Nixdminx
The life and times of a happy go lucky blogger in London
The Future of Comms #futurecomms what does it all mean?
Categories: blogging

If you work in the communications industry, it will come as no surprise that social media has been the great game changer and it’s been a life changer for many people too. Bloggers, tweeters, vloggers and now pinners are creating a stir which is unsettling yet massively inspiring at the same time. So while many of us are enjoying life on the other side of the fence by creating and sharing our experiences, there are a lot of unanswered questions about where communications are headed for brands and organisations, from banks to travel, to pharma and NGOs. The debate is wide open as to where it’s all headed.

The interesting thing is that while all of this is new and there are many lessons to be learned for brands trying to do PR in the new digital landscape and also handle customer service and reputation in social, there are no hard and fast rules.

We’ve been discussing this for some time now, and our first foray into the discussion as part of the #futurecomms panel debate, was during Social Media Week London in February earlier this year, you can see more here.

Here are some of my co-panellists from this evening, and their thoughts on the challenges facing us all and some of the topics which were up for discussion.

Jon Bernstein
@jon_bernstein

Jon been a journalist for 20 years and is currently Deputy Editor of the New Statesman. Prior to joining the NS he worked for Channel 4 News at ITN as the programme’s first Multimedia Editor; and before that, for the eGovernment Unit within the Cabinet Office as part of the project team that created Direct.gov. In 1997 he joined online start-up Silicon.com and led the editorial launch of the service in London, Munich and Paris. Last November he was named Website Editor of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors for NewStatesman.com.

What are the most important challenges facing communicators today?

“Information overload.”

Charlotte Beckett
@londoncharlotte

Charlotte heads up the digital team at The Good Agency, working on fundraising and communications campaigns for their charity and CSR clients. With over 11 years’ digital experience, Charlotte has worked both client and agency side in the private, public and third sectors. A believer in integration but not matching luggage, and putting people before technology,Charlotte is the one at the agency most likely to get caught using words like “transmedia storytelling”, “heuristics” and “gamification”. Most importantly, Charlotte believes in “make, measure, learn” and in turning that data into actionable insight.

What are the most important challenges facing communicators today?

“For me the biggest comms challenge is the behaviour that the social web amplifies. How do we become truly social organisations, allowing our audiences to really participate, not just engage, with us?”

Neville Hobson
@jangles

Neville is an accredited business communicator, and a blogger and podcaster, one of the leading European opinion-leaders and influencers in digital communication for business. He’s an early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with digital technologies including social media, risk-assessing their impacts, roles and potential in organisational communication. He’s also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects.

What are the most important challenges facing communicators today?

“The role of the communicator is evolving where the barriers to anyone acting as a communicator are literally zero. You need to recognise this change, see a new way of looking at your organisation and the people it comprises, and take a leading role to help create the environment that lets them get things done effectively and with confidence where you earn the recognition of being a trusted advisor and counsellor.

“It’s about calculated risk where the stakes are high and the potential rewards for all – including the communicator – are eminently measurable. The biggest challenge for communicators, though, is recognising and embracing such change in the first place.”

Dominic Cook
@cookdominic

Dominic is the Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russian PR lead for Cisco’s role in London 2012, service providers, data centre virtualisation and social media, based in Cisco’s UK office. Dominic has worked for Cisco for two years and for more than twenty years in technology PR and communications, working for and with some of the world’s biggest brands including: Orange, Cable and Wireless, Symantec and HP. He is a social media champion who delights in the opportunity to blog as it allows him to return to his early career as a journalist before he went to the dark side in corporate communications.

What are the most important challenges facing communicators today?

“Balancing the needs of the new digital media to be responsive, immediate and conversational while meeting the corporate desire to control and manage the message.
Managing crisis comms and reputation in the digital world.
Wrestling the control of social media from marketing who see it as just another channel.
Managing the local language requirements via a global social media network.
Managing the sheer size and scope of social media channels without dedicated resources.”
Katie McLean
@katiemclean16

Currently European Digital Manager at Spectrum Brands, Katie has over 7 years’ experience in the world of digital (“not including the many, many hours of social media ‘experience’ totted up when Facebook launched during my final year of Uni!”). Katie specialises in developing scalable pan-European strategy, planning and implementation, working on integrated marketing campaigns and ecommerce solutions for global brands such as Remington, Russell Hobbs and Random House. She also runs a boutique digital agency, Babushka Digital, facilitating the use of digital marketing for small businesses by helping them get off the ground with anything from websites and email to social media and SEO.

What are the most important challenges facing communicators today?

“From a brand perspective, the most important challenges are not too dissimilar to challenges which have always existed. Achieving a consistent global voice while maintaining local relevancy has always been tricky, but the emergence of digital and its importance to the marketing mix makes global consistency even more important. Brand content is now so much more visible and accessible, regardless of which part of the world you’re in.”

Thanks to mynewsdesk for hosting the evening and inviting such an interesting group along.

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