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July 30, 2013 Transcript of #commschat on conflict comms

Last week on #CommsChat, we discussed local stakeholder engagement, the social licence to operate and risk assessment in unstable political environments. @AlbanyAssociate shared their thoughts on the matter. Read more on social licence to operate and comprehensive communications.

Some highlighted tweets:

  • @albanyassociate Yes, requires power-sharing and openness to negotiation and understanding the other side. Mediators often required
  • @albanyassociate many won’t work in places ie Somalia because of the risk- but cultural understanding and clear boundaries create opportunity
  • @albanyassociate Many extractives have positive results w/ CSR but often don’t have the SLO to ensure safety or longterm success (ie In Amenas)
  • @ncardwell I’ve often found best approach often to let stakeholders tell us how/what/when they would like to be communicated with
  • @antoniosamp Useful to think local communities are not just observers or obstacles, but stakeholders.
  • @PamelaWelsh hi #commschat. I’m Pamela. Not being picky, but wonder if ppl turned off comms cos we use words like ‘stakeholder communities’

Read the full transcript:

Neil Cardwell 

Fascinating, thought-provoking #commschat tonight on some deep and important questions. Thanks to  + others for insights

CommsChat 

Do read more about ‘s work on SLO. It’s really interesting & relevant to most sectors.Thanks again and night all! #commschat

CommsChat 

We’ll be back next week with a #commschat on publicity stunts with. Check back for transcript in the morning


Albany 

Happy to be here. We believe in the importance of SLO not only for corporate sustainability but also as general good practice. #commschat


CommsChat 

Just a couple min. left with . Many thanks for your contributions tonight! Such an interesting area of work. #commschat

Albany 

If anyone is interested in sharing field experience with SLO issues or corporate/community engagement please direct message us. #commschat


CommsChat 

 A reference to Rupert Smith? Love it. #commschat


Albany 

#commschat Albany’s way to comprehensive comms: http://t.co/3h6XHdcHHv

Albany 

As mediator  likes to focus on ‘comprehensive comms’ to ensure inclusivity, 2-way dialogue #commschat


Albany 

Yes, requires power-sharing and openness to negotiation and understanding the other side. Mediators often required #commschat

CommsChat 

 maybe, but not in terms of ROI. Each side can benefit, perhaps not in terms of money, but all can achieve value #commschat

Albany 

Impossible? Probably because the relationship will always be lop-sided in terms of power #commschat

CommsChat 

Risk assessment must be ongoing in order to est. reputation of business. That in turn, keeps you safe. Time is key. #commschat

Albany 

One where everyone gets what they want! #commschat

CommsChat 

Just enough time for our final topic: What is the ideal relationship between a company and a local population? #commschat

CommsChat 

 Yes, you can work in places like that, but have to spend SO much more time understanding local sensitivities #commschat

Neil Cardwell 

 It’s important but needs thought: I sometimes wonder if ask ourselves whose/what risk we are assessing often enough #commschat

Albany 

many won’t work in places ie Somalia because of the risk- but cultural understanding and clear boundaries create opportunity #commschat


Judy Gombita 

Not surprisingly, working closely with locals . See Having a positive impact on the world,http://t.co/0eRrUbm6Ny #Commschat

CommsChat 

In , we wrote about risk assessment in July issue. Can either help or hinder a company operating in unstable areas #commschat

CommsChat 

Here’s a new angle on the subject. T5: How important is risk assessment in these situations? #commschat

Albany 

 What did  find most successful? #commschat


Judy Gombita 

When  interviewed  re:  importance of communication/working w/ local communities emphasized. #Commschat


Albany 

Many extractives have positive results w/ CSR but often don’t have the SLO to ensure safety or longterm success (ie In Amenas) #commschat

CommsChat 

Extractives companies may be effective because they have to be in their industry. What other sectors excel? Education? Health? #commschat

Neil Cardwell 

+1 (and IMHO this is how it should be!) RT : RT Often the process taken will determine the end result #commschat

Albany 

Our research, a survey of the major extractive industries’ approaches to local comms and engagement, focuses on oil/gas #commschat

Brittany Golob 

RT : Here it would be brilliant to hear from different voices in industry! #commschat


CommsChat 

RT  Here it would be brilliant to hear from different voices in industry! #commschat

Albany 

Here it would be brilliant to hear from different voices in industry! #commschat

CommsChat 

Our fourth topic is: What industries are doing this effectively already and which aren’t? #commschat

CommsChat 

RT  Often the process taken will determine the end result#commschat

Albany 

Often the process taken will determine the end result #commschat


CommsChat 

 interesting, so the process of getting there > the end result?#commschat


Albany 

Precisely  – yet comms is strongly about the trajectory of travel, not the destination! #commschat

CommsChat 

 That does make it difficult for business. Subjective means not measurable, which means no defined ROI #commschat


Albany 

‘challenge for corps is a social license to operate is a subjective concept, not a piece of paper.’ http://t.co/ayxzKvSxBH #commschat

CommsChat 

On T3: how would you approach diff audiences? Politicians are diff from religious leaders, different from labour groups etc #commschat

Neil Cardwell 

 Agree 100% re ceding some control and giving those with an interest in project some genuine influence over it #commschat

Albany 

That’s the part that companies are less happy to hear but know that it’s the truest sense of ‘engagement’ #commschat


Albany 

Also ‘building partnerships on the ground and ceding a degree of control to local players.’ http://t.co/53LDIfgbtz our piece, #commschat

CommsChat 

 That’s where the convo comes in. Gotta know that community wants a school and not an electrical plant or road #commschat

