Six weeks into lockdown and the 300 team is getting a little stiff from working long hours supporting our clients. So we joined our friend and professional yoga teacher Alex Benasuli for his restorative online yoga classes.
We got so much out of the sessions that we asked Alex if we could share his classes with all our clients. He has a lovely community meeting on Tuesdays at 8am – 9am and Fridays 3pm – 4pm BST and we’d be delighted to see you there.
The classes are suitable for all levels and you’ll leave with a refreshed mind and a spring in your step.
How to register
Friend Alex on Facebook: Alex J. Benasuli or on Instagram @lonalex69 and then just send him a direct message mentioning 300 and he’ll add you to the class.
About Alex Alex came to yoga as a result of a physical injury but stayed for the mind, body and soul exploration. Ever since, his practice and teaching have been about getting present though body and breath awareness as a way to decrease suffering and increase joy.
Alex teaches a strong, flowing yet forgiving practice, grounded in earth energy but with the passion of fire and the lightness of air. For Alex, the practices of yoga, physical and other, are about reestablishing connection to self, community, and the universe and, by doing so, creating the space for gratitude, humility and love to thrive. His teachers in the US, Europe and India have inspired him to be of service.
Dealing with journalists can be daunting. This free guide pulls together some key advice for working with journalists from press to online and broadcast. Created by 300 and PR expert and BBC presenter Martyn James.
We believe the successful companies of the future will be those that can bring people closer, make teamwork faster and make culture stronger – wherever their workers are located.
Even before the Covid-19 crisis, remote working, flexible working and bringing long-forgotten front line staff into company communications were all fast-growing trends.
So, Regan Collins, tech expert and CEO of Azuronaut, joined us to discuss the key remote working tools in our latest webinar. His company is both a Microsoft Gold Partner, a Workplace from Facebook partner and long time Slack user.
We looked at the core criteria you need to run a company remotely, both in a time of crisis and in the future. From building community and engagement remotely, all the way through to practical criteria like video conferencing and document collaboration.
Our review criteria:
We took a look at how Microsoft Teams, Workplace and Slack compare against:
Overall communication + top down communications
Video calls, internal and external
Project management and collaboration
Community & engaging staff
Learning and training
Ease of implementation and integration
Our key learnings from Regan
Do a full assessment of your current tools and working processes
A tool can only take you so far, the way you implement makes a difference
Think about employee experience, not just features
Stop to examine what sort of organisation you want to create
Broaden your criteria to take account of organisation purpose
Don’t be afraid to review your licensing costs – it’s not as complex as you think
Microsoft and Workplace working together can provide you with the best in class
300 helps companies choose and use their remote working platforms. Our technical partner Azuronaut empowers you with the technology to connect your systems and people together. co Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Media expert Martyn James joined 300 for a Q&A style webinar on managing company communications on Tuesday 31 March.
Martyn James is a media relations specialist, broadcast media expert and regular TV and radio commentator, including Rip Off Britain, You & Yours and BBC Breakfast. Here’s a summary of what we learnt from Martyn.
Don’t focus on deflection Martyn talked us through his unique, ethics-focused approach to media relations and communications. In simple terms, it means focusing on actually answering the difficult questions posed by your staff and journalists rather than ‘spinning’ an answer.
Avoid bridging technique This is the ‘dark art’ of the Tony Blair era! It involves turning the question around to: “what people really want to know is.” Martyn said this technique just does not work and disengages the audience. If we think about our frustration when we hear politicians do this on Question Time we know it’s a turn-off.
Articulate what you do well and your danger areas Instead, Martyn recommends spending time thinking about what your organisation does well and not so well. Look at the areas where you might be in danger and address those questions head-on. This will actually engage your audience rather than talking down to them.
“Remember you will be tarnished with the crimes of your overall industry too so make sure you articulate your difference.”
Martyn James, media expert and broadcaster
Honesty – tell people what you can not tell them! Key to communications is honesty with your audience. If you can’t share sensitive information tell people why. If you don’t have visibility, tell people rather than bluster. People can handle the truth far better than you expect.
Real Life Example: Caroline Watkin, 300 co-founder, shared an example of Richard Francis, CFO at Netcentric, who managed many buyouts including when Day Software was bought by Adobe. When he was at Myriad, they faced a difficult financial situation and he told the staff he wasn’t sure if they’d have jobs in three months’ time, but could promise an amazing experience that would be great for their CV. They loved this approach, and everyone stayed.
Do the right thing and do the next right thing… How you say things makes a big difference. But focusing on doing the right thing makes more long term business sense and means we can communicate with authenticity. Many CEOs argue against it because they think it costs more. Even when times are tough taking the long view wins out.
“The stories of doing the right thing become company folklore and build customer loyalty.”
Caroline Watkin, 300 Co-founder
Say one thing and say it well Simplicity is key. In a crisis, the normal comms principles still apply. Every email, every post, every video, every team message; decide the key point and build your message around that. Put the key messages upfront. Make it easy for people. What’s the one thing you’d like people to remember?
Get your key point across in less than two sentences You should be able to explain what your firm does in one sentence/breath in order to get your message across to journalists and in fact, any key audience.
Understand the journalist’s role and point of view The average salary of £27k. Junior reporters often start out at £12k. They work under immense pressure to meet deadlines. They are processors of knowledge rather than retainers of knowledge and have an agenda for their publication or broadcast that’s different to yours. Understand them to avoid frustration.
Empathise What is your audience going through? What are your staff going through? What would you want to know if you were them?
Be adaptable Things are changing repeatedly so keep on your toes and be ready to change your approach, don’t stick rigidly with a line if it’s becoming clear the story has moved on.
Two years ago I made the permanent transition from office-based to home-based. To be honest, it hasn’t always been easy, and despite the upsides, there is only so much office banter you can have with your dog (sorry Benji).
Now, most of us are “work from homers”, so I thought I would share my top 10 tips for staying sane and productive in these times of isolation. It’s a good time to relook at your routine and see if we’ve fallen into bad habits…
Start and finish at the same times you would in the office. Ditto for lunch and breaks.
Put on your game face, get dressed in your normal work clothes and get out of your sweatpants (unless they used to be your work clothes).
Tidy your workspace – clutter will distract you, set yourself up to focus. It’s worth stopping for 15 minutes and having a reset – even if you’re very busy you’ll feel the benefit.
Make sure you have access to the tools you need to do your job. If you’ve been putting off upgrading your internet connection and getting a decent-sized computer screen, now’s the time. Even with the end of lockdown in sight we’re all going to be doing more flexible and remote working.
Use video meetings whenever possible. It’s so important to see your team. If you’ve been putting it off, make the change today.
Make sure everyone else in your team is on the same page and agree on how you are going to work together. It’s good to check in and see how everyone is finding the current set up.
Use a platform like Workplace to collaborate and access essential documents.
Schedule in a video team chat at least once per day. Find out how your colleagues are doing, check in to see if anyone is struggling, share some jokes, your Spotify playlist, etc.
Don’t be afraid to share your feelings. You may love being at home, but it still may also be the worst thing that could happen to you. Don’t keep those feelings to yourself, you will be surprised just how many people feel like you.