I think your ears are bleeding

So my last blog caused a bit of a stir. Most people felt my pain. Others thought it was the braggers who had the problem.

One person took things into their own hands and nominated me for a Comms2point0 UnAward.

David Grindlay from Falkirk Council has been a partner in social media crime for a few years now. We met on Twitter, then at social media events, then at regular meetings. Now he’s a firm friend of the whole family. I’m sure our paths would have crossed eventually but social media sped things up. He phones me every now and again to ask a question, usually about social media, sometimes about emergency comms, occasionally about behaviour change. I always come off the phone feeling sorry for him because once I start talking I rarely come up for air. I always imagine him putting the phone down, ears bleeding and gently banging his head off his desk.

But I guess his ears must be OK and he must value my input or he wouldn’t have taken the time to write such a glowing nomination. I was overwhelmed, happy that someone I respect thought so highly of me. But at the same time the Calvinist in me was on the verge of breaking out in hives.

There were 202 nominations for the UnAwards and a panel of judges did the shortlisting, although Dan and Darren couldn’t shortlist the Best Comms Officer category. I don’t know who was responsible for picking me but I’d like to thank them because being shortlisted for a Comms2point0 award, un or otherwise, means more to me than anything from the CIPR or any other official body.

I love Dan and Darren and have learned so much from them over the years that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without their help and influence.

I met them on Twitter, then in person. I have worked for the day with them when they were at Walsall Council. I have been in the audience at events where they have presented or run workshops. I have eaten curries with them and drunk pints. On Monday I co-presented with Dan at a social media training day and that was just the icing on the cake – sharing knowledge with comms colleagues and sharing a stage with one of my social media rock stars. In fact, I was also sharing a stage with another social media rock star, Leah Lockhart, another person I met on Twitter but now count as an actual, real life friend.

And that’s the great thing about comms people on social media – we really bring the social part to the table. Twitter breaks the ice at events – suddenly people you’ve been talking to for months in bursts of 140 characters are right there in front of you and the niceties have already been done.

I have regular get-togethers at the house and have invited Twitter acquaintances whom I now count as friends.

I have never been more social in my life.

I used to be the painfully shy kid, who’d go red if the teacher asked me a question in class.

I’d go to parties and stick with the friends I went with.

I could never pluck up the courage to speak to a stranger – I mean, what on earth would I say.