Three days in and I’m feeling revitalised and full of energy having spent quality time talking with people about a subject I’m passionate about. Many Comms professionals, myself included, work alone or in small teams within organisations without people around them to bounce ideas off and share thoughts. This could lead to feeling isolated, however I don’t believe that has to be the case. There are so many opportunities to share ideas with others (in your organisations as well as externally), through professional membership of groups such as IoIC, CIPR, Melcrum, forums online and good old face-to-face conversations.
On Tuesday night I met up with Jenni Wheller, Internal Communications Manager from food travel experts SSP and Dana Leeson, Group Communications Executive at BSI. This was the second time we have got together in recent months and we spent an enjoyable evening talking through situations we are facing/have faced and sharing top tips over dinner.
Last night I saw Sarah Hodges, who I mentor. Sarah has begun a new role this week at Ernst & Young and it was great to find out how her week has been so far and hear her insights into the change from public sector (she was previously at Essex County Council) to financial services and her initial thoughts about her role. I know she will do well and thrive in her new position.
Today Liam FitzPatrick, Head of Practice at Bell Pottinger Change and Internal Comms, and I met for lunch and shared our thoughts on a variety of subjects. Yet again I was reminded how small the comms world is as we discovered more mutual contacts and it was good to hear his thoughts and share some of my own.
If you haven’t had the chance/budget to go to conferences and training courses, I’d recommend taking matters into your own hands and developing your network as it’s extremely cathartic to share time with other Comms professionals to learn from them and to share your opinions too. Ending up with new ideas or a fresh perspective on a situation you/your organisation is facing can never be a bad thing and you simply can’t beat meeting face-to-face – it’s good for us to practice what we preach!