Speaker line-up at EuroComm 2017

We're very pleased to announce the initial speaker line-up for EuroComm 2017 (in alphabetical order). More will be added to the list as they're confirmed, so be sure to check back later for updates and more detailed information about each speaker's presentation.

It's going to be a very full and interesting two-day programme, with formats ranging from interactive workshops and networking to panel discussions and keynote speeches, along with some topic- or discipline-specific parallel tracks so you can choose to attend the sessions that interest you most.

See the final programme booklet for a detailed description of each speaker and their presentation. To connect with our speakers, click on their LinkedIn or Twitter icons below. 

 

Jill Allemang
Managing Director, jallé
Modern careers - what's your strategy?

•••

We will interactively explore why it matters to talk about careers directly in the business strategy as a key step in strategy communication and how each of us can help make that happen. Strategy communication brings clarity. Clarity brings confidence: the belief that we can implement our goals – business & personal – effect change, have an impact. That’s the conversation we aim to bring directly into the business and to every employee who contributes to it. Through the pragmatic, engaging approach that inspires both insight and a smile, you will:
-­ Identify elements of “my great career”
­- Explore why career vision matters to business strategy
­- Consider the impact we can make as communications professionals ­ Walk away with a new idea about how to communicate your own career vision in your organization.

John Burger
Founder, John Burger Consulting
Bootstrapping Change - The need for Organisational Self-Awareness

•••

Organisations are complex adaptive systems, like ant colonies, but with intelligence agents as constituents. This has implications for which types of change interventions are successful. Many change interventions fail because the top of the organisations sees itself as distinct from the rest of the organisation. Although they are inside the same sphere, they push, or they pull, but this does not move the sphere. They need to walk to bring the organisation with them and recognise both the power and influence they have and their limitations. By developing strategies to build up organisational self­-awareness, organisations can learn to avoid many of the pitfalls of failing change initiatives.

Ezri Carlebach
Consultant, writer, lecturer, and Senior Associate at the PR Network
WORKSHOP: Creativity and change: How to turn uncertainty into innovation

•••

People fear change because it is unpredictable. Yet change in work, life and community is constant. How do we engage in change practices that encourage creativity and innovation? How do we recognise how fear of failure keeps us from being innovative? In this session, we will talk about what we have learned about engaging in simple creative strategies that result in big ideas that will change and transform how we do business. Participants will practice strategies and learn to develop their own tool box to support innovation and creativity in their work spaces.

Charlotte Ditloev Jensen
Strategic Communications Advisor, Copenhagen Airports
Transformation from within: How facilitation techniques can expand the organizational impact of communication

•••

In this session everyday tasks of communication professionals will be presented via three core communication competencies; production, counselling and facilitation. O
f these three, facilitation has huge potential to expand the impact of corporate communication. T
he red thread that runs through the three is the concept of ownership: yours, his/hers or theirs. Facilitation is a specific set of competencies a communicator can include into their personal toolbox. Two facilitative sessions of 5­min each will be integrated in the session. Facilitation skills are a useful tool for:
– engaging and committing employees and managers alike with the purpose of stimulating user-centric approaches to innovation and development, and
– strengthening communication with both customers and employees, expecting your organisation to interact in an including and authentic way on social media.

Martin Gilbraith
Certified Professional Facilitator, Trainer & Consultant
WORKSHOP: Facilitating transformation: reviewing the past to prepare for the future

•••

In this workshop Martin will demonstrate a participatory approach for a group to review the past to prepare for the future, by applying the ToP (Technology of Participation) Historical Scan method to reflect together on the journey of development of our profession as communicators. Martin will be joined by IABC past­-chair Michael Ambjorn (@michaelambjorn) of AlignYourOrg and Alastair Mcphail of ETF to share an award­-winning case study of the method in action "Celebrating 20 years with the European Training Foundation in Turin – #ETF20" (IABC 2015 Gold Quill Award & IAF 2015 Facilitation Impact Award). Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on how they might apply the method themselves.

Russell Grossman
ABC, DipPR, FRSA, FCIPR, FCIM; Director of Communications, UK Parliament Office For Rail and Road (ORR)
CASE STUDY: Adapting, reinventing and transforming UK Government Communication

•••

One of the largest cohorts of communication practitioners in Europe, the UK Government Communication Service (GCS) comprises some 4,400 people and over 300 government organisations, from the Prime Minister’s office down. It invests over £300m each year in communication. Since 2013, the service has been significantly upskilling the profession in an ongoing programme of 11 major reforms. These have covered every facet of its communication activity from insight to evaluation, including a special focus on internal and digital communications. Russell, who has been a senior director of GCS since its inception and closely connected with the improvement programme, will discuss the principles, successes (and some slip­ups) of the programme and why a rigorous programme management approach, commitment to external insight, and forcing the pace of delivery has significantly improved government communications while cutting its cost by over three quarters in the last five years.

