Why you need to be a Social Capitalist – Wakefield event

cognitiv logo

The great people at the Wakefield Creative network Cognitiv have kindly invited me to speak at their forthcoming event in September, where I will be sharing ‘Why you need to become a Social Capitalist‘.

Here’s their news release. If you’re in the area do come along. Or at least spread the word.

 

SOCIAL CAPITALISTS, THE KEY TO SUCCESS

Cognitiv, the not-for-profit group supporting the creative, digital and IT community across the Wakefield district will host Cognitiv Means Business on Wednesday 7th September, welcoming Andy Green who will look at the importance of becoming a social capitalist and how this is the key to career and business success.

Taking place at 5.30pm – 7.30pm at The Arthouse in Wakefield, Andy will deliver a thought-provoking, inspirational and practical session ‘Why you need to become a Social Capitalist’. Opening your eyes to the hidden crisis our society faces he will provide you with new hope, tools and ways forward to help you, your organisation and the communities you serve thrive.

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Social Capital in action – 2 men strolling for peace and understanding

A wonderful real world social experiment shows the power of Social Capital in action.

Two men are filmed walking through different neighbourhoods. Nothing unusual about that – except one is clearly an Arab Muslim, the other patently a Jew.

Their journey creates different responses. From the majority there’s initial astonishment and bemusement – a psychological response perhaps to their making themselves comfortable about observing an uncomfortable reality.

A minority make the point of engaging and sharing their endorsement and support of what the two men symbolise, of people of different faiths and communities coming together.

One reaction however verges on violent repudiation, with the Arab being aggressively accused by one passer-by of being a ‘terrorist’: a consequence, no doubt, of the abuser only ever seeing people in Arab dress in the media, tagged as ‘terrorists’.

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Specsavers – should’ve listened to Oscar Wilde, or Richard Dawkins about memes

specsavers

News that Specsavers, the high street optician, is attempting to trademark the phrase “should’ve” shows how they are failing to understand the wise words of Oscar Wilde or understand memes – and are in danger of scoring a massive communications own goal.

The company is reported to have filed a trademark application with the UK Intellectual Property Office to establish Specsavers’ rights to use of the terms “should’ve” and “shouldve” in a range of commercial spheres.

The move was presumably instigated by the use of the phrase, “should’ve gone to Specsavers” at the end of their adverts. There is legal opinion who think the rules would not allow such a common phrase to be trademarked.

Yet the move doesn’t make significant sense in the rules of modern-day communications terms either.

The great observer of the human condition, the writer Oscar Wilde noted in his ‘Picture of Dorian Grey’, “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

The enemy of Brand communications and PR are not messages from Brand competitors.

It’s being ignored.

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How HSBC nearly ruined me – and my story of renewal

Mary Creagh formal opening

The banks are in the news – this time with revelations about HSBC. Here’s my personal story of how the banks, the financial regulators and government losing their moral compass affected one individual.

Last week Mary Creagh MP formally opened a new co-working centre, IndyCube Wakefield, in the Wakefield Media and Creativity Centre.

It hopefully marks the start of a new area creating work and career opportunities and promoting a new style of working for small businesses, freelancers, and remote workers who prefer not to work alone.

It’s a story of hope and honest endeavour, in marked contrast with the news.

It has emerged that US officials refused to prosecute HSBC for money laundering in 2012 because of concerns that it would cause a “global financial disaster”.

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Why the PRCA must keep ‘public relations’ – for the future of PR – and even humankind.

prca logo

The UK organisation currently known as the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) is about to make a decision to change its name – even considering dispensing with the words ‘Public Relations’.

This is a plea to keep the epithet ‘Public Relations’ for its own self-interest and for the wider good of the profession – and the world at large.

For its own self-interest retaining ‘Public Relations’ preserves its acronym and most common usage of its title – ‘the PRCA’.

Neither do you need a crystal ball to predict that at some point, in the not-too-distant future, there is going to have to be a debate about whether there should be a merger between the two organizations operating within the UK public relations sector – the PRCA and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. The PRCA retaining the ‘Public Relations’ part of its name facilitates any future marriage.

It is understandable that an organization formed in 1969 recognized the need to reflect the fact that it was no longer limited to just those working as consultants. ‘Consultants’ has to go.

Yet, the advent of integrated communications, with the blurring of the lines between different communications disciplines such as advertising, brand management and digital marketing could tempt a forward-looking strategist to adopt ‘Professional Communicators’ as a catch-all theme.

This would be fundamentally wrong.

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Lessons for listening for Public Relations from BREXIT

ears

Following the UK people’s vote to leave the UK has there ever been such an important time for the ears of PR people to lead the way in creating a better future?

Listening is not only a tool for the most effective communicators but also one of the key management functions of public relations – PR people need to both good listeners and also be the champion for their organization’s listening.

It is not about communicators asking other people to lend them their ears, but also be mindful of how good is their own listening: are they really listening? If we as PR practitioners cannot listen effectively then how can we ask our targets to do likewise?

Are there lessons for our political establishments – both at a UK and European-wide level – as they reflect on the lessons they could learn from the BREXIT win?

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How Leave won the Meme Wars in Referendum and lessons for you

projectfear

The UK is still reeling from a Referendum vote that surprised the global markets, institutions, and even the Leave campaign supporters.

One lesson is how the Remain campaign lost the ‘Meme War’.

Mention ‘memes’ and the fashion now is to think of virial Internet messages that capture people’s imagination and get passed on.

Yet memes are more profound, I would argue they form the DNA of communications, of how information gets passed on, received and crucially passed-on again.

And what’s clear the Leave campaign won its Meme War – by gaining a disproportionate part of popular culture – leading to a majority result in favour of the UK leaving the EU.

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How the BREXIT vote is the latest consequence of our Social Capital crisis

social class

How many working class people do you know? Did half the people you know vote Brexit?

The Referendum result revealed a disturbing reality of two tribes within Britain – and what’s worse they’re increasingly having less to do with each other.

It is all part of a hidden crisis within our society – the decline of Social Capital – and it was partly responsible for the recent Referendum result.

This hidden Social Capital crisis affects the very heartbeat of how our communities work. Fewer people devote themselves to the communal good. Less of us are getting involved in doing things, running things or just hanging around with each other – how we help each other to help each other – reducing our capacity to connect, co-operate and collaborate.

As a result, things we took for granted in our communities start to happen less and less, or not happen at all, and people are increasingly operating within distinct silos of like-minded people – and we are all poorer as a result.

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The need for a new narrative post Euro Referendum

churchill

A seismic change in Britain’s history now needs a seismic change in our future story: the UK is in urgent need of a new narrative. One that explains our past and one that works to rebuild our society and create a stronger platform for a better collective future for the UK.

Otherwise, we face up to creating a future destiny amidst uncertainty, bitterness, rancour and despair.

A narrative is like the string in a pearl necklace, providing the thread for connecting your pearls of your story of the past and of the future, that shape your story of the now.

Not since the darkest hours of 1940 where Winston Churchill stood tall and inspired the British people – and history – of a Britain that its people will fight on its beaches has there been a need for creating a new narrative for our future.

Communicators, PR people, all of us who work in our business have a critical role to play.

At the heart of this is how we in the UK go forward as a society – with a new story.

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