What we can learn from CommsConf

How can you ensure your organisation’s internal communication demonstrates results? That was the topic addressed by yesterday’s #CommsConf in London.

One of the speakers, Kes Johnston, @KesJohnston, has written a guest post for the All Things IC blog to share what we missed. Plus discover her top three takeaways from the event.

KesJohnstonKes (pictured) is Transformation Communication Specialist at O2. She was one of 32 speakers on the day. Over to you Kes…

Thoughts on yesterday’s #Commsconf
Joining Sarah Mullins, @SarahMRealIC at the lectern for the last slot of the day, it struck me what real enthusiasm and passion there was in the room from all the comms pros.

The day was packed with an even packeder agenda – I am breaking the rules here making words up, but it was impressive.

(You can see some of the Tweets from Kes and Sarah’s session below – Rachel).

So we know who the hardcore people are now. Stay till closing time people – I bet they get great value from their IC budgets! Either way, you made my day.

What did I think of the conference?
Comms confIt was well run, still a bit paper-based, and needs to tighten the timings. But there was lots of great content and some a bit meh, but then it’s really personal. Well worth the ticket.

Great sponsors too. No hard sell just ideas which was refreshing.

It’s always nice to swap IM and email far actual faces and catch up with partners and old friends @harknesskennett @owen_paradigm @brandconversation @iainlumsden

Here’s my top three things I took away from the day:
1. I loved @suepacomms and @CazzaG1981 from National Trust. Why? 60K+ volunteers. No wifi or 4G on rural farms (@o2 would like to help with that!).

Historical buildings and acres of countryside and did they say oh dear. No they said ‘our people have so much passion, this is an opportunity’.  Loved them a lot.

2. Jo Bleasdale from BT resonated for me because she was clear, concise and practical. Sometimes for me conference presentations can get a bit Game of Thrones instead of Game of Life (wee bit fantastical) so some hard-core advice and experience really works for me.

(Thank you Catherine Finn @finncath30 for your Tweet today – Rachel):

3. Camilla Rigby from OVO Energy braved a panel and up front even though she was losing her voice.

Okay, I will be honest her summer party video is something we do in-house and wasn’t too special for me. Her awards video had lots of special because of the scripting.

Yes The X Factor voice is funny, but the real gem was the way the OVO people were featured. Loved it. Copying it one day. Plus her enthusiasm and passion.

At the end of the day, oh yes people I just said that, we are all facing similar challenges because people are people.

How they hear a message and how they respond is unique to them, but the ways of reaching them are pretty universal.

It’s always lovely to spend a day with people who not only love their job like me (well okay I didn’t ask everyone, perhaps @mrsihill from wazoku.com could run a post conf survey for me?) but also never stop trying to do it better.

I am new to Twitter so take help me out and follow me @kesJohnston@commsconf thanks for having me.

Post author: Kes Johnston.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts Kes. You can see the conversations from yesterday via Twitter by searching for #CommsConf.

Further reading
See the All Things IC comms calendar to keep an eye on upcoming events for communicators.

I publish What’s on this week every Sunday to look at the week ahead.

First published on the All Things IC blog 29 June 2016.

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