How to disrupt Black Friday, and other comms tips: things I learned in November

Still from Traidcraft video: "This year, a third of all people want Black Friday to be stopped."

A still from Traidcraft’s Just Friday campaign video.

November was a big month in media, from the American election, fake news and “post-truth” politics to the annual Black Friday frenzy. There is always something you can learn from observing how different organisations approach topical issues, so here are a few things I’ve learned in the past month.

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Optimise Oxford: social media, sell-side and SEO

Flyers for Optimise Oxford.One of the things I like about meetups is the discussion that takes place after the talks have finished. At last week’s Optimise Oxford, it went like this:

Someone asked for a show of hands: “Who uses ad blockers?”. Followed by another show of hands: “Who works in digital marketing?” Hmm, what was that saying about biting the hand that feeds you? Read more ›

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Posted in Digital marketing, Social media, Websites

Five things Brexit can teach you about communication

A newspaper stand with British newspapers, the day before the Brexit referendum.

The repercussions from the UK referendum on leaving the EU are going to run and run for a long time. That’s another discussion, but I’ve found it interesting to see the different conversations on the subject have been taking place in, and about, the media.

There are lessons to be learned – and yes, they include some serious “don’ts” – by anyone who wants to get a message across. Read more ›

Posted in Journalism, Social media

Criticism and context: why we still need professional reviewers

Me and a friend backstage at a gig.

Backstage, and reaching for my notebook.

Is being a music writer “tough and important work”? Well, one music writer thinks it is. Tim Sommer, writing in the New York Observer, argues that “Daily newspapers need music writers now more than ever.”

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How to learn from your clients

Black jacket and grey top.

My new capsule wardrobe.

One of the great things about being freelance is working for a variety of clients, instead of just one employer. For every job, there are new things to learn, which help you to grow your professional skills, business skills and interpersonal skills.

There are things you can learn from your client, too.

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Posted in Freelancing