I have returned back to the office after 5 days in Italy, yes it’s sunny here but Islington Green has nothing on Via Roma or Parco del Valentino, Costa below us doesn’t quite cut it anymore and Pizza Express over the road has lost its appeal. Suffice to say, things have changed post- Turin and that’s not to mention the real reason why I was there.
Eurocomm, hosted by the International Association of Business Communicators, the Middle East and Europe division, is a communications conference held every two years with speakers from the very top of their field.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, business communicators, small NGO?! Where’s the link? Surely you’re not spending all my donations on trips to Turin. Well no. Thanks to the board of IABC, I managed to secure a scholarship to help me get there and Ryanair did the rest of the job (actually, quite painlessly).
So I arrived with my metaphorical socks pulled up high, pen and paper (and smartphone) poised and ready to learn, or perhaps absorb is a better word, all that I could from the world of communications and see how it could be best applied to EIA.
Two days were spent in a stunning location overlooking the city learning about the latest in comms, with interesting and dynamic people, all fuelled by the best espresso.
In short, I have taken away so much from the conference and could go on at length about the importance of communications but in this information overload world we now inhabit, instead I will summarise some of the key lessons in less than 140 characters. In other words, a tweet!
- Stephane Dujarric, Director of News & Media at the UN: “Issue comes before the logo”, always tell a compelling human story
- Silvia Cambie working with the European Training Foundation: “Networks are replacing individuals as base of communications”
- Aureli Valtat – Eurocontrol and Tweeting through the ash cloud: “Twitter is not just a push channel – interactivity is key”
- Mark Comerford on Social Media & Journalism: “Everything is changing…and survival relies on being responsive to change”
- Are you ready for the digital revolution?
- Steve Seager on SEO: “Shameless blog promotion is ok!”
- Suzanne Salvo of Salvo Photo on the accidental photographer: “show results, not the product”
So for EIA, we are in the middle of updating our website (in fact this conference could not have come at a better time) and there is much we can implement right away. From optimizing content, integrating more of our media (analogue & digital) and selecting powerful imagery that crosses the language barrier. Embracing the perception shift may take a little longer. But watch this space.
I will finish with the words of Mark Comerfor:
“if you want to reach me, you will have to reach my network”
I would like to add a personal thanks to board members of the IABC, especially Michael Ambjorn.
“NGO comms newbie”