The term “crisis” generally conjures up images in most people’s minds of a big incident or a major disaster along the lines of the BP Deep Horizon oil leak, that requires carefully planned responses which are both operational and communication based. Crises however can take many forms and may not necessarily be a major event.
Last night saw the political and business leaders of Guernsey get together for the annual IoD debate. Moderated by Nick Ross the discussion was wide ranging: tax, students, the brain drain, farming, sausages, economic migrants and of course, Jersey.
Orchard has been taking part in the IoD Management Shadowing Scheme (sponsored by KPMG) and for a few days this week we have had Laura Butler in the office with us. Laura is really keen to get into PR and plans to study it at degree level after she finishes studying at The Grammar School next year – so she seemed like the ideal candidate to come along to Orchard and see what a manager does here. She will write a report and give a presentation on her experience later in the year, but for a sneak preview – we asked what she thought of her short time here…
The end is nigh for my time at Orchard PR and I can safely say I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and learnt a great deal about the industry I hope to become part of one day.
My few days here have really surprised me as this is certainly not your average 9-5 desk job. It was good to see early on that PR would not just be about being in an office when straight away, before I’d even had the chance to take my jacket off, I was off to the Guernsey Press to get a real understanding of how working with the media and PR go hand in hand and are key in this industry.
A smart move today by the IoD in Guernsey as they hosted a social media seminar for local businesses. A full house showed the interest locally in getting a better handle on the topic and there were good presentations from Katherine Salt, a social media consultant based in Jersey, and Nick Masters, head of digital for big four accountancy firm PWC. There was also an outing for the excellent Socialnomics video – jampacked full of great social media related stats.
Significantly however both speakers focused not on how amazing technology is, or how clever you can be with social media but rather on the people using social media. It’s part of their everyday lives, it’s useful and it’s fun. Businesses have to recognise that fact first of all before they can hope to devise a social media strategy that can bring them some benefits. The consensus (amongst the main speakers anyway) was that the key thing to recognise about social media is that it is a fundamental change in the way we communicate, not in the actual physical act of communication being online rather than in person, or through the media, but the way we act and react. Communication in a social media world is not a one way street – listening, as well as talking, is a vital skill.
Last week I spoke to about 100 students and managers at the IOD Guernsey Management Shadowing Awards – the reason I was chosen as the guest speaker was that I was the winner of the Management Shadowing programme way back in 2001. For you mathematicians out there you will have worked out that was 10 years ago. My presentation therefore was appropriately titled ‘what a difference a decade makes’….
Wednesday is not usually the most inspiring day of my working week (I reserve this for Tuesdays and Fridays), but this Wednesday 28th April 2010 was no average day in the office. I found myself the lucky chaperone of three Guernsey students who were attending the Institute of Directors Annual Convention at the Royal Albert Hall all thanks to winning a competition run by De Putron Fund Management at our Guernsey Institute of Directors annual debate last October.