Creating connections – 2015/2016 IABC report

Last week, we celebrated our Annual General Meeting at the UK chapter at Madano’s beautiful roof terrace. It was a lovely informal gathering to celebrate what has been a year of growth and consolidation for the association.

As I prepared for the AGM, reflecting on my role as president of the UK chapter, I was stunned by two things: how fast a year can go by and how much can be accomplished when you have the right team in place.

This year-long adventure exceeded my expectations and gave me back more than I ever imagined. If my theory is right and IABC is like a savings account, leading a chapter makes is a high-yielding bond. Unparalleled the interest rates!

A year ago, in a lovely pub in Holborn, I took up the baton from Tessa O’Neill and pledged to focus on three things. As a board, we agreed that in every aspect of our work we would:

Demonstrate that we are an outward looking association and cover the full spectrum of communication

  • have and use our global network
  • effectively engage our members

I also made a request that the title of Chapter President be changed to facilitator in chief, because it is the work and effort of our volunteers that make the chapter work. While my request was ignored, the ambitions set out the three objectives were met and, in some cases, exceeded. This is my chance to say thank you and recognize the passion, professionalism and talent that each of our board members have put into managing their portfolio.

This year we have held eight events covering global communications, crisis, measurement and the future of the profession. We held a joint event with the Montreal Chapter, strengthened the links with the Global IABC, and contributed to the Regional board through the Leadership Institute and Eurocomm. We also launched the global #myiabc video competition spearheaded by the incoming president Kira Scharwey.

I’d like to recognize Kirsty Brown for having taken our chapter’s events to the next level and, as we prepare to host Eurocomm 2017, we are incredibly lucky to have her on board.

In addition to events, our thought-leadership blog has become a space for UK and international experts to share stories and opinions that provoke, inspire and build stronger connections. Under Gay Flashman’ s direction we covered the evolution of the Italian PR industry, the TalkTalk and Volkswagen scandals, the misadventures of Alan Sugar and The Apprentice; we also shared insights into how to manage brands, crisis, corporate websites, social media campaigns, and international communication. Communicating for the communicators must be one of the biggest challenges in the business and Gay has done an excellent job with our website and social channels. Thanks as well to Leslie Crook for shepherding our LinkedIn group into their 1000 members.

We are also looking at the future of the profession and the association: our student members. Our continued relationships with Bournemouth University and the London College of Communication remain strong. This year we welcomed an agreement with Leeds University. The latter gave us 80 new members thanks to the resolve of two people: Daniel Schraibman and Dr Kendi Kinuthia’s, who joins the board this year. This agreement also strengthened our mentoring program. This holistic and long-term approach to student membership won us a global recognition at the last Leadership Institute.

In a time when membership in associations is struggling, we are thriving and that is down the work done by the membership team: Lauren Brown, Kira Scharwey and Marcie Shaoul.

As the well-known African saying goes, if you want to go fast go alone but if you want to far go together. We want to go far, and so this year increased our relationships and partnerships to deliver content, events and opportunities for our members. Thank you to our event partners Anglo American, Simply Communicate, VMA, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, Regester Larkin and our hosts tonight, Madano. Thank you as well also to all the support of our event sponsors: Pitch Pack, Scarlett Abbott and Communicate Magazine

Thank you to each and every one of the national, regional and global volunteers that help us create connection like never before.

How can organisations prepare to communicate in a cyber crisis?

Ahead of this year’s Crisis Management Conference, Regester Larkin’s chief executive, Andrew Griffin, looks at how organisations can prepare to communicate in a cyber crisis.

Organisations must be prepared to face any sort of crisis, from major physical incidents to scandals and performance failures. According to our recent crisis management survey, organisations are more confident in their ability to respond to familiar risks, such as industrial accidents and extreme weather events, than they are unfamiliar risks. For most, a cyber attack is unfamiliar territory. Yet cyber risk is a key commercial and reputational vulnerability that has moved quickly up organisations’ risk registers in recent years.

As with all aspects of crisis communication preparedness is key. The unique dynamics of a cyber crisis need some special attention. Here are three tips for organisations getting ‘cyber crisis ready’.

