Blog

Our thinking, things we've spotted elsewhere, and vistas into life at Helpful...

Keeping safe online for #SaferInternetDay

5 Feb 2019 in Blog

We’ve been really pleased to see the huge reaction on Twitter to #SaferInternetDay 2019. In its 16th year, it’s all about working together for a better internet with advice and tools for keeping us safe online. Here we’ve rounded up some of the best advice and tools from the day in to a handy list. […]

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Publishing readable blog posts

1 Feb 2019 in Blog

Accessibility is becoming hugely important on the internet (as it should be!) and attention spans are shrinking so being able to write easy to read content is essential. This post isn’t about what you should write but instead has easy to follow tips on publishing a blog that everyone can read. 1. Use headings Readers […]

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5 free tools for comms people

28 Jan 2019 in Blog

There are so many no or low-cost tools available to monitor, assess and create winning content online. Costly subscriptions for digital monitoring and marketing software aren’t in the league of many of the organisations we work with – but that doesn’t mean they need to go without. We’ve done the hard yards for them by […]

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Staff training for data protection

28 Jan 2019 in Blog

Data. Protection. Privacy. Regulation. Serious-sounding words, but not ones that necessarily inspire staff to hop, skip and jump into work every day. So how can you engage large teams with their responsibilities around data privacy? After all, almost everyone engaged in work, voluntary or paid-for, is responsible for handling personal information. The London Borough of […]

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7 tips for freshening up your comms this New Year

4 Jan 2019 in Blog

You’re a digital communications manager returning to your desk after the festive break. You open your inbox to a stream of apparently ‘urgent’ emails, you can’t remember the Twitter password and your monitoring software provider calls to say they’ve increased your annual subscription fees. It might not feel like it at the time but this […]

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What did the Helpful team learn in 2018?

21 Dec 2018 in Blog

We’ve been taking stock of a big year for the Helpful team, in our 2018 Story. We’ve grown in numbers and scale (not least with the new team in the US!) but also in ambition and sophistication. It’s encouraging to see some pretty honest reflections from the team about the things we’ve been sorting out […]

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Facebook pages can now join groups

18 Oct 2018 in Blog

Administrators of Facebook groups now have an option to allow pages – not just people – to join their group.  This is important. Engaging with communities on Facebook has always been a challenge for companies, because one or more members of staff would have to join a group using their personal profile. That’s tricky because […]

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Accessibility for WordPress publishers

17 Oct 2018 in Blog

Accessibility (or ‘a11y’) doesn’t just refer to people with disabilities but is about ensuring everyone is able to use every site on the web. We work to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 in all our sites as standard, however we recently had the pleasure of working with one of our clients who is willing to […]

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Easy WordPress local development environment

17 Oct 2018 in Blog

We believe it letting the build team work in the environment that works best for them – but a local dev environment should also be painless and quick to setup. So recently we’ve rolled out an optional setup using Laravel Valet+ to keep simple tasks simple. TL;DR; As simple as Homebrew, Composer, and Valet+ are, using […]

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Podcasts: Where do I start?

21 Aug 2018 in Blog

  The number of podcast listeners has increased significantly over the past four years, reaching over 68 million in America in 2017. 44 percent of these listeners are millennials and 57 percent of those listeners hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. What used to be considered an outdated and “nerdy” platform has revolutionised media, news, […]

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Helpful’s first firebreak: what we learned

17 Jul 2018 in Blog

During June 2018, we had our first Gov.uk inspired ‘firebreak’, where we paused non-essential project work for 2-3 weeks so the build team could focus on their own individual projects; including researching new ideas & technologies, organising neglected repositories, remodelling dated templates and writing helpful guides and documentation. Urgent requests from clients were prioritised over […]

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Nine things we learned at #CommsCamp

12 Jul 2018 in Blog

We like Commscamp. A couple of hundred interesting public sector comms people in a lovely rambling building by the Birmingham & Fazeley canal, run on traditional unconference principles: no fixed agenda before the day, anyone can pitch a 50 min session, and the “law of two feet” applies (i.e. if a session is boring you, […]

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Happy Birthday to the NHS!

5 Jul 2018 in Blog

As a team here at Helpful, we've got our share of personal connections to the NHS at painful and joyful moments in own lives. So as the NHS turns 70 this week, we've been looking back at some of the NHS projects we've done in our eight years working with NHS and related organisations.

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Learnings from the Women Of Silicon Roundabout conference 2018

26 Jun 2018 in Blog

On Tuesday I joined 4000 others at the Women Of Silicon Roundabout conference in London, celebrating gender diversity in tech and the day as a whole was extremely interesting and inspiring. The best bits The standout for me was Sarah Raymond, product lead at Spotify. Spotify has 170m listeners across 65 countries so pinning down and understanding […]

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Three things to make your Twitter profile pop

8 Jun 2018 in Blog

You don’t have to search far to find online guides offering advice for creating the perfect Twitter profile. Many of the guides I’ve found online are focused on gaining more followers, but really that should come organically if you’ve mastered the basics of your profile. The ‘popping’ part of your profile should be personality. Here’s […]

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Social Simulator: now in New York City

5 Feb 2018 in Writing elsewhere

We’ve been doing business in the USA for several years, helping clients in sectors from pharmaceuticals to financial services, energy to agritech to stress-test their crisis and emergency preparedness through crisis drills incorporating a realistic and dynamic social media element. This month we enter an incredibly exciting new phase, as we’ve opened our first North […]

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Plotting my travels

12 Dec 2017 in Blog

My Grandparents were very proud of Dad’s travels with the Merchant Navy. On the wall of their home was a world map, with pins to show all the different places he’d visited. I used to spend hours looking at those pins and wondering. Since 2010 I’ve been using Foursquare and its later stablemate, Swarm. These two apps allow you to […]

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