Archive for Wow!

Wow! We are 1!

social media company marks first birthday

It’s a year since Wow! Signal Communications took the step to become a limited company, and what a first year it has been.

When I took a few minutes to reflect on the past year and the move from freelance social media consultant to company director, it made me realise just how big a change it has been.

Firstly, it’s not just me. A year ago my husband, James, joined Wow! Signal Communications for a day a week to help me manage the extra clients we had taken on and to add his experience as a specialist writer and communications professional. It was a change that helped our work-life balance as well as the business itself, and I’m glad to say that we work together well. We’ve built an office at home, taken on business support and drawn up plans for the future. For two years is was just me, freelancing while juggling being a busy mum to three young boys. We’re now a family business.

wow signal communications social media office

We’ve grown our retained client list to 12 and are really excited by the range of businesses we support. James and I are fortunate to be working with some truly dedicated and talented people whether they are specialist agencies, technology companies, professional services or healthcare providers. All of them using our support to connect with their customers and grow through social media. We’ve been proud to have grown organically – through recommendations and testimonials – and a big thanks to those who have supported our business and believed in us.

We’ve taken new directions too. We saw that more and more people valued the one-to-one advice we gave, so we’ve developed a training offering for sole traders and small businesses where they can sit down with me for an hour and get personalised, specific social media advice. And it’s not just business training anymore. Parents must now navigate the world of social media on behalf of their children, and we’re developing courses to help them understand how to do that.

The variety is something I love about my work. This month I was involved in the counter terrorism practice exercise Border Reiver. I work for The Social Simulator, role-playing members of the public and journalists to simulate how social media plays out during an incident. It is fabulous to work with such a talented team on an incredibly important piece of work.

Image credit PA. From BBC news story about Operation Reiver

Image credit PA. From BBC news story about Operation Reiver

Increasingly, our clients are widening the range of support from us. This year has seen us take our first steps into the world of branding, and to have our first proposal approved and implemented was a proud day for us.

Our plans for the coming year?

We stay committed to our fantastic clients, while developing our training services. We spend more time on promoting our business and sharing our thoughts. We adapt and grow as the demands of our family life change.

Here’s to another fantastic year!

Help says Hillary (and that’s OK) :-)

Photo credit: Marc Nozell

Hillary Clinton was mocked last week for emailing an aide for help to use emoji on her new BlackBerry.

A cheap laugh for lots of websites and news organisations, but pretty unfair criticism I think. I admit to a quiet admiration for Hillary and I’ve defended her before.

It’s perfectly sensible to ask for help if you don’t know how to do something; that’s how we learn things. If the person you are asking is a specialist, chances are they’ve been asked before, and probably even more ‘simple’ questions than yours.

There are many things we don’t know how to do. No one is an expert on everything and while I’m pretty good at how to use emoji and many other areas of social media and technology, I’m willing to bet there is an awful lot that Hilllary knows that I don’t.

It’s great that she wants to keep up to date, use the full functionality of the technology that she has and bring a bit of life to her communications. Far too many politicians don’t use these tools as well as they could, or need someone else to do it for them.

I love helping people learn new things and I’m always happy to answer questions no matter how small or how silly they seem. If people leave one of my training sessions with unanswered questions – then I haven’t done my job properly.

Social media and technology change all the time and we need to ask questions to learn and keep up to date. Learning is exciting and I love sharing new things with clients and friends.

So if you’ve got any questions, no matter how silly you think they might be – ask away. Comment here, tweet, DM or email me. Whatever you are most comfortable with. I’ll blog the answers to any questions I get (without revealing the person asking the question of course).

Happy learning :-)

PS My favourite use of emojis has to be this post from Andy Murray on his wedding day.

Andy Murray wedding emoji


Hillary Clinton Photo Credit: Marc Nozell

Why Wow! Signal Communications?

I was asked again this week how I chose my company name. I have my husband to thank for it, and as soon as he suggested it I loved the idea.

We’ve been scanning the universe for years in the hope that we’re not alone. All we’ve heard is a steady background hum. That is until 1977 (the year I was born), when a team of US scientists at the Big Ear radio telescope in Ohio picked up a one-off signal that fitted the profile of an alien transmission. It wasn’t at a frequency used by human beings, and it didn’t come from natural sources. Interstellar scintillation, the sound of a star twinkling, has also been ruled out.

As the instruments flicked into life, the computer chattered out a paper report. A scientist marked the extraordinary printout with a simple “Wow!” and the Wow! Signal was born. For nearly 40 years telescopes have scanned the part of the sky where the Wow! Signal came from. Silence.

Credit: The Ohio State University Radio Observatory and the North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO)

Credit: The Ohio State University Radio Observatory and the North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO)

It remains the only message to cut through the cosmic noise for decades.

In the eighteen months Wow! Signal Communications has been up and running I’ve loved cutting through the noise and getting messages through on behalf of local small businesses. Setting up my own business was a big step and I’ve been very lucky to have lots of family support and some great clients to make it a real success. I’m looking forward to the next eighteen months and more.