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My five Aha! moments from the IABC World Conference

Denise CoxDenise Cox·

I’m back at my desk after attending – and speaking at – the IABC World Conference held in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. If you weren’t able to attend this massive event, here are three round ups (herehere and here) from the IABC.

For my post I thought I’d take a little different approach – and list five ideas that really resonated with me over the couple of days.

1) Use speed to engage  

Have you been looking to mix it up to increase the power of your message at company events or meetings?

The IABC organizers put together a really interesting range of talk formats, including: 10-minute speed presentations, Rapidos (a series of 20 slide presentations), 15-minute TED-talk-type sessions, panels that canvas critical issues amongst practitioners, two-hour workshops for deeper learning and traditional hour-long sessions.

I loved the concept of the 10-minute presentation. It was set up as five speakers around a general topic (in this case, engagement) and 10 minutes to get their stories across. I found every speaker had a profound point to make – and it was impactful because the message was stripped back to its essence.

The choice of formats, especially the 10-minute and the Rapido sessions, lead me to thinking about turning the traditional senior leader talk on its head – and really capturing the attention of employees with an entirely different way to present and engage. No waffle – just short, sharp, clear, concise – and very impactful.

2) Storytelling with cinemagraphs

Subhamoy Das of eBay was part of the 10-minute presentation series. He told a great story of how stories are the new differentiators in our ability to engage employees. Humans have a long tradition of storytelling, and in today’s increasingly “social” world, if your brand has great stories to tell, it becomes easier for you to connect with your audience.

My big take away from his talk was the use of a old-but-new-again visual format called Cinemagraphs. They’re still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs, and gives the illusion that the viewer is watching a video. Perhaps you know them by their old name: animated gifs. It’s a great bridge between a single static image – and the more ambitious video. I like this new name – and it’s a great idea to start using them again.  If this storytelling tool intrigues you, here’s an excellent step-by-step guide.

3) Break down those silos!

So, yes, this is from MY talk!  My topic: ‘Metrics that matter: Email, intranet and social’.

I’m keen to help communicators get past the barriers that are preventing them from getting insight into their campaigns that helps them improve engagement AND prove business value.

I talked about the barriers, which include access to the right technology and also data (both employee and metrics). But the biggest barrier in my view are silos! So many organizations are defined by silos across the organization. Different departments and teams are working to different goals and there are often multiple messaging and campaigns happening that are contributing to information overload and clutter. Different channels are being used without a joined-up view of what is being communicated to what audiences, and when.

Silos are hindering communicators from successful engagement – right through to the ability to improve engagement and also prove business value.

Removing silos is the first step. Ultimately, what you want is a view across the organization – a global view based on audiences – and to be able to see this all in one place. More on this in future posts.

If this topic interests you – I invite you to view my on-demand webinar, ‘IC Essentials: Measurement’.

4) Make the important interesting

Steve Crescenzo is a dynamo!  Even at 7:45 in the morning! Steve is all about stopping boring corporate communications, and instead helping communicators successfully connect with employees on the ‘must know’ communications.

He suggests you can make the important more interesting by focusing on people. This means NOT products, programs, processes or procedures. One of his secrets he shared is to develop a news-stand mentality: Act like you’re competing with everything external and make your communications just as appealing as the online and print publications with catchy headlines, interesting pictures and engaging writing.

You won’t want to miss my next webinar on July 15th – my guest is the very same Steve Crescenzo … and Steve will be talking about how to turn your must-send corporate content into must-read content.

5) Is the future live mobile video streaming?

I missed Shel Holtz’s presentation – but he certainly generated buzz around his glimpse into the future: live mobile video streaming. He name checks Periscope as the tool to watch. And with video emerging as a major engagement comms channel – Periscope does sound like a ‘next step’ in communications.

Periscope lets you broadcast live video instantly – and followers can join, view and comment in real time.

Shel thinks live mobile video streaming can aid communicators in these ways:

  •    Employee communications
  •    Promoting CSR
  •    Demos and How-tos
  •    Crisis communications
  •    Tours
  •    News
  •    Humanizing your leaders

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