Bibbety Bobbity Boo - Why is comms work seen as witchcraft, wizardry and magic?

Passionate about brand, creativity and putting people first. Lynda is resolute on the need for true equality and diversity. Lynda has led Brand, Communications and Social Impact at family building and engineering company, Sir Robert McAlpine since 2017 as one of ten people on the business’s executive leadership team. She is the Executive sponsor for SRM’s Gender Equality, LGBT+ & Ability Network.  Former positions held include roles within both the public and private sectors such as Central Government, construction, not for profit, automotive, energy, agency and professional services. Lynda is a Board member of Social Enterprise ‘The People’s Pool’ and the UK Business Council for Sustainable Development, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and an Ambassador for the Women’s Leadership Association.

Lynda Thwaite

Group Director Brand, Communications and Impact

Podcast questions:

  1. Why is comms work seen as witchcraft, wizardry and magic? 
  2.  How does it feel to be a comms hero in a technical world, such as construction and engineering?
  3. What is the greatest strength of comms people and ow do they use and protect it?
  4. If you could really cast any spell, what would it be and why?

Podcast transcript here:

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…

Asif Choudry (00:07):

Hello and welcome to another episode in the you’re my CommsHero podcast. And I’m your host, Asif Choudry. Today my guest is Lynda Thwaite, group director, brand communications and impact at Sir Robert MacAlpine. Passionate about brand creativity and putting people first. Lynda is resolute on the need for true equality and diversity. Lynda has led brand communications and social impact at family building and engineering company, sir Robert MacAlpine since 2017. As one of 10 people on the businesses executive leadership team. She is the executive sponsor for SRM’s Gender Equality LGBT plus and Ability Network. And former positions held include roles within both public and private sectors, such as central government construction, not-for-profit, automotive, energy agency and professional services. And Lynda’s a board member of Social Enterprise, the People’s Pool, and the UK Business Council for Sustainable Development. This list is endless. Lynda <laugh>, , a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and an ambassador for the Women’s Leadership Association. So Lynda, it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome you to the podcast.

Lynda Thwaite (01:23):

It’s a joy to be here. I think we’re outta time, though after that big list, don’t we? I feel like that was a bit hefty. Sorry,

Asif Choudry (01:29):

What a career. What a career. It’s amazing. It’s

Lynda Thwaite (01:32):

Like a, a beacon of , this is how old you are. cause the list gets longer and longer, doesn’t it? <laugh>

Asif Choudry (01:39):

Well just testament to, , to your journey in comms and we’re gonna, , talk about that a little bit later. But I’m gonna give you a few quickfire questions, but before I do that, let’s talk about, , and I’ll share with the listeners something to do with the Northern Power Women’s powerless 2023. So tell us a bit more about that, Lynda.

Lynda Thwaite (02:05):

Oh yeah. Do you know what it’s really touch it. , so I was nominated to be on the power list by, , somebody I’ve worked with in equality and diversity, unbeknownst to me, and thankfully have made it to the short list of 50. I mean, just epic women alongside me. , and I think we find out on the 20th of March, which one of us is the ultimate power ranger of some sort, I think. But, , it’s, it’s really exciting and it’s like, I do feel like it’s the first time, , in my career that I’ve had something like that happen to me. And I spend, you know, as all comes, people will do. I spend a lot of my life doing award entries for other people and then promoting them. So it’s really weird to have one for myself and it’s a bit hbling. And, , when they first, my team first posted a picture of me, you know, saying Congratulations on social media and my cheeks. Like I, I’d had like a, a real physical reaction, you know, I went really red and I, my instinct was, oh my God, take it down. Take it down. It looks like, you know, people think I’m bragging or don’t deserve it to be there. So yeah, it was, , it’s, it’s a lesson for me, but it’s, yeah, it’s a real, it’s a treat. It feels like a treat.

Asif Choudry (03:14):

That’s fabulous. And you mentioned your team. Now let’s give them a shout out cause I’ll tag them into the, , episode.

Lynda Thwaite (03:21):

Oh my god, I’ve got an amazing team. So I’ve got Alan Blaney, a Noelle, I’ve got Mike McNeil, Lisa Lao, Reese, Laura, Becky, you, well Dale all know who they are, but they’re absolutely phenomenal. And Carrie Ann and I’ve, I’m very lucky to have them.

