Staff talk at UAS Conference
Staff talk at UAS Conference
Credit: Rob Judges

Previous PAD workshops

Public Affairs has been running communications workshops since October 2011. A short description of recent workshops and the presentation slides can be found below. Earlier presentations are available on request. Please email if you have any questions.

Informal discussion: Events clinic

Took place 6 July 2017

This informal session was a chance to meet members of the University Events Office and pick their brains about events issues, as well as to meet other colleagues doing similar work and learn from their experience.

Insights into marketing

Took place on 28 June 2017

The Josephine Fawkes, Head of Marketing and Communications at the Saïd Business School and members of her team talked about the range of channels and techniques that the team uses to successfully market a wide array of courses, events and activities as well as build the brand and reputation of the School. They outlined their approaches using a number of specific projects as case studies.

Masterclass: Measuring perception and reputation

Took place on 14 June 2017

For many institutions, measuring communications success is more about perception and reputation than the bottom line.Emma Duke, Head of Communication, Oxford Education at Oxford University Press and Tom Fryer, Ambitious Futures graduate in the Public Affairs Directorate, talked about their experience and research into this area.

Introduction to the Public Affairs Directorate

Took place on 13 June 2017

This termly session is for those who are new to a communications role or to the collegiate University. It gives an introduction to the Public Affairs Directorate and the advice and services we provide.

Diversifying your audiences

Took place on 9 June 2017

Would you like your research stories to reach different audiences? Have you ever considered tabloid coverage? Journalist and former Managing Editor of The Sun Graham Dudman gave some engaging, practical and sometimes surprising insights into how you can engage with different audiences through media outlets – print and digital – that you might not previously have considered.

No slides or audio recording

Reviewing the Staff Gateway

Took place on 5 June 2017

The Staff Gateway on the University website is designed to provide easy, quick access to a range of useful information, but it is under-utilised and often staff are unaware of it completely. Annette Cunningham, Internal Communications Manager in the Public Affairs Directorate, talked through early plans to revise the Gateway and led an exercise to help develop a more useful internal communications site.

As this was an interactive activity session, no slides or audio recording are available.

Innovation Communications Strategy

Took place on Thursday 16 March 2017

Vicky Pearson from the Public Affairs Directorate outlined the University’s Innovation Communications Strategy and provided an update on progress with implementation, including our first external campaign, and how departments and colleges can get involved.

Communications at Oxford University Innovation

Took place Wednesday 15 March 2017

Simon Gray and Gregg Bayes-Brown gave an insight into the communications and marketing strategy and activities at Oxford University Innovation, and how we can work together across all disciplines to support innovation communications.

Equality and diversity issues in communications

Took place Wednesday 8 March 2017

This session with Trudy Coe and Machilu Zimba from the University’s Equality and Diversity unit considered equality and diversity issues in the context of communications, the unconscious messages we may send through our words and images, and how we strike a balance between where we are currently and our aspirations.

Masterclass: Interviewing academics and translating technical language

Took place on Wednesday 1 March 2017

Maria Coyle and Chris McIntyre from the News & Information Office in the Public Affairs Directorate shared some hints and tips for interviewing academics and turning technical academic language into text that is understandable to lay audiences.

Oxford, innovation and images

Took place Monday 6 February 2017

Following last term’s session on the innovation communications strategy, this interactive session led by Vicky Pearson from the Public Affairs Directorate examined issues around how we illustrate innovation and what the images we use say about the university.

As this was a discussion and image based session, there are no slides available.

An introduction to data protection

Took place 25 October 2016

The University's Assistant Registrar for Compliance Max Todd talked through the main requirements of the Data Protection Act and how they affect the day-to-day work of communications colleagues.

We recorded the audio of this session - listen to it now here (requires SSO).

Masterclass: Public speaking

Took place Monday 31 October 2016

Are you nervous about the idea of standing up and speaking to a group? This practical workshop with Andrea Stewart, Head of Communications and Advocacy at the World Wide Antimalarial Resistance Network, and Vicky Pearson from the Public Affairs Directorate gave hints and tips for improving your confidence and skills, as well as giving some ‘hands-on’ experience.

We recorded the audio of this session - listen to it now here (requires SSO).

What funders want from communications

Took place 7 November 2016

This session was a chance to hear directly from communications colleagues at some of our biggest research funders – the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council – about what they need from communications, what works, what doesn’t and how we can help.

No slides from Mike Collins, AHRC

We recorded the audio of this session - listen to it now here (requires SSO).

Informal discussion: Design and branding clinic

Took place on Wednesday 16 November 2016

An informal chat with Anne Brunner-Ellis, Head of Design & Publications, and Paul Chinn, Head of the Design Studio, about branding and design.

Innovation communications strategy

Took place on 8 December 2016

As part of the University’s Innovation Strategy, the Knowledge Exchange and Impact Committee has approved a communications strategy to raise the profile of innovation, entrepreneurship and enterprise at Oxford. Vicky Pearson from the Public Affairs Directorate talked through the purpose of the strategy and how communications colleagues can get involved.

There is no sound recording for this session but there will be more information sessions about the innovation communications strategy in 2017. Details of these will be circulated to the Communications Officers Network.

Storytelling and narrative skills for public affairs

Took place on Tuesday 12 July 2016

Robert Holtom, narrative coach and writer, outlined the fundamentals of what makes a good story and explored how to apply storytelling and narrative skills to public affairs by writing compelling copy for various formats.

Events clinic

Took place on 29 June 2016

This informal session was a chance to meet members of the University Events Office and pick their brains about events issues and to meet other colleagues doing similar work and learn from their experience.

No slides for this session.

What is public engagement with research?

