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

Why you should enjoy ‘Blue Monday’

It’s sort of officially Blue Monday on Monday January 16th –  the third Monday of January – symbolically the most depressing day of the year.

And it provides a great opportunity to promote greater understanding about mental well-being, positive psychology, or just an excuse to have a good time. And also for you to harness the power of memes in your life. Read more

Do a ‘Pre-Mortem’ on 2017 to make your planning and strategic thinking even more powerful

This plan failed - Why?

Do you want to be really prepared for all the opportunities and challenges that 2017 throws at you? Then you need to do a Pre-Mortem.

“You’re familiar with the concept of Post-Mortem – where you review and quickly identify what didn’t work, what went wrong – and who was to blame. All made easy by that greatest of gifts – hindsight.

One of your greatest enemies to your planning is over-optimism. Yes, even pessimistic you can be guilty of over emphasising the positive in your thinking.

Optimism bias is recognised by behavioural scientists, such as Robert Cialdini, for encouraging you to overstate the positive and underestimate the negative in your future planning.

So if you are planning for 2017, devising new strategies or new ideas you need to be aware of your optimism bias, and take constructive steps to counter its pervasiveness.

A great tool I use is the ‘Pre-Mortem’. It is a great way to help you overcome undue optimism or failing to fully appreciate certain risks. Read more

Interview: Chris Lewis, founder of world leading PR company Lewis Global Communications


Chris Lewis is the founder of Lewis Global Communications, one of the world’s leading public relations and communications agencies, with 600 staff across 27 offices throughout Asia, Europe and North America.

He is the author of three books; ‘The Unemployables’ a profile of 40 high achievers from all walks of life, ‘Brilliant Minds’ a satirical novel about politics and advertising, and his latest ‘Too Fast To Think’ – highlighting ways of reclaiming your creativity in a hyper-connected work culture, which recently topped the Amazon Hot New Releases chart. (All proceeds from his latest book are going to the creative arts foundation Kupambana.)

[Please note this interview was recorded before recent events in the Presidential elections in the United States.] Read more

Here’s a great storytelling tip to write a better script for your year ahead in 2017


The script for your year ahead – your speech lines and plot are already part-written. Yet is it the script you want? Is it the script that delivers the results you seek?

Luckily, you can do something to change your destiny, to create the outcomes you desire.

If you want to change things however, you first need to identify the script you are currently running. To change the behaviour or the expected outcome, you need to change the underlying script.

I teach about ‘story-listening’ in my Brand Story classes.

I share that there are 5 Prime Plots – by knowing the 5 Prime Plots you can listen and identify the plot at work in any message or communication. Read more

Celebrate Twixtmas


I love this time of year – forget Christmas or New Year – yes, Twixtmas is coming; the five days between the Christmas and New Year holidays. These days are a precious opportunity to do five things to make your world a better place.

We all complain of being ‘time poor’, yet we have five days where many complain of being bored, stuck in the house or fed up with the prospect of shopping or crowded car parks and city centres.

For several years now I have been promoting Twixtmas, tying into a theme of celebrating reciprocal altruism and building social capital. Twixtmas offers a fresh alternative to the excessive consumerism of Christmas, or the
over-indulgence of New Year.

It’s a time to do good, take stock, or look at things in a fresh light.

There are a lot of useful tips, advice and inspiration on the Twixtmas website.

Why not write your ten goals for the year, contact a friend or family member you’ve lost touch with, or do something for the environment?

Each day of Twixtmas has a special theme to encourage you to make the most of this special opportunity.

There’s even a test to measure how time poor you are (what do you mean? You haven’t got time to click through 🙂 ) Read more

The changing world of brand storytelling – an interview with Jim Hawker


I am blessed with knowing some really good people whose ideas and thinking inspire me, and I believe will inspire others.

In this new series I talk to leading thinkers and doers in marketing communications and PR on the changing world of how we tell corporate stories and brand stories.

The interviews aim to provide the latest insights from the lips of outstanding and original practitioners for the benefit of other practitioners, academics and students.

We start our series here with Jim Hawker, co-founder and Creative Director of leading London-based integrated communications agency Threepipe.


Andy: What ways do you do ‘storytelling’? How is that different to what you used to do, or how other agencies claim to do it? Read more

Did you know there are three types of problem and three different ways your creativity should respond?


I have been teaching about how to improve creative abilities and performance for over 25 years now. Yet, I am doing my best to alert people, make them aware that we need to be doing creativity differently, otherwise you could get left behind.

Creativity is a key driver for change, yet the nature of ‘doing creativity’ needs to change in order to be effective.

You need to recognise how growing complexity means traditional creative responses are increasingly inadequate to deliver ‘big multi-channel ideas’. You need strategic narratives.

Traditional PR skills in news storytelling and media relations, for example, are insufficient for outstanding results beyond 2016.

Failure to adapt could witness you being marginalised with less influence, budgets or status. However, help is at hand.

The key drivers for change are growing complexity coupled with greater convergence of communications, along with the need for greater emotional connections within communications.

Add to the mix the need to tell your story through images/moving images, plus the growth of content marketing, and recognition of public relations’ distinct skills in managing wider relationships and building social capital – all this adds up to massive, yet achievable, opportunities for creative communicators. Read more

Why PR needs a campaign against ‘Fluffy PR’.


I keep telling people that in the world of public relations there is a ‘monster’. It is holding back but could ultimately destroy PR, consigning it to become a dinosaur in the world of ye olde marketing communications.

The recent AMEC’s Measurement Month in September provided an opportunity for the agency where I work as an Associate, Smoking Gun PR, to launch a crusade against this monster.

The monster is called ‘Fluffy PR’.

Check out this brilliant two-minute animated film on the secret of how this monster can be destroyed. Read more