The star of the show – a sunken digger

Working in offshore wind its kind of obvious you go where the wind farms are. For the past year I’ve had the pleasure of spending a lot of time in Brighton as the Rampion project starts to take shape.  Its fascinating to see how the attitudes of the different communities around the country change, often very much reflected in their political standpoints. With Brighton, represented by the only Green Party MP, there is a huge amount of support, making life easier as a stakeholder manager in one way – more support for offshore wind energy – but also harder because of the overwhelming level of interest. But its not always interest in what you think there would be interest in. The technology? The environmental benefits? The timeframe for construction? The huge engineering effort? Yes, yes, yes and yes. But by far the most excitement has been around an elevated excavator that sunk off Worthing during works to backfill a trench needed for the export cable installation.

The Rampion team is working full speed to try and determine to best way to remove the sunken digger, but in the meantime the local community have adopted it and when it goes, I am sure it will be sadly missed. Its been christened ‘Moby Dig” and online surveys have been running as to whether it should be left in situ to become a permanent fixture (no is the answer) and whether it should run for MP with the hashtag #mobydigforMP. At last look more than 50% of respondents said it should! Its become a (kind of dangerous) plaything for kite surfers and been adored with a jolly roger.  It has had a poem written about it and received almost more local media coverage than the rest of the construction works to date!

Who would have thought that a sunken digger would become the star of the show? And its not over yet. A huge turnout is expected when the 80-tonne excavator is finally removed. I take the huge amount of good humoured interest in Moby Dig as a plus sign for the offshore wind industry. Once an unfortunate event like the sinking of a digger working on an offshore wind farm would have been met with a unanimous chorus of disapproval all around, but other than a few of the usual misinformed Daily Mail readers, this has shown that, when given the choice of how to interpret and view the sinking of “Moby Dig”, the vast majority of the local community has very much been on the generous and light-hearted side. And I choose to view that as a vote of confidence for offshore wind, that it has reached the stage where it is on the whole, accepted as an integral part of the UK’s energy family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo c/- BBC Sussex

Image by a local kite surfer

 

Now in Norwich

East of England has long been an offshore hub for the oil and gas industries, and now with offshore wind becoming more core as step changes are on the horizon, opening a base there is a logical step for a communications consultancy with offshore wind as a specialty.

It is a pleasure to announce that from November 2015, PRsue Communication will have a Norwich base – with easy access to offshore hubs at Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, with OrbisEnergy as its focal point, and not too far from the growing Port of Harwich.

We would welcome enquiries from local companies – Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire – looking for communications support, or even just thinking about it. Whether a one-off, a long-term project or a strategic overhaul, we would be happy to discuss how PRsue Communications can help you meet your objectives.

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Norwich, looking forward to getting to know you…

When teamwork trumps alonework

As an independent consultant there are plenty of pluses – flexibility, better day rate, more holidays (if you can afford them!), side-stepping internal politics and so on. But at least one thing I’d put in the ‘minus’ column is the feeling of  ‘being a fully-fledged member of a team’.

As a consultant you can be a long-term contributor, well entrenched and with great working relationships with everyone interact with, but there is still something separating you. You are on the periphery by virtue of your contractual status. This is why, when team building opportunities comes along, I grab them. It gives the chance to get to know co-workers better and helps with the feeling of belonging, giving more ownership in the company and/or project and just being assimilated. Anthropologists write books on all of this – people’s need for interaction and acceptance, group behaviour, psychology of belonging and so on – but in a short blog its just recognising how much more effective you can be when you feel like one of the gang, not an interloper.

So it was with pleasure I joined the remaining Forewind team members for a day trip to the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, my former baby. Despite some seasickness (thankfully not mine), dodgy weather and higher than ideal waves, its a trip I’ll remember for its bonding, laughter and for the lasting feeling of being “with the band”. Alone is OK, even necessary at times but, as a social creature, I know I thrive on connecting and that the sense of belonging can’t be underestimated. So many thanks to everyone at Statkraft in Wells-next-the-Sea and my fellow Forewinders – there we all are below, safely on dry land – for a most memorable adventure.Forewind team copy

Social media refresher course – tick

This week I did 12 hours of continuous professional development (CPD) via a great social media masterclass with Ed Goodman at Socialb. Being self-employed, professional self-improvement seemed to have fallen down the priority list much in the same way my website had. But now I’ve been inspired to update my online presence – facebook, linked in, web – though I’m still only dipping my toe in twitter other than to use it for news. Mostly though I’m looking forward to using the knowledge with clients or future employers. But I’m still working out how people have the time to update everywhere? Maybe they don’t sleep or eat? Or maybe its just like exercise and once it becomes part of your life, you just do it as a matter of course. Let’s hope so, and on that, I’m off to the gym.

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Welcome to PRsue Communication

Welcome to PRsue Communication. After eight years as a self-employed PR professional I decided it was high time revisit my website and actually look like a PR professional. I don’t know if its true that mechanics have the worst cars, but PR people should not have the worst websites. No excuses but what with running my own business, working with exciting clients and everything life throws at you in between, I guess a website was not top of the priority list. Let’s hope its not another eight years (Ed my social media trainer would kill me for a start!).