show episodes
 
Bite Size Comms is a weekly podcast that will give you a perspective on an aspect of public relations and communications practice. Bite size as they are short opinion pieces on topical issues. The episodes are sometimes contentious, sometimes funny, and they all aim to provoke thought. Thanks for listening.
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I first lived in Latvia as a diplomat from 1996-1999. I returned to live in Latvia in 2022. This story-telling and reportage podcast is my personal observation of aspects of life in Latvia and things to see and experience.
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show series
 
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. I’m glad that there is more awareness of mental health among people in the UK. The stigma attached to talking about mental health is disappearing. That said, the conditions for stress and anxiety are ever-present. The CIPR and PRCA 2023/24 mental health wellbeing audit found that 91% of practitioners repor…
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Learning at Work is all about professional development. Something we should do regularly, although it is good to have a week to promote it. I recommend six points to my PR apprentices on how they can continue to develop as professional communicators upon completing their studies. Some of the points may interest you, too. #CIPR Learn #LearningAtWork…
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In Episode 95 of the Alfa Romeo Driver podcast - brought to you by the Alfa Romeo Owner’s Club - Editor Guy Swarbrick and Management Team Member David Faithful and I witter on for the best part of an hour about the state of the UK charging network, domestic electricity prices, the economics of operating a motorway service station, whether or not dr…
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The humble receptacle for a hot beverage has become the accessory of choice for MPs in photographs. A pint of beer is so last decade and reminds people of Nigel Farage. A mug with a slogan written on it, or a picture that portrays a certain image, is in. We look at examples, good, bad, and funny. We explore how organisations can use a mug opportuni…
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Mežaparks is a suburb of Rīga, Latvia's capital. It is a beautiful area of villas, a forest park, and a zoo. The Englishman George Armitstead, while Mayor of Rīga, created it in 1901 as the first Garden City in the world. Join me as we explore this delightful neighbourhood of Rīga and learn of its fascinating history. Walk with me through the park,…
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In Episode 93 of the Alfa Romeo Driver podcast - brought to you by the Alfa Romeo Owner’s Club - Editor Guy Swarbrick was joined by the Club’s longest serving member Ron Smith. No longer based in the UK – and, as we’ll see, he wasn’t when he joined, either - but still an active and enthusiastic member, as he has been for most of the Club's 60 year …
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inclusivity and accessibility are fundamentally important in communications. It is a waste of time collecting measurement analytics if we can’t craft our messages so that they are likely to be heard, considered, and possibly even acted upon. We look at examples of good practice in making public relations content as inclusive and accessible as possi…
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Sir Stephen Tallents was a distinguished British civil servant and a trailblazer in public relations. I focus on his work in Latvia between 1919 - 1920. Due to his skill and determination, he assisted Latvia and the other newly independent Baltic States to achieve peace and prosperity for 20 years. His story is fascinating. Join me as we learn more…
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Sound measurement and evaluation of our PR/comms activity is important. It is also one of the three big skills for practitioners. However, we tend to overcomplicate it. That, together with a lack of time and knowledge on how to do it, results in measurement and evaluation not being done. So here is my simplified 101 to measurement and evaluation of…
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Latvia has a rich music scene, from classical music to the internationally acclaimed Song and Dance Festival, ancient folklore dainas, and a thriving popular music culture. In 2000, Latvia even came third in the Eurovision Song Contest! Not bad for a country of 1.8 million people. In this episode, we will explore the folklore, classical and popular…
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In Episode 92 of the Alfa Romeo Driver podcast - brought to you by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club - Editor Guy Swarbrick sat down with arguably the Club’s most enthustiastic Model Registrar Nathan Mahoney, to talk about his cars and the work he's doing with the GT Register - and, in particular, the growing collaboration with other Model Registers.…
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For a visitor to Latvia, there is a massive choice of public transport. From trains, buses, smaller mini-buses, trolleybuses, trams, and coaches. There are also a few taxis. A few of these forms of public transport are brand-new. Many give you a feel for life during the Soviet occupation. There was even a song written about my favourite tram line! …
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As professional communicators, it is important to use words that our audiences fully understand. We are responsible for the language we use as it is often intended to influence the attitudes, opinions and behaviours of other people. Thoughts on some of the words we use in public relations and communications. Some serious, some funny, some ridiculou…
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Episode 90 of the Alfa Romeo Driver podcast – brought to you by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club - is a little different to our usual format. Editor Guy Swarbrick sat down with Club management team member and MiTo nerd David Faithful for a half hour chat about the new STLA Large platform that will underpin the replacements for the Giulia and Stelvio – an…
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Episode 91 of the Alfa Romeo Driver podcast – brought to you by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club is a little different to our usual format Editor Guy Swarbrick sat down with Club management team member and MiTo nerd David Faithful for a half hour chat about the new STLA Large platform that will underpin the replacements for the Giulia and Stelvio – and b…
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Editor Guy Swarbrick sat down with Club Chairman John Griffiths, Club Manager Nick Wright and Management Team member David Faithful to discuss some of the exciting events in store for the Club's 60th Anniversary in 2024 - those already confirmed and some still in the planning stages.By Guy Swarbrick, Editor - Alfa Romeo Driver
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For those who missed our first livestream, here's a recording of Editor Guy Swarbrick and Club Chairman John Griffiths as they shamelessly filled dead time with speculation waiting for Alfa Romeo to announce the name of the new, small Sport Urban Vehicle, codenamed Kid... The internet knew it was going to be called Brennero - we weren't so sure... …
