecturing roles with the University of South Wales to be able to share that experience, um, on a weekly basis. Um, the PR module was my first foray into teaching. Didn’t know if I was going to be good at it or not. Um, but actually I loved it. The third year students were bright, curious, they’d never really thought about public relations before cause they were all marketers. So obviously I was enjoying trying to sway them to the other side a little bit. Um, and actually some of them are more interested in PR over marketing though, so I have to hold my hands up and say that that was a win <laugh>. Um, but they’re incredible. And then obviously I got invited back this term to teach consumer behavior and strategic brand management. So I’m working with Postgrads and first years, so I’m seeing both ends of the spectrum of abilities and experience and knowledge and challenge.

Francesca Carpanini (15:17):

And it’s amazing to do that and to say what I’ve experienced and try to encourage them to wanna be the best version of themselves, the, especially from the first year’s perspective, from the outset. So they don’t just think that first year’s an easy win because they don’t get, doesn’t go towards their final school. I want them to come every week to my, to my workshops and be engaged and ready and, and wanting to ask questions and that they’ve, they’ve really, they’ve really sort of blossomed over the last few weeks. So yeah, it’s, it’s lovely to be able to do that. Um, and doing things like, this is a lovely example of being able to share my experiences. Um, I’m very, I’m very fortunate. I do genuinely love what I do and I get very emotional and very passionate and it starts to, organisations, to, to, I ramble otherwise, if I get too long into it

Asif Choudry (16:10):

That it comes, the passion definitely comes across and I think you, you’re not alone. Cause I, I think that’s part of the, part of the profession. It’s such a giving community that, um, um, you know, the Comm Zero community, it’s being founded upon that sharing of best practice and connecting people that, um, can just help and support each other. And that’s been the mainstay of how it’s grown organically over the years. But I think it’s just a natural inherent quality within people within the profession. People especially who’ve stayed within the profession. I think the natural progression is to, organisations, to give that knowledge back, whether it’s to colleagues and then doing that outside of the working, um, role as well. If, if that’s, you know, something that you’ve got the time to do. And obviously you have, and it’s interesting you’ve gone into, um, teaching post, organisations, getting your experience in pr whereas another C I P R, um, member Taylor Clayton, who’s a big supporter, she’s a comm ambassador this year.

Asif Choudry (17:09):

She was a former teacher, went into PR and is now, um, organisations, teaching, organisations, as a PhD. She’s teaching ma master’s students at LEBECK at university as well. So, um, and imparting her knowledge. So it’s been quite interesting to, to kind of share TE’s journey as well. So it’s great to hear two of you, you know, from C I P R giving back there. So we talked about C I P R then and you mentioned that your charters, so congratulations on that cause it’s a huge achievement. So as a chartered PR practitioner then, what difference does this make to your role?

Francesca Carpanini (17:43):

Um, it’s a master’s level qualification, so that’s probably another nudge in the right direction to encourage people to do it. But I actually, the reason why I did it was wanted to cement my understanding to know that actually all that experience, all that learning had taught me something. So being able to challenge myself during the chartership, especially during 2020, was really, really important from a strategy and a leadership and an ethical perspective. I, you know, I want to be a communications leader and I want to be able to represent my industry in a positive way for a long time yet. And the CHARTERSHIP for me and being a chartered practitioner means that you can talk about salary, you can talk about all of the sort of, I suppose perks of having a chartership. But what I feel when it comes to the chartership is that it gives me the confidence to be able to step up and talk to C-Suite and say, look, this is my advice, this is my counsel.

Francesca Carpanini (18:46):

And I’m not telling you because I’m just creating it outta nowhere. It’s because I’ve got this experience. I am a chartered practitioner and I am an ex exemplar, I suppose, of leadership and strategy and being ethical, which is something we forget that chartership about being ethical. And we’ve had moments in our, in our industry where ethics have not come into play or into thoughts Yeah. Of some of those considered professionals. And it sometimes we’ve got a bit of an uphill battle, but I think it’s really important that as charter practitioners we showcase the best versions of ourselves and why we are the industry that we are.

