Went to a great networking breakfast yesterday put on by Glen Frost at Frocomm, a morning focused on social media in the professional communications space. Three ‘Immutable Laws of Communication’ from John Blyth, Senior VP at Fleishman-Hillard USA, were listed as :
- Embrace Change
- Make it Personal
- Tell a Great Story … a True Story
The Aussie expat now heading up his company in the States discussed the importance of having dialogue with your community, Chris Anderson’s Long Tail, and avoiding “BSOS” ‘Bright Shiny Object Syndrome’ when it comes to social media. He showed some great examples of story telling in the comms space and the impact of integrating traditional with social media with video from Ikea and Porsche – a TV ad drives viewers to a website where the ad continues into ‘real time’ online and a community based on a common interest.
There was nothing incredibly new in his reasonings about being more human, telling stories to spark conversation, being authentic or being fast, bold and honest. Or in his ‘Law #4: The more things change the more they stay the same’. The parkyoung leaders have always said comms is returning to the story telling times of old. But, in realising this, I also realised that my thinking about social media in the comms space is along the same lines as the greats of my industry whom I look to as mentors and leaders in the field. Not that this insight has not been hinted at before – being lucky enough to work for parkyoung it is somewhat inherent that we all ‘get it’ when it comes to new communication.
After John’s preso he sat with two other comms professionals: Dionne from Vic Roads and Ross Monaghan from Deakin university. Dionne spoke about the ‘Dickhead‘ advertising campaign and the importance of context when it comes to content and how/where/why it is created and consumed. This campaign began with a precursor of educating staff internally about the power of social media, setting the scene for the campaign which was intended to launch through social media channels, not via traditional media where it ended up and where most controversy arose.
Ross spoke about the value of research informing communication and, as the landscape changes, we should consider ourselves “lifelong learners as professional communicators”. He suggested we look at content from academics and from universities such as Harvard – with so much information and courses are available online Ross questioned the future of universities in their physical form.
He also urged us not to forget about other forms of communication – traditional and face-to-face is still so valuable, the latter possibly even more so than ever. As we become more connected online it’s so important to cement and build real relationships in the offline world too. This is something parkyoung has long been an advocate for.