Getting ahead in your comms career

Conference
20 June 2019
09.30 - 17.00
CharityComms organisational and individual members: £180+vat
Corporate Partners: £225+vat
Small charity (income up to £1m) and freelancers: £200+vat
Medium charity (income £1-5m): £250+vat
Large charity (income £5m - 10m): £285+vat
Super large charity (income £10m+): £315+vat
Corporate/Public sector: £400+vat

This venue is wheelchair accessible.

etc. venues Prospero House
241 Borough High Street
London
SE1 1GA

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We all know the importance of professional development, right? Nothing stands still for long and change is happening all around us – so it’s important to keep developing our skills and knowledge, particularly if you want to take the next step in your comms career.

In this special career development training conference for comms officers and managers, we’ll help you develop the personal and professional skills you will need for a successful career journey.

There will also be an opportunity to reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses and to plan for the next steps in your career in charity communications.

This event is made up of streams so that you can tailor your day to suit your career path. Streams include leadership skills, personal and professional development, and improving your communications.

Refreshments and snacks will be provided during the breaks and there’ll be a two-course networking lunch.

Who is this for?

This event is for comms officers and early managers (though useful for long-term managers too depending on experience) looking to develop key professional skills and knowledge. It will also help you to develop your personal skills and offer advice for taking the next step in your comms career.

Have a question about the content? Please get in touch with Emma. Have a question about the event in general? Please get in touch with Harri.

On the agenda:

09.30 - 10.00
Registration and breakfast snacks

Smile Lounge

10.00 - 10.10
Welcome

Illuminate Suite

Adeela Warley
CEO, CharityComms

10.10 - 11.00
MePlc: changing your mindset for the modern world of work

Illuminate Suite

Today’s modern world of work requires a similarly modern mindset. Now it’s about being the leader of your own career rather than working for one organisation for life. While this seems daunting, it opens up an exciting possibility: the opportunity to create exactly the career you want – one rich in varied experiences and relationships. It also gives you more autonomy over how you work, allowing you to flex working patterns to adapt to life circumstances and achieve a better work-life balance. To get the very best for yourself you need to be able to clearly define the “product” you offer, PR your contribution effectively and build a sound personal career strategy – this talk will show you exactly how.

Lara Roche
founder, The Talent Sphere

11.00 - 11.10
Peer discussions

Illuminate Suite

11.10 - 11.35
Refreshments and sector networking

Smile Lounge

Time to chill and grab a cuppa. You’ll also have the chance to network with your peers in our sector networking area (next to CharityComms’ reception) for charities working in: health, medicine, hospitals, hospices and mental health

11.35 - 12.25
Breakout session one
Personal and professional development
1a. Developing your influencer and negotiation skills

Smile 1

Your influencing and persuasion skills are key for helping you achieve your career goals. From managing external suppliers and working in cross-functional teams to getting board buy-in or asking for a promotion – influencing is a crucial skill in modern working life. In this session, you’ll fine-tune your skills of persuasion and learn how to increase your influence and credibility.

Kiran Ramchandani​, interim head of brand, marketing and communications, Anthony Nolan

Suitable for: all budgets and for officers and early mangers who are keen to increase influence and credibility. No prior knowledge required

Improving your communications
1b. How to be a strategic communicator (repeated in breakout two)

Smile 2

What are the opportunities and challenges facing your charity and how does your work fit with this bigger picture? Do you have a communications theory of change? If you want to build your comms career, understanding strategic communications is key. In this practical session, you will learn more about strategic approaches to communications that can maximise the effectiveness of your work and enable you to participate in strategic discussions and influence direction. You will get a basic grounding in strategic comms theory enabling you to develop your own strategies back at the office. There will also be an opportunity to participate in group work to apply theory to practice.

Sarah Fitzgerald
director, Self Communications

Suitable for: all budgets and for officers and early mangers who are keen to develop strategic thinking

Leadership skills
1c. How to be a leader, not just a manager: what does the evidence teach us?