Kate Hamilton-Baily
Director, Taylor Bennett
What communicators of the future will need to "know, do and be"

•••

How do you ensure that what you do now will develop your experience and skill set to meet the challenges of the future? From geo-political changes through to technology advances, we are living in a time of considerable change. Kate will be talking about the trends they are starting to see emerge in terms of the structure of the communications function and the experience and skillset that clients are looking for when hiring senior talent and what that means for your career development.

Tim Hart
Assistant Director, NEL Healthcare Consulting (NHS)
CASE STUDY: The complex life of an NHS communicator

•••

The NHS is the UK’s largest employer and a world­recognised brand. It sits not only at the heart of British civil life but also is a daily lightning rod for media, interest groups and politicians alike. For communicators who work there, it is a place of constant change, an often pressured environment that requires a steely will and an ability to pivot from issue to issue and from skill to skill to keep it all in hand. This presentation will describe the life and work of NHS communicators, including a look at their role in the latest hot topic, Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) – large­scale plans to meet the ‘triple challenge’ of better health, transformed quality of care delivery, and sustainable finances ­ with communications at the heart of this ambitious and contentious effort.

Neville Hobson
Communication and social media leader, digital change agent, speaker
How to Augment Your Intelligence with Big Data

•••

We’ve all heard the term “Big Data” but do we really understand what this means? Can we see what we must do right now to enable our competitive differentiation, operational effectiveness and early-mover advantage that are essential in the cognitive business era of the coming decade? In this session, you’ll learn how providing colleagues and customers with knowledge and insights will enable everyone to work more effectively and efficiently; to focus on achieving an outcome and not the task list; to leave the mundane to tech tools that excel at the mundane; to amplify your cognitive prowess by leveraging (augmenting) the intelligence you have with the help of machines, algorithms and computer processing power.

Katy Howell
CEO, immediate future
The giant step change in social

•••

From thumb-stopping content to paid targeting, social has become a serious part of the communications mix. This session will explore the latest trends in social media, including: The need for a content tilt and flexible messaging; The shift to audience first and always-on; How this effects interaction with the public?; and Why trolls don’t matter and fake news needs a plan. We’ll look at the new era of serious social media: The data, the art, the psychology and the everyday.

Sharon Hunter
Vice Chair, International Association of Business Communicators
Future Fit: #IABC1720 Forward Look

•••

Sharon has served eight years in IABC executive leadership roles where, as the incoming Chair of the International Executive Board (IEB) 2017-18, she is leading development of the association’s next three-year strategy, #IABC1720. In this session, she will give us a sneak preview of the IABC forward strategy and some of the insights about communications role relevancy we are drawing on for it, including member survey data and other industry opinions gleaned through an appreciative inquiry process and thought leader interviews across the globe. The results of which point to what communicators need to evolve toward to stay relevant into 2020 and beyond.

Mike Klein
Principal, Changing The Terms
WORKSHOP: From collecting to connecting: next-level networking for communication professionals

•••

Networking is one of the most critical skills of communication professionals—indeed it is the engine that causes information to flow, knowledge to be obtained, and relationships to be initiated, sustained and grown. Much of what is being pushed in today’s networking industry is purely transactional – of the “collect lots of business cards” variety. For communication professionals to progress in organizational centrality and career influence, and to move to the next level of impact, we must become adept at giving to people in our networks as well as receiving what they offer. This session will look at what it takes to develop higher­ level network building habits, and will provide participants with hands­-on practice and coaching in how to practice these habits and spread them among their peers.

Alan Lane
Independent consultant in risk, disaster and crisis management
A case study review of managing communications and reputation during high-profile crisis and disasters

***

In May 2016, a wildfire raged through Northern Alberta and the Fort McMurray area forcing the evacuation of over 80,000 people. The fire destroyed 2,500 structures in the city, including entire neighbourhoods, and has the distinction of being the largest natural disaster in Canadian history. At its peak, the wildfire covered 575,000 hectares of land (more the five times the size of Greater Los Angeles.) As part of its emergency response, the Government of Alberta used Virtual Town Halls to communicate directly with evacuees who had dispersed all across Canada, to keep them up to date on the latest information: condition of their neighbourhoods, distribution of financial assistance, predictions for when they could return to their homes and what to expect once they were able to return. The government conducted 17 events over 5 weeks during the evacuation and early re­entry of residents back into the city.

