It's been a great week.
New connections, new clients, old friends, and common interests.
Here's what I've loved about week commencing 9th July:
Is there anything I can say about this fantastic event that no-one else has said, or that I haven't already said in the most gushing tones?
CommsCamp happened this Thursday 12th July in Birmingham, and as usual it was fantastic. Comms people from every walk of life and with a massive mix of specialisms helping each other solve their problems and to help them to (to coin a phrase) do good things better.
I loved the sessions on co-production, public health campaigns, and freelancing; and was amazed at the turnout and interaction for the two I led all about podcasts, and "analogue comms".
I can't wait to hear all the new podcasts that the group promised us!
If we met for the first time in Birmingham this week - it was a pleasure. If we reconnected after a while, it was great to meet up again.
I wrote recently about why I love CommsCamp (the punk rock comms conference), but for more info (including photos of me pulling all manner of strange facial expressions) check out the Facebook group.
2. Catch-ups and collaborations
It's been amazing to catch-up with previous colleagues, with the view to working together again on some very exciting client opportunities.
One thing I've absolutely loved about launching Grey Fox, is how open other like-minded consultancies are to collaboration, sharing opportunities, and enhancing each others' offers.
It's a great way to work - and the best way of making sure clients get the absolute best expertise for their projects.
3. New clients and new connections
I've been delighted to work with two great organisations this week on crafting engaging content for their users. It's also been great meeting new connections to talk about their comms needs, and the potential for working together in the future.
4. Sharing the branding love
Lots of the comms community have been saying very nice things to me this week about the Grey Fox branding. For what it's worth; I agree with them.
It was a huge pleasure to work with the incredibly talented Mr Paul Wood of PLW Creative to bring my vision for the brand to life.
I've known and worked with Paul for almost a decade. He's great to work with, hugely experienced, and just as importantly: a lovely guy.
(He supports Arsenal, but you can't have everything...)
I'm looking forward to working in partnership with Paul on some client work in the coming months. Give him a call. I can't recommend him highly enough.
5. Blog post of the week
This week, the title goes to the incomparable Mark Ritson of Marketing Week with another snarky, irreverent take on our industry.
It's a mantra that is right at the heart of the "audience first" Grey Fox philosophy; "The first rule of marketing is you are not the customer"
It's written from a commercial perspective - but essential reading for all comms folk in the not-for-profit sector too. It's a periodic reminder to not be put in a box by your organisational assumptions or prevailing culture. If what you're doing doesn't meet your users' (patients, students, residents, whoever) needs, it's time to be brave and ask some difficult questions.
6. Podcast of the week
I love a good podcast. And as I've spent a lot of time in the car and on trains this week, I've listened to a lot.
My favourite discovery this week is "When the World Listened" by DeNica Fairman, on Audible. It analyses, deconstructs, and appraises famous (usually) political speeches from 20th century to now, including Donald Trump's 2017 inaugural address, and the Martin Luther Kind "I Have a Dream" speech.
My personal favourite this week though was the episode on JFK's "We Choose to Go to the Moon" speech from 1962: a brilliant analysis on the language, the wider narrative and context, and how it made a seemingly impossible ambition feel achievable.