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October 8, 2013 Transcript of #CommsChat with CDF attendees

Last week, in preparation for the 2013 edition of the Communication Directors’ Forum, we were joined by speakers and attendees of the conference including Nikki da Costa from Bellenden (@NdaCBellenden), comms lecturer Paul Willis (@ukprman), design studio Playgroup (@PlaygroupTweet) and the PRCA’s comms director Matt Cartmell (@MattCartmell). Take a look at some of the highlights as we discussed the present and future of comms.

  • @NdaCBellenden I think clients want to see value and that there is transparency on fee levels but that’s a good thing
  • @MattCartmell Growing importance of reputation business means comms will grow in strategic value in boardroom 
  • @NdaCBellenden CEOs are much more pro-active and keen to be involved. They see the growing importance of reputation and make time
  • @ukprman A lot we can learn from management consultants. The good ones are great at showing the “science” behind what they do.
  • @PlaygroupTweet how would clients like us to engage with them? Interested in their thoughts

Full transcript:

 

 

  1. Being kicked out of Starbucks so will end chat a couple min short of 9pm.

  2. I also think we need to talk about our generic competencies as well as sector specific skills/knowledge

  3. Why thorny? Thorns removed if behave ethically, transparently and deliver professional work of value

  4. Im intrigued to see how people can stay on boat for three days without going stir crazy!

  5. What’s important at a time of change/uncertainty…we need to separate out short term fads/trends from the big stuff

  6. it is a simple start but sometimes we ask clients and they have never been asked before by their agency!

  7. I’ll be giving a talk about ‘the thorny issue of public affairs’ on Friday afternoon

  8. linking all topics, keen to get delegate views on close relationship between ethics, transparency and brand reputation

  9. how would clients like us to engage with them? Interested in their thoughts

  10. also budgets are much tighter. You have to work twice as hard for half the budget

  11. Also like amendment from Lab Cab Office team for code of conduct. Non-statutory registers have this and valued.

  12. more pressure on agencies from clients. Why go out of house if comms teams outdated

  13. Final topic of the night: What would you like to discuss at CDF 2013?

  14. Hello Peter! Cabinet Office official meetings lists – not a single meeting with us, CIPR or a lobbying firm

  15. Agreed- we’re providing our statement for tomorrows debate supporting those amendments

  16. Some good amendments from MP Political Reform Committee i.e. definition not just about Ministers and Perm Secs.

  17. possibly bright future now Chloe Smith has moved on, who never engaged with industry

  18. agree. As many point out – it won’t touch big multi-disciplinary agencies, law firms, in-house etc

 

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Nikki da Costa 

 Some good amendments from MP Political Reform Committee i.e. definition not just about Ministers and Perm Secs. #commschat


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MattCartmell 

possibly bright future now Chloe Smith has moved on, who never engaged with industry #commschat

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Nikki da Costa 

  agree. As many point out – it won’t touch big multi-disciplinary agencies, law firms, in-house etc #commschat


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Nikki da Costa 

 we want to drive out those that are unethical but Bill is poorly drafted – too many loop holes. need it to be robust! #commschat


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CommsChat 

RT   As it stands at the moment, only for the worse, leading to LESS transparency #commschat

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MattCartmell 

 As it stands at the moment, only for the worse, leading to LESS transparency #commschat


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Paul Willis 

 A lot we can learn from management consultants. The good ones are great at showing the “science” behind what they do. #commschat


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CommsChat 

T4 should be an interesting one: Will the lobbying bill change public affairs? #commschat


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Paul Willis 

 Exactly, and brings us back to the organisation’s intangible assets and what we bring to the party in this regard #commschat


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CommsChat 

Any thoughts on client/agency relations? Bit of a shift from leadership, but still related #commschat


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Nikki da Costa 

 absolutely – makes sure we all keep pushing ourselves to think deeper, challenge assumptions, develop what we offer #commschat


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Paul Willis 

 The good ones intuitively get it. From an evaluation point of view they are less interested in the standard stuff #commschat

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Bellenden 

RT  agree – 8% of FTSE100 CEOs have comms background but in 5/10 years will go up to mirror strategic importance #commschat


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Playgroup 

  yes indeed it still can be, we have worked hard 2 prove value earlier in the process still not perfect! #commschat


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MattCartmell 

 Fair enough.. there’s a report/study in there somewhere 😉 #commschat

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Nikki da Costa 

CEOs are much more pro-active and keen to be involved. They see the growing importance of reputation and make time #commschat


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MattCartmell 

  thats good to hear – many members reporting procurement to be a big sticking point #commschat

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Paul Willis 

 Yes, good question! It depends on the comms leader! #commschat


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Amanda Coleman 

  unfortunately it will depend on the individual communicator #commschat

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Playgroup 

 we are finding that we are being introduced earlier in the process, this can only be a good thing #commschat


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Paul Willis 

 Exactly, and to help enhance them…relationships, reputation and culture. It’s our balanced scorecard #commschat

