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More than 150 corporate communicators convened in New York last month for the 2018 Corporate Communications Conference. Together, we exchanged ideas, insights, and contacts, guided by a terrific roster of speakers from best-in-class companies.
Robin Rotenberg, Chief Communications Officer at BASF, set the tone in her opening session. Instead of viewing ourselves narrowly as communications experts, she told attendees, we should speak up at our companies as business advisors. This theme surfaced throughout the conference: Don’t limit yourself.
Communicators are armed with a broad organizational view few others have. This gives you the potential to catalyze openness, provide important alternative perspectives, open new doors for the business, and ensure that good ideas get heard. Get started down this path with these key conference takeaways:
- Think about more than your corporate message: Know the perspective of your audience—people respond to corporate communications when they feel you are serving them, not selling them.
- Have a map: Stop “random acts of marketing and communications.” Have a plan. Follow a plan. Provide context. Continually build on your message.
- Pull, don't just push, on social: Social media is more than a platform for pushing out information; used thoughtfully, it can also elicit unique market insights. Example: A contest on favorite coffee flavors gave a retailer leads on what flavors to stock—and sell.
- “Transparency is the new objectivity”: Bloomberg Sustainability Editor Eric Roston revealed this central lesson for engaging journalists in today’s rapidly changing media environment.
This year’s Corporate Communications Conference is in the books, but the conversation continues. Read on for new insights on topics ranging from engagement and culture to social outcomes and corporate purpose.