SKILL UP: I’ve launched a new online workshop

How is your pandemic? I’m struck by the fact that there are many answers to this.

If you’re in-house the chances are you’ll be run ragged and struggling to keep up. I feel for you.

Me? I spent the first few weeks ill with low grade COVID-19 and it’s taken months to get back to being fighting fit again. I changed what I did from training to working on COVID-19-related special projects.

For a while I’ve been pondering online training but I’ve not wanted to rush it for the heck of it. I wanted it to be right.

After months of research, shaping, re-shaping and speaking to people I’ve launched a programme I’m calling ESSENTIAL COMMS SKILLS BOOSTER.

I want to tell you the thinking behind it.

I wanted it to be what you need to know right now to help you do important things.

But I wanted it to fit into a busy week.

It’ll be human. It won’t be watching something on a screen in an audience of hundreds. You’ll have questions. That’s fine. Ask them. I’ll use Zoom and each programme will be for a maximum of eight attendees. There’s a Facebook group for each programme where you can ask questions or share your work.

It’s five hour topic blocks manageably spread across several weeks. You are busy. I get that. You also need to refine your skills. So, hour-long blocks fit into the working day better. People have told me they can go off the grid for an hour but a half-day or a full day? No chance.

It’s okay if you can’t get to a topic block. COVID-19 and life gets in the way. So, there’ll be a recording available, notes and I’ll look to re-arrange at a time that works for you.

It’s online. Because we’re not in a place where booking a room and squeezing into it with a plateful of biscuits works. Obvs.

It’s a mix of digital comms and traditional comms. Because I’ve long thought that social media shouldn’t be this bolt-on. Use the right channel at the right time. It’s Essential Comms Skills. Of course its going to be both.

CONTENT #1: It’s got comms planning and evaluation in it. Because I’ve rarely met a comms team who have this nailed. So, it makes sense to start off with this alongside what the media landscape looks like and boy, lockdown has made it change.

CONTENT #2: It’s got the algorithm. What the algorithm says should shape what you are creating. I’ll go through pointers for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.

CONTENT #3: It’s got the new platforms. If you’re too busy to find out about NextDoor’s 4 million UK users, TikTok’s 12 million and WhatsApp’s more than 25 million then here’s the place. I’ll look to tell you how to practically deploy them.

CONTENT #4: It’s got Facebook groups. With Facebook pointing its future direction at friends, family and groups it makes sense to head this way. I’ll show you proven strategies.

CONTENT #5: It’s got dealing with online abuse. This maybe for the Facebook admin, the elected member or the officer. When to engage, when not to engage and the strategies and legal routes that are open to you if things escalate. It’s here.

You can find full details of the programme here with details on how to sign-up. Give me a shout if you have any questions.

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