Year on year, one of the highlights of the internal communications calendar is the CEB Internal Communications Summit and Awards.
Previously called the Melcrum Summit and Awards, 2016 saw Melcrum merge with CEB, a leading best-practices advisory firm supporting over 10,000 organizations worldwide.
The Summit takes place from November 1st to 3rd 2016, and at Newsweaver we are very excited to see what ideas, insights and issues will emerge this year, especially given the new partnership between CEB and Melcrum.
The Corporate Narrative
The theme of this year’s Summit is the ‘Corporate Narrative’, how companies can use it to engage stakeholders, increase their affinity with the company, and ultimately activate stakeholder support.
What is meant by the Corporate Narrative? To me, it means aligning all our activities to the overall goals of the business. It means working together to achieve those goals.
The theme resonated strongly with the Newsweaver team. It has been a major focus of ours to encourage internal communicators to link their IC strategy to the wider business goals of their organization. We have seen customers who do this enjoy greater levels of success and have more access to senior leadership, and this was also reflected in our recent survey, Inside IC. (To download the survey in full, go to register.newsweaver.com/inside-ic-2016 )
At the conference, our own Mossy O’Mahony, VP of Product, will present on linking internal communications to the organization’s strategic objectives. He will provide examples on how to do this, and is looking forward to answering questions and discussing the concept with the audience.
IC has come a long way in recent years, but there is still a lot of work to do to ensure it does become as integral to a business as the marketing or finance functions. It is known to be quite a reactive function, and almost half of all communications sent out by IC are unplanned.
It’s pretty much impossible to align IC to business goals when most communications are unplanned, and there is no overall strategy. This is something that we in Newsweaver have been talking more and more about, and we are looking forward to hearing the thoughts and experiences of internal communicators on this theme.
Practitioner presentations from Aviva, EY UK and Ireland, Rolls Royce, RBS and Lilly, among others, will elaborate on the corporate narrative theme, offering their experiences and learnings. From our perspective, we are looking forward to hearing how they have learned to shape their IC goals around the business objectives, and how they work together towards a singular vision.
There has been some very exciting innovations this year, with some smart and intuitive solutions coming to the fore: not least our own Cross Channel Analytics, which enables customers to measure all their communications channels – email, video, intranet – in one place. We are thrilled to see that it has been so well received by our customers, and look forward to discussing it in more detail at the Summit and hearing about our customers’ experience with it.
On the final day of the Summit, a practitioner panel will be hosted to discuss the implications of Brexit from the communicator’s perspective. The panel, which is comprised of representatives from Arcadis, ING UK, simplycommunicate and Engage for Success, will discuss what steps need to be taken to address the issue and share the approaches they have taken to address ‘Brexit-induced uncertainty’. It’s an area we’re all fearful of, and planning for next steps is vital. My feeling is that this will be an interesting and well attended debate. The implications of Brexit will affect us all and the best thing we can do is prepare as much as possible for the fallout.
One of the sessions that I’m most looking forward to is Visual Storytelling by Cisco. Cisco found that they were losing attendees at quarterly events and readership figures on their intranet. They knew they needed to do something dramatic to change how they communicated with employees. At the Summit, Manager of Employee Communications Lisbet Sherlock will tell us how they “exploded their town hall meetings, took a hatchet to their intranet, changed their tone and went out to find their employees at their new watering holes”. New watering holes?! I’m intrigued, and I’m sure I’m not the only one! We’re all looking forward to hearing Cisco’s story.
Events such as these are one of the best ways to gain insight into an exciting and ever-changing industry. They provide great opportunities for some one-to-one time with internal communicators. In Newsweaver, as IC software specialists, this is particularly important to us. Insights and experiences of IC practitioners provide us with the basis for everything we do, and the more they tell us, the better we can be. It’s for this reason that we relish the opportunity to get involved in such events.
We will be exhibiting at the conference and would love for you to come talk to us if you’re there. We’re delighted to say that we have a team of eight going this year: you’ll recognise us by our Newsweaver lanyards.
For more information on the conference, see https://www.cebglobal.com/marketing-communications/internal-communications-summit.html