Don’t say the c word

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Don’t say the c word

Today was the second day of Melcrum’s Strategic communication management summit in London.

It was another packed day which I really enjoyed. For me, the highlight was meeting up with people I’ve tweeted with for months and having life breathed into subjects we all know are important but need a refresher every now and then.

The title of this post is ripped off from Darren Briggs from Flametree from his session today on ‘How to be an effective communication coach for managers’. Among the many tips he gave was the idea that you don’t always need to say the c word – communication.

Darren was encouraging the 160+ professional communicators in the room to find ways to have conversations with leaders that don’t always feature the word communication. He challenged us to speak their language and see what the impact is. Thought-provoking stuff.

CEO of Production Services Network, Bob Keiller and his Head of Corporate Comms, Georgie Turner gave a passionate and inspiring presentation on how their values have been created and nutured through their company. Their enthusiasm was infectious and you could really see why their campaign was a success. Their commitment, motivation and passion for both their company, employees and the people their work influences was obvious to see.

Overall I found the conference to be stimulating, fun, informative and most importantly I left feeling eager to get back to work. I’m presenting to my Exec tomorrow and my mind is full of fresh ideas and renewed energy. Must remember not to say the c word…

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2  responses on Don’t say the c word

I find this so very true. We communicators have to think communication all the time, but we don’t have to speak about the c-word all the time. Talk to leaders about how they can develop their leadership, give them tools, coach them, but don’t always talk about them getting better in communication. That is the effect we want to achieve, but we can do it their language.

Weirdly, it can translate into price too. When I’m employed by an organisation as a communications consultant, aside from half of them thinking I’m there to fix the phones, I’m pigeonholed into a certain box and my ‘value’ (translating to my chargeable rate) is £X. However, I’ve landed a number of projects in recent years where I’ve simply been employed as a ‘business’ or more commonly ‘change’ consultant. I’ve tended to have the same conversations with the top team and worked through the same comms agenda. But in rate terms, my ‘value’ has been anything from £X + 20% to £X + 50%.

We still haven’t broken through the barrier of comms being regarded by most top teams as anything other than transactional. For too many, comms is still an event once business decisions have been made. For the enlightened few, it underpins the whole decision making process.

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