Asif Choudry (03:36):

Amazing. So we’ll watch out for that awards and we might do a follow up episode with you when you, , are crowned.

Lynda Thwaite (03:45):

Well, I’ll just send you the video of me doing my gracious, my gracious defeat face, you know, it’s joy just to be nominated. It’s a joy just to be nominated. <laugh> <laugh>.

Asif Choudry (03:55):

So let’s get to know you a little bit with some questions. And Lynda, let’s start with a, a nice easy one. Are you an early riser or do you love a lion?

Lynda Thwaite (04:02):

Oh, I don’t do lions. I just can’t do it. Honestly. I just can’t. I I, I’d rather get off and get out the day. I mean, maybe that, you know, I’ve got, my youngest child is 11 now, so, you know, you haven’t been able to really lie in for over 11 years, but I’ve never been able to really? Yeah, I wanna get off at the day.

Asif Choudry (04:21):

Are you in the 5:00 AM club? Is that

Lynda Thwaite (04:23):

What it’s Yeah, yeah, yeah, mostly, yeah. It’s usually a five or a 6:00 AM alarm unless I’m traveling, it’s a bit earlier. And even on, I think your body just gets used to that. And also, there’s no way you can fit anything in for yourself unless you do that. I remember what I’m not very good at quickfire am I’m a bit chatty, but, , I remember watching the West Wing years ago and their communications in pr, I can’t remember what her name was. Such a brilliant character. And she used to say that she has to get up at 4:00 AM because between four and 5:00 AM is the only hour she gets for herself in the day. And I think that’s true sometime

Asif Choudry (04:56):

There’ll be lots of listeners nodding in agreement or thinking, getting up before. Right. The, the Lion crowd, , I’m in the early rise of crowd anyway, so, ,

Lynda Thwaite (05:05):

I had no doubt

Asif Choudry (05:05):

Getting, getting, getting some time for yourself, , means just getting up that, that little bit earlier. So, , what about Apple or Android?

Lynda Thwaite (05:16):

Oh, apple got no idea how Android situations work. Yeah,

Asif Choudry (05:22):

<laugh>, which is a common thing, apple, but, , I’m getting more Androids in 2023. So

Lynda Thwaite (05:29):

Really I find that the more techy people are, the more like skilled the tech. They like Androids, don’t they? But I I’m a complete techno. Yeah. If without my team, literally I send them things constantly going, I need to do this with this, and then this needs to happen and they know how to do it. I would have no idea with anything technical. So maybe Apples for the more basic of

Asif Choudry (05:50):

Us. Yeah. And, , okay. What about books? You prefer an ebook or a printed book?

Lynda Thwaite (05:58):

A print. Every time I’m surrounded by them. I can’t read on eBooks. I spend all day looking at a screen and even then I wish I could print everything up, but I feel too guilty for the Trees <laugh>. So when I, when it’s time that I can sit and read a book, I wanna hold it, smell it, full pages, highlight bits, circle bits, note to self, even though I never go back and read it again. <laugh>

Asif Choudry (06:19):

Little, those little post-it notes, I’ve start, I’ve discovered those recently. , the ones that pop out the edge of the book. The bookmark things.

Lynda Thwaite (06:26):

Yeah, my Post-it note from you childre, my com zero

Asif Choudry (06:31):

Zero post-its not for sale in the shop, are highly coveted Swag sw

Lynda Thwaite (06:36):

<laugh>. Perfect.

Asif Choudry (06:37):

And, , and also you, you’ve recently been appointed to a position to rival some may say the powerless 2023 something related to Comms Hero. So tell us a bit about that.

Lynda Thwaite (06:49):

I mean, truly the, the greatest accolade of all, I’m really excited to be an a rust of comms hero. You know, I’m a complete fan when it comes to the community. So to be able to kind of be proactive in the, in the community and lean in and help shape the Comms Hero event, I think is, is, yeah, it’s a real privilege. I’m really excited and my fellow ambassadors are all really brilliant people. So I think between us, the diverse kind of experiences and skillsets and passions, we’ll really hopefully add to what is already a, you know, just a phenomenal event. You should be very proud of it.

Asif Choudry (07:25):

No, thank you. We are, and I’m excited to see what happens this year with 15 more people contributing ideas. , I might take a break. Yeah. <laugh>, who knows. Yeah,

Lynda Thwaite (07:35):

That’s the idea. Good for you.