Asif Choudry (19:31):

Absolutely. I think we’ve got to continue to champion that as, um, as somebody who’s on the dark side, the marketing side myself, then, organisations, um, organisations, but I like PR as well. I like pr. We’ve had lots of PR people. organisations, I’m big fan of C IPR as well, so just make sure, make clear on that commons marketing and PR all the same for me. But, so, you know, do you think chartership within our profession, whether it’s C I P R or um, chartered practitioner or chartered marketer, do you think it’s recognized in the same way as a chartered surveyor or you know, somebody who’s got, um, qualifications within the financial industry or chartered accountant? You know, that it, do you think it’s the same?

Francesca Carpanini (20:15):

It should be. I mean, I always say to people I’m chartered like a surveyor or an accountant. Um, we have to do our C P D every year. Yeah. You know, if we don’t do our 60 points, then we lose our chartership. So we have to maintain our learning, we have to maintain our commitment to our industry. And I don’t think it’s there yet, but I think CM C I P R are doing the best they can to, to change those perceptions through the work with the I O D and all of that kinda stuff. Definitely. So we, I think we gonna, we are gonna get there, but I think we’re probably a few years off yet, which is frustrating, but I, at least we’re going in the right direction.

Asif Choudry (20:57):

Yeah. I think at the moment within the profession, you’re absolutely right. Those organisations are doing, um, masses of work to get that recognition. Cuz it, you know, 60 points for example doesn’t sound like a lot, but there’s a hell of a lot of C P D that goes into that and a lot of people don’t stop at 60. You’re kind of constantly learning. It’s that kind of, there’s that profession where you are just always learning through soundbites that are available on social or bigger, more, um, thought provoking pieces where you’ve gotta spend time considering, um, listening to podcasts, organisations, the, you know, the membership magazines and all the content that goes into them. So there’s a whole host of learning that kind of just happens all the time. Well, I

Francesca Carpanini (21:40):

Got three points just

Asif Choudry (21:42):

That does have to be recognized. Well

Francesca Carpanini (21:43):

I got three points just from doing this today. So I mean one easy three points in that sense as because yeah, I get to talk about how much I love what I do, I get to have a chat with you about it. Yeah. And then I get three points, which with a win-win win for me in that sense. So

Asif Choudry (22:01):

Absolutely. Thank you. Yeah. Well you’re taking time out to do it, aren’t you? And I think that’s, that’s important to, to recognize that. Then we talked in where I mentioned in the intro about, um, no Korea being perfect from the first campaign fail. Do you think then, um, cuz we did a, organisations, should we own up to our mistakes because, organisations, from a commer point of view, there was failure was the topic of trend. I think it might have been about 2016 or 17 and we ran a, a series of three events with the, the, the theme Dare to Fail because we wanted people to come up and share their failures because nobody tends to do that. So you think we should be owning up to these and sharing stories of these things? I

Francesca Carpanini (22:44):

Think so. I don’t think we should be ashamed to fail cuz otherwise you’re never gonna know the right way of going about it. I think dare to fails work, you know, it’s a great idea cuz you know, you create safe to fair environments in organisations. So you should be able to admit that failure to not then be, you know, have retribution because you’ve spent money on a campaign. I’m, I’m more than happily share campaigns that have failed. I did one when I was at a housing association in 2018 to do a film competition for young people aged 11 to 21 2 age categories, did beautiful, um, graphics and photography, got everything set up, got a venue set up to the film festival awards at the, in the October launched it launched at the completely wrong time. Nobody entered, I spent money on something. I never did that.

