Transcript of #CommsChat with Richard Baker, Rupert Spiegelberg, and Craig Marvelley on mobile comms, 26 September

This week's chat

With the Digital Impact Awards less than a month away, last night’s #CommsChat hosted some of the companies and agencies that are shortlisted in the best use of digital and mobile devices.

Thank you to Richard Baker from Sequence, Rupert Spiegelberg from Investis, and Craig Marvelley from Box UK for contributing to a great session. You can download a full transcript below, but we’ve also pulled out some of the points that we thought were interesting:

@wadv @KellyQHicks @commschat @richlybaked D. SMS can be quite
intrusive, apps are chosen by users so have high value to
user #commschat

@richlybaked It depends on the audience, as well as what ‘flavour’ of
mobile you are thinking of using. #CommsChat
>>> @CommsChat So, first up tonight: Should you be putting mobile at the heart of your comms strategy?

@SuzieLin Yep RT @mynewsdesk_uk: Also – consider the unique
opportunities of mobile – eg using the users location to tailor
content. #commschat

@Communicatemag and theFT has seen more downloads since moving to
HTML5 than when it was on the app store #commschat
>>> @boxuk Wanting to keep 30% of their revenue was also a factor in FT’s decision.. #CommsChat
>>> @rspiegelberg: FT moved off iTunes App platform because it could not get relevant user data from Apple#CommsChat

@mynewsdesk_uk: Strategy should be based on
your audience’s online behaviour. Eg if they use mobile, but mainly
Facebook – communicate on FB #Commschat

@boxuk Of utmost importance is relevance – people are going to
increasingly try to cut out ‘noise’.Apps have to be valuable to the
user! #CommsChat

A full transcript of last night’s #CommsChat can be downloaded here: 26 September Mobile Comms


#CommsChat on mobile comms

This week's chat

Future of Mobile, Mobile Healthcare 2011, Senior Market Mobile, Mobile Broadband World… The list of conferences on mobile comms in September seemed endless. A lot of speakers, a lot of sponsors, a lot of words.

But who’s actually doing it well? With the Digital Impact Awards less than a month away, the next #CommsChat will host some of the companies and agencies that are shortlisted in the best use of digital and mobile devices.

Taking part will be Richard Baker from Sequence, nominated for its work with Snow+Rock, Rupert Spiegelberg of Investis, nominated for its work with Marks & Spencer, and Craig Marvelley of Box UK, nominated for its work on UI Sketcher.

Topics up for discussion on Monday night include:
– Should you be putting mobile at the heart of your comms strategy?
– How can you measure ROI on the time invested in mobile comms? And should you be measuring it?
– How can mobile communications contribute to a company’s overall business strategy – without focusing solely on M-commerce?
– What are the areas of communications in which mobile is most useful?
– Does mobile need to equal app? Is there still room for mobile websites that don’t require collaboration with app stores, whether through iTunes, Windows, or other developers?

#CommsChat takes place here on the #CommsChat website each Monday evening, from 8-9pm UK time. A transcript will be available shortly after the chat.


Let’s get together

This week's chat

By Andrew Challier

Social media demands that companies link both their paid and unpaid communications and measurement. Andrew Challier asks what this means for brands.

In the age of the informed consumer, big brands are subject to an unprecedented level of scrutiny. That scrutiny extends way beyond the confines of their products and financial performance.

If brands are under the microscope, it is social media which has provided the means to dramatically increase the order of magnification. The bigger the brand, the bigger the target, and so the bigger the threat posed by what would historically be labelled a ‘PR crisis’ but which now should be seen just as much as a ‘brand crisis’. BP, Toyota, almost any bank and, most recently, News International have all suffered from the attentions of the social media ‘chatterati’ as well as the mainstream media.
On the plus side, however, the opportunity to manage the crisis – via the same social media channels – is greater than it ever has been.

We all recognise that ‘reputation management’ seeks to mitigate the negative and accentuate the positive. In this new world, however, we also need to recognise that reputation management is no longer the preserve of the Corporate Affairs function, nor is ‘brand management’ the sole preserve of Marketing. The consequences of misaligned communication have never been more critical.

