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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Smooth operator – Stephen Fear, phone box millionaire

Cardiff University’s latest Innovation Network event presented Stephen Fear, a lifelong entrepreneur who set up his first company in 1969, aged 16.  He bought a cleaning formula from an American company advertising in the Exchange & Mart, after claiming a council estate phone box as his personal office for transatlantic calls.

Stephen Fear calmly took to the lectern on an unsettled autumn evening which blustered and spat outside.  His was a sturdy and unflashy presence: smart business suit, no tie, a gentle West Country lilt to his voice suggestive of the Bristol roots.

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Will content marketing replace small business websites?

What's in a website?

What’s in a website?

In a digital world where everything is social and connected, will individual, standalone websites forever remain essential business tools? Or might they come to be replaced by content marketing and social platforms?

What value is there in having a website in today’s frenzied social content super highway?  It might seem oddly simplistic, but the question is relevant.

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Chris Moss gifts to Cardiff Business School

Moss has shone

Moss has shone

Yesterday evening Chris Moss of FAMOSS ideas consultancy became the latest to take the stage at Cardiff Business School’s Public Lecture Series. Moss spent 8 years as Marketing Director of Virgin Atlantic, developing the company from single aircraft to international brand. He founded the Orange brand as Marketing Director and as CEO of 118118, grew the business from 5 to 5000 employees, achieving a billion dollar valuation and an international roll-out.

Any sympathy extended for having a name that lends itself to terrible puns should be saved. It hasn’t held him back.

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Season’s Greetings

Here’s a special seasonal message for anybody who happens to look here from time to time..

In case the Mayan prophecy comes true and the world ends this Friday, I thought the best use of my time would be to publish a thinly veiled promotional update now.

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Chariots of Ire – a lecture on media regulation

An unmediated hero of London 2012

With little over a week until the findings of the Leveson Inquiry are released, on Wednesday evening Lord David Puttnam delivered Cardiff University’s Hadyn Ellis Distinguished Lecture: “The Lessons of Leveson – The future of media regulation in the internet age”.

The address to a Business School lecture began gently enough, with an explanation that the media debate is all about trust.   But Lord Puttnam’s words quickly grew caustic, laden with a powerful drama befitting his film producer credits.  Indeed these credits rather than media regulation seemed to be the subject of most chatter in the reception before the lecture, Chariots of Fire excitably mentioned several times.

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Not everybody’s social

frontline gaps can be costly

The following post amounts to little more than a customer service gripe.  Not much, but a little.

It’s well proven that social media is brilliantly effective at rescuing shaky customer experiences when the patience begins to fray, but should it have to?

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More than words

In a digital age seemingly obsessed with verbal jousting and punning wordplay, it’s worth remembering the impact of the visual.  Sometimes words aren’t all that important.

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