After 18 years of professional life, and receiving my salary from the public purse, I find myself working in a private company for the first time.
So, here are some early thoughts after my initial five days with Weber Shandwick in Edinburgh as an associate director, having been with the BBC, NHS, SEPA and the City of Edinburgh Council.
Not surprisingly, the first week has largely been spent getting to grips with the new organisation, and there’s been a good balance between getting time to settle in and being given something meaningful to do. Everything was well organised for me when I arrived and my colleagues have been really supportive as I ask the inevitable new-start questions that are probably quite tedious to answer. Read the rest of this entry »
The many casualties of cuts across the newspaper industry could do worse than cast their eye towards Aberfeldy and an opportunity to take over a self-sustaining print publication with a growing online presence.
The long-standing publishers of ‘Comment’, a monthly news magazine in Scotland’s geographical heartland, are looking to pass on the baton. This is due in large part to its editor being, in his own words, ‘Shrivelled by age and splattered by cancer and its treatments…’.
But there’s also an element here of the current incumbents seeing the potential for fresh management to make more of both the print and web editions, not to mention social media. Unlike other parts of the broader print media, at least the development needed would begin from a position of relative strength, and wouldn’t be required merely to to save a sinking ship. Read the rest of this entry »
I recently had to review 93 job applications for a couple of temporary assistant posts. It was a fairly mammoth task to do properly, something which I don’t mind, but there were some distressing sights in among them.
Worst of all was that at least a third of them had an obvious spelling or grammatical mistake. I read – but don’t proof read – applications, so if it was easy to spot the errors then it’s safe to assume there were more I failed to see.
And this wasn’t only among the ‘random’ entries that every vacancy attracts. These were basic errors that mark ignorance – or more often, carelessness – on the part of people who really ought to have known better. I wouldn’t quote application text verbatim, so to summarise some of what I observed: Read the rest of this entry »
A conversation with a BBC friend yesterday about some people having their shoulders tapped in anticipation of job losses prompted some musing on waste at the corporation.
For those that don’t know, I started my career in the BBC – working for Radio Shetland, mostly on local output but with the occasional network news and programme contributions thrown in. I was there for a touch over two years, so we’re not talking about a long and distinguished career on the cutting edge of journalism, but it was a great training ground and I like to think I earned my crust as a cub reporter (mostly on mundane matters, but notably with a 16hr shift reporting on a fatal air crash in the absence of the normal network reporter and breaking the equally tragic news that a helicopter winchman had been lost at sea mid-rescue.) Read the rest of this entry »