The Do Good Better list - 3 things I've loved about this week

It’s been a week of continuing client work, and thinking about celebrating success in our little world of not-for-profit comms.

1. The #Unawards18

This week I’ve been spending some time with the upcoming UnAwards 2018, organised by comms2.0.

The Number 1 event of the public and not-for-profit sector comms calendar, they’re in their 5th or 6th year now. I’ve been lucky to be up for a gong twice in that time. Granted, I didn’t win either time, but it was genuinely lovely to be recognised.

I’m really looking forward to being at, and playing a small part in the organising of this year’s bash on 7th December at the Everyman Cinema in, you guessed it, Birmingham.

It’s always fantastic to see old friends, and meet new ones and share stories and experiences over craft beer and veggie chilli - so I can’t wait to be there.

But this year I have a particular interest.

Firstly, I’m really honoured to have been asked to be on the judging panel with some of the UK’s foremost and most respected public communicators. Without giving anything away (don’t worry Darren), I’ve have spent some time this week looking through and marking the entries.

And…wow.

Incredible creativity, admirable determination, and unflappable decision-making are all over the work of the UK comms community’s work this year. What I’ve always loved about the UnAwards is the focus they give to those individuals, teams and projects that do creative things and bring new thinking to situations where resources are tight, money is scarce, and the powers that be are uncomfortable with change.

For me, it’s these projects that are the most creative. I love the work of big agencies of course. The commercial sector creates really memorable content that we see on TV, online, and everywhere.

But these projects almost invariably come with bottomless-pits of cash behind them, of the sort that those of us that work in the not-for-profit sectors can only dream of.

Yet what we do is far more important. We’re not trying to convince people to choose Widget A over Widget B or Mobile Data Contract C over Mobile Data Contract D.

We’re saving and improving lives. We’re keeping people safe. We’re educating the next generation. We’re creating and maintaining communities. And we’re doing it on relative peanuts.

So it’s absolutely fitting that we celebrate the work that Councils, NHS Trusts, Housing Orgs and individuals are doing with scant resources, but with a ton of creativity and bucketloads of bravery and guts to make stuff a bit better for their users.

Oh and one other thing…

I’m up for an unaward too! It’s for the blog post I wrote back in June this year about the furore surrounding the Lush SpyCops campaign. Just to be clear, it’s a public vote for Best Guest Post on comms2point0.co.uk, so I am in no way involved in “judging” it!

There are 11 other brilliant posts so, it’s a fantastic honour again to be on the list, but I’d be really grateful for your vote…

I’m very honoured to be in with a slim outside chance of an Unaward. But gong or no gong, I’m really pleased to be involved, can’t wait for the event in December, and just really grateful that they exist.

2. Blog post of the week

This week’s blog post and podcast both come from thenative.com - so massive props to Dave Musson and the team for some fantastic content this week.

Firstly, the blog post: Anonymous: I’m a social media manager who hates social media

It’s a post that is at the same time depressing, entertaining and wistful. It’s a really essential read for all comms people.

I guess we’ve all, however much enthusiasm we started with, had some dark moments in various jobs over the years. We’ve probably all thought “what is the point of all this?” at some point.

This post will be resonant for anyone who has ever had those thoughts. But actually there’s a much deeper question in here that demands discussion by our profession.

Has “social media” ubiquity reached such a point where continued engagement in it is contributing to an over commercialised public realm where no-one trusts each other?

Appreciating the un-snappiness of that question: in other words “does social media suck, and are we making it suck even more by using it?”

Read the post, it’s great - and then give this philosophical brain teaser some more thought….

3. Podcast of the Week

And it’s back to the Native for my favourite podcast of this week.

Marginal gains to boost your campaign planning is a brilliant listen and available via Apple podcasts, Spotify and wherever you get yours from.

In it, Dave speaks with contributor to my podcast “How to go freelance”, Rebecca Roberts about how the sporting philosophy of marginal gains can have a big impact on creating and delivering successful communications.

It’s all about looking past the shiny, new and “big bang” into the small, sometimes invisible, details that really make something have impact.

It’s a great and really insightful listen, and really worth thinking about for your next campaign.