A greater variety of Influencers

Reputations and brands are impacted by a wide variety of stakeholders, internal (staff) and external (consumers, investors, lobbyists etc) and businesses need a way to measure, manage and influence these various constituencies. Paid media is an important part – but only a part – of the picture. Brands need to benchmark and analyse both paid and unpaid media, to help identify both the ‘danger signs’ and the opportunities.

To create effective tools, a brand needs to understand the context for how its key products (within key markets) – and those of its competitors – are being discussed in social (and editorial) media around the world. This helps start to build an understanding of the issues of most importance and how they might choose to engage with relevant groups/audiences in a relevant way.
At the same time, by benchmarking paid-for messaging versus their principal competitors, companies can analyse the extent to which they are able to ‘own’ important topics and the extent to which they or their competitors are achieving better alignment between what is seen as important and the messages transmitted. Benchmarking the price paid for that media and the quality of its placement completes this circle.

Choosing the right measures and tools

There is an increasing amount of message monitoring software available to brands – paid, unpaid and social media etc. Most of it adds little value: whilst it aggregates the data, it lacks the human intelligence to draw meaningful, business-relevant conclusions. Clients are demanding an integrated ‘vital signs’ marcomms monitoring service tailored to their individual needs. Such a system need not be complex (in fact, the less complex the better), but the benefit is magnified when the total picture is assembled from a single, impartial perspective. And it only works to its true potential when brands have identified the correct KPIs within the business that can be reasonably linked to the benchmarking.

While brands might wish for the holy grail of a ‘one size fits all’ brand optimisation tool – simply drop all the ingredients in the top, pull a lever (or push a button) and out drops an optimised plan at the bottom – the reality is that there are very good reasons to use a combination of methodologies and tools.
For example, digital measures frequently underplay the contribution of offline marketing and other media ‘levers’ and, while econometric modelling is great at budget allocation and provides a powerful basis for budget optimisation between markets, brands and different channels, it rarely reflects the importance of reputation.

Different – and appropriate – techniques are available for measuring the corporate value of reputation. The ‘brand lesson’ which we preach, therefore, is to understand how these different measurement techniques are best used – not to provide a universal panacea, but to inform better quality decision making.

Taking action

Ensure that corporate and brand messaging are aligned – addressing the key issues in a coordinated manner.

British Airways is aiming to rekindle pride among staff and consumers via a new ‘heritage’ marketing campaign; the aim is to regain the trust of both the general public and its own employees disillusioned by strike action, cancelled flights and low morale.

Ensure that the company organisation is aligned organisationally. This doesn’t have to imply a merger between corporate affairs and marketing.

Nestlé has appointed Pete Blackshaw – author of Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000 – as Global Head of Digital and Social Media, with dual reporting lines into the global heads of both Corporate Affairs and Marketing.

Ensure that tracking and measurement are able to answer these two questions from a consistent and comparable perspective: – What are people saying about us and our competitors? – What are our competitors saying about themselves?

In response to client demand, Ebiquity has developed an integrated message alignment reporting and benchmarking service, which draws upon data from its Portfolio and Echo Sonar monitoring software, and which feeds into both the marketing and corporate affairs functions.


Andrew Challier is head of marketing investment management at Ebiquity


Transcript of #CommsChat with Mark K Smith and Dale Parmenter, 19 September

This week's chat

For Monday’s #CommsChat, we were joined by Mark K Smith, CEO of Ipadio, and Dale Parmenter, managing director at DRP Group, for a session that looked at how technology is aiding the development of internal communications.

It was a lively session with a lot of interesting viewpoints put forward, and we’ve pulled out some of the most interesting tweets below. We were also treated to the sight of several #CommsChat participants uploading videos using an Ipadio demo, which you can watch at Perhaps video is the next dimension we’ll be bringing to our regular chats!

Source:, Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 07:05 PM by ipadio
#CommsChat I think for me it’s the challenge of reaching the ‘hard to reach’ with a consistent timely message
Source:, Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 07:05 PM by CommsChat
Right, 1st up tonight for @ipadio + @drpgroup: What are major internal comms issues that businesses with large workforces face?

