So… here we are… just a few short days from Christmas. The halls are decked with bows of holly (fake holly, mind) and the seasonal spirit in the office is as thick as the snow we still hope will fall on the 25th. As the office scrooge (I can’t stand Crimbo, but I do like snow) it has even been affecting me. Bah.
Nevertheless, it’s a marvellous feeling knowing that the break will start very soon, after what has been a very, very big 2012. By any measure this has been a busy year for Public-i – and it’s worth stepping back, as we near its end, to reflect just a little on everything that’s happened…
Re-branding: If you’ve been aware of Public-i for a few years it won’t have escaped your notice that we look a bit different now. We made the decision earlier in the year to completely rebrand the company – no easy task as it happens. It involved a lot of work from a lot of people, firstly on deciding how we’d look and then in actually executing that change to the website, brochures, stationary and to the products.
Developing products: It wasn’t just a rebranding, but a repositioning. Connect, the webcasting product that we’ve built our reputation on has seen the most significant changes – moving from being a straightforward webcasting product to one that is, frankly, a lot more relevant to the world we live in now, replete with functionality for the social web and a completely new look and feel.
New Connect: Re-launching a product like Connect isn’t just a matter of product development (although there was a good deal) there’s huge energy required to migrate clients across – something that our Customer Delivery team has worked extremely hard to do.
Connect Social: Connect’s sister product, Connect Social, was launched as well. It offers webcasting with the full power of social media. Clients got their first proper peek at it at this year’s Local Government Association (LGA) conference in the summer and it has been catching admiring glances ever since.
Cornwall: It really started to prove its value in October, when Cornwall Council used Connect Social to webcast the extraordinary meeting that led to a vote of no confidence in council leader, Alec Robertson. Thousands watched on the day, while still thousands more viewed the archive. The webcast served as a great advert for Connect Social, with many people taking part in the discussion online on CoveritLive and on Twitter – showing just how valuable these services can be when they are harnessed to work with webcasting.
Infrastructure: We have now moved our streaming and hosting services to make sure we can deal with greater demand for our products. Again these were moves that, while they delivered great improvements for the company, were not without effort – and the Development and Customer Delivery teams in particular deserve thanks for everything they did to make this possible.
New clients: It was a great year, too, for the Sales team, with the securing of a number of new webcasting clients. They included Blackpool, Bath, Wyre Forest, Hampshire, Plymouth, Brecon Beacons National Park, Medivet, the Royal College of Surgeons and, last but by no means least, the City of Edinburgh.
Thought leadership: And we’ve also made some terrific progress in terms of the thought leadership work we do. As well as some really great work with Leicestershire Police (including an SMA and most recently the action learning group work – read more here), there has been Catherine’s work with the APCC – and the production of the Digital Democracy guide. We’ve stepped up our work with the police, including work with Hertfordshire Police Authority and Catherine’s recent tutoring of senior police on the Strategic Command Course – and continue to offer a number of councils help re-defining their relationship with the public.
We’re growing: With it being such a busy year it’s hardly surprising that there are quite a few new faces around now. While Debbie Wheelock took over from Richard Scales, as project manager, and we’re in the process of adding to the development team (with announcements in the new year), we’ve also welcomed several appointments to brand new posts. Andy Baker was appointed as sales support officer and more recently we’ve welcomed Alex Goluszko as user experience designer and Emma Daniel as key account manager. While the fact we’re taking on people is great simply in itself, it’s also
So I could go on, but these are the main developments. And there will be a lot more to report next year – we’re guessing 2013 will be even busier! Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Picture: Brightwellandrew on Creative Commons licence from Flickr.