The second day (and the first dedicated to corporate communication) featured many renowned speakers representing the international professional community. The discussion revolved around communication as well as organizations, persons, values, corporate ethics, governance and many other relevant topics for efficient management of intangible assets in organizations.
The day’s session was opened by Dircom’s Chairperson José Manuel Velasco, who broke the ice by demonstrating some practical exercises and using interesting metaphors about communication management and its importance for organizations.
Velasco presented four key ideas:
>We should be aware of the need to adopt new approaches to communication and public relations management
>Our mission is to define the company’s vision
>Reorganization of stakeholders is necessary
>Today it’s critical to read the new social context and to be aware of the new rules
Other interesting ideas included:
>A new balance of stakeholder groups is needed
>Success is primarily based on the commitment to dialogue with these stakeholders. One-way messages are no longer effective
>The most powerful ideas are the result of creativity
Velasco went on to argue that companies need to establish new relations with different stakeholder groups. We should move towards bilateral relations; a manager responsible for communication should work as the conductor of content and interests. The expert concluded his presentation by the following inspirational thought: “Communications directors shouldn’t always be the protagonists of the communication process. Instead, their role is to facilitate this process”.
The floor then was taken by Daniel Tisch, CEO of Argyle Communications and former Chairperson of Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management. He talked about some of the conclusions of the 2012 Forum held in Melbourne. The topics that dominated the discussion in 2012 included, among others, lower levels of customers’ attention and organizations’ credibility –which remain relevant today. According to other speakers of the Forum, intangible assets and resources currently account for 80% of some companies’ total market value.
The Melbourne meeting generated some important takeaways for corporate communication strategy and creating added value for companies’ overall strategy: it is about active listening, a true commitment to and for the society, as well as honest responsibility. Today, we are adding some new themes to transform this consciousness into action: reflection (how you are going to work with your stakeholders – “know thyself” is vital for any organization) and cooperation (both internal (with investors, employees, etc.) and external (with clients, customers, etc.)). This allows companies to change their communication models depending on the impact they want to have. The speaker concluded his presentation by the following inspirational idea: “We are the conscience of our organizations – it’s our duty and ability. Because after all, it is about what an organization does, rather than what it says”.
This session was followed by the one led by Anne Gregory, the Chair of Global Alliance. She started her presentation by arguing that one of the key challenges for the profession today was to ensure the leadership of the C-Suite. This is the area of opportunities for communication: managers should be able to read the context and help organizations recover their lost leadership. Gregory stressed that “to communicate” means “to lead”, and added that today corporate narrative is nothing but corporate reality. The changes should come from within. Anne Gregory concluded her session by making a reference to responsibility that organizations owe to the society – they are the most important actors when it comes to facilitating changes and solving problems.
Carmen Martínez Castro, Spain’s Secretary for Communication, congratulated organizers of the Forum on the successful event which she called “the world championship of communication”. She welcomed the meeting which she said would allow its participants to share insights and understand the trajectory of communication in the near future.
Some other topics, such as global issues and public affairs, have been discussed in the course of the day’s sessions. In line with this theme, and following the demand of numerous companies, Corporate Excellence announced the publication of an updated 2014 Global Issues Study.
Other topics that came under discussion on September 22 included collaborative economy, internal communication’s transformation power, new channels, media and devices designed for generating and consuming information. Data and measurement tools were also discussed as key elements of demonstrating the return on communication actions and reinforcing the position of the communications department in the organizational structure.
It was a very intensive day, full of important ideas and lessons in the area of communication management.