John Simpson – Hadyn Ellis distinguished lecture

johnsimpson-cardiffuni_mh20161124_10wmaThis year’s Hadyn Ellis distinguished lecture brought foreign correspondent veteran John Simpson to Cardiff University.

They don’t get more distinguished than Mr Simpson. For many people alive today Simpson is one of those omnipresent BBC voices of sturdy broadcasting authority. He has been on our screens and in our airwaves seemingly forever. His 50 year BBC career has seen him reporting from an unfathomable range of dangerous and volatile places, at times of major historical significance.

In journalism terms, he’s been there, done it and got the waistcoat.

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Cardiff Business Club – MacMillan Cancer Support boss Lynda Thomas

- macmillan.org.uk

– macmillan.org.uk

On the eve of International Women’s Day 2016, a talk was given by MacMillan Cancer Support chief executive Lynda Thomas at the Principality Stadium for Cardiff Business Club.

A few days before I’d seen the talk advertised online. My wife is the PR Manager for a charity, so I thought she’d be interested and it would make a cheap evening out.

Lynda Thomas is originally from these parts of South Wales, and she proudly wears her Welshness. It was astute to express this at Cardiff Business Club right from the start, especially during the week of an England-Wales rugby match. Inside the iconic, recently renamed stadium, the crowd was with her immediately.

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We Need To Talk About Your High Volume Twitter Strategy

physVvirt1Isn’t it funny, how we don’t talk (on Twitter) anymore?

Recently I’ve seen a headline or two suggesting Twitter is dying. Those pieces might suggest that it’s for the following reasons. I haven’t clicked many links to find out, but thought I’d add some thoughts here in the hope that there is a groundswell of consensus around the issue.

Apparently over in the US Twitter is really struggling. It failed to add any new users for the second quarter in a row. At the end of September, Twitter had a core audience of 307 million active users, adding just 3 million worldwide during the three months since June. Mass market appeal it seems is no longer there.

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CIPR Cymru Breakfast Briefing On Crisis PR Management

PR-crisis-management

@AlexSingletonUK

Last week I was offered the chance to attend a CIPR Cymru business breakfast meeting in Cardiff Bay. Speaking on the subject of crisis communications was Alex Singleton, former Telegraph journalist, former associate director of The Whitehouse Consultancy and author of the book ‘The PR Masterclass’.

Crisis communications is always an engaging PR topic. By its nature, we tend to be more aware of organisations which have badly handled crises, rather than those which have successfully evaded or deflected the threat of poisoned PR darts.

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The quality spectrum in content marketing

spectrum As CEO, you’re confident that your social media and content marketing is sorted. Someone handles your Twitter and Facebook, your blogging strategy, press releases, brand awareness and the general public face of the company. Maybe you don’t totally understand it, but you trust them to do whatever they think is best.

There’s a growing climate of casual acceptance in content marketing, which borders on complacency. While the various facets of social marketing are rapidly maturing, acquiring some kind of critical mass and effectively integrating with more traditional digital marketing tools, it still appears enough for many to just know the box is ticked.
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Be careful who you follow

followMost online social communities depend upon reciprocation, following the activity of others in order to be followed back; a sometimes blind and urgent focus on simply driving up those important numbers. This is a call to pause for thought.

Much of business today revolves around metrics, data, numbers.  The mass of people online means a wealth of data, new job roles designed to exploit that data and professionals desperately scrambling to keep their skills up to date.  It’s not hard to see why data has been dubbed the oil of this century.

This is largely for the good, for transparency and accountability, for conversions and web traffic, unambiguous black and white.  Close measurement and analysis has become meaningful and arguably most meaningful where it’s most niche, where there is specifically developed software within a sector; where metrics are fluid and have serious value.
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Wise words from a communications Olympian

BrockDoyleAfter attending the season’s launch earlier in the month, last week I took another trip to the salubrious surroundings of St David’s Hotel in Cardiff Bay for a Cardiff Business Club event.

Kicking off the season was Jackie Brock-Doyle OBE, CEO of Good Relations Group. When you’re credited with bringing the Olympics to London and having a large say in overseeing communications for the whole thing, as well as for the Paralympics, Commonwealth and Invictus Games: that deserves respect.
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Business buzzwords serve a purpose – get over it

Some ducks, "going forward".

Some ducks, “going forward”.

Whether it’s ‘thinking outside the box’, ‘going forward’ or virtually any other oft-used term of business-speak, many people bristle at buzzwords. They should probably relax about it. 

For marketers, communicators, PRs and most professionals addressing words all day long, those hackneyed and overused phrases of business language can become a grind.

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Dying to talk – an event on Healthcare In Wales

ageing1Having attended this equivalent Cardiff University event last year and been encouraged by a level of tangible innovation, I was keen to take a return trip to see how the 2014 version compared. 

The event back on January 22nd seemed especially pertinent.  Leading the news headlines in Wales over the previous week had been two separate, tragic incidents in the north and south of Wales, both concerning excessive waiting times for ambulances, both leading to fatalities.  Additional stories this week have concerned the postponement of planned surgery across north Wales due to increased pressure, and a plan to centralise care for babies born in west Wales.

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Nice to meet you – is the future of the conference physical or virtual?


physVvirt1Today’s virtual, digital world usually creates a comfortable distance for users.  This is a comfortable distance that suddenly disappears when you’re actually in a conference room with other people.  If you fall into a conversation and grow bored, you can’t click or swipe for them to go away.

Well, you could. But that would be quite rude.

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