An updated round-up of what came out of #commscamp16

CommsCamp16-401Firstly, thank you coming, reading, sharing, baking, eating, videoing, sponsoring, volunteering, donating, photographing, tweeting, pitching or facilitating to make commscamp a hugely enjoyable event.

We loved it. We love doing it and we’d like to do one next year too – on July 14 2017.

But one really enjoyable spin-off are the blogs, videos and other things that emerge from the event.

We’ve tried to capture them here and we’ll update every day until people stop writing and creating things.

11 (and counting) things from commscamp16


Karen Jeal Commscamp16

Catherine Levin I Went to Commscamp and I

Dan Slee Simple tips on running your own unconference.

Dan Slee 26 short things and one long thing from #commscamp16.

Nick Booth 17 things I picked up at #commscamp16, oh, and one biggish thing.

Francis Clarke A foam finger makes all the difference and 6 other things I learned from #commscamp16

Alan Ferguson My thoughts on commscamp16

Kirstie McKenzie Culture Club – Internal Communications

Dave Musson 47 things I took away from commscamp 

Lauren Kelly Facebook pixel – targetting content to the right people.


Dave Musson A check-list on how to improve your linkedin profile.


Kelly Quigley-Hicks’ unboxing video after winning the baking prize.

Steven Davies and Sophie Edwards Pitching and welcomes

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Only two days to commscamp 16

It really is not long now.

Here’s a reminder if you are coming along on Thursday July 14.

What to do now…

If you can’t come let us know. Not everyone can get away and that’s fine. But do let us know.

Facebook, Twitter debate and discuss. We have a Facebook group where people kick around ideas for sessions and on Twitter @commscamp with all updates at #commscamp16.

If you are in two minds about pitching a session… DO! If you want to talk about it, if there’s a problem that needs solving or if you think you’ve got some answers, do it. But no powerpoint. Okay?

BRING OR BAKE! Bring along a homemade cake for our cake table. Each slice bought gets a raffle ticket where incredible prizes can be won. Like the best of Cliff Richard LP. Or a cat ornament. Bring a prize if you can’t bring a cake. Pre-loved stuff is fine.

The night before social. There’s a pre-camp social the night before that involves drinks and curry. We’ll be at the Anchor, Bradford St, from 6pm and Manzils, Digbeth at 8pm. You can sign up for a curry ticket here

So you need a place to stay. There’s a list of hotels on our website just in case. Take a look at some helpful information. There’s also a map on how to get there.

On the day…

Yes, there will be a walking train from New St and Moor St stations. It’ll leave New Street at 9am and we’re asking people to meet by Pret a Manger in the main concourse. You’ll see volunteers with a red foam hand and a commscamp sign. It’ll then swing by Moor Street at 9.15am and be at the Bond Company venue at 9.30am.

Yes, there will be ice cream. We’ve booked a VW Camper ice cream van for the afternoon so clearly, there will be sunny skies.

You’re bringing your car. There is parking at the venue ONLY for blue badge holders – book in advance by emailing – and limited street parking but there are pay and display car parks a short walk away. There is a Google map here with car parks marked.

Registration is from 9am on Monday July 7 at The Bond Company, Fazeley Street, Digbeth, Birmingham and the event starts at 10am. Please try and get there by 9.30am. There will be tea and coffee.

At the end of the day. We should be all done by around 5.30pm and we’ll head along to The Old Crown in Digbeth High Street for those who’d like a quick wind-down.

Any questions, just ask.

The commscamp team.

With thanks to our gold sponsors GovDelivery, Knowledge Hub, Digital Action Plan by Helpful Technology, MusterPoint and Touch Design silver supporter Alive With Ideas and supporters UK Govcamp, PSF, NUJ, Government Communications Service, LGComms, David Banks and Local Government Association. They are all lovely people.

Written by Dan Slee

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What will you pitch at commscamp 16?

One of the things I love about commscamp is the fact that the attendees set the agenda. They come along with ideas buzzing and just go for it, telling the room what they hope to cover. And if people like the sound of what has been pitched, the scene is set and it becomes a commscamp session. It’s as simple as that.

Often the success of commscamp and the pitches on the day is because new people who haven’t pitched sessions before get involved. It means more sessions that are fresh, give a different perspective and resonate or are the complete opposite with what others are thinking. Whichever it is, you’re always likely to learn something new. If you’re a first timer for commscamp 16, here’s a few tips that may help you get your pitch prepped.

1. Everyone at commscamp is really supportive and they want to hear what you have to say.
2. You can pitch on an issue or challenge that you have at work that you need help with. Pitching a session doesn’t mean you have to have the answers – it’s about finding common ground with others and with over 150 attendees expected at commscamp, there is bound to be someone there who has been through similar circumstances and is happy to share.
3. If you don’t feel comfortable going it alone, you can double up and do a session with someone else.
4. Fun, let it all out therapy sessions work really well. It doesn’t have to be serious.
5. Practical learning sessions always go down a storm.

And if the above doesn’t help, there’s already a host of really interesting sessions that have been put forward on the commscamp facebook group. They range from talking about Brexit and how it affects you as a comms professional to how to manage a myriad of social media accounts. If you haven’t yet joined, you’re welcome to do so. Just search commscamp on facebook, send us a request and we’ll add you.

Alternatively tweet your ideas in the next two days using #commscamp16 and you’ll get an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

That being said this is my fourth year at commscamp and I’ve never seen anyone’s ideas not taken up. Please if you are coming for the first time, I’d encourage you to give it a go. I think you’ll be pleased you did.

Photo credit: Ann Kempster


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commscamp: a space to talk in difficult times

Commscamp is upon us and boy, we need it. We’re pleased to have MusterPoint as a gold sponsor. Here the founder of the public sector management tool writes about the need for space to talk in interesting times.

by Christine Townsend

If there is one thing that is certain at the moment, it is uncertainty and as clichéd as it may be, these really are unprecedented times of change.  Thankfully, we have CommsCamp to look forward to and provide a space for useful and thoughtful discussion about what happens next in the world of public sector comms

The beauty of an event like CommsCamp is that regardless of the turbulence that the world is going through, there are still people who want to come together to explore, learn, discuss and develop. These are people that will have different opinions and that is the best thing – there is no point in having a day of nodding dogs getting together because nothing would get done and nothing would change.

Our individual experiences and views, which are inevitably seen through a different lens for each and every one of us is collectively our strength. It wouldn’t be too grand to describe the event as some sort of summit. It’s an amazing opportunity to discuss together in a timely fashion the best way forward to support each other in what will inevitably be tough. It will be tough for different reasons, but it certainly isn’t going to be a walk in the park for anyone. But then who in public sector comms does the job because it’s easy?

I’ve never liked easy – sometimes when transitioning from public sector to start up founder I’ve hankered after easy, but then as everyone is quick to point out – I’d get bored, I’d be unchallenged and ultimately feel unfulfilled. MusterPoint came about because of change – it was the way social media changed the policing landscape beyond recognition during the London riots in August 2011. It was a long week that shocked and inspired people in equal measure and those events arguably pushed this country through an uncomfortable period of change.

Almost five years later and the way we communicate has changed, but the fact that people want to communicate has not. That’s why public sector comms specialists are as vital and relevant as they ever have been.

The reason why I am such a supporter of CommsCamp is because it always energises me and I can be guaranteed of learning from peers and people who I would never get a chance to share a space with. I’m looking forward to seeing how the future looks to everyone and am genuinely happy to be able to help acilitate such conversations.

Christine Townsend is founder and CEO of MusterPoint the social media management tool for emergency services, public sector and government. 

Christine musterpoint jpeg

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