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How can you make your Comms grow successfully?

The art of creating engaging content that inspires, educates and delights audiences is something Comms pros are well versed in.

We talk a lot about growing channels and creating nurturing conditions for communication to flourish.

Today I’m delighted to welcome Comms professional Daisy Payne to the All Things IC blog, to focus on growth of a different kind.

She’s been brightening up our TV screens here in the UK during her special appearances on This Morning.

Her gardening tips segments on the iconic TV programme are colourful and inspirational. Daisy is a natural on camera and has a wonderful way of instilling confidence in viewers and encouraging them to give it a go.

By day she works in Comms for Nationwide Building Society and I was curious to know how both passions work together.

Here’s our interview…

Test: How can you make your Comms grow successfully.

Daisy please can you tell us how you discovered a love of gardening?

My love of gardening has grown over the last five years or so; it all began when my partner and I bought our first home. Having lived for many years in rented flats in London, a home with a garden in the Cotswolds was a very new thing and that’s where this all started.

If you’ve ever bought a new build, you’ll know you just get given a mud patch for a garden, so over the last five years it’s been my little project. 

On top of all that, last year in the first lockdown after two years of waiting, I got an allotment in my village too. So, it all keeps me very busy (in a good way!). 

Daisy Payne

Are there any crossovers between your role in Comms and that of a gardener? Are there any transferable skills?

There are so many crossovers. 

In both Comms and gardening you need to have a strategy and a plan.

Both also require creativity, a need to be open to new ideas as well as knowing when to rely on tried and tested methods too (sometimes a good old fashioned email is the best approach in comms right?). Both comms and gardening also require patience and time. 

What are the benefits of gardening?

Too many to mention. It keeps me healthy, body and mind. I grow my own fruit, vegetable and salad… there truly is no better feeling than that. 

How has your Comms career to date helped with your recent media appearances?

My Comms background definitely gave me the confidence to say “yes” to doing live tv. 

Having worked in media relations and internal communications, although I’m nervous before going live or filming a segment, in the back of my mind I know I have the skills, experience and training I can fall back on! 

This adventure has certainly taught me – and this is important because so many of us have self-doubt – that even if it scares you, say “yes” and you’ll find a way to do it. Pressure is good.

Challenging yourself and going out of your comfort zone is scary, but I’ve learnt an incredible amount. I’ve also absorbed so much through the experiences I’m gaining.

It is really opening my eyes to how vital good content is to engaging audiences. 

Growing my Instagram following has been a brilliant way of building even more understanding of content and content strategy.

The art of creating brilliant, engaging content while also developing and maintaining a sense of brand and identity has been a very rewarding challenge. And it’s a journey I’m still travelling but learning loads from. I’m taking this discipline and insight back into my day job too.

Daisy Payne
Further reading
: Watch Daisy in action on This Morning.

What do we need to know about Garden To Garnish? Who is it aimed at?

Well, Garden To Garnish just started out as my Instagram handle @gardentogarnish and now it’s so much more! 

I created The Garden To Garnish Club in February this year. It’s a gardening club for beginners, so if you’ve never done any gardening in your life, but want to learn how, join the club!

There are tutorials, online resources, guides, regular online events with me and lots more, including exclusive member discounts and giveaways with some of my favourite brands. 

Garden To Garnish website

What do your Comms colleagues think of your green fingers?

My colleagues at Nationwide Building Society have all been so amazingly supportive and I’d really like to say a huge thank you to them all for cheering me on. I feel very lucky to work for an organisation that is so inherently kind and supportive – that’s a mutual for you. We really are quite different to your PLCs or privately owned companies.  

Oh and about the a year ago I started a “Gardeners of Nationwide” Yammer group and you can imagine how thriving that group is now too! 

I love the idea of gardening, but have had little success. I have a house full of faux foliage as a result! What top tips would you give time-poor Comms pros like me who would like to try their hand?

My best advice is always start small; whether that’s plants outside or inside. 

It’s the same if you were going to try something a little different in your approach to Comms – you’d probably want to test and learn a little before you go “all in”.

Try buying a house plant or potting up a little container of colour outside. Learn as much as you can about how to care for it, to water it and so on. Then if you’re successful, you can do more! 

Is there anything else you think we should know or you want to tell us?

If you’d like to join the Garden To Garnish Club, you can find out all the details online

Thank you very much Daisy, I wish you the best of luck with the Garden To Garnish club. You can also find Daisy on Twitter @GardenToGarnish.

In answer to the question I posed at the start of this article, there are various ways to nurture your internal communication so it can flourish.

If you want your communication to grow successfully, I encourage you to listen to this episode of my Candid Comms podcast: How to plan your IC channels.

Candid Comms podcast

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, thank you for stopping by,

Rachel.

Post author: Rachel Miller.

First published on the All Things IC blog 1 July 2021.

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