  1. Plan the logistics of communication

All organisations should have a crisis communications plan but few of these plans consider the logistics of this. A cyber crisis might require direct communication with consumers, customers and stakeholders, sometimes with important information about actions they should take. But a cyber attack could debilitate normal communication channels, most of which don’t have the capacity to reach large numbers in short time periods. And, of course, internal systems may have been directly impacted, isolated or disconnected to contain the attack. Thinking through these realities during peace time is an invaluable time saver in a crisis.

  1. Don’t be a victim

Even if an organisation is the ‘victim’ of a cyber attack, it can never play the victim card.

Stakeholders may feel let down: an organisation they trust has failed to protect their interests. They must feel that you understand and regret that they have been impacted by the cyber attack. The watchwords here will be care, concern, containment and control. Containment in particular is hugely important in a cyber crisis. If the organisation cannot put a fence around what has happened, the assumption will be that the situation is out of control and uncontained. The last thing stakeholders want in this situation is for the organisation to play the victim card: they want to see action and hear the right emotion.

  1. Ensure you know the facts

A cyber crisis, again like most crises, is characterised by a lack of information in the early stages. What exactly has happened here? What has been compromised? What information is lost? With a cyber incident, the lack of knowledge is about other people’s information and details. Knowing what the organisation does and doesn’t hold on its customers, employees and consumers is the most important step. The organisation’s spokespeople (many of who will find the whole ‘cyber thing’ very unfamiliar and confusing) will need to be reassuring wherever possible.  Knowledge is key: information should include what data is held on customers, how the data is stored and details of the organisation’s investment in cyber resilience.

We have seen through a series of recent high profile data breaches that cyber attacks can have significant commercial and reputational impacts. Preparedness is the key to successful response.

The Crisis Management Conference will be held on Wednesday 14th September in London. For further details on the programme and how to register, please visit the CMC website.

LUBSxIABC: New Communication Frontiers

On Wednesday the 8th of June 2016, Leeds University Business School hosted the second of a chain of LUBSxIABC events as part of its agenda to develop the newborn partnership with the International Association of Business Communicators through student-organised conferences where industry professionals are invited, as speakers, to share their experience and valuable insights.

As professor Kendi Kinuthia and CCPR program director Tony Byng underlined in their introductory statements, the aim of this collaboration is to make sure the program stays relevant and delivers knowledge and skills that can be applied in the world and in the workplace; all while granting students the chance to organise the event planning committee and IABC’s new UK chapter a broader influence and impact.

After regional vice-president Daniel Schraibman briefly introduced the students on the many ways they can still benefit from their membership after the end of their studies; the mic passed on to the first of four speakers for the day, freelance communications consultant Janet Morgan.

Janet’s speech covered the topic of opportunities and threats of social media in the context of today’s organizational crises. After discussing the loss of control on their storytelling that organizations have suffered from the introduction of digital media, Janet went on to analyse how brands are trying to face the issue today by improving the timeliness of their response and integrating their communications across all departments and branches. The best companies today are able to address issues raised by users anywhere in the world with timeliness and consistence responses to online comments and messages.

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The floor was then left for Grant Mercer, LUBS alumni and CMO of DJI Holdings Plc., who shared his future perspectives around the topic of “Brands vs Consumers. Who’s leading who?” providing the crowd with a very clear answer and warning early on in his speech: “Make no mistake: Brands will win”. Grant then developed his speech around the two core reasons for that to happen, focusing on how, although brands have had to step back and re-invent themselves, “brands do not surrender”. And the amount of data we share every day has reached such unprecedented size and detail that in around 5 years’ time brands should be able to develop techniques to use all this data in order to profile consumers ever more accurately and provide even more customer-tailored solutions to all their needs and wants. And thus retain their position of power. While this will most probably be the case in terms of monetary power and influence which brands, contrary to common beliefs, are indeed planning to hold on to; the question remains whether these techniques will also allow brands to re-gain the level of control they once had on their message. In particular enabling customers to participate in co-defining both brands’ public image and their performance may very well instead constitute a power loss that brands will accept as a given cost; given that more and more brands today tend to mould their activities around expectations expressed by their customers online and tailor their offer for specific customer profiles and customise their offer to the needs of particular market segments. As the same Grant admitted this to be the case for corporate responsibilities they “kind of” endorsed, such as being more responsible and the idea of being held accountable for everything since “where there were once walls, there are now windows.”