Smile 3

How can you further enhance your line management skills, enabling those below and around you to transform as professionals? Research by the Work Foundation has revealed the behaviours that distinguish outstanding leaders from merely good leaders. This interactive session will help you succeed by thinking and acting more systemically as a leader.

Michael Connellan
head of external affairs, JDRF

Suitable for: all budgets and for early managers (and ambitious officers)

Personal and professional development
1d. Developing your role when there’s no obvious ‘next step’ and getting board buy-in for comms

Smile 4

From comms assistant to marketing manager, if you work for a small charity your role can be varied, to say the least. In this session, we’ll hear from Paige about how she built a comms department from the ground up and embedded marketing and comms as an essential function across the organisation. Paige will cover how to assess your comms requirements, build a business case, refine your “sales pitch” and get board-buy in for comms. Come armed with your challenges to discuss with Paige and your peers.

Paige Hughes
marketing and communications manager, TLC Talk Listen Change

Suitable for: comms staff in smaller charities wishing to carve out their next role and increase resources and staffing

12.35 - 13.15
Breakout session two
Personal and professional development
2a. Building resilience in a fast-paced world

Smile 1

We live in complex, uncertain and ever-changing times. In order to navigate such times, we need to build resilience. This session will explore the different manifestations of feeling overwhelmed or stressed as a result of living in a fast-paced world. The session offers attendees the chance to understand what being resilient really means and how it can help them navigate modern life. We will end with five tried and tested strategies that attendees can try out and take away with them to implement day-to-day.

Hannah Massarella
founder, Bird

Suitable for: people who work in busy, challenging, sometimes stressful roles who are keen to feel more energised and resilient whilst navigating their work

Improving your communications
2b. How to be a strategic communicator (repeated from breakout one)

Smile 2

What are the opportunities and challenges facing your charity and how does your work fit with this bigger picture? Do you have a communications theory of change? If you want to build your comms career, understanding strategic communications is key. In this practical session, you will learn more about strategic approaches to communications that can maximise the effectiveness of your work and enable you to participate in strategic discussions and influence direction. You will get a basic grounding in strategic comms theory enabling you to develop your own strategies back at the office. There will also be an opportunity to participate in group work to apply theory to practice.

Sarah Fitzgerald
director, Self Communications

Suitable for: all budgets and for officers and early mangers who are keen to develop strategic thinking

Personal and professional development
2c. Discover the power of your personal brand

Smile 3

“The question is no longer IF you have a personal brand, but if you choose to guide and cultivate the brand or let it be defined on your behalf.” Forbes.com. Personal brand is a really popular buzzword and everyone’s talking about it. But what is your personal brand and why does it matter? In this interactive mini-workshop, you will learn a unique approach to defining your personal brand and receive top tips on how you can build your own.

Collette Philip
founder, Brand by Me

Danielle James
strategy manager, Brand by Me

Suitable for: people who would like to build or improve their personal brand. No previous knowledge required

Leadership skills
2d. Asking better questions – developing your communication and facilitation skills

Smile 4

Do you want to develop your leadership, communication and facilitation skills? This workshop will help you to build better relationships with all the people you interact with on a regular basis. Through practical exercises, you will gain techniques and tools that can help you improve every meeting and conversation by asking the right questions. You will also learn to change the questions you ask yourself in order to unlock your potential.

Dawn Newton
director, Morello Marketing

Suitable for: anyone who is moving into management or will be moving into it soon

13.15 - 14.15
Lunch and sector networking

Smile Lounge

Enjoy a delicious two-course networking lunch with meat, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Any other dietary requirements? No problem – just let us know and we’ll have this covered for you.

From 13.40, you’ll also have the chance to network with your peers in our comms specialism networking area (next to CharityComms’ reception) for individuals working in: digital, brand, and PR and media

14.15 - 15.15
Breakout session three
Improving your communications
3a. Every word counts: tips on writing powerful, persuasive copy for complex projects

Smile 1

This talk will cover not just how to get the right words on the page, but how to navigate feedback, deal with tricky sign off processes and fight your creative corner.

