Being creative and northern at #commscampnorth

I've just come back from the south. Sheffield that is. When you live in Durham, most of England is south.

I was volunteering and doing a bit of (net)working at the brilliant #commscampnorth unconference run by some top drawer colleagues including Dan Slee from comms2point0.

I facilitated a session in Sheffield on creativity and innovation in communications where the aim was to inspire others to try new things in public sector communications, and give those who came along some tips and techniques in how to be more creative.  What was important about the session was the contribution of others. That’s the point of an unconference. Everyone has a chance to have their say, and people come to #commscampnorth to learn and be inspired from what others have achieved.

The reason I wanted to write this blog post was to showcase the brilliant stuff that people from across the public sector have produced, usually on shoestring budgets. 

So here are some of the highlights from the great bunch of people who came along.

Stoke-on-Trent sent a duck into space for the Stoke-on-Trent City of Culture bid.

Manchester Council produced a beautiful ‘This is Christmas’ video last year.

Sheffield put together a hugely popular anti-smoking campaign music video called ‘You can leave your patch on’.

Barnsley dumped a weeks worth of flytipping outside their town hall as part of their #EverybodyThink campaign

Of course you can’t talk about creativity in public sector comms without a nod to colleagues at Doncaster, who are now rightly famous for speedboats and gritting. My favourite piece of their content was their ‘real time’ map of gritters, a truly innovative use of data and technology.

But it’s not just humour that was mentioned, and there were other more serious examples of communications done well, including the piano playing PCSO from Nottinghamshire, and some shocking dashcam footage of a drunk driver published by Sussex police.

There are 100s more examples of creativity in the public sector, from the NHS to the fire brigade, local government to the Environment Agency. You can find more great campaigns on the Comms2point0 unawards website.