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Next up was pensions & benefits consultant Karen Bolan, who introduced the audience to “The 7 mega trends of Communication”. She connected to many previously mentioned novelties within the industry such as the influence customers have acquired thanks to product validation they nowadays seek to find in online reviews by other random users online and the segmentation of companies’ offers to address different behavioral or attitude-based customer profiles and the consequent customization their products.

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Finally, LUBS alumni and eminent scholar Joep Cornelissen took the floor to give us a more academic and analytical overview of these recent changes, analysing the evolution of communications from mass dissemination (broadcasting) to individual stakeholder engagement (crowd-casting) and how marketing and public relations are increasingly combined in the one activity such as content creation or storytelling. His analysis underlined once again the increasingly key role of transparency and authenticity, along with mentioning advocacy and interactivity as other two trends of the new millennium.

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After many questions from the audience, the event ended with drinks and refreshments in the hall, granting participants a chance to network with one another and ask further questions to the speakers in private.

 

By: Marco Romero

Our journey to digital transformation by Working Out Loud

 

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With the huge successes of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc. has emerged a rapid, evolution of online networking, trusting opinions, sharing right-here-right-now, our thoughts with photos and videos.

This behaviour is becoming increasingly popular inside organisations by using an Enterprise Social Network (ESN) such as Yammer, Jive and Slack to support strategies, projects, tasks and encourage employee engagement, empowerment and advocacy.

The phrase “Working Out Loud” is gathering momentum to describe this change behaviour. Check out Rachel Miller’s popular blog neatly summarising How to Work Out Loud #wol by John Stepper. It asks you these three growth mindset questions: What am I trying to accomplish? Who can help me? How can I contribute to them to deepen our relationship?

My journey to “Working Out Loud” is a story of personal development, openness and helping to improve the way we work. I joined Glaxo, a global healthcare company, in 1991.

Does this ring any bells…? I used a huge WANG computer with floppy disks.  Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and emails were replacing fax. “Surfing the Internet” became a new idiom.  I created some of the company’s first Microsoft FrontPage intranets. I became fascinated about how to speed up laborious office tasks.

It was 10 years ago when I first used Facebook “for work” – to stay connected to some great people I met whilst on a course in the US.  Success was about sharing and building on our collective knowledge and retaining new friendships. So we turned to Facebook and it’s been instrumental in retaining these connections – and, as we have all experienced, it’s so much more!

By the way, Facebook at Work is currently in beta test so you can clearly see how the power of social networking is influencing the future of work.

In parallel at that time, Glaxo (now GSK) also launched numerous internal social networks ‘vertically’ driven by “command and control” business silos. Over time I became passionate about ESN business value and was appointed as the Corporate Comms Yammer Community Manager. I’m proud of the work I did in this role in partnership with GSK IT, and the GSK Brand Team to make Yammer the sustainable network it is today.

Today, whatever ESN you use, success is about approaching it with the right mindset. For me, it’s Working Out Loud in A Network #wolan

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My #wolan framework expands on John Stepper’s Working Out Loud mindset and how it can practically be adopted inside organisations working towards digital transformation. #wolan is now endorsed by Microsoft, Digital Workplace Group (DWG) and GSK’s German Works Council.

Let me explain what #wolan can do for your business.  It can help to decrease email dependency; position the ESN business case; create ESN governance; enable ESN adoption; align ESN to strategies & projects and ultimately business value; highlights ESN sustainable success stories; demonstrate your company culture – behaviours and values; demonstrates how ESN can be embedded into apps, processes, systems and tasks; raises the relevance of “business intelligent” hash tags, and a template to create your own framework.