Victoria Lewis-Stephens
Global Executive Engagement Director and Managing Partner, Instinctif Partners
Harnessing digital to engage employees globally

•••

How do some of the world’s most iconic brands leverage digital platforms and gamification to engage employees? Join Instinctif Partners to learn how to foster a connected global community, inspire brand fans and drive change for your organization, globally. Key insights include: How to use gamification to engage a disparate global audience in your strategy; How to capture your employees’ imagination using social platforms; Techniques to help drive change during periods of business transformation; and How to leverage digital to create a connected brand

Clare Lynch
Director, Doris and Bertie
Whose language is it anyway? Communicating effectively in a globalised world

•••

Everyone agrees that business communication should be clear and direct, right? As any professional communicator will tell you, to get your message across you need to keep things concise and jargon­ free. But what many don’t realise is that this view of communication isn’t universal. Rather, it reveals deep­-seated, culturally determined attitudes to the way content and ideas should be structured, phrased and presented. In this talk, Dr Clare Lynch will reveal how people whose first language isn’t English may have very different expectations of what constitutes ‘good’ communication. She’ll highlight some of the challenges professional communicators may face when providing communications advice in a cross­-cultural context. She’ll also explore how communicators can adapt to a world where ‘ownership’ of the English language itself is increasingly shared by speakers around the globe.

Carl Mavromichalis
Managing Director, Converso Engagement Services Inc.
CASE STUDY: Communicating During a Disaster: The Government of Alberta’s Evacuee Outreach

•••

In May 2016, a wildfire raged through Northern Alberta and the Fort McMurray area forcing the evacuation of over 80,000 people. The fire destroyed 2,500 structures in the city, including entire neighbourhoods, and has the distinction of being the largest natural disaster in Canadian history. At its peak, the wildfire covered 575,000 hectares of land (more the five times the size of Greater Los Angeles.) As part of its emergency response, the Government of Alberta used Virtual Town Halls to communicate directly with evacuees who had dispersed all across Canada, to keep them up to date on the latest information: condition of their neighbourhoods, distribution of financial assistance, predictions for when they could return to their homes and what to expect once they were able to return. The government conducted 17 events over 5 weeks during the evacuation and early re­entry of residents back into the city.

Robin McCasland, FRSA
Director, Corporate Communication, Tenet Healthcare
Bad Bosses Be Damned!

•••

A key tenet of strategic communication and engagement is that both are more effective when organizational leadership is on board and involved in your efforts. Can you still be successful without their support? Yes! All is not lost when you work with or for a leader who doesn’t understand the transformative nature of great communication. You simply have to work around them to demonstrate how your efforts can influence behaviors and improve culture. It involves greater ingenuity – and sometimes a bit of bravery – but it can be done! You can even win over the most stubborn of leaders so they’re willing to be part of your communication plans in the future. In this session, Robin will offer practical tips and share examples of how she and her teams have moved past leader roadblocks to provide the real value of creative, effective communication. (And they did it without getting fired.)

Lin McDevitt-Pugh
Author, facilitator, consultant
WORKSHOP: From collecting to connecting: next-level networking for communication professionals

•••

Networking is one of the most critical skills of communication professionals—indeed it is the engine that causes information to flow, knowledge to be obtained, and relationships to be initiated, sustained and grown. Much of what is being pushed in today’s networking industry is purely transactional – of the “collect lots of business cards” variety. For communication professionals to progress in organizational centrality and career influence, and to move to the next level of impact, we must become adept at giving to people in our networks as well as receiving what they offer. This session will look at what it takes to develop higher­-level network building habits, and will provide participants with hands­-on practice and coaching in how to practice these habits and spread them among their peers.

Antonio Meza
Consultant and Graphic Facilitator, Akrobatas
KEYNOTE: The burning question …

•••

What gives meaning to my professional life? It is the burning question that people ask themselves when engaging with a company or brand. Professional communicators must be ready to offer congruent answers. Corporate values used to be a "nice to have" text framed and displayed on the walls of the office. But today, both customers and talents are more sensitive to the congruence of a brand. As companies transform and evolve, they are becoming much more customer-centric, they want to listen to the real needs of the end user of their services. But they are also concerned with finding retaining the best new talents. Today, companies need to embody their values and act congruently. This is important both to internal and external audiences. The corporate communicator's role is transforming, from somebody who shapes the output of a top-down message, to becoming the bridge that permits the creation of true value.