Asif Choudry (07:38):

So, no, I appreciate that Lynda. And it’s nice to, , for the listeners and myself to find out a little bit more about you. But we’re here because you posted on LinkedIn, not one of those posts that have been, , curated over months with stacks of desk research and insight and white papers and all the rest of it. But it was one that had the headline Bippity Boo.

Lynda Thwaite (08:03):

Well said.

Asif Choudry (08:04):

And when you see something like that on a platform like LinkedIn, it’s gonna attract your interest. , so I had to do a com zero podcast about it. And I know all the listeners will relate to this as we get into it. As everyone in the, in the comms zero community at some point in their careers had to pull that proverbial rabbit out of the hat. And that’s what we’re gonna explore, , further with this. So I’m gonna kick off with the first question, which is, why is comms work seen as witchcraft wizardry and magic

Lynda Thwaite (08:39):

<laugh>? And it is, isn’t it? I think it’s really interesting. I think I should start by saying that, , I very rarely sit and really curate posts for LinkedIn. By the time I’m ready to say something, it’s because the passion is bubbling up and I just wanna say it. Yeah. And then, and then I just have to, you know, get ready for the, the LinkedIn police to not like it. And I’ve, I’ve definitely grown and actually you’ve been one of the people who really helped me with that over recent years, cause you know, I’ve certainly come in, , for some stick from trolls in the past and you’ve always been really supportive and I, I really valued that, so thank you. But, , I think people don’t understand what we do and they don’t take the time to understand what comes professionals do. And because it feels so alien to them, they think it’s some sort of magic or, or, you know, and that’s in its most positive sense sometimes that people don’t really believe it’s a, a skill.

Lynda Thwaite (09:31):

, or they don’t wanna accept that it is, even though they know that they need your help. And I think that, , I think over the, certainly in my experience over the last 10, 20 years, the skill level and the, , the pressure on communications people has just, , risen and risen and risen. And, and, but what hasn’t happened at the same time is other people in industries understanding of what communications is and what we actually do and can deliver and what the people working in it are doing. And so I, it’s become a bit like it used to, everyone would be like, well, I dunno, I dunno what happens. They just turn up and things get fixed when they stand by me. You know, I think people feel a little like that about communications professionals now, and hence why, you know, they’re forever asking us to make it pop and do your magic is my favorite. Lynda, can you work your magic on this? No. <laugh> I cannot, I can bring my 22 years of 25 years of, , graft and experience to it. And then I can give you some specialist advice if you’d like. But magic, I’m not sure

Asif Choudry (10:38):

There’s so many t-shirts Yeah. With, , the comms here arrange. So we don’t just do pink and fluffy and often the comms team, but like you say, there’s, there’s years and years of experience that are, , founded upon professionally recognized qualifications. Yeah. Charter ships and, , fellowships, things like that through to more junior members of the team who technically might be super savvy on social media channels. But there is that dark art element to comms and it’s not, because certainly from a personal point of view, it’s not because comms don’t make the, , make it clear as to what they’re known. But I think it just, in business in general, the role of comms is seen very differently to the role of, , an fd Yeah. Which is, you know, quite, it seems to be more commonplace that there’s an understanding of what that individual or what that team, the finance team or, , the IT team do. Yeah. Whereas comms just seems to be, , very misunderstood for whatever reason. Yeah. And that’s kind of what we’re talking about today.

Lynda Thwaite (11:47):

Yeah. I think so there’s a, there’s a misconception that there’s hard and soft roles aren’t there. And you know, if you say Yeah, and I’ve certainly spent the last 10 plus years of my career working in technical environments, so surrounded by engineers who speak a different language. Yeah. And who, when you say in a room, oh, I’m a chemical engineer, or I’m in a, you know, I’m a a mechanical engineer, people go, oh, and even if they don’t really know what that is or what they do, people go, oh, and they’re kind of impressed. I’m still, and it’s, it’s a goal I’ve got to get for myself. I’m still not very good at saying what I do when people ask me, you know, that kind of snippet of, well, what do you do for a living? I find myself kind of babbling sentences sometimes to try and explain it, you know, oh, well I kind of do this.