Source:, Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 07:11 PM by mynewsdesk_uk
At Mynewsdesk we use a closed Facebook group sometimes, but there are varying views on how we should use it! #commschat

Source:, Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 07:16 PM by drpgroup
Using smartphones for evaluation is a great tool. Can access your audience in a more enagging manner #CommsChat

Source:, Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 07:16 PM by PaulCTayla
@CommsChat internal engagement isn’t about tech, it’s about people – if tech helps then great. People first, tech second. #CommsChat

Source:, Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 07:22 PM by KellyQHicks
@CommsChat Need to identify & help technophobes to get the most from new tech – still use classic channels while culture changes

Source:, Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 07:33 PM by theintrapreneur
@mynewsdesk_uk well, I’d always say over-do it; it’s impossible create too many ways for people to have conversations. #commschat

Source:, Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 07:43 PM by AllthingsIC
#CommsChat @PaulCTayla agree tech is for facilitation. Can have shiniest gadgets in the world but if they’re not right for culture = fail

Source:, Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 07:50 PM by ClaireatWaves
@ipadio With video/livestreams & interactive back channel, you can have a vast reach and give others the tools for face to face? #commschat

You can download the full transcript from Monday’s chat here. Thanks to Cision for providing us with the report.


#CommsChat on technology and internal communication

This week's chat

On 19 September, #CommsChat will focus on how technology can make the task of internal communications easier. For businesses with large, mobile workforces, solving the problem of how to communicate with staff is a perennial issue. How can the comms function address this without relying on 3G connections, investing in hugely expensive equipment, or losing man-hours?

We’ll be joined by Mark K Smith (@ipadio) from Ipadio, a company that provides communications solutions through combining telephony and the internet, and by Dale Parmenter (@drpgroup), managing director at DRP Group, one of Europe’s largest, fully integrated communications agencies. We’d love to hear from you on the technology that you think is making internal communications for corporates easier.

Topics up for discussion tonight include:

– What are the major issues that corporate organisations with large workforces face in terms of internal communications?
– To what extent should communicators be relying on technology for internal engagement? And what are the best tools that are currently out there?
– How can better internal communication help a company’s overall business strategy?
– Can you ever create meaningful engagement through technological interfaces?
– Can we predict how internal comms technology will develop over the next five years?

#CommsChat will take place on 19 September at 8pm, right here on the CommsChat website. We hope you can make it!


Transcript of #CommsChat with Richard Huntington, 12 September

This week's chat

On 12 September, we welcomed Richard Huntington, director of strategy at Saatchi & Saatchi, as our guest host. The topic up for discussion was ‘Brand Cameron’, following a very interesting document created by Saatchi & Saatchi that you can access here.

It was a comms-focused chat looking at how Cameron’s political and personal brand has drifted off course, and at what he could do to restore it, but naturally some party politics found their way in. Below you can download a full transcript that deals with all the points brought up in the pre-read – and many more – but here are just a few of the tweets that caught our eye:

Source:, Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 07:04 PM by adliterate
Brand Cameron is defined by what it isn’t – the secret of his success. But people are now desperate for leadership #commschat

Source:, Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 07:06 PM by JonClements
Tebbit said Cameron doesn’t think things through – hence the U-turns and ill-conceived analysis of riot causes #CommsChat

Source:, Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 07:11 PM by SandyLindsay
Heh! In 140 characters? 😉 RT @richard_andrews: @adliterate How would you compare Brand Cameron to Brand Blair? #commschat

Source:, Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 07:19 PM by AdamFairclough
@CommsChat No. Nick Clegg’s have. Cameron has a knack of passing his monkey on to Clegg. Brand Clegg has come off the worst.

Source:, Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 07:27 PM by fionamce
A brand must be managed, have vision, a sense of direction tho over term of a Parliament, Cameron has time to tread water longer

Source:, Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 07:30 PM by adliterate
Brand Cameron significantly damaged by hacking but not fatally #commschat

Source:, Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 07:56 PM by damienclarkson
At a crossroads, pressure on Europe, immigration, action on banks. Path he chooses will have a big consequence on future 4 Tories

Download the full transcript here: 12 September Richard Huntington. Thanks to Cision for providing the report.