Rachel Miller
Director, All Things IC
Power of One – benefits of being an independent practitioner

•••

Rachel will be sharing how she has adapted, invented and evolved her career. A former journalist, she spent a decade working in-house before establishing her consultancy four years ago. Through this session, Rachel will be revealing the twists and turns her career has taken and how she has made up the rules to create her career path. She’ll be highlighting the importance of creating and maintaining personal brand to build a business and why blogging is a good use of time. In a world where we know the power of peer-to-peer communication, what’s the reality of working independently? What are the challenges, why are 47-page documents essential, and how can the power of one be multiplied? Rachel is going to share insights into all these areas.

Martha Muzychka
Principal, Praxis Communications & Research
WORKSHOP: Creativity and change: How to turn uncertainty into innovation

•••

People fear change because it is unpredictable. Yet change in work, life and community is constant. How do we engage in change practices that encourage creativity and innovation? How do we recognise how fear of failure keeps us from being innovative? In this session, we will talk about what we have learned about engaging in simple creative strategies that result in big ideas that will change and transform how we do business. Participants will practice strategies and learn to develop their own tool box to support innovation and creativity in their work spaces.

Siobhan Newmarch
Director, Portland Communications
Employee engagement in the digital workplace

•••

The presentation will use existing and exclusive research to describe the evolving relationship of employees with communications in the workplace, in light of increased digitalisation of channels, and the blurring of boundaries between private and professional life.
It will use case studies encountered at Portland to identify the best ways for communication professionals to understand, target and engage internal stakeholders.

Alys O'Neill
Senior Engagement Lead, Instinctif Partners (New York)
Harnessing digital to engage employees globally

•••

How do some of the world’s most iconic brands leverage digital platforms and gamification to engage employees? Join Instinctif Partners to learn how to foster a connected global community, inspire brand fans and drive change for your organization, globally. Key insights include: How to use gamification to engage a disparate global audience in your strategy; How to capture your employees’ imagination using social platforms; Techniques to help drive change during periods of business transformation; and How to leverage digital to create a connected brand

Jonathan Oldershaw
Director, Insights & Intelligence, Madano
How to Augment Your Intelligence with Big Data

•••

We’ve all heard the term “Big Data” but do we really understand what this means? Can we see what we must do right now to enable our competitive differentiation, operational effectiveness and early-mover advantage that are essential in the cognitive business era of the coming decade? In this session, you’ll learn how providing colleagues and customers with knowledge and insights will enable everyone to work more effectively and efficiently; to focus on achieving an outcome and not the task list; to leave the mundane to tech tools that excel at the mundane; to amplify your cognitive prowess by leveraging (augmenting) the intelligence you have with the help of machines, algorithms and computer processing power.
(Co-presented with Alan Lane)

Sheila Parry
Founder and Chair, theblueballroom
Take pride: Building organisational success through people

•••

The PRIDE Model is a philosophy and methodology that will create successful organisations through highly engaged people. This session will invite you to think differently about life at work, from the dual perspectives of the organisation and the individual. It will bring together the interests of the employer and the employee in an exploration of five key components ­ Purpose, Reputation, Integrity, Direction and Energy ­ that together achieve organisational and personal performance. The PRIDE model has been built on more than 15 years of experience working with outstanding people and organisations. It is accessible, intuitive, pragmatic but also supported by a rigorous diagnostic and set of proven methodologies. Sheila will share her inspiration for the model, briefly explain each component part and then discuss case studies and implementation ideas.

Caroline Sapriel
Managing Partner, CS&A International
From Crisis Response to Crisis Leadership - Understanding what’s at stake to steer your organisation through Disruption

•••

In today’s highly volatile and unpredictable world, crisis management must do more than help organisations respond to crises. Having the ability to detect, prevent, mitigate and recover from a crisis is the only way to build resilience successfully. Taking an integrated approach by connecting the dots between risk management, crisis management and business continuity will help build a robust contingency framework for your organisation. Communicators have a key role to play in crisis preparedness and crisis leadership and can help executive teams build the right mindset to prevent a reputation train wreck.

Hilary Scarlett
Founder and Director, Scarlett & Grey
KEYNOTE: Supporting transformation - insights from behavioural science

•••

Work has changed hugely but our brains have not. They are not designed to deal with the 21st century workplace, and there’s the challenge facing every organisation and every one of us. Although behavioural science and applied neuroscience are still in their infancy, they are already providing significant insights into people, teams and organisations. They bring to light what enables us to be focused, learn and perform at our best, especially during times of transformation and uncertainty. Communication professionals need to understand what helps the brain at work and what gets in the way. This presentation will be ‘brain­friendly’ so we will use film and exercises to illustrate points, provide research and scientific evidence, allow time for people to reflect and discuss (this is when the real learning is done) and encourage people to apply the thinking to their organisation.