Whilst at GSK and since leaving last year, I’ve experienced and documented the benefits of digital transformation enabled by ESNs in a series of blogs. These explained how you can shift employees from sending random emails with a handful of colleagues and operating in vertical silos to operating in horizontal ESNs that help to generously share work with a purpose, encourage serendipity and offer better ways of working that demonstrate business value.

Look at these ESN success stories in a Sales Team, HR, Factory network, Fundraising, small project teams to employee engagement, advocacy tactics, campaigns and strategies. There is pretty much something for every sector, and scalable to help you on your journey to “Working Out Loud”. Here’s just a snippet of senior leader feedback from these great success stories.

 

Comms “Yammer has been without a doubt the “hero” channel for our employee fundraising. An incredible opportunity for any engagement/advocacy programme, as it enables real time collaboration, healthy competition and celebration of fundraising activities and sharing success fast! Yammer can reach everyone in the company and cuts through the communications noise. It has taken us well beyond one-way push communications and PowerPoint!”  Director, Global Communications & Government Affairs

 

HR “Our Yammer On-Boarding group is a great way to connect new hires with those that have just joined before them and SMEs. Nip and nurture new hires in the bud to encourage a collaborative culture and mind-set.” VP, HR Operations

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about Working Out Loud, come along to one of these forthcoming events:

16 May: IABC UK – Future Fit Communications

5-8 June: IABC World Conference, New Orleans join IABC President NSW Australia, Mark Woodrow, “Working Out Loud” session. Mark is a former Yammer Customer Success Manager.

TBC August: I am working with Kirsty Brown on an event with digital transformation expert Allison Maguire, and Employee Engagement Alliance (EEA) on “Working Out Loud”.

Lesley Crook is a Digital Transformation Consultant

Future Fit Communications: Our speakers

mikeMichael Ambjorn, Founder, AlignYourOrg

Michael Ambjorn is founder of Align Your Org, and passionate about helping changemakers achieve purpose-driven impact. Michael is also International Chair of IABC, the International Association of Business Communicators, and he is the facilitator for IABC’s 2014–17 strategy. Michael has held leadership roles at IBM, Motorola and the 260–year–old Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce (RSA), where he remains an active Fellow.

https://twitter.com/michaelambjorn

https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelambjorn

https://alignyour.org

babuAshish Babu, Director of Communications – UK & Europe, Tata Consultancy Services

Ashish is responsible for creating and implementing communications programmes across 21 countries. With special focus towards enterprise and consumer technology, he has developed award-winning campaigns such as ElectUK mobile app and the #TCSsuperheroes narrative. Prior to TCS, Ashish was also an integral part of the launch team at Tata Sky (Newscorp & Tata JV) where he developed and implemented a nationwide communications strategy and has held senior roles with global PR agencies when in India.

https://twitter.com/ashishb24

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashish-babu-0b9522

www.tcs.com

ezriEzri Carlebach, consultant, writer, lecturer

Ezri Carlebach is a writer, lecturer, and consultant with over 20 years’ experience in corporate communications, public relations, and internal comms. He has worked for government, non-profit, and FTSE 100 organisations, and now splits his time between Turin, Brussels, and London with a variety of clients. He is also Visiting Lecturer in Public Relations at the University of Greenwich.

https://twitter.com/ezriel

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ezrie

www.ezricarlebach.com

coniKeith Coni, Deputy Director of Capability, Standards & Professional Development, Cabinet Office

Keith led on professional capability for the Government Communications Service (GCS) from March 2015 until April 2016. In this time he introduced a cross-GCS skills survey, covering 4,000 communicators. Prior to this he ran a GCS programme of communication and marketing capability reviews. Keith’s previous roles in government include head of campaigns at Change4Life with the Dept of Health and Cabinet Office Transparency communications. Before joining the Civil Service he was a group account director at McCann-Erickson London, where he worked for seven years on global and national business.

