Personal blogging by Steph Gray, former digital agency founder and erstwhile bureaucrat


20 things I learned at #CommsCamp15

July 9, 2015

I’ve spent a really lovely day at CommsCamp in Birmingham, recharging my batteries after a busy few weeks. Spending time listening to (mainly) public sector comms people doing interesting things in their organisations has taught me loads about what’s happening at the cutting edge. It’s also reminded me just how powerful the unconference format is with the…

The digital comms planner

September 3, 2014

At Helpful HQ we’re a big fan of tools like the Lean Canvas or our friends Comms2Point0’s Comms Planning tool (PDF). A simple plan on a page or two that sets out what you’re trying to achieve, how you’ll know if you’ll achieve it, and what you’ll do to get there is more useful than a fistful…

Dealing with social media mishaps

October 24, 2012

When you tweet something about work that you shouldn’t have, or from the wrong account and it gets picked up, you want the ground to swallow you up. It’s awful, and the chronicles of social media crises are full of heads on pikestaffs. But what feels like a full-on social media crisis at the time,…

Infographic: Should I Post This Update?

April 13, 2012

The Teacampers were on good form (and vast numbers) yesterday, to discuss the vexed question of social media guidance for civil servants which the GDS Digital Engagement team are currently drafting. It’s to their great credit that Emer, Lou, Jane and colleagues are developing the guidance in the open, in consultation with those inside and…

Come and Meet The Communities

September 16, 2010

Back in July, I mentioned an event I was planning to organise to help bring big online communities together with government and the marketing agencies who work for it, to help stimulate creative thinking about new ways to work together. Thanks to the great team at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, we now…

Reloading commentable documents: introducing Read+Comment

September 2, 2010

At TeaCamp today, I’m taking the Campers through one of my new projects, Read+Comment, designed to offer hassle-free publishing of commentable documents online. Introducing Read+Comment from Steph Gray It’s based on some work I’ve done recently for BIS, updating the Commentariat WordPress theme so that the team can roll out more flexible sites around their…

Don’t be down with the kids

August 23, 2010

I started my career in market research, where soliciting the views of under 16s is frowned upon without rather a lot of faffing around getting hold of parental consent. Online, surveys tend to ask if you’re older than 16, and if not, chuck you out. On balance, it’s probably a good thing that dubious marketers…