This morning I went to a Communications Cafe breakfast event hosted by Sequel Group, at the Soho hotel in London. Also known as an aspic seminar, it gathered comms professionals to discuss Real resilience in tough times and the ability to adapt to change.

Winston Churchill’s down-to-earth advice for those facing difficulty was: “If you’re going through hell, keep going”. Definitely advice being taken to heart by many organisations, not least by Eleanor Tweddell from Virgin Atlantic and Justine Stevenson from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). They both gave presentations of how they weathered the storm that was 2009, the communications strategies they had in place and how 2010 is shaping up.

Eleanor talked about how Virgin celebrated its 25th anniversary last year as well as having pre-tax profits at a time when the aviation industry was at an all-time low. She shared how focusing on a back-to-basics communication strategy helped the company put the right information in front of the right audience at the right time.

More Foreign, Less Office was the title of Justine’s talk and referred to a change programme at the Foreign &Commonwealth Office. She described how they used an FCO Jam event to bring together employees all over the world in an on-line global conversation so they could all have the chance to take part in discussions about the FCO of the future.  

As ever when comms professionals get together, topics spark the interest of people in the room and lead to further discussions. What I found really helpful was the opportunity to hear from people in the room about their experiences and what they’ve found works well. Conversations included employee surveys and credit crunch communications. I found both Justine and Eleanor’s presentations interesting and was left with lots of thoughts whizzing around my head on the train afterwards and all day.

Have you been to any interesting talks recently? Do let me know your thoughts, Rachel