The future of comms? It's exciting but complicated as this bold manifesto shows.
by Dan Slee
Since leaving local government to launch comms2point0 as a start-up I’ve been thinking more about the future of comms.
Working at the coal face gives me a deep appreciation of the job that comms teams do and stepping back makes me appreciate the job that lies ahead of them.
But I’m optimistic. I’m excited. The train is rolling and it’s picking up steam.
This week was the first time I’ve spoken somewhere and wished deep down I was talking about a different subject. We were presenting the comms2point0 local government comms survey stats at Public Sector Academy in Manchester in three minutes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good survey that you can read more of here. But just as I was getting up I was thinking of the things about the future I wanted to say about what’s next beyond the snapshot of where that sector is now.
We’ll be at #futurecomms14 in London next week blogging and tweeting and the title of the event really made me sit and think about what I think it is.
I’d say that comms has never been so scary and exciting at the same time.
I’d say to those epic visionaries whose paths we each followed right back at the start that ‘we’re winning’ even though it doesn’t always feel like it.
I’d say that the comms team of 2015 needs to have people in it that don’t see a distinction between traditional and digital and can reach into their rucksack to do either.
I’d say that internal comms is important. Not lip-service important but go-and-spend-a-day-in-a-locked-room-with-Google important if you don’t passionately believe that. If the shop assistant doesn’t believe in the hoover the poster in the window won’t sell it alone.
I’d say that you spend too much time in the bubble thinking the process is as important to the person in the street as it is to you. No-one cared about a policy paper. They care about the house that it builds. So communicate the smile of the family who have just bought their first home.
I’d ask anyone who didn’t think so to watch this Barack Obama election video where the geopolitical withdrawing from Afghanistan was reduced to bringing Ian’s Dad home so they could play together.
I’d say that digital is great but not everyone uses it.
I’d say that anyone who reads that and thinks they don’t have to bother is a fool.
I’d say that local government needs to invest in new comms skills if they want to be relevant.
I’d say that finding out what the important want, doing comms around that and then showing people what you’ve done is as important to you as a life jacket in a stormy sea.
I’d say that you need to start thinking of the internet of things. Not just the internet.
I’d say you should always, always, always be thinking of the content you create, post and share and not the press release.
I’d say that if you are launching a campaign what happens when it ends? Do you stop caring about stopping smoking? Where do the smokers go then?
I’d say that the comms person who measures is sensible. But the comms person who also knows that you can’t measure conversation and being human is the future.
I’d say that it’s okay to experiment and to fail. You’ll learn from it.
I’d say that you need to make time for all of this.
I’d that ‘public relations’ is a phrase that has had its day and makes people think of ‘spin’.
I’d say that being human in your comms above all is what you need to do.
I'd say it's collaborative.
I'd say being a logo and brand policeman won't win you the war.
I’m happy to talk to you about how comms2point0 can help. The future of comms and helping people get there is what makes me excited. I'm firstname.lastname@example.org and I like my tea milky with one sugar.
That's my future comms. What's yours?
We’ll be at #Futurecomms14 on June 18 in London which is being staged by the good folk at mynewsdesk who say they’ll give a 20 per cent discount to comms2point0 people who put the code Comms2point0-VIP in.