Lynda Thwaite (12:29):

And, but essentially we promote and protect whatever business we work for, and that is just as critical as making sure that the business’s finances are healthy and in the right order because, you know, it’s all very well having a great bank balance, but along comes a reputational crisis and none of that matters. You’ve got, there’s no money in the world that can save you from that a lot of the time. So, , I would love to see it move across really, and to being seen as a higher skilled and respected role. But I guess that’s the onus is on us there to be able to describe it better. I’d love to know if any of the comes, heroes have got a really great reply as to what you do for a living that is better than my babble of Well, I can do PR and promotion and marketing and socials and, you know, there must be a better way.

Asif Choudry (13:20):

It’s so, it is so diverse. And like you said, that the element of, , hard and soft mm-hmm. <affirmative> skills within the job itself, , , it’s not systematic. No day is the, is is the same because there, you know, like you say, especially in a crisis and, and no bigger crisis than the, than Covid where comms teams were brought into so-called WarRoom and having a seat at the top table. , but it shouldn’t take a crisis to do that for, , , a department, a function within a business that is super critical Mm. In the time of a crisis because there’s lots of work that’s done day in, day out, pre and post. Yeah, yeah, yeah. These crises happening. And that’s the bit that the comms hero community, the profession itself has got a job to do because we are in effect professionals at promoting people’s brands and individuals brands. But that’s why comms really exist, because I just found yeah. A few years ago that as comms professionals we’re always busy promoting

Lynda Thwaite (14:30):

Of the people,

Asif Choudry (14:31):

The organization or individuals, and then I’ve kind of forgotten Yeah. To, , ensure the value of what we do is, , , is well known. So you, you started to talk a little bit about what it’s like to be a com zero in a technical world, and you mentioned construction, , and engineering and the technical jargon that goes on. Do you think, now we’re recording this today, although it will go live after International Women’s Day, but on 8th of March as we’re recording, do you think that from, you mentioned construction now from a, , women in construction, I know I mentioned in the intro in your bio, you are active in promoting, , , women in that, , , industry. And I mean, I’m in the print industry and that has the same challenges. Right? , so it’s really important. So do you think as a comms hero, which is, , a profession that’s not seen or highly regarded enough, but also in an environment where, , there’s an underrepresentation of women potentially mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, does that make it more difficult? What does that feel like?

Lynda Thwaite (15:39):

Yeah, it feels really hard. And I’ve said this a few times and I think, you know, I’m a really positive, resilient person. But, , it’s, I find that there are, it’s just added layers. And I, in, you know, first of all, I’m usually a woman in a man’s world, you know? , and then I’m a communications professional, so I lead by heart empathy feelings as I think most communications professionals do, which is what makes us so Bl and brilliant. , and then you’ve got all these people who lead by the head in the same room, and there’s often kind of a disconnect. But, but you know, I, I’m also recognizing, I’m also cognizant of my privilege in those situations. So, although there are layers of things that make it very difficult for me, I’m also, you know, I’m a white woman in England and that comes with certain privileges as well.

Lynda Thwaite (16:31):

But I know that people, , don’t have that. I do. So I’m, I’m cognizant of that. But it is, it is hard. And I find it, , I find it hard to keep resilience sometimes because you can, as I said before, you can walk into a room and say you’re an engineer and there’s immediate respect, or I work in the medical profession, or I’m a, you know, I’m in finance. Why isn’t there the immediate respect for communications? And there should be, it’s bloody, you know, sorry, I don’t know if we’re allowed to be X-rated on your, , podcast. I

Asif Choudry (17:02):

Said that’s fine. We’ll get the BLE machine out, Lynda. It’s

Lynda Thwaite (17:05):

Fine. Oh, great, grace. I’ll see how many we can do. , why isn’t it the same for communications? I find it really frustrating. And I do find it hard because I find it hard having to go back and re-explain again. And, and I think you’re always, I feel, anyway, I’m always trying to prove our worth and importance in a business, even though they absolutely couldn’t do without it. There’s the minute there’s a problem, you’re the first call, you know, the minute there’s a crisis, like you say, you know, we’re in every room. If you look around government, you look around, , whether it be wars or crisis, the people that they need are the communication strategists to help conquer those things. So why don’t we demand the same respect in a room room that those other professions do? I’m not sure. But, , I do find it difficult sometimes I find it like, almost like I’m having to explain myself and, and prove my worth a lot more than other people would.

