EuroComm – Day 1 Programme

EuroComm opens with a keynote from Bjorn Edlund who spent 20 years as Chief Communications Officer, working for 11 CEOs, through external and self-created crises and deep corporate transformations.

Download the EuroComm Full Programme (PDF) for detailed timings and rooms for each session.

8:15 – Registration & breakfast

9:00 – Conference Welcome

9:20 – Leadership communications: Bjorn Edlund (Royal Dutch Shell, Shell, Sandoz and ABB)

We often hear that you can’t lead if you can’t communicate. And that is true. But it is also true that you can’t communicate with impact unless you can lead. Bjorn asks: what is communications leadership? What are the traits of a successful communications leader? How do leaders need to behave to galvanize their teams as well as their C-suite colleagues? Bjorn will share experiences from nearly 20 years as chief communications officer in three multinational corporations, working for 11 CEOs, through external and self-created crises and deep corporate transformations.

9.50 – The power of the employee voice

A conversation chaired by Klavs Valskov, managing partner at Agenda Strategies and IABC EMENA Vice Chair. Klavs’ experience includes consultancy and head of communications for international companies like Maersk Line, Nordea Bank and L’Oreal. He is co-author of “Internal Communication: a manual for practitioners.”

Cascade to conversation – Katie Macaulay, managing director, AB Communications
Although communication has changed radically in recent years, Katie believes we have only scratched the surface of what can be achieved when individuals inside organizations communicate with each other effectively. Drawing on research from her recent book, “From Cascade to Conversation”, Katie will focus on the shift from broadcasting messages to developing a genuine and productive dialogue.

Listening can change a whole organization – Ulrike Felber, Senior Communications Manager, HSBC
Too many people have their fingers permanently on the “talk” button. There are two parts of communication: talking and listening. HSBC’s answer is HSBC Exchange. Ulrike will share their new format team meetings, which moved managers from speaking to listening. This idea has changed how people at HSBC talk to each other, and provides senior management with great insights and innovative ideas.

10.50 – Break

11.15 – Breakout Session. Choose from these two channels:

Channel A:

Power of physics in employee engagement: Chuck Gose, STRATACACHE
We are not seeing the hoped for improvements promised employee engagement studies, which matters when you consider the potential impact engagement can have on the bottom line. The physics of employee engagement is a scientific way to look at how you are (or aren’t) engaging your workforce. Could this explain a new approach to improving employee engagement across companies? Join Chuck to find out more.

How much power do employees in your organization have? Charlie Irvine, Questions of Difference
A project for a global client shifted market share shift from 31% to 53% over three years. Key to the success of the project was the belief that the greatest wisdom and insight an organization has comes from its own people emphasises. Charlie will explain how an employee taskforce created, innovated, challenged and argued with ‘the way things are done around here’, inspiring local leadership to have confidence in their new plan thus creating new behaviours. Charlie will provide simple tips to determine success.


Improved customer experience through communications: Claudia Vaccarone, Eutelsat SA
The digital revolution has empowered consumer and clients to move beyond traditional branding and PR documents to inform themselves about business and purchasing decisions. Until recently, brand self-expression has been disconnected from user experience. In this talk, Claudia invites you to discover how proactive and user-experience driven communications strategies can only benefit truly customer centric businesses, by allowing the brand to be lived fully and authentically. In order to achieve that, professional communicators need to understand the business’s dynamics and the client needs, and dare to align to the sales cycle to personalize the experience.

Engaging in conversations that matter: Ian Andersen, European Commission
“Man with PowerPoint” or speaking at a room full of people who would rather be anywhere else is so last century. Yet in most organizations this is still considered an acceptable form of communication. Or perhaps, information. Learn how the European Commission’s 1200 participatory leadership practitioners are helping to transform internal and external consultation and communication in the EU-institutions. On the way, silos and fiefdoms are breaking down and knowledge starts to flow more freely between departments and with citizens.

12.10 – The power of global communication 

A conversation chaired by Anisha Jjhina, director, internal communications, Mars, Global Petcare, based in Belgium. Anisha has an MA in international communication, with a particular interest in India.

Transforming intercultural failure into global competence: Dr Barbara Gibson, Cultural Resolution
Whether it’s something relatively innocuous, like extending a hand in greeting rather than bowing, or a foreign market business strategy, Dr Barbara Gibson points out that things don’t always go as expected when people and organizations cross cultural boundaries. But can those failures be mined to help individuals and organizations develop intercultural competency? Dr Gibson’s research into intercultural competencies of global CEOs discovered distinct patterns in failed intercultural interactions, and revealed a framework to help improve your own and your organization’s global competence.

The cross-culturally competent leader: communicating to engage across cultures: Dr Domna Lazidou, Omilia Hirst

In a globalised economy, where uncertainty and complexity remain constant challenges, the ability of leaders to engage effectively with employees across cultural and geographic boundaries has never been more critical. Research suggests that leaders need to balance authentic communication with cultural intelligence and sensitivity. Omilia Hirst’s Dr Domna Lazidou will discuss an international case study research project, which explores how successful global leaders do this in practice and how we as communication professionals can support them more effectively.

1.15 -2.15 – Lunch – with networking in the Upper Gallery and sponsor area

2.15 – The future role of the communicator?
This session will (eventually!) turn the power over to you. We want conference delegates to debate the future of the profession and the role of communication professionals within the business/organisation. We start with a presentation from Saskia Jones, Internal Communications Manager at Oxfam, before breaking into groups to discuss our views on where the profession is moving.

Transforming into a trusted adviser: Saskia Jones, Oxfam
Moving from communication channel provider to a trusted adviser to the CEO and top team is the aspiration of many communicators. This is a challenging aim: how do you develop this relationship and earn your place among the decision-makers? Here Saskia shares how she became a trusted adviser in a global charity with over 5000 staff, 22,000 volunteers in over 50 countries and developed a Future Shapers programme.

2:45 – Neil Griffiths, how brave are you as a communicator?
Do you have a clear professional direction? Will the communicator role grow –or dwindle away? He will share some challenges and thoughts based on the research and current thinking around the topic before asking you to go together in small groups to debate and develop your own thinking.

3-4.45 – Group discussions & reporting

5.00 – Networking Reception in the Upper Gallery
Conference delegates can unwind after day one of the conference with drinks and canapés. We will be welcomed to London by the Guild of Public Relations Practitioners and there will be more learning opportunities as you talk to our gurus on topics from social media to measurement to engagement.

You will no doubt be entertained by London College of Communication student work, sketch noting and other great surprises!

Evening – IABC Dine Around
An IABC tradition!

Sign up for dinner with a group of conference delegates at a restaurant you may not otherwise find. Each group is accompanied by an IABC UK Chapter member. This is a great way to discover London’s culinary delights, network with your fellow delegates and relax in style!


Conference Rates
IABC member and partner organisation rate: £320
Non-member rate: £480
Join IABC and attend EuroComm rate: £575

Register Now
Register for the EuroComm conference