We can be heroes

A week ago I blogged about my concerns of taking part in the Commshero conference in Manchester. Last night I had a nightmare about my appalling presentation that was of no interest to anyone. Well, despite all these concerns I took part in Commshero today and survived it.

There were definitely some uncomfortable moments including me having to attempt to sing, which for everyone was luckily drowned out by the rest of the delegates. But I came away with a lot some new friends, memories of some fun and creative moments with people I had only just met, and some interesting insights from a wide range of people.

As communication professionals we are always ready and willing to share knowledge, experience and information with others. In these times of financial challenges and daily work pressures having a support network that you can go to is really critical. Today’s conference was all about making those connections that will be able to help in the future.

It was interesting to hear Grant Leboff talk about communication changing and now being about giving people an experience. I like that explanation about why and how things have been changing. People are becoming more sophisticated as they are able to take control of what they receive and how they want to receive it. But we do need to remember there are a group that are still unable or unwilling to take the opportunities of the latest developments. I am not sure policing is an experience however, there are ways we have achieved this through social media interaction, community reporters and communication activity.

The importance of developing an understanding of the science of communication was another theme to take away from London Underground communicators and Commsnerds Heather Wagoner and Paul Facer. It is something all communication professionals need to get to grips with in this ever-changing world. It doesn’t have to be something that costs a fortune as there are MOOCs available providing free academic courses that you can access. Check out Coursera and FutureLearn.

Finally, Caroline King and Asif Choudry discussed the importance of your personal brand and how to develop it. I totally agreed with the sentiments expressed that you need your own network and to put yourself out into the discussion to get something back. We all have busy day jobs but to keep on top of what we do is important not only for us but for your employer, staff and colleagues.

I was hugely impressed with the organisation of the event and particularly the attention to detail. The same attention to detail we should all aspire to show every day at work. So, I think I survived Commshero, well more than that I think I came away a richer person for the experience I had. Thanks have to go to all the hardworking team that made it happen. And in the words of David Bowie ‘we can be heroes’ – Commsheroes.

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