Asif Choudry (18:03):

No. And appreciate you sharing that kind of candid view. And there, I’m sure there’s lots of people who will again, be nodding an agreement and just, , , understanding what you’re saying and hopefully others that are coming through, listeners that are just coming into, , the beginning of their comms careers, who kind of take up that call to action. And it’s that generation that’s going to inspire that change. And, , I hope it changes in my lifetime. , having been in comms for nearly 30 years, comms in marketing and, , and sales, it, it, it, it has changed, but there’s still a way to go. And I think that the profession itself is now waking up to the, the, the presence it can actually create for itself. Mm. , and beyond the membership organizations, you don’t need a membership organization to realize your own value. They can help do that. Yeah. But there’s, there’s so many communicators in, in, in the world basically that, that have that job. It’s probably the most important job to keep elevating the value of the profession itself. Cause it is a profession.

Lynda Thwaite (19:09):

Yeah. And it’s funny, isn’t it, because, you know, in the businesses I’ve worked in or you know, the concierge community are listening, whether they’re in, you know, housing or healthcare or what, whatever business they’re in, there’s that kind of battle for the, for budget, for communications or for people to understand what we do and to see the mystery of our value. But if that is other people’s lack of understanding and lack of strategic vision and awareness, cause if you step above us to some of the biggest, you know, most successful people in the world, the only language they speak is our language is the language, the vision, the potential, the feelings, the empathy we need to create. That’s the only language people lead in the absolute, you know, the visionaries of of the world are talking, you know, the, the leaders of Apple, Nike, whatever it may be. But it seems like when we’re in a kind of normal business environment, we’re letting the lack of vision and the lack of understanding of the magic that we can create because there’s more of them lead how we’re perceived. And yeah, that, that, that gets my goat a little bit <laugh>.

Asif Choudry (20:21):

There’s obvious passion. Now, Lynda, and I hope this the listeners are inspired and equally as passionate, and this is a call to action for everyone too, to, , to help support this profession and what it’s doing. So tell us then, Lynda, what’s the, the greatest strengthen of comms people and and how do they use this, these strengths and, and equally as important protect them?

Lynda Thwaite (20:46):

Yeah, and the protection’s really important, isn’t it? So if we do use, and if I don’t get onto it, will you remind me to talk about protecting it? But, , for me, I love the coms community because we, we are very different to others in that we often lead by the heart. Doesn’t mean we’re not strategic, it doesn’t mean we’re not logical and scientific and academic and can plan things, but we are natural empaths in that we to be good at our job, we have to understand the impact of what we write or produce on somebody’s emotions. Now you can, you can give me all the science and academic information you want, but people are led by how they react and respond to things. And comms professionals have a natural intuition to be able to create content that drives the reactions that people want. And that is a hugely underrated, underappreciated skill.

Lynda Thwaite (21:40):

, and the shadow side of that, certainly if I speak from my own personal experiences that, you know, I am a passionate person, I am an emotional person, I don’t see that as a weakness. , but it means that everything I can give out for others to make sure that something is powerful and has an impact stuff can get into. So I can, I i things can affect me quite deeply. So I think if we’re in operating in an environment where often we’re not respected the way we should be or treated the way we should be, then if you are a deeply feeling person, and I dunno how to describe being a deeply feeling person, it’s not a weak, it’s not like being a weak person, but actually, you know, being able to recognize all the emotions is a skill I think, and being able to use them at the right time.

Lynda Thwaite (22:28):

, but it means you, you’re open to hit I think more than perhaps some people in businesses who are quite narrow minded, quite closed off and a bit like Teflon stuff flies at them and they’ve got such low EQ that they don’t even realize it’s aimed at them. So it just flies right past. Whereas comes people are so BLM and brilliant at picking up on stuff that sometimes that the bad stuff lands as well. And so protecting ourselves and our mental wellbeing and our resilience and our health is really, really important. And I’ve seen that amplified in the past few years as social has become more and more and more, I mean, it wasn’t part of this job when I started, but now it’s so critical. It’s such a key pillar for all communications work, but it’s, it’s consing, you know, and, and if we’re, if we’re slightly thin-skinned characters in any way, then it can, it can overtake you and, and, and hurt. So I think we have to look after ourselves. And sometimes that can be as, you know, it can be as simple as putting time in to go for a walk or it could be, you know, having your teams look out for you or making sure that, that they, you know, cover for you so you can get breaks or take a step back. But I think it’s really important because comm people are creative geniuses in my mind, and if you don’t protect them, they can become bent out really easily.

