Most things in life aren’t completely free, even free events. Time out of the office is a cost and a cost we must be able to justify. But we all need to take charge of our own development and careers – chances are no-one else will do it. So it’s important to carefully select how and where you go to learn, develop and connect.
We’re very fortunate that, in an industry beset with budget cuts, we still have access to free training and development opportunities. Events, workshops, webinars, websites – the places to go to receive helpful comms and marketing advice are quite plentiful. But the really, really good ones are in shorter supply so it’s important that we all manage our time well and pick and choose the best opportunities for ourselves and our teams.
Granicus’ “UKComm” event has grown and grown over the past few years to become one of the crown jewels on the UK public sector comms events calendar and is an event you should consider being at.
If you need to send a formal justification letter to your manager, here is a template for you to use.
Last year almost 400 attendees packed into the beautiful and impressive RIBA building (the Royal Institute of British Architects) in London, and this year similar numbers are expected in the same venue. Register today.
I have been very fortunate to play a small role in UKComm over the years. This year I’m looking forward to speaking about the current issues and opportunities for income generation in the public sector – I managed budgets and faced stiff income targets for years in my in-house roles so I absolutely appreciate the difficulties they can bring.
Not sure if it’s for you?
Here are five big ticks in the box for being at UKComm17…
- Tackling the big issues
From emergency comms planning and income generation tactics, to preparing for GDPR and getting a better return from digital, UKComm17 offers an agenda pitched with the largest challenges facing comms teams across the public sector in mind.
You’ll hear from people at the sharp end of communications dealing with these challenges and hear about case studies stuffed with learning.
- A day out of the office can stop you from stagnating
I’ve worked with and spoken to many teams and individuals this year and I know that some genuinely struggle to find time away from the office without the phone ringing to ask “where are you?”.
Despite the obvious temptations to be present, always, this isn’t actually a sound reason to stay tied to our desks. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Let’s face it, in some roles you could sit there for 70 hours-plus every single week and there would still be problems to sort, people to help. I tried that approach once, a while back now, putting my own development on hold, and I actually stopped enjoying my job as I felt I was stagnating. My learning on this? Plan and shape your time out of the office wisely and get the best personal development return you can.
- Connecting with new faces
There’s still nothing to beat face-to-face conversations and meetings. At UKComm17 it’s guaranteed that you won’t know everyone in the room.
So over some very nice lunch, coffee breaks and even in the pub afterwards you can connect with new people, and say hello to colleagues you’ve only previously met virtually on Twitter.
Swap stories, lessons and contact details. Arrange to meet them again. Invite someone whose work you love for a coffee – you’ll almost never regret it and it’s still fascinating to see where these new conversations can go.
- Arming yourself with the latest research
As an industry we’re awash with data and research intelligence. In truth not all of it is great. But at UKComm17 Granicus will be launching a detailed new whitepaper on income generation and budget savings. It will be packed with case studies detailing how comms teams have saved and generated money by doing things differently.
Why is this whitepaper important? I suspect that most of you have taken budget cutting blows and managed and evolved incredibly well. You have almost certainly taken the quick, easy and obvious savings years ago. So where do we go next to stay afloat and balance the budget you’ve been handed, targets and all?
Attendees of UKComm17 will be the first to see this whitepaper which could provide ideas and inspiration for your own next steps in generating potential new funding streams.
- September: The perfect time to review your comms strategy
I always found September to be a good time to go back and review and refresh that annual comms strategy. Hopefully you’ve managed a bit of time off during the summer and those batteries have taken a bit of a recharge.
Is your annual comms strategy working? Is it on track to deliver its objectives? Where does it need be tailored and updated now that you’re six-months in?
For tips on planning and delivering an effective content marketing strategy, download Granicus’ Content Marketing Guide for the Public Sector.
A day of learning and inspiration from other colleagues in similar roles can be a great way to spark and ignite a session with your own team to reflect and make the necessary changes to your strategy with six months of the financial year remaining.
There are many more reasons to be at UKComm17, of course. So if your boss asks you why you should be there give him or her your top two or three reasons from this list. Or indeed raise any other good reasons which apply to you and your organisation right now.
I looking forward to it and saying hello on 26 September.
If you are planning on coming, please register here.
By Darren Caveney, creator of comms2point0, owner of creative communicators ltd and a speaker at #UKComm17