Warwick Smith
Managing Partner and Founder of Instinctif Partners’ Public Policy Practice
Brexit: What are the big questions for communicators?

•••

With Brexit looming, the rules for news media being rewritten, and the expectations placed on us as communicators to manage it all with a clear head, this session will be one of the highlights at EuroComm. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that Article 50 will be triggered by the end of March, so communicators now need to shift into high gear to understand the impact this will have on people and businesses in the UK and across Europe, especially those that employ foreign workers. In this session you’ll hear what every business communicator needs to know to weather the Brexit storm, including the process, the players, the timescales, and how to be heard and influential.

Danielle Spencer
Freelance Communications & OD Practitioner, Good Coaching
The future of IC is OD?

•••

In the past 5­10 years the lines between communications and HR have blurred with HR practitioners coveting the creativity, planfulness and audience orientation of comms and IC practitioners seeking to expand our influence into important cultural levers that are usually the domain of OD practitioners ­ leadership and line management behaviours and capabilities, performance management and behaviour change. Often the two disciplines coming together (or into conflict) around an organisation's change management, employee engagement or employee experience approach. In this presentation, a former IC Director that 'crossed over' into OD and Chief People Officer roles describes her career and personal journey ­ how and why she made the change and what she has learned and observed along the way that may be helpful to others.

Jasna Suhadolc
Managing Director, Virtua PR
B2B companies: it is time to transform with inbound marketing?

•••

Generating quality leads, better conversion rates and increasing awareness of the brand are just some of the results created by changing the perspective with inbound marketing and truly focusing on target audiences and their needs. By consistently providing helpful, relevant information, creating useful content and using digital tools available, inbound marketing can help transform B2B companies’ marketing that goes beyond trade fairs, cold calling or ads in trade publications.

Tereza Urbankova
Head of Global Communication, Amec Foster Wheeler
CASE STUDY: Our transformation journey - building trust comes first

•••

Global engineering project management and consulting firm Amec Foster Wheeler has embarked on a huge transformation journey that represents a major change for the organisation. This includes restructuring the company, improving efficiencies, systems and processes; basically turning the business around. And of course, employee communications and engagement are paramount to success of this transformation. Their ongoing transformation is about adapting to challenging markets, reinventing themselves and creating a sustainable business based on strong existing foundations. This session will focus on the journey they are taking employees on and will outline the challenges, successes and even failures along the way.

Dik Veenman
Founder, The Right Conversation
Speaking Truth to Power - How to work with leaders to create a 'speaking up' culture

•••

This session will explore the recent series of scandals where corporate wrong doings was seemingly well known by those inside the organisation but where these were not discussable. The session will present the findings from a unique 18­month research programme conducted by The Right Conversation in conjunction with Ashridge / Hult Business School on the subject of How Truth Speaks to Power. Delegates will be invited to consider the five dimensions of how as leaders we silence ourselves and how we silence others, and explore how they can start a conversation about 'Speaking Truth to Power' in their own organisations. The session will be a mix of presentation and highly interactive discussions.

Louise Wadman
Head of Internal Communication, Group Executive Functions Lloyds Banking Group
Case Study: Revitalising Lloyds Bank and You. A gripping story of change against the odds.

•••

Faced with a business that needed substantial change to become more customer-centric, Louise created a three-year behavioural change programme. By activating the workforce, stimulating managers and using emotional triggers the ‘revitalisation programme’ has resulted in enduring change. In her presentation, Louise will provide a high-level overview and then as an audience you can decide which aspects of the programme you want to learn more about.

Susan Walker, ABC
Director, AES Research
Measurement Evolves to Evaluation

•••

Why just ‘measure’ when you can identify the value of communications to your organisation? Evolve your research programme on to proactive evaluation with three essential steps. Make a real link with the organisation’s strategy, vision and values to ensure it becomes an integral part of business planning. Excavate that goldmine of data to gain deeper understanding and reveal where to focus for greatest impact so you can identify ROI. Ensure that effective action brings practical benefits to the business. Advancing technology, social media, listening not telling and new business models all bring changes which mean the old traditional annual survey is being transformed into the more proactive, flexible, relevant and effective evaluation.