Albany 

But what if that outreach is not well-received? Simply build a school and call it a day? #commschat


CommsChat 

T3 follows on from this: What steps should they take to engage local stakeholders?#commschat


Albany 

 it’s likely they will be, because after all, they are there to do business. And it’s culturally appropro in the west #commschat

CommsChat 

 Exactly. Must know what issues are in the place you’re operating in. Otherwise, will integrate into community #commschat

Neil Cardwell 

 The $1m Question. For me, those changing the status quo e.g. developers, should be proactive and engaging #commschat

Albany 

A clear cultural sensitivity is required along with attentiveness and the ability to listen instead of merely transmitting info #commschat


Neil Cardwell 

RT  who approaches whom first? #commschat

Albany 

 who approaches whom first? #commschat


Albany 

Because in our current research we’re finding companies (esp extractives) focus heavily on CSR over authentic participatory comm #commschat

Neil Cardwell 

I’ve often found best approach often to let stakeholders tell us how/what/when they would like to be communicated with #commschat

Albany 

Would be great to hear examples from the field #commschat

CommsChat 

The US and UK militaries got a crash-course in this in Iraq and Afghan. #commschat

CommsChat 

My background is in conflict studies so for me, engaging local communities is really impt. in unstable political environments #commschat

Paweł Banaszak 

 warto śledzić RT  Tonight’s #commschat is all about engaging local stakeholder communities and risk assessment.

CommsChat 

Hi Pawel, good to have you joining in tonight #commschat

Paweł Banaszak 

RT : Hi all, Brittany here. Tonight’s #commschat is all about engaging local stakeholder communities and risk assessment.


Neil Cardwell 

RT : Useful to think local communities are not just observers or obstacles, but stakeholders. #commschat

CommsChat 

Who do they engage? How? What strategies do they use? #commschat

Neil Cardwell 

RT : Well what would we consider stakeholders in this context? Local politicians, labour unions, etc? #commschat

Albany 

Is anyone representing a company (ie oil/gas) who works in places where ‘stakeholders’ takes on a whole new concept and culture? #commschat

CommsChat 

Our second topic tonight goes a bit deeper into SLO: How should companies investing in developing markets approach local comms? #commschat


CommsChat 

RT : Useful to think local communities are not just observers or obstacles, but stakeholders. #commschat


Antônio Sampaio 

Useful to think local communities are not just observers or obstacles, but stakeholders. #commschat

Albany 

Returning to communities we trying to understand – think places where people are as likely to have AK47s as they are contracts #commschat

Andrew / Communicate 

 I do understand your point, though. When I want to annoy my Mrs I remind her she’s a stakeholder in our marriage #commschat


Neil Cardwell 

I think ‘Stakeholders’ is OK but imp. that we don’t let ‘high-level’ jargon creep into our actual communications on the ground #commschat

CommsChat 

Well what would we consider stakeholders in this context? Local politicians, labour unions, etc? #commschat

Sam Thomas 

  I agree with Pamela – ‘stakeholder’ is impersonal#commschat

Pamela Welsh 

 though I am just about to get my tea, so I might have to come back to this later when I have a full belly #commschat


Pamela Welsh 

 maybe. i do think comms needs to heed its own plain English advice though. Stakeholder communities turns me off. #commschat

Albany 

Hi  glad you returned this week #commschat


Andrew / Communicate 

 I guess just shorter way of defining a number of different audiences/publics/stakeholders rather than naming each #commschat


Neil Cardwell 

Good evening all, I’m Neil. Joining #commschat a little late – apologies. Looks an interesting discussion already though!

Albany 

The communities we consider in SLO are those with traditions or grievances that might not gel with a company’s LO via govts #commschat

CommsChat 

MT  Companies can’t necessarily ‘work around’ or appease w/traditional CSR but must listen & engage and respond #commschat

Albany 

Meaning companies can’t necessarily ‘work around’ or appease with traditional CSR but must listen and engage and respond #commschat

Andrew / Communicate 

 I think in the US they would use the word ‘publics’. You could use term ‘audiences’ I guess. #commschat

CommsChat 

Who comprises that community #commschat


Albany 

Maybe the community ‘around which’ a company works is not a contract holder but they certainly have an interest #commschat

CommsChat 

I think stakeholders may be one of the more accurate phrases in comms jargon. They hold an interest in a company’s actions #commschat

Albany 

Relevant because of the act of engagement with locals (which is the term we prefer as it goes beyond traditional stakeholders) #commschat

Pamela Welsh 

 I think they are meaningless words. Who are ‘stakeholders’? I consider them jargon, personally. #commschat


Albany 

 what do you think is distasteful about the term ‘stakeholder communities’? #commschat

Albany 

First want to clarify that SLO is most relevant in places of political and social turmoil.  interesting point #commschat

CommsChat 

We have tweetchat back tonight, so don’t forget to use the #commschat tag when tweeting


Pamela Welsh 

 hi #commschat. I’m Pamela. Not being picky, but wonder if ppl turned off comms cos we use words like ‘stakeholder communities’


CommsChat 

So our first topic tonight is: What is the ‘social licence to operate’? can tell us a bit more. #commschat


Albany 

#commschat Hi happy to be here. Albany is interested in this issue of Social License to Operate and hoping to hear from others’ experience.

CommsChat 

We’ll discuss everything in the realm of risk assessment and local community engagement #commschat


CommsChat 

We’re joined by Marissa from . Find out more about her work here: http://t.co/4qmCtKdcPF #commschat

CommsChat 

Hi all, Brittany here. Tonight’s #commschat is all about engaging local stakeholder communities and risk assessment.

 

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