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Latvia is a nation that loves sport. it has achieved outstanding sporting success. We will examine that success. We will look at the most popular sports in Latvia, some Latvian sporting heroes, and share some of the proud glory from 2023’s success in ice hockey and basketball. Above all, I wanted to discover why this small country was so good at ce…
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In Episode 87 of the Alfa Romeo Driver podcast, brought to you by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club, Editor Guy Swarbrick sits down with AROC management team member David Faithful to talk about some of the improvements to the Club's online experience behind the scenes - and some of the cool new member benefits that technology will enable. Some early examp…
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The Suiti are a 400-year-old ethnic Latvian group. They are Catholic people in the centre of the Kurzeme region in western Latvia, surrounded by Lutherans. They preserved their culture over the years by never marrying someone from a different ethnic group or religion. This has resulted in the Suiti developing distinct traditions. The Suiti are crea…
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2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the famous Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio emblem and we're celebrating with our 4th episode of No Such Thing as a Brera Quadrifoglio. In this episode of the Alfa Romeo Driver podcast - brought to you by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club - Editor Guy Swarbrick is joined by Club Chairman John Griffiths, Club Manager Nick Wright …
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Anatole ‘Tony’ Lapine lived a dream to be a great car designer. He was chief designer at Porsche for nearly 20 years, one of only four chief designers at the car maker since it was founded exactly 75 years ago. He had a hand in shaping some of the most impressive and iconic sports cars ever. Despite being a refugee from war-torn Latvia, his story i…
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On a bright weekend at the end of September, I went to Kuldīga. The town was buzzing with people, strolling the cobbled streets, sitting at cafes, walking down to the waterfall. The small electric tourist buses were full. Why? Kuldīga had been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list a few weeks beforehand. In tourism terms, that is a huge thing. We…
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Ķemeri is a former resort in Latvia. It has seen many highs, like being regarded as an outstanding spa of the Russian Empire, rebuilt to be one of the finest resorts in the Baltics during Latvia’s first independence, and later developed into a sanatorium for the Soviet elite during the Russian occupation. To the lows of being destroyed during the W…
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In the 1990s, while working as a diplomat in Latvia, I bought three paintings by the artist Edgars Valdmanis. I found the first one in a gallery in Rīga’s old town. It is a landscape with trees in the pointillism impressionist style. Soon, I had my second and third paintings from this artist. The third one, a winter scene complimenting my spring an…
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Latvia has a rich history in film and animation making. It is also re-emerging as a significant industry. Latvia is the choice location for many European and UK films. I will take you on a tour of Latvia’s Cinevilla studio. We will explore the history of Latvian film and animation and discover a few fascinating characters. We will visit the Latvian…
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Latgale is Latvia's easternmost region and the country's poorest. It is a region of contrasts, with some distinct cultural differences from the rest of Latvia. For example, while most of Latvia is Lutheran, Latgale is predominantly Roman Catholic. The region’s history helps explain the religious differences in Latgale and its ethnic diversity. I sp…
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St. Saviour’s Church is in the old town of Rīga. It is an Anglican parish church, part of the Church of England. It was founded on British soil, shipped to Latvia in 1857, and built with British red bricks. It has a fascinating history, from being made by British businessmen in Rīga for wayward British sailors, to being closed down as a church duri…
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The Livonians, or Livs, are an indigenous ethnic group in Latvia. They were one of the first nations to settle in what is now modern-day Latvia. They speak a different language, yet only 30 people can now converse in it fluently. Few people outside of Latvia, and many people living in Latvia, are unaware of the Livonians. We will get to know this w…
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The Latvian Song and Dance Festival is probably the most important Latvian cultural event. Held every five years and started 150 years ago, 40,560 singers and dancers and a 500,000 audience joined events in Riga in July 2023. We look at this phenomenon and explore interesting aspects of the festival like the food served to participants, how environ…
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Midsummer is the biggest annual celebration in Latvia. Bigger than Christmas or Easter. As with many Latvian traditions, it is pagan in origin. It involves oak leaf or flower garlands, a special cheese, plenty of beer, fire and singing, and witches! I’ll tell you about the origins of this celebration. I’ll share my experience of participating in Jā…
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In Episode 81 of the Alfa Romeo Driver Podcast – brought to you by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club, Editor Guy Swarbrick drives the Tonale Q4 – the 280 horsepower, four-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid version of Alfa’s C segment SUV – along with some of its potential rivals at the SMMT test day at Millbrook. The video of a lap (or two) of Millbrook in the T…
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George Armitstead was an engineer, entrepreneur and the fourth Mayor of Rīga. He is fondly remembered in Latvia for turning the city into a modern European capital. The city flourished under his management between 1901 -12. He was also British. I want to share his interesting story with you. We will go on a hunt around Rīga for memorials dedicated …
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On 6 May 2023, King Charles III and Queen Camilla were crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth in a coronation. How was this event marked in Latvia, and what does it mean for British-Latvian relations? I report from the British Ambassador’s coronation celebration at Latvia’s National Library. I make the official coronation dis…
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Latvia has a long tradition in fashion, from stories from ancient times of knitted mitts and folk costumes to Latvia being the centre of fashion in the Soviet Union during the Riga Fashion House era, and to the present day - holding the only fashion week in the Baltics. In this episode, we will explore folklore and traditions, and end with a wonder…
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In this Episode of the Alfa Romeo Driver Podcast - brought to you by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club - Editor Guy Swarbrick sits down with Club Chairman John Griffiths, board member Kirsty Hodson, Club Manager Nick Wright and cinqueportephobic David Faithful to talk about a record-breaking Spring Alfa Day, rapid unscheduled carton disassembly events and…
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