Francesca Carpanini (23:39):

But what I did do was set up a campaign that then could be relaunched for the following academic year that you just had to move the dates. It didn’t happen. Yeah. Cuz I was on a maternity cover, but at the same time I learned, okay, if I’m gonna do a schools competition, I need to be making sure that I’m launching it in the first term. So September to December so that I’ve got two academic terms to go in and keep the momentum going with the schools instead of trying to launch it after Easter to get it done in the summer holidays to get it finalized in the October. So timings was what taught me, and you know, I was trying to do everything too soon. So all of that and that, that campaign would’ve been beautiful. I was really proud with how, how it looked, but I know now if I wanna do it again, when I’m gonna move my timings. So it helped.

Asif Choudry (24:34):

Yeah, well exactly.

Francesca Carpanini (24:35):

It’s not a sh I’m ashamed of it

Asif Choudry (24:37):

And it does, it makes a difference. Yeah,

Francesca Carpanini (24:39):

It does. And I, I’m not,

Asif Choudry (24:40):

And I don’t think there’s any need to be. I think that there is a, there is a kind of culture there sometimes even within the profession itself that obviously you, there aren’t many organisations or events where you’re invited to get up on stage and celebrate failures and stuff like that. And that’s kind of why we did it all those years ago because there isn’t anything like that because there’s so much more learning to come from those things that got you to that successful knowledge as you’ve got now. You know exactly when to do that. So if there are people, um, listening and you’ve got, organisations, we’ve all done them, you know, we’ve all made those mistakes, whatever they may, whatever they may be. And there’s different levels of magnitude to what the outcomes of those mistakes have meant for individuals. But, organisations, if there’s anyone who is listening and wants to own up to any of their comms project mistakes, then um, droppers a line and we might make a whole podcast of, um, a panel of celebrating failures, organisations, that would love to do that again. So, um, what advice then, Francesca, would you give to the next generation of comms heroes? I

Francesca Carpanini (25:50):

Think it’s, don’t be afraid to change. I think goes back to the beginning that we are a change industry. Um, I’ve changed my, my job probably more times than most people in the 16 years that I’ve done it cuz I’ve done lots of contracts, I’ve done fixed term contracts. Um, when I graduated my comic relief job was eight months, but it one incredible eight months of learning that I got, you know, I gotta meet Richard Curtis and I almost cur seeded when I met him. Um, it was, you know, I was just out of university and I didn’t know what to do with myself. Um, and I met the Saturdays and all of these things that I would never have got the opportunity to do if I hadn’t thought, well eight months, I’ll see what happens after the end of it. And I’ve had perm jobs that haven’t worked out and I’ve had to make the decision to walk away.

Francesca Carpanini (26:40):

And also don’t be afraid to do that either. If it doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to say, well I’m done, I’m out. And I’ve walked away from a job recently, you know, in the last 12 months where I went, this isn’t right for me. They didn’t, we didn’t fit each other and that we had an honest conversation. Yeah. And I didn’t have a job to go to and I didn’t know what was gonna be next for me, but I ended up becoming a comms consultant and finding my clients and being able to create a bit of a rhythm for myself. Um, and I’m very lucky now that one of those clients has offered me another fixed term contract so I can go back in, be on payroll, have a bit of security for two years, and after that, who knows. So I think that the next generation need to be afraid, don’t need, don’t need to be afraid of change and just to keep passionate and just keep loving it if you stop loving it there. And there will be times where you think, I hate my job, God, I don’t wanna get up this morning. But they are few, they are fair few far between days that eventually you’ll find that momentum again and it’ll just keep you, keep you pulling on. And I think it’s really important that you start out knowing that you love it. If you don’t love it when you start out, you’re never gonna be able to maintain it. So that’s one thing for me is you’ve gotta, you’ve gotta know that it’s the right space for you.

Asif Choudry (28:09):

Absolutely. Some really sound advice there for, um, the listeners or the next generation. There’s probably some people who are long into their careers that might um, be in that situation and thinking, you know, you might be responsible for a few people changing jobs, Francesca. So <laugh>, hope not comms, zero access, no responsibility for any changes of jobs as a consequence of listening to this podcast. So tell us then, Francesca, we’re here because of Comms Zero. So why is Comms Zero important to you and would you recommend people working in comms and marketing to be part of the community?