#CommsChat is back on Wednesday 14 September at 2pm – our first foray into midday, mid-week sessions! Jonathan Bean from Mynewsdesk will be discussing what tools and techniques communicators can use to reach online influencers. Check out the pre-read and come back to #CommsChat Now to take part. You can also sign up for updates and reminders for CommsChat so you’ll never miss a session!


Are you prepared for the new term? Need a helping hand?

This week's chat

By Rachel Miller

September is here, the leaves have started to turn in England and children have headed back to school after a long summer of adventures and fun. I loved that September feeling, with newly-lined textbooks in colourful paper and seeing my school friends again. It’s not quite the same in the corporate world is it? But why not take a moment to pause, gather your thoughts and start afresh as if it’s a new term?

What would your end of term report be from recent months? What has gone well? What do you need to focus on as the final quarter of the year approaches? Are you thinking about improving your skills, changing roles or dusting off the textbooks and gaining a professional qualification?

The world of internal communication is rich with resources and organisations. As you’re reading this on #CommsChat you’re already aware of this fantastic site and conversation. But what else is around? I write a blog on internal comms, Diary of an internal communicator, and am often approached by people looking to read as much as they can about comms and asking for help.

In this article I’m going to highlight various websites, groups, organisations and resources that I’m aware of which can help you develop your career within internal communications and meet liked-minded professionals. I’m sure there are even more around, but these lists should set you on the right track to find out more and end up with a glowing end of term report.  Best of luck, Rachel.

Professional comms organisations/researchers/associations
Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
Institute of Internal Communications (IoIC)
International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)

Internal Communications qualifications and courses
Kingston University Post Graduate Diploma in Internal Communications Management
Qualifications from CIPR
IoIC internal communication courses
Melcrum’s Black Belt programme
PR Academy qualifications

Read anything good lately?
Amazon reading list for internal communicators, 2011
Internal comms must reads
Social media and internal comms books, created 2009

LinkedIn groups
Institute of Internal Communication
Internal Communication
Melcrum’s Communicator’s Network
Aspic Communications Network

Comms recruiters
Badenoch & Clark
IC jobs
Internal Comms jobs

Comms blogs
Confessions of an internal communicator
The Conversation
Emily Leary
Exploring internal communication
Mike Klein
Neville Hobson
Riding the ripple
Shel Holtz
Simply Communicate
Steven Murgatroyd
The Communications Blog

Lists of comms people to follow on Twitter, created by comms pros

Comms publications
Communicate Magazine
Corp Comms magazine
PR Week
Strategic Communication Management


Wednesday’s #CommsChat with Jonathan Bean: Tools and techniques for reaching influencers online

This week's chat

For our first mid-week #CommsChat, we’re delighted to welcome back Jonathan Bean, chief operating officer at Mynewsdesk, for a session focusing on how communicators can reach out to journalists, bloggers, thought leaders, communities and other influencers online – a topic that becomes more relevant by the day as the options for online communication continue to multiply. What are the most effective approaches for influencing communications in a hyper-connected world?

We’re hoping to make these Wednesday #CommsChats a regular occurrence so we hope that you can join us. #CommsChat with Jonathan Bean will take place on Wednesday 14 September at 2pm BST, right here on the CommsChat website. As it’s during the workday, we hope that those of you who can’t make Monday evenings will be able to contribute and offer their opinions. See you then!

Topics for Wednesday’s chat will include:

– What online tools, techniques and services can help us to identify influencers?
– Which tools and platforms are most effective for connecting with and engaging influencers?
– How important is it to provide an integrated hub for online content and social media?
– Which tools and techniques are most useful for measuring success?


#CommsChat with Richard Huntington on ‘Brand Cameron’

This week's chat

This Monday’s #CommsChat will be hosted by Richard Huntington, director of strategy at Saatchi & Saatchi. The starting point for the discussion is ‘Brand Cameron’, a brand-new piece of IP – you can download the PDF now, and it will ultimately be located on Saatchi & Saatchi’s website.

As conference season gets into gear, we’ll be looking at what’s missing from Cameron’s personal and political brand – where has it gone wrong? And can it be put right? Cameron came into power owing to a combination of factors, such as public disillusionment with Gordon Brown’s leadership and a desire for societal change – but have any of these issues been resolved? And is his brand strong enough to lead the country? As always with politics, these are controversial waters, so we’re expecting to see some interesting points being raised on political branding and the success or failure of Brand Cameron.

