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

4 easy ways to share your social media highs from 2016

31 Dec 2016 in Blog

It’s that time of the year when everyone seems to be writing blog posts to reflect on the year that’s about to end. All very well if you have some time on your hands or lots to say. But what if you’re busy on New Years Eve or need to remind yourself what’s happened for […]

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How to avoid mistakes when scheduling social media posts

21 Dec 2016 in Blog

Good social media is engaging, timely, and visually appealing. The pace of change and expectations for good quality content are ever increasing. For example more and more channels offer live video streaming. However, scheduling still has its place and done well can make your life a lot easier. Do try different tools There are a wide […]

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2016, the rise of emojis

19 Dec 2016 in Blog

 ➀➅🌅😀 I’m calling it. 2016 is the year of emojis. The past year has been famous (or infamous) for many things, but those little faces and pictures that we use in our digital messaging have really etched their way into our lives in 2016. Love them or hate them, emojis have now emerged as a […]

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Helping Essex Council launch customer service on social

6 Dec 2016 in Blog

Essex County Council have been early adopters of social media channels for sharing important messages and promoting their services. In Summer 2016, the Council began to respond to individual comments and questions directed at their two main social media channels on Twitter and Facebook. Taking this step is no mean feat: Essex is one of […]

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Happy Thanksgiving – Don’t burn your house down

24 Nov 2016 in Blog

A good example here from the States about the power of video. Here are two pieces of content that are part of campaign to encourage people to cook their turkey responsibly (without setting fire to the house!) at Thanksgiving. We don’t all have access to content quite as dramatic as this. But compare this tweet (image, […]

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Election news bot cuts through the chatter

14 Nov 2016 in Blog

Like many people, I was amazed to wake up to the news that Donald Trump was close to winning the US Presidential election. As the day has gone on the final result is gradually sinking in.  I’m a big fan of Hillary Clinton and wrote my dissertation on her transformation of the role of First Lady, […]

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What’s a crisis exercise really like?

8 Nov 2016 in Writing elsewhere

A thorough social simulation should be demanding, but not impossible. And while we don’t say a lot about all the interesting projects we get involved with, that doesn’t mean we’re not having a lot of fun in the process.

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Mastering the Art of the Possible

24 Oct 2016 in Blog

Understanding how the web impacts your work isn’t always easy, particularly if most of your work happens offline. Working with people who are sat at desks, with computers and internet connections to hand, all day every day, is one thing. But helping those who are out doors, moving around and operating machinery is quite different. […]

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Be sure to verify a comment or question, before you respond

25 Sep 2016 in Blog

Online customer service is surrounded by common sense advice. Don’t feed the trolls, keep customers informed even if you can’t help them straight away. That sort of thing. Happily, most teams we meet are increasingly well versed in this advice. However, there’s one area we don’t hear people mention very often, and it really should […]

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Hello, audience: this is what’s on my mind

6 Sep 2016 in Blog

I see myself as someone who has grown with social media. The other day I was discussing  with a close friend about how our presence on social media has adapted to suit our current lives.  When you look back over the past ten years and think about your social media footprint, isn’t it amazing how […]

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T shirt says I'm totally blogging this

Five tips for better corporate blogs

10 Aug 2016 in Blog

Corporate blogs are a strange place. Often a neat aggregation of the different things an organisation does, rarely personal and hard work to maintain and promote. Generally, these days, I encourage organisations to avoid launching corporate blogs. Far more interesting and credible are proper blogs, written first-hand, by staff on their own channels. Staff who […]

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Can you put a value on your social media campaign?

28 Jul 2016 in Blog

How can you determine the value of your social media campaign? Number of people reached, retweets and shares, likes and comments, website hits?  All useful and easy to measure but how about ‘identifying a new gene associated with a disease’? I was really excited to read the news from ALS that the money raised from […]

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Someone skiing uphill

How do we evaluate learning new skills and growing confidence?

26 Jul 2016 in Blog

We’re often asked: how do you evaluate the Digital Action Plan? Quite rightly, clients want to know their learning budget is being put to good use. We don’t (yet) have a fancy evaluation framework, or a standard way of scoring people. This is because: this programme is about confidence as much as skills. Confidence is very […]

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19 Jul 2016 in Writing elsewhere

Our new colleague Kate get shot at in her first week

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A Pokemon inside Doncaster library

Pokemon Go – police and councils play the game

19 Jul 2016 in Blog

Whether you’re a fan or just bewildered there’s no ignoring the Pokemon Go phenomenon. It’s not without controversy, but done well, Pokemon is an opportunity to engage with a new audience and share key messages about your organisation’s services and priorities. Here are just a couple of examples I’ve seen of public sector teams linking up their […]

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