Helping Ireland lead the way in new qualification for Creativity in PR and Comms


I am really delighted to be working in partnership with the Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII) to launch a new professional qualification in ‘Creativity’ for the communications industry – believed to be a world first – enabling professionals to achieve a competitive advantage in their work.

The course is designed to provide both the strategic and tactical skills to achieve better results in offline and online communications and improve delegates’ management of the creative dimension at work.

Delivered through four linked weekend courses, with assessment based on producing a campaign case study, successful delegates will receive a Certificate in ‘Creativity and Creativity Management in PR and Comms’. Read more

Barry’s first ‘Festival of Ideas’ at the 8th Friendship Festival


I am organising Barry’s first ‘Festival of Ideas’ – a sharing of new ideas, personal passions, and poetry – is taking place as part of the 8th annual Friendship Tree Festival between 11am-4pm on Sunday July 23rd at the Knap gardens, Barry.

The ‘Festival of Ideas’ is a pop-up event aiming to be part platform for the spoken word and part soapbox for anyone in Barry who has anything to say to make the world a better place. It is being organised in my role as founder of the Barry IdeasBank.

It will feature an open mic programme of seven minute slots for anyone who has an idea – so long as it’s not racist, party political, or tedious.

The Festival has already attracted a number of poets sharing their poems along with polemicists speaking on topics such as the need for a universal basic income, why we need to speak to our neighbours, and is there such a thing as ‘Barryitus’?

So, if you’re in the area, bring an idea along with your friends and picnic – and share it.

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Theresa May fails the fundamentals of basic storytelling


Theresa May lost her UK General Election gamble because she failed the fundamentals of basic storytelling.
Rather than engaging or inspiring, motivating the British electorate to support her quest for a larger parliamentary majority she achieved the opposite. Her stock, status and standing as the person to lead the British people as their Prime Minister diminished because of four basic errors in her storytelling.

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Today’s a day for remembering a true British hero – Bertie the ventriloquist doll who landed on ‘D Day’


Only the British army would take a ventriloquist’s dummy on the D-Day landings in 1944.

Yes, it’s true. A British Army Captain, took ‘Bertie’, a ventriloquist doll, Bertie, onto the beaches of Normandy in the first few days of invasion.

Bertie’s resplendent army uniform proudly included a number of campaign medals.

Just imagine if he had got captured. Imagine the Gestapo trying to interrogate him, to get him to talk!

All of us should now have a new creative hero. Capt.E.H.‘Ted’ North – the man who had a hand in Bertie.

Maybe, it could be an idea for the future BREXIT negotiations, with our leader and dummy at hand. Some may say this is already the case. Read more

Why PR needs to do SEO and NEO

Public relations has a paradox: on the one hand it needs to measure to the nth degree its impact in the digital world and embrace Search Engine Optimization (SEO) led PR. (Check out Stella Bayles excellent introduction).

On the other, it needs to calmly accept the fact that, like the ancient mariners who put monsters or dragons on their maps to indicate the unknown, we in public relations need to do the same – or what I call NEO – Nothing Evidently Observable.

We exist and operate in a world of increasing granularity where can know of things to precise detail. Yet, paradoxically, we operate at the same time in a world of deep darkness.

We can often be needlessly, and unhelpfully beating ourselves up, allowing ourselves to be put down because of a failure to recognise and respect this double-side reality.

Our PR world is increasingly becoming more granular in how it goes about measuring what it does. Forward-thinking communicators urgently need to address its big wake up call to measure, evaluate and iterate.

Yet we must also accept communications and PR operate in a world where we need to identify and consolidate our understanding of the equivalent of the dragons on our map – the NEO: Nothing Evidently Observable.

 

Dark Matter

If scientists can accept the existence of Dark Matter – where they readily admit that parts of our universe are beyond comprehension, or financial experts recognise ‘radical uncertainty’ where we cannot compute an outcome, shouldn’t we in PR be honest and comfortable to recognise at there is stuff in human activity and our communications universe that eludes definition and direct control?

In her book ‘Dark matter and the dinosaurs’ scientist Lisa Randall highlights how science recognises three components of our universe: dark energy – the expansive and delocalised property of space itself, ordinary matter – that includes atoms, subatomic particles and even Black Holes – and lastly, Dark matter. Read more

Great training session offer


What an amazing ‘2 Masterclasses in 1’ offer‘. I have teamed-up with one of the leading mutli-channel Content producers to offer an exceptional value session in just a morning session on Wednesday May 10th in London.

It offers powerful story and narrative creation from me and, from Russell Goldsmith, you get how to realize your idea into compelling Content, particularly video.

We live in an age of integrated comms where ideas and stories have to succeed across multiple channels. In one morning session you can transform your abilities to deliver great stories through an integrated campaign.

Explore the opportunities available to you to use video to engage your audiences, be that owned, earned or paid for, from micro-content, such as Instagram and Snapchat, to streaming events through Periscope and Facebook Live.

Learn how to use video to amplify your message and improve reach through targeted coverage on online media and influential bloggers; work with Social Talent and YouTubers; generate buzz; improve SEO and increase your ROI

You will also see examples of how interactive video can drive sales both on and off-line, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality plus we finish with some production tips and what’s involved in subtitling and voice-overs as well.

Tickets and further details on this great ‘2 Masterclasses in 1’ offer here.

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Celebrating #SpeakCockneyDay

A month ago we launched #SpeakCockneyDay on March 3rd – the ‘fird of the ‘fird. Through the fabulously talented creative community @OneMinuteBriefs we challenged some of Britain’s finest rising creative talents to get the message over about the need to safeguard the cultural future of Cockneys.

Winner of the competition was John Elevenblack of The Hideout not based in London, but in Maidstone, Kent, just behind Leeds Castle. They created a series of images of an alternative reality, of a Transport for London that was proud of its London roots and spread the word about Cockney on it bus and Tube routes.

“We’ve no Cockneys in the studio, but just have a love for a good brief and Creative. Would be cool to try and do a little guerrilla advertising for next year’#SpeakCockneyDay using the idea.” said John.

Check out all the entries here.

A big Tom Hanks to all that entered.
What will you be doing to celebrate #SpeakCockneyDay 2018?

Why we need #SpeakCockneyDay on March 3rd


The Cockney accent will disappear from the streets of London – it will be brown bread – unless we do something.

#SpeakCockneyDay on March 3rd is celebrating what it is to speak, live and be a Cockney, to keep its spirit, sense and slang alive.

Cockney is more than an accent, or vernacular. It’s a state of being, a character, with virtues of self-reliance, magnanimity, a commercial nous, independence of spirit, egalitarianism, directness, and occasional subversion of pomposity, pretension and poshness.
However, linguistic experts predict the Cockney dialect faces a diabolical future – and will disappear within 30 years.

Whether you’re born within the sound of Bow Bells, have become a Londoner, or are now part of the Cockney diaspora, whatever your place of birth, colour or creed, ‘Speak Cockney Day’ is a time to celebrate Cockney life and culture – and do something to give it a new future.

Cockneys have always had to overcome class snobbery to survive. Now it needs to be made relevant to a new generation and new age to keep its cultural flame alive.

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Interview: Mark Borkowski and Andy Green

Andy:  Mark, how would you describe yourself?
Mark:   ‘A good human’.

A:  A good human in a vocational sense?
M: In a vocational sense I think my Skype handle is ‘publicist’ so I am a publicist. That’s on my passport. I think that I would have said ten years ago I was a storyteller, but that has become much maligned and everybody now’s a friggin’ storyteller. Read more