https://twitter.com/KeithConi

https://www.linkedin.com/in/keith-coni-a23b554

https://gcs.civilservice.gov.uk

crookLesley Crook, Internal Digital Strategy Advisor, Enterprise Strategies

Lesley is a digital client adviser at Enterprise Strategies where she designs digital transformation frameworks that decrease email dependency. Prior to joining Enterprise Strategies, Lesley was Internal Digital Communication Manager at GSK where she worked in partnership with IT to deliver many global digital projects. Lesley is experienced in social media, intranet governance, reward & recognition programmes and events management.

https://twitter.com/LAC999

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lesley-crook-5b92098

www.enterprisestrategies.com/

gayGay Flashman, Founder and CEO, Formative Content

Gay is the Founder and CEO of Formative Content, a fast-growing content marketing agency helping corporate clients around the world develop and share high quality content about their businesses. Gay is a journalist with more than 20 years’ experience in television news at Channel 4 News, Channel 5 News and the BBC.

https://twitter.com/g_flashman

https://www.linkedin.com/in/gayflashman

www.formativecontent.com

andyAndy Gibson, Founder, Mind Apples

Andy is a writer, entrepreneur and campaigner specialising in culture change and innovation. He founded the “5-a-day for your mind” campaign, Mindapples, co-founded the education web start-up, School of Everything, and helps organisations innovate through his consultancy, Sociability. His current research interests encompass management theory, leadership, psychology, wellbeing, secular spirituality and the future of work.

https://twitter.com/gandy

https://www.linkedin.com/in/gandrew

www.andrewgibson.org

darrenDarren Lilleker, Associate Professor of Political Communication, Bournemouth University

Dr Darren G. Lilleker is Associate Professor in Political Communication the Faculty of Media and Communication, Bournemouth University. His expertise is in the professionalization and marketization of politics, and the psychological impacts on citizen engagement and participation. The monograph Political Communication and Cognition offers a synthesis of this work. He teaches across the fields of politics and public relations, and outside of work Darren retains his love for rock and punk music and motorbikes.

https://twitter.com/DrDGL

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dlilleker

http://staffprofiles.bournemouth.ac.uk/display/dlilleker

mattMatt O’Neill, Consultant, Futurist.Matt

Futurist Matt O’Neill helps organisations better prepare, predict and execute their positive futures. His approach is centred around collaboration and he’s certain that discovering the future is also a collaborative process. Matt won’t present you with a theoretical strategy which will be left on the shelf while your business is left behind. He will work with you to create a roadmap, supported by rich media, live events and in a generous spirit of curiosity.

https://twitter.com/mattoneill

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattone

www.modcommslimited.com

unaUna O’Sullivan, Head of Internal Communications – Global Financial Services, KPMG

Una O’Sullivan heads up internal communications for KPMG’s Global Financial Services business. Before that, she led the Global FS knowledge management program, which gives her the advantage of knowing all the rat runs around the business. In her spare time, she plays piano and runs (slowly, in both cases), and is a leader with Scouting Ireland.

https://twitter.com/Una_hello

https://www.linkedin.com/in/unaosullivan

https://home.kpmg.com/uk/en/home.html

joannaJoanna Osborn, Head of Customer Communications, GE Oil & Gas

https://twitter.com/ge_oilandgas

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jorosborn

www.geoilandgas.com

susanSusan Walker, Head, AES Communication Research

Communication measurement and employee engagement research specialist Susan wrote the book “Employee Engagement and Communication Research” and ran the IABC online employee Research Academy course. Her background includes internal communication, and heading the human resource and communication research practice at MORI. Susan is an IABC Accredited Business Communicator and last year received the Chairman’s award for dedicated service to IABC.

https://twitter.com/suseew

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-walker-9515253

www.commevaluation.com

OUR SPONSORS

Future Fit Communications is kindly supported by:-

abbotScarlettabbott powers conversations that connect, engage and motivate your people to deliver great business results. Passion, energy, originality and fun goes into every piece of work we deliver. @scarlettabbott / www.scarlettabbott.co.uk

commCommunicate magazine – the single voice for corporate communications and stakeholder relations. @communicatemag / www.communicatemagazine.co.uk

pitchPitchPack creates unique marketing and communication collaterals which embed video screens into printed brochures, books and briefing packs. [email protected] / http://bit.ly/pitchpack