Asif Choudry (23:53):

Yeah, no, it’s some really interesting points raised there. You mentioned eq then what, what, what is eq?

Lynda Thwaite (24:00):

So EQ is to, to me maybe, I dunno, it’s probably a science thing that says it’s not, but for me it’s emotional intelligence. So you’ve got iq, so that’s that kind of academic intellect, which, you know, you’re very good at le reading a book and learning everything in it, but not very good at understanding emotional impact and , and how things, , might be portrayed or perceived. Whereas comes people to be a, they just get people, they get reactions, they get hanity and that it’s a rare bunch of people, isn’t it? Lovely bunch,

Asif Choudry (24:34):

Bunch of people. It’s absolutely, yeah. So it’s like the, you know, part of we’re doing creative stuff all the time here at resource and part of the brainstorming processes, that EQ element, I suppose it’s really walking in the customer’s shoes. How, what kind of reaction do we want to create for our customer? But we’ve got to look beyond our customer and look at our customers customer in effect. So the people they’re trying to reach, and this is in a lot of cases in local government, social housing, really hard to reach audiences. So that ability to, , cause there isn’t a textbook for this, no, there isn’t a course, it’s just an a, , it’s a skill that’s acquired over time and understanding of people is an absolutely crucial part of that. You can have much. Do you think

Lynda Thwaite (25:18):

It’s got to come from actually caring how they feel? Yeah, it does. So it’s not some, that’s what I think the difference is, is that communicate the best communications people I know have high emotional intelligence and it is driven by genuinely caring. Like you say, when you’re doing those campaigns, how will people react? Not just because we wanna meet a KPI in a project, but we wanna be positive, we want to have had a great impact, you know, and I, I think that’s why, that’s why I’ve got so much respect for the coms community because that in a world that just seems very binary and, you know, KPI focused sometimes isn’t understood.

Asif Choudry (25:59):

Yeah, no, absolutely. And , so getting back to magic then mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if you could really cast any spell, what would it be and why?

Lynda Thwaite (26:11):

<laugh> <laugh>, I’d, I do, you know what, today it’s been a tough day and I’d like to cast a few, but some of them wouldn’t be very nice. , I think I’d like, I, I’d like to protect communications people in a way maybe that sounds patronizing and maybe they don’t feel the need protected. And if you don’t and you’re listening, I apologize. It’s meant with the, with love and, and and kindness. But, , I would like to almost have a bubble shield so that we could be ourselves and be our creative genius and still be empathetic and still be creative and still be impactful, but without letting the bad stuff get in as much. And if I could, you know, if we’re, if I could do that in Magic Spell, I would, , because I haven’t got Aand that works, then I’m trying to do it by being as supportive and protective of people in my team or people that I can mentor and work with as possible so that hopefully we all, maybe we build our own bubble of resilience. But , yeah, I think that would be right up there on my list.

Asif Choudry (27:14):

Yeah, I’ve kind of seen, I understand what you mean and I’ve kind of seen that when we did the, when we did the first ever Comms here event back in just 2014 now, nine years ago, it’s amazing to think that it’s still going. But yeah. , the, just trying to create a different environment for comms people and it’s almost that, that you talk about a force field, a shield that Cape people were donning the comms here or Cape quite, you know, effortlessly and without any additional persuasion from, from me <laugh>. , which I was thinking, oh, I’m gonna have to really force people to do this. But <laugh> they were, but no, they were just doing it. I suppose that’s what it is. It’s that that , invisible cape that they’re carry around because they do have to be, , yeah. Thick skin dropping things drop, have having things dropped at them a a moment’s notice or can you just pretty it up and can you make this go viral as, as if things having

Lynda Thwaite (28:08):

Something great that you spent time on Yeah. Commented on by someone with absolutely no skills in this area, trying to force a load of useless information into it. I think Yeah, I I mean it it transfers across into, into life too, doesn’t it? How cause I don’t think there’s that much separation between the professional and the personal maybe. No. But , I think having a, a community where it it, and that’s what I think I loved about Com zero so much was having a community where you could finally be really proud and, , excited about your, your profession instead of almost trying to apologize and explain it away and check that it’s worth the money and the overhead is, is really, is really powerful.

