Small confession to make – appropriate, given the speaker – that I have never watched Gogglebox.

But when a notable (fellow) TASC alumni1 pitches up to give a talk with a Q & A session afterwards, you don’t say no. And it was actually brilliant, not least because everyone else thought so as well.

And I got to see the flashmob that started the whole thing off.

Photo: me with the Reverend Kate Bottley.
With the Rev Kate Bottley (Class of ’93).

Now: obviously, respect the confessional. What happened in Horsforth, etc. But it’s worth noting Kate’s approach to her work, because I think it has lessens for us all

Is it on mission? Every communications activity should refer back to the strategy. Without a strategy (or mission) to guide you, what is it that you’re doing? And could what you do be detrimental to the mission (or brand)?

Is it on message? Every communications person should ask themselves that question when working on a plan, tactics and actions. What you’re doing should tie back to your strategy and mission, from which your messages derive.

In Kate’s case it’s the difference between things that are about her and that are about God, Jesus and the Church of England.

Pause for Thought

One thing that Kate said really struck home. After the initial media interest, and the five seasons of Gogglebox… what next? She took herself away on retreat to help her come to an answer. But whatever she did, it would be relevant to her mission – her calling as a Vicar.

We all face moments like these, and I’m no exception. Sometime after my birthday I began to question my own mission in life. After four deaths in five months – starting with my mum, back in July – that questioning has gained greater impetus. Some decisions have been reached and changes put into action; not the ones I thought they might be earlier in the year, but it’s always good to surprise oneself.

  1. Word order important here. []