Francesca Carpanini (28:41):

100%. I’ve put been part of the comms hero weeks over recent years. I mean, they’ve, they’re incredible. I’ve been very lucky to work with the comms hero team since 2018 and I met them through housing and I love working with the teams. They are incredible. They’ve supported me recently. I, yeah, it’s the momentum behind it, the honesty, the comms hero enables, um, comms hero pets, which I’ve contributed to over the time. Um, yeah, I think you have, it creates, it’s creating a tribe across the UK where we can all share in our success, share in our failures, sharing each other’s needs for that to shout about ourselves. Because I think that while we spend a lot of time in our organization shouting about their success and how great it is to work there, they’re an employer of choice. All of those things we forget that we need to se celebrate ourselves as, as professionals because we are the first to get cats.

Francesca Carpanini (29:42):

Our budgets are never big. We always have to work with very little a lot of the time. But because we are creatives, because we are passionate, because we know that we’ve got a tribe, we can say, oh, anybody had this? Anybody got a fav? I’ve got a favor. And then somebody will always come back in the comms hero space to give you advice, to give you a nudge in the right direction or just just give you a, do you know what a funny gif of Rachel and Phoebe bouncing up and down just in celebration. Something as simple as that. I think that, and that’s why I love the comms hero and that’s why I’m really happy and proud to be part of this podcast, to have my voice part of it. Cuz I never imagined that I would be on podcasts after listening to so many that, um, it’s, it’s, it’s really an honor to be considered a comms hero.

Asif Choudry (30:34):

No, absolutely. Thank you for that. So nice to hear that. And that’s why we keep celebrating the heroics that comms people perform every day, which is genuinely the reason it started because of everything you’ve just said there, Francesca, because we are so busy working really hard to make everyone else look good, but forget ourselves. And, and we’re into our ninth year now, which is a fantastic achievement and it’s certainly what started off as a one-off experiment just to see if we could change things. And it’s just continued and grown and continued to grow and as long as people want. Um, unfortunately, and there’s that requirement to remind comms people to celebrate their work. organisations, and nine years on it’s got better. There are more people celebrating, but there’s still not enough people need to do that as a natural part of what they do. So, um, connection is important and that’s really valuable to us for our guests that people will want to connect with you. So Francesca, where can people find you?

Francesca Carpanini (31:37):

They can find me on LinkedIn, um, and they can find me on Twitter under Frankie C 85. Um, my name’s quite long, but they should find me on LinkedIn. Um, I won’t spell it, but that’s, I’m under that and if they wanna find me on Instagram, I’m Frankie 1185 and I’m on guild. I keep forgetting about. I thank

Asif Choudry (31:57):

You and we’ll let, organisations, I love Guild and Guild as well. Guild. Yeah. We have a Comm Zero community on guild. I

Francesca Carpanini (32:01):

Do, yep. Part of it as well. So I shoulda, I forgot about Guild. Sorry. That’s it.

Asif Choudry (32:05):

Get yourself, get yourself on the com zero, organisations, Guild group as well. So you’ll find this podcast on Spotify, apple and on our website com And you can follow us on Twitter at com zero. If you do listen on Spotify and Apple, please do leave a rating and review that’s important to us. Subscribe, hit the follow button, whatever buttons are on there, just hit them all. And um, so Francesca, it’s been a fascinating talking to you. Inspiring even definitely. And, organisations, organisations, I’m sure that a lot of the listeners will take heed to your advice and if remember, celebrate your failures if you wanna do that publicly, hashtag com zero and you could even get some swag from celebrating failures. How good is that? So Francesca, thanks so much. It’s been a pleasure. Thank

Francesca Carpanini (32:49):

You so much as it was a truly an honor. Thank you.

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