5 cool things we learned at Rabble Talks Communication
By Matt Ayres
On 27 October 2016, our rambunctious Rabble studio members paid host to the first ever Rabble Talks.
These regular events aim to bring together South Wales’ creative scene for a chilled out evening of delicious drinks and thought-provoking conversation.
The theme for our first event was communication. We lined up two wicked talks at Kin+Ilk, featuring a pair of creative pros who really know their stuff: Rob Mills of Gather Content and Laura Wellington of Duke Studios.
As well as hanging out with a whole bunch of lovely local creatives, we learned loads and had a really fun night! But don’t sweat it if you missed out. Here’s a recap of what went down at Rabble Talks Communication.
1. Closer collaboration = better communication
Rob Mills kicked off the evening with an awesome talk about content strategy. His company, Gather Content, helps businesses to collaborate more effectively when building websites.
Rob stressed that without close communication between the various people involved in a website’s creation (such as copywriters, designers, developers and marketers), you’re unlikely to create something that effectively communicates the intended message.
Too many businesses fail to encourage close working relationships between the creatives involved in their projects, resulting in inconsistent branding and a lack of clarity for the online user.
This applies to more than just websites. No matter what you’re creating, it’s smart to put a system in place so that communication is clear between team members. That way, your business is much more likely spread the right kind of message to the people you want to reach.
2. Stay consistent, always
When it comes to creating a killer brand, remaining consistent is hugely important.
You might think that consistency easy enough if you’re working alone. But when different creative individuals with different creative approaches come together to collaborate on a project, the resulting clash of ideas can often lead to inconsistencies.
Rob suggested that teams should use a content lifecycle to keep their creative projects consistent. This usually involves five stages:
- Strategy and planning (taking time to consider your aims, and putting a plan in place to achieve them)
- Production (building what you set out to create)
- Publishing (making your project public)
- Measurement (using analytics and stats to determine whether the project is delivering its aims)
- Refinement (changing the things that aren’t working to help the project achieves its aims)
Involve everyone in the content cycle from the start, and the whole team will be clear on the end goal. This should help to iron out any inconsistencies before they become a problem.
3. Remember your purpose
Rob highlighted how in the age of social media and blogging, lots of people feel pressured to fill out their online profiles with content, even when they have nothing valuable to say.
But if there’s no purpose for your online posts, then why are bothering in the first place? Take the time to come up with a mission statement – a purpose – for your business. Make it honest; something you genuinely want to accomplish.
Remind yourself of your purpose when you’re creating content, and you’ll communicate ideas with your target audience in a far more meaningful way.
4. Passion makes all the difference
After Rob rounded off his talk with a quick Q&A, it was Laura Wellington’s turn to drop some knowledge on our creative crowd. Laura is originally from Swansea, but travelled all the way from Leeds to tell everyone about the insanely cool co-working space she’s created there: Duke Studios.
Duke has become a central hub for creative business owners in Leeds and the surrounding areas. But it wasn’t always this way – to make their vision a reality, Laura and her partner James needed to convince others that their ideas were worth investing in.
When the suits at the banks refused to lend cash, one of Laura’s friends saw how passionate she was about making Duke Studios a success. He offered to invest his own money to make the co-working space happen.
Several years on, Laura’s idea has grown into a hugely successful enterprise, with a large community of local creatives using the space as their work home. The friendly investor made his money back, and continues to back the studio’s growth with his own money.
If she hadn’t communicated her passion and enthusiasm from the start, it’s unlikely that Laura’s idea would have grown into the success it is today. So, when you’re passionate about something, make sure other people know about it. Amazing things might happen!
5. Don’t just chat about it – do it!
Having crazy ideas isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Once Duke Studios had established itself in Leeds’ creative scene, Laura wanted to do something to give back to the community that helped to make her co-working space so successful.
Her idea? To throw one of the biggest parties Leeds had ever seen, featuring a disco ball twice the size of a double decker bus.
By getting the people of Leeds to come together and dance, Laura aimed to shine a spotlight on the best aspects of her city and unite its residents in one humongous mega-rave. Even people who couldn’t make the main event were sent their own ‘DIY Disco’ packs, so that they could join the festivities from afar.
The Big Disco showed that Leeds could be big, bold and creative. It would have been easy to let the idea slip through the cracks without ever materialising, but Laura was determined to make sure the event took place. And it did, with 20,000 people joining forces for an unforgettable, simultaneous city-wide boogie.
If you’ve got a similarly crazy idea you’d like to see happen, Laura has one simple piece of advice for you: “Don’t just chat about it – do it!”
Fancy coming along to the next Rabble Talks event? Good news: it’s soon!
Check out our Events page for all the important deets you need. We can’t wait to see you there!