Building and running your own business

NHS, Lower Marsh, 13 March, 2018

IABC UK piloted a new approach to learning using an Ideas Exchange to explore issues about building and running your own business.  A wide ranging group including experienced business people, in-house professionals, interim consultants and students from the London College of Communication met to debate topics that concerned them including:

  • What are the key things to create, maintain and sustain a great professional reputation?
  • What approaches do people take to building and using networks that add value to the network and help develop business?
  • What should you charge for your services?
  • Is time the right basis for charging for your services?

The format meant everybody learned from each other in small and then a larger group.  David Gifford from Inscript Design helped capture some visual notes from the session.   Everybody thought the event had provided value, had been a good use of their time and had helped them understand more about how to build their business.  On key objectives for IABC:

  • 89% thought the Ideas Exchange helped people connect with other communicators
  • 78% thought the event had helped develop their skills

So, a good evening all round and a great set of visual notes to capture the discussion for those who were there, and a teaser for those who could not make it!  We will use the format of the Ideas Exchange again as it worked well.  Thanks to Tim Hart and the NHS for hosting!

Mike Pounsford

IABC UK President 2017 – 2018

IoIC – Measurement and Evaluation

Why do many communicators miss out on measurement or evade evaluation?. Recent Newsweaver research reveals we put it high on the importance list – but  a low priority in practice.

Susan Walker ABC who leads the forthcoming IoIC course believes the are three main reasons. “Many communicators tell me that they are uncertain about the basics like questionnaire design and statistics, how communication research can show its benefits to the business and – the big one – how to identify the key action points for maximum impact.”

All these challenges will be covered in the two day course intended both for those who want to equip themselves to carry out their own research or  work more effectively with their research agency. The increasing demand for social media research will also be included.

IABC members can register at the IoIC member rate by clicking register on the form and IABC in the promotion code box. You can either come for day 1 for the basics of measurement and evaluation on 22 Feb here: https://www.ioic.org.uk/2015-09-14-13-39-02/training-courses/measurement-and-evaluation-firm-foundations

Or for day 2 on 23rd for the next stages of linking with business strategy and action planning here https://www.ioic.org.uk/2015-09-14-13-39-02/training-courses/measurement-and-evaluation-firm-foundations-2

Or for both days: https://www.ioic.org.uk/2015-09-14-13-39-02/training-courses/measurement-and-evaluation-1and2

If you would like to know more about the course and chat to the course leader leading expert in communication research, Susan Walker, please contact her on [email protected].

Using Enterprise Social Networks to nurture employee engagement and advocacy

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Our journey to digital transformation by Working Out Loud continues with an event dedicated to the subject on 16 August in London.

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Co-hosted with the Employee Engagement Alliance, this evening session will discuss how enterprise social networks (ESNs) like Jive and Yammer hold the key to successful employee engagement and advocacy.

Key topics include:-

  • Reasons why ESN can fail
  • Winning ESN strategies, sustaining tactics and success stories
  • Why it’s important to care about employee engagement and advocacy in the context of a changing work environment, increasing pressure for talent development, retention and acquisitions
  • Why Comms/HR/Knowledge Management/IT need to work harmoniously to nurture and sustain an ESN.

Our speakers:-

  • Kate Senter, Senior External Communications Manager, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Stephen Morris, Marketing Project Manager, Merck
  • Crispin Manners, Chairman and Managing Director, Employee Engagement Alliance
  • Allison Maguire, Collaboration and Future of Work Consultant, Enterprise Strategies
  • Lesley Crook, Internal Digital Communications Manager, Working Out Loud in a Network

We hope to see you on the 16th August. In the meantime, get involved in International Working Out Loud Week (#wolweek), 6-12 June that asks us three key questions – What am I trying to accomplish?; Who can help me?; How can I personally contribute to deepen relationships?

Book your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/using-enterprise-social-networks-to-nurture-employee-engagement-and-advocacy-tickets-25695110768

Could HR + PR = parity in pay?

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Does the PR industry lack HR skills and is this contributing to the gender pay gap?

Earlier this year the Chartered Institute of Public Relations published the results of its State of the Profession Survey.

It established that one of the top issues the industry faces is the gender pay gap.

A salary discrepancy of £8,483 in favour of men cannot be explained by any other factor such as length of service, seniority, parenthood, or a higher prevalence of part-time work among women.

It’s a sobering thought when over two-thirds of practitioners in the profession are female. The CIPR has committed to tackling the issue head on through a four point plan, which sets out what the Institute intends to do to help employers narrow the pay gap going forwards.

It can’t happen quickly enough.

Not a women’s issue but an issue of how well you run your business

This Autumn the CIPR will publish the results of research that’s being undertaken on people and performance management within the PR industry.
The survey of PR employers looks at which general practices are in place within member organisations to define pay at a senior and junior level and who is responsible for this.

From work carried out to date, such as round table events with a variety of industry practitioners including freelancers, SME owner-managers, in house practitioners, agency players, academics and recruitment specialists, there is a clear indication of a potential skills gap in terms of the human resources function.

While it’s true this wouldn’t universally apply, for example where public sector and larger organisations are concerned, the CIPR wants to know more broadly if this is actually the case.

Read more

Be resourceful: easily quantify your impact

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The person hiring you next will want to know what difference you’ve made in the past. The past is not always a guide to the future, but most employers and clients see it as an indicator.

They want it in clear concise measurable, and ideally easily verifiable terms. This is true for traditional permanent staffers and freelancers on the move alike – not to mention those who are willing to give their skills away pro bono: the recipient should still look for proof to ensure a good match.

It is how I’ve hired (and been hired) since the nineties and the good practice guidance out there reinforces the importance of this point, whether you read the classic What Colour is Your Parachute, this handy Interview Guide from Berkeley (PDF) or the direct advice from companies like Google.

Show the employer that you are a good fit with detailed examples of times when you successfully used the skills they seek. The Berkeley Job & Internship Guide

Many people struggle with this and come up short. You don’t want to know how many people with otherwise good CVs have made a wasted journey to an interview where they then failed to use data to set out the measurable difference they made. It is a lot of people.

Basically, a good interview answer is in its concise essence structured like this:

Faced with challenge X I did Y which resulted in Z. Whatever you’re starting these days it will most likely have a digital footprint – and this makes for easy illustrations – both qualitative and quantitative. Because a good Z is made up of both.

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