Right back at it again: what I made of #commscamp15

19445194710_d6349e91a5_zIt’s about time I blogged again isn’t it? I mean, I am a social media professional after all! In truth, I’ve been meaning to get back into it for a while but have been waiting for that spark of inspiration…it finally came thanks to #commscamp15.

I’ve been to all three editions of CommsCamp and loved them all and the 2015 version last week was just as helpful as I thought it would be. I’d strongly recommend looking back at the #commscamp15 hashtag on Twitter and checking out this list of post-event blog posts.

But, before you do that, here’s my two pennies’ worth.

Thoughts on #commscamp15

Much as the first CommsCamp was great, I definitely prefer having it in July to February!

Digbeth in the summer sunshine looks like small-town America

Pitching a session gets much easier and less scary each time you do it – don’t be afraid to give it a go at #commscamp16!

David Banks is a really useful person to know when it comes to media law.

If someone sues you for libel and you’ve got it wrong then get your apology in early – it can make a big difference to the overall sanctions.

From 3 November it’s going to be much easier to sue a newspaper for libel.

There has been an example of a standards committee over the act of a councillor liking something on Facebook – that’s a bit daunting.

Corrections aren’t always tucked away in a nib on page 37 – there was recently one on the front page of the Times.

Want your staff to use social media for work purposes? Make sure you offer clear guidance in Plain English – it’s something I’ve tried to do at the University of Warwick with our social media framework.

This guidance should also include legal advice – either get your legal team to help or hire David Banks to do it!

You can only make a fair vote for the star baker if you try as many of the cakes as possible.


Birmingham City Council used WhatsApp to push out interesting election stuff and engaged a new, younger audience in doing so. Geoff Coleman did a grand job of explaining it all.

You can broadcast to a WhatsApp group via a desktop, but it still needs to be tied to a phone – currently you can only use Android for this method.

Broadcast groups are limited to 256 people at the moment, but you can create more than one.

If you’re experimenting with WhatsApp make sure people can opt out if it’s not what they hoped it would be.

Snapchat and Yik Yak inevitably got mentioned in discussions around engaging younger people – my only reservation with these networks is whether or not the people using them actually want a University/Council etc in that space?

Albert Freeman makes a bloomin’ fantastic vegan banana loaf!

There’s a lot of enthusiasm for Periscope, but not many places have taken the plunge and tried it yet.

West Midlands Fire Service used Periscope to live stream the rescue of a dog – I wish I could have seen it!

Periscope is getting a lot of love because, like many other live streaming apps, it’s authentic, immediate and gives you access. I also really like how interactive and social it is – while discussing the platform we got a shout-out from an American TV channel juts because we asked them!

We Meerkat-ed a Periscope session and it was inception-tastic…you kind of had to be there.

Cake and unconferences go together like, well, cake and unconferences!

I wish one of my sessions hadn’t clashed with the one about video beyond YouTube from that man Albert Freeman – his slides look really good.

Universities and Councils are, in some ways, not all that different – for elected members just swap in Pro Vice-Chancellors.

On that note, I wonder if next year we could get a few more Uni types there and then run a session on how a Council and their local University might be able to work together?

No-one wanted to look at my beautiful social media infographic reports that I send to our senior officers and have hugely helped getting buy-in for what we do 😦

I got to talk about Instagram and Instameets for an hour – it was awesome.

Having explained instameets and talked about the Igers movement, other people in my session really ‘got’ it – I hope to see lots of instameets popping up soon!

At next year’s event how about, instead of a session, we do a quick Instameet around Digbeth?

Much as I’m hugely proud of being featured by Instagram, I still find it awkward telling people I have nearly 60,000 followers – I guess I’m just shy!

I wish I’d known about the playlist in advance! I’ll definitely try and add to next year’s version.

Another year, and I still didn’t win any tat prizes in the raffle 😦

CommsCamp is ace – please come back next year!

*Picture credit: W N Bishop from this Flickr set

**Blog post title song reference – A Day to Remember – Right Back At It Again


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