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Breakthrough Communications Training

Breakthrough Communications offer training in all aspects of comms including social media, community engagement, interpersonal skills and data protection. 

Please see all courses and book HERE. Councils will be invoiced via Notts ALC. 

Highly recommended: Crisis Comms 

Breakthrough Communications courses include the following: 

(To book scheduled courses please click HERE. If there is a course you want to take that isn't currently scheduled, email us and we will find out when it is planned to be delivered.)

Communicating with your community Part 1: creating a communications strategy

It’s important for councils of all shapes and sizes to create a public communications strategy that supports the delivery of your council’s priorities, aims and objectives. In this session we explore latest best practice for creating an effective, sustainable and resource-appropriate communications strategy that fits with the needs and aspirations of your council.

Communicating with your community Part 2: engaging with your community

This session will help you consider how to implement your communications strategy and engage with your community. We explore how councils can communicate and engage, as well as building sustainable conversations. Discover the tools, strategies and techniques needed to better promote your own messages but also to better respond to the voices within your local community.

Councillors: chairing meetings effectively

This session is designed for councillors, regardless of whether you are an experienced chairperson or whether you are new to the role. We explore how to effectively prepare for meetings, how to get the most out of the meetings you chair and from other councillors, and how to deal with tricky situations.

Councillors: data protection training

Whether you are an experienced councillor or have only recently been elected, it is vital that you understand how data protection legislation sits with your role as an elected member. This session will help you understand your legal obligations to yourself and to your council and how to get things right.

Councillors: social media skills

Social media provides councillors an opportunity to engage and communicate with their residents. Building up two-way conversations through the power of digital platforms has never been easier, but it can be tricky to get started and to know where to focus your time and effort. We walk you through the essential ways to get the most out of key social media platforms as a local councillor, what issues to be mindful of, and we provide top tips to engage with your residents.

Crisis communications for local councils

We never know when a crisis could strike. From local flooding to a council meeting going viral there are many ways in which councils can find themselves in the eye of the media storm. This session takes participants through the detail of preparing for a crisis no matter what form it may take. Passing on expert tips and guidance on being as prepared as you can be should the worst happen.

Data Protection for councils Part 1: Foundations & Theory

In an ever-evolving legislative landscape, it is vital that councils ensure they have the most up-to-date understanding of their data protection obligations. This introductory session walks councils through the theory and core principles of GDPR and related data protection legislation, and we explain what policies, practices and processes councils need to have in place.

Data Protection for councils Part 2: Accountability and Lawfulness

This advanced data protection session deep dives into how councils are required to demonstrate accountability with GDPR. We consider the lawful bases for how councils process personal data and we explore how to create different policies and documents, including your Privacy Notice and Data Protection Impact Assessments. 

Data Protection for councils Part 3: Dealing with data subject rights and information security

This advanced data protection session considers how to deal with data subject rights requests, including Subject Access Requests. We explore specific steps to take to ensure you are compliant with the legislation, and we consider what exemptions may apply, and when. We also explore the importance of Information Security for local councils and what this means in practice.

Dealing with difficult people and conversations

Managing our professional relationships is important, yet it can be a challenge to deal with difficult people and difficult conversations. In this session we explore practical techniques and ideas to manage difficult people and conversations in a council environment.

Dealing with local and regional media

From local newspapers and magazines to regional TV and radio, traditional media provides councils a platform to communicate with residents, but engaging with journalists can be daunting. We explore how you can build effective two-way relationships with journalists, how to write effective press releases and how to get regular coverage in your local and regional media.

Freedom of Information for councils

This course looks at what requirements and obligations local councils have when it comes to Freedom of Information and related legislation including EIR. We look at what policies and procedures councils should have in place, how to ensure officers and councillors are aware of their obligations and what steps to take when you get an FOI request, and what exemptions may potentially apply and when.

How councils can more effectively engage with young people in their communities

Young people are often a hard-to-reach demographic for councils a engage with. In this session we explore what we actually mean by the term ‘young people’, what issues matter to different people, how to effectively reach and engage with young people, both online and offline, and how to build partnerships with youth-focused organisations in your area.

How to recruit and retain a more diverse pool of local councillors

How can you find and encourage a more diverse pool of people to stand or be co-opted as town or parish councillors? It is increasingly hard to find people who are willing to put their names forward either at election time or to be co-opted. We explore effective ways councils and councillors can engage people over time, building up their awareness and interest in the work of the council, in order to better promote and demystify the role of a councillor.

Leadership in Challenging Situations

Whether you are a Clerk, Officer or an elected Councillor, all of us take on leadership roles within our council and in the wider community.

We will consider different leadership styles in the context of your role at the council, exploring which styles we personally ‘default’ to and which styles can work effectively for different situations.  We will explore scenarios of different challenging situations we might face in our role, and discuss how we might deal with these effectively and appropriately. We will also discover how to build, support and get the most from an effective and motivated team.

All bookings provide access to pre-training content, access to the live virtual workshop and access to the post-workshop toolkit.

What does emotional intelligence and resilience mean in practice for Clerks, Council Officers and Councillors?

In this session we develop a better understanding of where our behaviour comes from and we’ll consider what resilience means for us in the context of our roles within the council.

There will be opportunities to explore role-focused scenarios and consider how we might respond to them. We’ll also explore strategies to deal with and manage a range of situations.

All bookings provide access to pre-training content, access to the live virtual workshop and access to the post-workshop toolkit.

Respectful Social Media

How Clerks, Officers and Councillors can get the most from social media and realise the opportunities it presents whilst dealing effectively with the problems that can arise.

For Clerks and Officers, we’ll consider the opportunities and risks across different social media platforms from a civility and respect perspective. We will explore a range of proactive and pre-emptive strategies councils can put in place to set themselves up for success. We’ll learn what to do if things go wrong and how to manage a range of scenarios from trolling to harassment and practical what steps you can take.

For Councillors, we will consider what our personal ‘digital tone of voice’ sounds like on social media, our use of language and its role in positive two-way communication. We will explore methods for dealing with attacks, bullying and ‘trolling’ and ways in which you can control your social media. We’ll share best practice and discuss when you need to be mindful of council policies as well as the Code of Conduct.

All bookings provide access to pre-training content, access to the live virtual workshop and access to the post-workshop toolkit.

Social media for councils: advanced strategies and tactics across multiple platforms

More and more Councils are looking to use a range of social media platforms in order to increase their digital reach into the community. In this session we look at how different platforms can help councils take their social media presence to the next level. We explore how to get the most from each platform and how to ensure your social media content is delivering on your council’s communications objectives.

Social media for councils: getting started using Facebook, creating an effective social media strategy and getting the fundamentals right

Social media provides councils with an opportunity to significantly enhance their communications. Discover how to get started on social media and how to get the fundamentals right. In this session we explore how to create a social media strategy, how to get the most out of Facebook in particular, and how to make use of time-saving tools and techniques save councils time and effort.

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