Lessons Comms School taught me

This week will see a conclusion to the first iteration of Comms School, a project my long-time mentor Stephen Waddington and I originated. Here is what it taught me.

Comms School is a Facebook community where Stephen and I run a series of webinars on blogging, content creation, and personal branding. Its main aim is to help students, but also more seasoned practitioners, get ahead in their careers through connecting with others online.

This week marks the final webinar. Each week, we were setting a homework for the community. For the final one, we asked to share top lessons learnt with Comms School.

I decided to share some of my learnings, too, as this was definitely a good lesson for me.

#1 Facebook Live

Starting with the most fundamental one. I learnt how to go live on Facebook. We’ve had some technical difficulties at the beginning but managed to tame the technology and make it work for us.

(All our previous webinars are available to watch on replay on our Facebook group.)

#2 Collaboration tools

Stephen and I tried to explore the workflow that would work for both of us. We now work together, so we’d be regularly brainstorming the new ideas in the office. Twitter direct messages were also an important communication tool. We’ve set up a Dropbox folder which allowed both of us to work on the decks in real time. For written content, we used Google Docs.

#3 Everyday learning

Especially in such a fast-paced and varied industry that is communications, you’ve to stay relevant. Intellectual curiosity is key. With Comms School we tried to encourage to explore passion to content creation, finding a voice, and tapping into own niche.

#4 The value of mentorship

Having a mentor can massively help you succeed. Working with Stephen on this project was an amazing experience and after knowing each other for such a long time, it was about time we did something together. Seeking mentors and building rapport with them is essential if we want to get ahead.

#5 The power of community

It’s been incredible to see people getting involved. We’ve had some great people around; anyone from Jessica Pardoe and India Barker to Nicola Brown and Keith Lewis, and many more.

We’ve also seen a lot of support from the industry influencers. A special shoutout and a thank you to Richard Bailey of PR Place, who supported us throughout the way.

In total, we’ve gathered over 500 students and practitioners and had over 400 active members. This is something we’ve been emphasising throughout all Comms School sessions — you can do anything with a supportive and strong community.

Huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the Comms School community. We’ll be back in September for another series of webinars and in the meantime we’ve a couple of projects in the works. Watch this space.

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