Sally Harper
copywriter, British Heart Foundation

Suitable for: those who already know the basics but would like more advanced techniques

Personal and professional development
3b. Leading your own learning

Smile 2

In the past, organisations led our learning for us, defining exactly what we should learn, when and how. Today we are expected to take the lead in our own learning, which gives us the ideal opportunity to learn exactly what we need to shape the career we want. To do this effectively though, we need to learn how. In this workshop you will discover how to set great goals, build a dynamic personal development plan and be your own coach. You will leave the session with the ability and confidence to take the lead in your own learning so that you can build the success and the future you want for yourself.

Lara Roche
founder, The Talent Sphere

Suitable for: everyone who is keen to boost their career by using learning to their advantage

Leadership skills
3c. Driving innovation at your charity

Smile 4

Innovation is often viewed as a dark art reserved for the ‘creatives’. Innovation is simple. It’s about solving problems that need solving. It happens when people work together, challenge ‘how things are done here’, build on ideas, test different solutions and learn from failures. It’s simple but not easy. In this session learn some practical tools to inspire your colleagues, wade through organisational treacle, prepare for failures and ensure the good ideas see the light of day.

Lucy Gower
innovation specialist and director, Lucidity

Suitable for: anyone who would like to build confidence for creativity and be known for putting good ideas into action

15.25 - 16.10
Breakout session four
Leadership skills
4a. Constructive Psychology: building a mindset that encourages growth

Smile 1

As new managers, we take on higher levels of responsibility and with that, new challenges. In this session, Daljeet will delve into the neuroscience behind Constructive Psychology, showing us how we can use it to develop true grit in the face of adversity. He will outline some practical approaches for how we can positively deal with setbacks and help others to do the same. He will show how Constructive Psychology can help us to improve our performance and turn a disadvantage into a competitive edge.

Daljeet Singh
consultant, coach and trainer

Personal and professional development
4b. Networking: it’s a bit like marmite

Smile 2

Whether you love it or hate it we all know that networking is a good thing to do. It helps you to make new contacts, develop new ideas and progress in your career. In this session, you’ll get advice and top tips for overcoming your networking fears and making the most of every opportunity to make new connections.

Gill Dandy
senior consultant and trainer, Vision communications

Suitable for: all budgets and levels. No prior knowledge required

Improving your communications
4c. Unleash the potential of your content - a practical introduction to storytelling

Smile 4

Storytelling is the buzzword amongst today’s communications professionals. That’s because stories and storytelling principles bring an idea or issue to life in a way which is more engaging, memorable and shareable. This session will explore the psychology of storytelling, why it’s so effective, key storytelling ingredients and how you can apply them to make your news, features, brochures and web content have more impact and provoke more action.

Maria Greaves
co-founder, So What?

Nina Otero
co-founder , So What?

Suitable for: comms officers who would like to understand more about storytelling and how to use it improve their communications

16.10 - 16.25
Refreshment break and sector networking

Smile Lounge

Time to chill and grab a cuppa. You’ll also have the chance to network with your peers in our sector networking area (next to CharityComms’ reception) for charities working in: children, education and animals

16.25 - 16.45
Getting ahead in comms: ten things I wish I’d known

Illuminate Suite

From head of comms to marketing manager, Fiona’s work in charity communications spans a variety of disciplines both in-house and as a consultant and trainer. In her talk, Fiona will share her top career lessons and how you can learn from them. She’ll also explore the things she wished she’d known at the beginning of her career: from how to assert yourself to getting the best out of your team. She’ll offer her top tips for getting ahead in comms.  

Fiona Lewis
consultant, Fiona Lewis Communications

16.45 - 17.00
Reflection time - what will I do differently tomorrow?

Illuminate Suite

17.00
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