We’ve listened to the feedback from last week’s relaunch, and you’ll see some updates to the new site which will hopefully make it even easier to take part. #CommsChat with Richard Huntington will take place on Monday 12 September at 8pm BST, right here. We hope you can join us.

Topics up for discussion on Monday night will include:

– What’s wrong with Brand Cameron? And how have recent events, such as the phone-hacking scandal and the riots, complicated matters?

– Has Cameron’s political brand been compromised by the vagaries of a Coalition Government?

– Is Cameron’s focus on opposing the previous Government and the deficit he inherited stopping him from articulating a clear political vision?

– How can Cameron get the electorate to believe that he’s providing genuine leadership?

– What does Brand Cameron’s difficulties and potential mean for the overall brand of the Conservative party?

About Richard:

Richard Huntington joined Saatchi & Saatchi in January 2008. Huntington is charged with delivering strategic solutions, effective creative ideas and senior counsel to clients. He reports into Robert Senior and sits on the UK board.

Huntington is probably best known for his work on Tango, Iceland and Sky and writes an advertising blog at

Prior to joining Saatchi & Saatchi, for the latter part of 2007, Huntington ran his own strategic consultancy advising clients and traditional and digital agencies. Before then, he was Planning Director at United London, formerly HHCL, for six years before it closed in April 2007. He joined HHCL in 1997. Huntington joined HHCL from AMV where he spent four years. Prior to AMV, Huntington was at direct marketing agency BHWG, now Proximity.

Huntington sits on the management committee of the Account Planning Group in the UK, chairs the judges for the APG Creative Strategy Awards and is a member of the IPA Strategy Group.


Transcript of #CommsChat with Amanda Coleman, 5 September

This week's chat

For the first broadcast from the relaunched #CommsChat, we were delighted to have Amanda Coleman on board as our guest host. Amanda is currently in charge of corporate communications at Greater Manchester Police, and last night’s chat took in GMPolice’s social media strategy, its crisis response efforts during the riots, and social media ownership – amongst many other topics.

We were delighted to have such a good take up – and such a capable host – for the first chat in its new form. You can download a full transcript of the chat below, but here are some of the tweets that caught our eye:

@amandacomms @londoncharlotte there is comms strategy, social media
strategy underneath it – key to SM is to be a conversation not broadcast
#commschat -8:08 PM Sep 5th, 2011

>> @londoncharlotte @amandacomms So how do you manage that [integration] – do you have a policy? What about listening tools? #commschat -8:07 PM Sep 5th, 2011

@amandacomms @Pete_Levy thanks for that – not big 16 press/pr, 5
web, 3 int comms, 4 photo/video #commschat -8:09 PM Sep 5th, 2011

>> @Pete_Levy #CommsChat congrates on your output. How big is your dept.? -8:08 PM Sep 5th, 2011

@amandacomms @richard_andrews difficult one – in riots had positive
feedback from deaf people who used Twitter for best updates
#commschat -8:14 PM Sep 5th, 2011

>> @richard_andrews #CommsChat Has SM approach engaged hard to reach audiences, or traditional audiences in a more
effective way? -8:11 PM Sep 5th, 2011

@ZoeShort_ After the riots it was great to
see #SM being used for good etc #CommsChat -8:21 PM Sep 5th, 2011

@NotFromBolton Good its a non starter, might as well
ban all TV and radio coverage and prohibit everyone from talking…
#commschat -8:24 PM Sep 5th, 2011

>> @amandacomms I totally disagree with trying to close SM down – just nonsense and will be saying so to all police Forces in London next week #commschat -8:23 PM Sep 5th, 2011

@PaulCTayla I think Senior Mgmt buy in to SM is v strong in
the public sector. I guess no one can ignore it. #commschat -8:31 PM Sep 5th, 2011

@AdamFairclough We can push the benefits and opportunities of social
media to our senior management only so far before they say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.#commschat -8:36 PM Sep 5th, 2011

Get the full transcript here: 5 Sept Amanda Coleman