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MattCartmell 

 Will comms infiltration of board leadership lead to more or less risk taking?? #commschat


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CommsChat 

T3: How has the relationship between clients and agencies changed? #commschat


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Playgroup 

RT  Good point and driven by the growing recognition of the importance of intangible assets #commschat

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Playgroup 

  …to mitigate risk and prove that the brand can tolerate it #commschat

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Paul Willis 

 Good point and driven by the growing recognition of the importance of intangible assets #commschat

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Playgroup 

  goes back to one of our core values, collaboration working with clients from the beginning of the process #commschat


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CommsChat 

RT  agree – 8% of FTSE100 CEOs have comms background but in 5/10 years will go up to mirror strategic importance #commschat

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Adam 

   there are those open and willing to change and there are those who resist #commschat

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Nikki da Costa 

 agree – 8% of FTSE100 CEOs have comms background but in 5/10 years will go up to mirror strategic importance #commschat


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Amanda Coleman 

 absolutely – totally agree. #commschat

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Paul Willis 

 …and comms leaders need to work hard at creating relationships/cultures where acceptable risk taking is tolerated #commschat


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MattCartmell 

Growing importance of reputation busines means comms will grow in strategic value in boardroom http://t.co/6JeoH4lXw9 #commschat

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Nikki da Costa 

   v good point. Does size and age of organisation restrict agility though / risk taking? #commschat

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Playgroup 

RT : Also there seems to be a growing focus on ROI as the crux of progress for the industry #commschat


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Amanda Coleman 

  i think it is a good thing. Brings opportunities and chance to take some risks to get results #commschat


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Playgroup 

  agree with this point but things are getting better…#commschat


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Playgroup 

 clients are even more knowledgeable, the balance of the relationship has changed for the better #commschat


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Paul Willis 

 The problem with ROI is clients can focus a lot on return but not enough on the investment part of the equation! #commschat

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MattCartmell 

Lots of these issues covered at  conference last month: http://t.co/UaXRW0dCuA #commschat


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Amanda Coleman 

 good point – mpre creativity and innovation are required #commschat

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CommsChat 

Nice segue into T2, thanks : How does strategic leadership shape corporate comms these days? #commschat

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Playgroup 

RT : A lot of discussion about organisational values and the role of communication, particularly in the public sector. #commschat

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CommsChat 

RT  Comms has become more integrated and more digital. Roles require more versatility and a wider skill set #commschat

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Adam 

 Comms has become more integrated and more digital. Roles require more versatility and a wider skill set #commschat

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MattCartmell 

Also there seems to be a growing focus on ROI as the crux of progress for the industry #commschat


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Nikki da Costa 

  I think clients want to see value and that there is transparency on fee levels but that’s a good thing #commschat

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Paul Willis 

A lot of discussion about organisational values and the role of communication, particularly in the public sector. #commschat


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MattCartmell 

We’re still seeing a huge battle over fees – clients still driving down costs #commschat


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Playgroup 

  totally agree, also greater synergy with internal and external comms #commschat


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Playgroup 

 we are also seeing more of a focus on sustainability #commschat


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CommsChat 

MT  Greater recognition that reputation impacts bottom line. Comms roles year by year more important and strategic #commschat

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Nikki da Costa 

 Even greater recognition that reputation impacts bottom line. Comms roles year by year more important and strategic #commschat

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Paul Willis 

Strategically they haven’t changed #commschat

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Playgroup 

 starting on a positive note it feels busy, more activity and progress on projects #commschat


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CommsChat 

For the laypeople, T1 refers to a time period of about a year. So what’s been going on in 2012/13? #commschat

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Amanda Coleman 

Evening Amanda from  will be dipping into #commschat while trying to finish some work stuff!

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Nikki da Costa 

Hi Brittany. Looking forward to tonight’s #commschat discussion. We’re independent agency specialising in public affairs – 35+ of us in UK.


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CommsChat 

Hiya all. Thanks for joining in. Topic 1: How have PR and comms roles changed since CDF 2012? #commschat

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Paul Willis 

Hi, I’m Paul Willis, Director of the Centre for Public Relations Studies at Leeds Business School, Leeds Metropolitan University #commschat

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MattCartmell 

#commschat hello! I’ll be attending #Commsforum for the first time this week…

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Playgroup 

 Playgroup here Communications Agency attending  in just 2 days eek!! #commschat


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CommsChat 

So we have six or so topics about various aspects of comms in store for tonight. We’ll just hear from our other guests then begin #commschat


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Playgroup 

 Playgroup here Communications agency attending  #commschat CD


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Gnosis Media Group 

#commschat: looks at all aspects relating to communications, When: Mondays, 8:00pm UK. #tweetchatshappeningnow


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CommsChat 

I’ll leave it to them to introduce themselves. NB to all: Don’t forget to use #commschat tag when tweeting.

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CommsChat 

We’re joined by    and  who will chat about current trends in comms and more #commschat

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CommsChat 

Evening all, Brittany here. If you, like me, are headed asea with the , you’re in for a #commschat treat.

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