Posted in Future Leaders

Future Leaders: Best Practice Day

As part of the LG Comms 2016 Future Leaders Programme we were invited on two best practice days this week. They were both about leadership. I could only make the first day and my head is now buzzing. Here’s 76 little comms treasures I took away from it.

  1. I should do reflective thinking more often. Note: I really intend to start doing this more often
  2. Be enthusiastic, determined and want to be the best
  3. Evaluation is part of everyone’s job
  4. Don’t be afraid to send the media NIBS and definitely do more video
  5. Think strategically, support priorities and be prepared to be on call 24/7
  6. 85% of media is proactive – sell in stories
  7. The IKEA method – customers will have to do more for themselves
  8. Do a regular ‘who reads what’ survey for residents. Understand what residents want and where they get their information
  9. Get a seat at the top table
  10. It’s about leadership, not management
  11. Understand politics
  12. Have a corporate narrative – what do you want to be famous for!
  13. Have a personal narrative too
  14. Be honest, don’t just say what people want to hear
  15. Horizon scanning – what’s next? What are the day-to-day issues?
  16. Branding is not just logos, everyone needs to understand it
  17. Campaigns are not just leaflets. Have an annual campaigns plan with budgets, get it agreed and don’t deviate from it or add more to it
  18. e-media is not modern. It’s an integral part of our work now
  19. Staff engagement goes beyond internal comms. Get the whole organisation involved. That’s what’s important
  20. Evaluation – track performance. It’s about the value the team adds. Own team’s performance and set targets
  21. Celebrate success
  22. If something goes wrong, learn from it
  23. Be a trusted advisor – be the go-to person
  24. Reputation is about trust, confidence, value for money, satisfaction, well-informed residents,  engaging, involving, internal advocacy, impact on daily lives
  25. What % of staff live in your borough?
  26. Prepare for winter weather
  27. Understand satisfaction with services once a year. Benchmark
  28. Use council tax bills to communicate
  29. Do an annual staff roadshow. 1 week over 3 days. Questions submitted in advance. Visit other offices too. Incentivise with bacon sarnies.
  30. Number 1 thing that influences voters is if they’ve heard of the local councillors
  31. How do you want voters to perceive elected members?
  32. A comms plan isn’t a strategy
  33. Advising a councillor? Gauge confidence and develop an understanding
  34. Sometimes you need to be blunt
  35. Always try and feedback after an interview. Offer training
  36. Have early/open conversations with the leader and the cabinet
  37. Communications are the frontline delivery for policy
  38. You are a leader for the whole place, not just comms
  39. First 100 days – what’s your comms plan? Who, what, where, why, when, why and how
  40. Hot desking is a good thing
  41. Have a daily huddle and weekly meetings
  42. Say no in the right way so you don’t seem obstructive
  43. Listen and be helpful
  44. Definitely don’t sweat the small stuff
  45. Phone and f2f always top trumps an email
  46. Never be too grand to… send out a press release, do a tweet, attend a photo opportunity
  47. Sometimes it’s good to go home early and start late
  48. Do a message house – key messages in the roof and layers underneath for each with facts
  49. In a media interview ask yourself and plan for the worst question you could be asked
  50. Consultation should be used to gather insight
  51. Do more work with tenant participation
  52. Engage with taxi drivers – they know the area and talk all day
  53. Leading with creativity is about creating the right environment
  54. Creative leadership styles – The explorer has a strong vision, gardener creates the right environment for people and the player/coach gets their hands dirty. You can be all three
  55. Get a fresh perspective sometimes and see things from another point of view
  56. Being creative in leadership is about permission, collaboration, persistence, presence, resilience, confidence, constraints, goals, task orientation and strong communication
  57. Developing a brand – speak with one voice
  58. Branding should build pride and be relevant and authentic
  59. Everyone should buy into and understand the brand
  60. Branding should be big, bold and make a statement. It needs to be something people can believe in and own. It has to be hardwired in everything you do
  61. The Book of Wonder is a completely fab idea from Plymouth!
  62. If you want branding to work in an organisation no one should have their own desktop publisher. If people aren’t doing it right make sure you pick up on it every time
  63. Devolution is a big deal
  64. Pick your fights, don’t die in a ditch, control the controllable
  65. Keep a calm head
  66. Stick to your plan. It’s about expectation V reality
  67. Communication evaluation is about telling a story that convinces the people that matter
  68. Be sharp like Sherlock!
  69. Be Strategic – be aware of more than just comms
  70. Be Hardworking – evaluation can be difficult but invigorating
  71. Be Accurate – accuracy is vital. Are your conclusions valid?
  72. Be Respected – evaluators are respected and are the go-to people for help
  73. Be Professional – evaluation is not just a footnote it’s a profession
  74. AVEs is not the value of communication
  75. The GCS model for evaluation is useful it tells a story
  76. You said, we did campaigns raise expectation and reaction – they’re not always the best method

Big, huge, mahoosive thank you to everyone at LG Comms who organised this best practice day and for all the speakers who took time out of their busy schedules to talk, present and listen to us budding comms professionals.


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