Took place 22 June 2016

Public engagement is an increasingly critical part of research work across the higher education sector. Dr Lesley Paterson, Senior Facilitator and Coordinator, Public Engagement with Research in Research Services, outlined what public engagement with research actually means and kick-started some ideas about how it relates to our communications work.

 We recorded the audio of this session - listen to it now here (requires SSO).

Grammar and style workshop

Took place 16 June 2016

Copywriter and proofreader Linda Loder provided an introduction to the latest update of the University Style Guide, part of the University’s branding toolkit, which enables documentation to be presented consistently across all communications. She shared top tips and practical measures for effective communication.

We recorded the audio of this session - listen to it now here (requires SSO).

Communicating with students

Took place 1 June 2016

Tara Jewell and Victoria Savage from the Academic Administration Division Communications Team provided an outline of the basics of communicating with students, including the sorts of channels available, the type of information they communicate and how they measure engagement.

We recorded the audio of this session - listen to it now here (requires SSO).

Getting to grips with event technology

Took place on 17 March 2016

Speakers from the Alumni Office, Saïd Business School and Events Office ran through the benefits and challenges of a range of event technologies for pre-event registration, on-the-day check-in and audience interaction.

PDF icon Getting to grips with event technology slides (17.03.16).pdf

We recorded the audio of this session - listen to it now here (requires SSO).

Master class: Engaging the media with research

Took place on 10 March 2016

Led by Matt Pickles and Stuart Gillespie from the News & Information Office, this in-depth session considered how to engage the media with research – from what makes a good story to what kind of information journalists need – with lots of real-world examples.

We recorded the audio of this session - listen to it now here (requires SSO).

A beginner’s guide to community engagement

Took place 3 March 2016

Margaret Ounsley, Head of Government and Community Relations, talked through why community engagement is important and outlined some ideas to get you started.

We recorded the audio of this session - listen to it now here (requires SSO).

Writing a communications strategy

Took place on 18 February 2016

This interactive workshop, with Vicky Pearson from the Public Affairs Directorate and Carolyne Culver from the MPLS Divisional Office, provided an introduction to the basics of developing a communications strategy and a chance to share ideas and discuss challenges.

Writing for online channels

Took place on 9 December 2015

We often hear that writing for the web is different. But why? And how? Using real world examples, Olivia Williams, Online Editor for the University’s alumni publication Oxford Today, and Georgina Brooke, Digital Content Editor in the Public Affairs Directorate, outlined why online content is different and introduced some of the basics of compelling and effective writing for websites and social media.

Developing effective newsletters

Took place on 1 December 2015

Newsletters can be a hugely valuable communication tool – or an ineffective drain on limited resources. Alison Brindle, Communications Manager in the Medical Sciences Division, and Jacqueline Pumphrey, Communications Officer at the Nuffield Departmentt of Clinical Neuroscience, gave some practical hints and tips for overcoming some of the common pitfalls in developing and managing newsletters, including decisions around frequency, format, content – and whether it is actually the right tool at all!

What makes a great image?

Took place on 26 November 2015

The right image can be critical to getting your message across, but what makes an effective, eye-catching picture? Professional photographer John Cairns led an interactive session covering the basics of composition, use of light and colour, and how to tell a story with your picture - useful not just for those taking their own photographs but also for those involved with choosing images.

The slides for this session are not available but a 'hints and tips' sheet will follow.

Master class: Reviewing your website

Took place on 19 November 2015

Is your website in need of some TLC? Not sure where to start? This session, led by Stephen Sangar and Christopher Eddie from the Digital Communications team, talked through the steps and issues you need to think about in reviewing your website, including determining your objectives for your site, structuring your content, managing user testing and the role of analytics. There were also case studies from the Faculty of Law, Oxford Sparks and Wolfson College to illustrate how the process works in practice.

We recorded the audio of this session - listen to it now here (requires SSO).

Communicating and promoting events

Took place on 3 November 2015

In this session, Guy Collender, Alumni Office, and Stuart Fowkes, Digital Communications Team in the Public Affairs Directorate, gave some hints and tips on how you can communicate and promote your events to different audiences, using tools such as social media and marketing to alumni.

How to Behave Like a Broadcaster

Took place 21 May 2015

Andrew Greener, Managing Director of London-based video producer and consultancy Spectrecom Films, spoke about how to create engaging video content, including how it can be economically re-versioned for use with different audiences and across a range of platforms. Using real-life higher education case studies, he outlined what to think about when creating a video strategy and how to brief and work with suppliers to achieve the best result.

Running Surveys and Consultations

Took place 9 June 2015

Head of Internal Communications Susannah Wintersgill, and Annette Cunningham and Rob Markham from Estates Services, discussed the planning process for consultations and surveys, and provided top tips for questionnaire design, running focus groups and ways to maximise participation.

Digital Analytics Dashboard

Took place 16 June 2015

You can get a huge amount of data from online channels, but what does it all mean? This session with Web Officer Stephen Sangar outlined some of the common metrics used in digital communications (including websites and social media), and showed how they can be presented in a dashboard and used in evaluating your online communications activities.

An introduction to media relations

Took place 18 March 2015

Stephen Rouse, Head of the News & Information Office, explained what the news team does and how they can help you, as well as introducing the basics of media relations from what makes a good story to what kind of information journalists need.

Social media best practice, insight and strategy

Took place on 24 February 2015

Head of Digital Communications, Stuart Fowkes, discussed how to develop a social media strategy and offered advice about best practice.

What's the story? Brushing up your writing and editing skills

Took place on 27 January 2015

What makes a great story instead of a merely good one? Richard Lofthouse, the editor of Oxford Today, discussed writing and editing skills, and the nuances of academic conventions versus journalistic ones, and how to negotiate both.

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