Asif Choudry (28:53):

Yeah, no, some some brilliant stuff in there, Lynda and I, and I’m sure people will really relate to the things that you said because it’s what we kind of all Yeah. Live by as a, as a rule.

Lynda Thwaite (29:06):

Yeah, I hope so. I mean, I just think that, you know, I’ve, I’ve done this for a long time and I’m, I’m so encouraged, like you say, I’ve seen people enter the industry with a, a slightly different starting point. I think that they’re entering the industry recognizing the worth a little more, you know, , than perhaps yeah. Some of us who’ve been doing it a long time and are still trying to, trying to justify it. But , it gives me, yeah, it gives me great hope to see some of the fresh talent coming through and, and I’m, I learn from them quite rapidly. <laugh> as well because they’ve very

Asif Choudry (29:38):

Much so, and I think that, and that’s, that’s a skill in itself to be be to be in the industry for 20 plus years and, and be open to and that’s CPD isn’t it? That’d be open to learning new

Lynda Thwaite (29:48):

Stuff. Yeah, you’ve got to, for

Asif Choudry (29:49):

People who are just, just in the industry and that takes some, that takes some doing as well

Lynda Thwaite (29:54):

Also and just, well you can only do that I think if you’ve not got a chip on your shoulder. I, it just, yeah, I’m just not bothered if somebody comes in the team and that, I mean in fact the more people who are better than me and my team, the better, you know, the better I am then, you know, but you kind of have a chip on your shoulder and go, no, no, we’ve always done it this way. This is how we do it. That’s just rubbish. You’re never gonna get anywhere are you? Long term. You’ve gotta be open to learning all the time.

Asif Choudry (30:19):

So you mentioned that Lynda, that some really good stuff in there for people to take away. And we’ve talked a little bit about the comms hero community and you’ve mentioned a few points there why it’s important to you. But just to, to round up here, do you know why is that the comms hero community specifically, why is it important to you and would you recommend people working in comms and marketing to be part of it?

Lynda Thwaite (30:39):

Yeah, I mean it’s massive to me. I think when I first saw Comms Hero, it was the first time I’d felt that because we’re often alone in an organization, there’ll be people listening that are the only comms person in their organization. Yeah. And comms here provides you with a virtual team and a network. And I know from everybody that I’ve been connected with through the comms here network by yourself or that who we’ve reached out after events or, or what have you. It’s a very, , no ego amigo community. There’s like, this is a problem, I need help and everyone will chip in. There’s no kind of arms around your homework. Yeah. Everybody is is helpful and supportive. So if you are a in a small or a, , on your own team, then you’ve naturally got this big virtual community to support you there.

Lynda Thwaite (31:23):

And also, you know, when, when you’re in tough meetings, like I often am, you know, fighting for the, you know, demonstrating the value of what money spent in this area is to be able to leave those difficult meetings and go to the community and say this was tough and, and then be inspired and bolstered by them again is, is honestly it’s, I found it so helpful and really encouraging and inspiring to know my teammates have as well. So yeah, I mean a hundred percent recommendation for me get involved. You dunno what you’re missing if you’re not.

Asif Choudry (31:56):

No, I appreciate that Lynda. Thank you. And , speaking of community, I would like to make sure you’ve mentioned you’ve been connected with people either through, , through the network or events or introductions. And I would love for people to connect with you cause I think you’re an, , an important ambassador for, for comms in general. So how can people connect with you? What are your handles?

Lynda Thwaite (32:16):

Yeah, so it’s Lynda at Lynda t live on , Twitter. And I’m Lynda Pu on LinkedIn, also on Instagram. But yeah, I mean I’m open to anyone sending me messages and asking for whether it be advice or mentorship or just opinions on stuff or sometimes, you know what, sometimes you just need someone to have a moment to and that’s really powerful too. And it only takes a couple of minutes out of anyone’s day. So I’m always up for expanding that network and making new comms friends.

Asif Choudry (32:44):

Brilliant. And you’ll find this podcast on Spotify, apple and on our website com and you can follow us on twitter com zero. And if you are listening on Spotify and Apple, please do leave a rating review and hit all those follows and subscribe buttons and all the rest of it. , that’s are really important to us. And Lynda, it’s been brilliant to spend this time with you and I know the listeners will have enjoyed it. So thank you very much.

Lynda Thwaite (33:09):

Oh, I hope so. And you’re an absolute gymnast. Thank you so much for having me.