I rarely treat myself to anything new and that is due mainly to the fact I have some very expensive animals in my life. Trust me, if your child, partner or friend asks you if they should buy a horse just tell them to burn money. But last weekend I did treat myself to a new pair of shoes for work and not before time as my others had seen better days. The week has been tough on them and me so I thought I would share some of the highlights.
If anyone thinks the life of a PR or communication person is glamorous then I think my week may change your views. The week started with a 7am start on Monday morning as I got up to speed with what had happened over the weekend and anything that I needed to know. It had been a busy Sunday and the on-call press officer had a lot to do. My first day of the week did have a highlight of recognising the contribution one of the team and someone from elsewhere in the organisation had given for a project at the end of last year. It is not often that I give out any kind of formal awards but their dedication to the HackManchester project was worthy of recognition.
After a short break to go and see the horse I mentioned before I went back to work to help out at a police officer attestation. For those who don’t know what that is, it is a formal event that is when they swear an oath to the Queen and are keen their police powers. After 18 years in policing it is the first time I had been to an attestation.
Tuesday was a chance to catch up on producing a number of regular documents, reports and updates. But also to welcome a colleague from Surrey Police who popped in to look at what the team was doing but also to share thoughts, ideas and some issues. When I arrived home I continued to write the reports that I had been ploughing through during the day.
The middle of the week was marked with a discussion about the Police Band and a review of the contribution made during the last financial year. As head of communication I have a varied role which includes responsibility for the Police Museum and the Police Band. You have to learn a lot about a whole range of things to lead such a diverse team. The day ended with a late meeting with a range of people from diverse backgrounds to discuss the future of policing and consultation that is underway.
Yesterday started early with a trip to a police and community meeting in Droylsden and a chance to talk about the consultation again. It ended with conversations about how to improve access to services, website developments, online reporting, live chat through the website and use of phone lines.
I was pleased to see Friday arrive and the weekend was finally in sight. I started my day in Old Trafford talking to community workers and residents about the consultation and discussing the issues that mattered to them. It was followed by meetings about how to improve the connection with the public and some huge PR and internal communication campaigns that are being planned.
I had to say goodbye to a member of the team who is moving to a new challenge in a new organisation after seven years. But there was no cosy Friday night in for me. After a quick brew and a bite to eat I was back to work and a briefing at 9.15pm in Manchester city centre. This time it was to the volunteers who work with police and emergency services to keep the city centre safe during the night. The discussion was once again the consultation and how they could get involved and share the information.
Now I have finally taken off those new pair of shoes and made myself a cup of tea. It is a time to unwind and reflect on what has been a busy week. Anyone who things a job as head of communications is easy needs to step into the shoes and discover the reality. Have a great weekend everyone.