I was asked recently to give some advice to a group of people who were embarking on a behaviour change programme. They needed some advice quickly, and the urgency forced me to be concise. I thought others might find this useful too… so here it is. Fundamentally, it’s important to acknowledge that behaviour change is hard.… Continue reading A beginner’s guide to behaviour change programme planning
I’ve been reading the recent discussion about transparency and the public sector with a great deal of interest. Transparency is a crucial part of a strong and functioning democracy. By most objective measures the legislation and policies that support transparency in New Zealand are strong. So it’s interesting and concerning to read editorials from the media… Continue reading Transparency is a system – how can we fix it?
On November 17 2020 I took part in the GovComms Festival, a global dialogue about the future of Govenrment sector communications, and part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Government After Shock programme. My presentation notes are below. Tēnā koutou katoa I’m here today to offer a provocation, which is based on three observations… Continue reading Power shift: an equity lens on social marketing
This article was first published by the New Zealand Public Service Association as part of its Progressive Thinking series. You can read other articles in the series here. And you can access webinars about each article - including my one - through the same link. Social marketing – the use of commercial marketing and… Continue reading The State and Social Marketing: can we embrace change?
This week, 150 prominent writers and academics put their names to a Letter on Justice and Open Debate, published in Harper’s Magazine. The letter bemoaned what the writers felt was a growing illiberalism in public discourse. It was a curious and strangely unenlightening contribution to an ongoing discussion about “cancel culture”, perhaps prompted by a… Continue reading Cancel culture and the pile on
A really good communication strategy is hard to think up, and sometimes even harder to write down. But a great strategy can be the difference between effective and ineffective communications, so it’s an essential, if challenging, part of communication practice. Although practitioners are rightly wary of strategy templates - because every strategy will be different,… Continue reading Can you template strategy?
I haven't written much these past eight months. My last post was in late July, and by early September two dear friends had died, within two days of each other. For those two, and then in February for another dear departed mentor, I wrote the stories of what I owe to the people we have… Continue reading Things I’ve learnt from those we’ve lost
Public Relations Institute of New Zealand Changing Mindsets Conference 2019: opening speech We’re gathered here today in the name of change. Each block of presentations in this conference is framed around a different aspect of change, and each presenter will offer their own observations on change. And for everyone here it’s an opportunity to think… Continue reading We can be the changemakers
I grew up with comedy, listening to and reciting Rowan Atkinson and Monty Python while doing the dishes with my brother in our suburban Palmerston North kitchen. We would invent and record or perform sketches, and put on shows for anyone who would watch – costumes, recorded music and all. At university, we wrote and… Continue reading Can’t you take a joke?
In his 2004 book, Don’t Think of An Elephant, American linguist George Lakoff described the power of “framing” – the use of commonly understood metaphors, or narrative constructs, to describe issues or events in a way that makes sense to people, and means they will be more easily convinved of a contrary world view. Thus,… Continue reading Framing and Free Speech: are we letting the alt-right win the battle of wits?