Page Society Annual Conference: Can Communicators Impact the Social Divide?

Rob Flaherty & Barri Rafferty at Page

I recently attended the 33rd Page Society Annual Conference, aptly themed, “Clash of the Empires: Building Bridges In A Divided World.” The picture painted at Page was a bit depressing, yet the realism was important for us to hear as communicators. The post-Brexit world, Trump’s ascension as a Presidential contender and the now tremendous wealth divide created by the financial collapse were all front-and-center topics. Like Davos earlier this year, sitting in London with the opportunity to tap European experts on myriad of pressing global issues provided unique insights beyond a traditional American point of view. Here are a few learnings that I took with me back home.

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The Billion-Dollar Purpose Club

Freya Williams, author of Green Giants: How Smart Companies Turn Sustainability into Billion-Dollar Businesses, recently gave an inspiring speech where she discussed the first nine (or ten) companies that had successfully been built into billion-dollar brands by focusing on purpose. As I was listening, the person sitting next to me asked why so many other companies – including the $6B company he represented – were not considered one of Freya’s “Green Giants.”

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Paging Dr. Smartphone: How Tech is Disrupting Healthcare

When was the last time you asked Siri a question about your health? As little as five years ago, that might have sounded like a crazy question. Today, not so much.

Many of us share more personal information with our smartphones or wearables than we do with our closest friends. How many steps do we take each day? How long has it taken us to lose those last five pounds? What’s our personal record for the steepest climb on our favorite ride?

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The Role of Social Media in Crisis Situations

Social media has changed absolutely everything and absolutely nothing in crisis communications.

I’m on my way to the International Air Transport Association’s Crisis Communications Conference in Hong Kong today and much of the discussion leading up to the event has focused on the impact of social media in crisis situations, and for good reason. Social media has been a transformative catalyst in both responding to and managing crises, creating both considerable challenges and very real opportunities for communicators across all industry sectors.

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Next-Gen Internal Comms: The New Frontier of Measurement

Advances in technology have made today’s employee more accessible than ever before. Facebook, Slack, Twitter, Snapchat—the biggest tech platforms in the world are all centered around communication and enabling organizations to connect internally in new ways. However, the impact of technology on internal communications has just as many disadvantages as benefits.

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The Secret of Flight: Overcoming Creative Struggles

The most valuable creative experience I’ve ever had might be the time I needed to make someone fly.

As a longtime playwright and theater director, I’ve had to tackle all sorts of self-imposed artistic challenges, generally with little to no budget. Every show that I’ve worked on has contained “that scene” – the one that drives you nuts until the very last minute. But, it usually ends up being the best one in the whole show, because you have to be more creative to pull it off.

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Changing Roles, Changing Perspectives

As if getting married and starting a new life wasn’t enough—I recently decided to accept a new job. It has taken a while for me not to trip up on either my new married name or new employer when introducing myself or answering the phone. But more importantly, like any change, it has been a moment to re-evaluate old habits and try to form new ones.

As a communicator, the freshness and open-mindedness you bring to a new role is especially powerful (click to tweet). As I approach the six-month mark here at Ketchum, I’m trying to be deliberate about the learnings I take with me beyond the honeymoon phase. Here are five things we should all keep in mind when starting a new role.

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The 4 Biggest Challenges Brands Face on Snapchat: Conquered

With 100 million users and 400 million snaps a day, it’s no wonder brands are turning to Snapchat to connect with consumers. The social networking platform allows brands to connect and interact with an audience in real-time by posting engaging content. However, with these perks come even greater obstacles.

Below are, in my opinion, the four biggest challenges that brands face with Snapchat:

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Can You Hear Me Now? The Digital Age & the End of the Voice Call

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: a decline in share of voice. No, not that share of voice… I’m talking about the familiarity, trust and nuance gained by connecting via the spoken word. It seems that, in this increasingly digital landscape, the phone call has all but disappeared. The aversion is so great that I’ve even begun to notice colleagues commenting on how the lack of a “human touch” is leading to less intimacy in their professional relationships.

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Tech + Healthcare: If You Build It, Cyber Threats Will Come

health + tech

Picture this: Your medical record and financial information was stolen at your local hospital following a simple procedure. Now you’re unexpectedly receiving bills for prescriptions you were never prescribed and procedures you never had. While network hijacks, hacks and data breaches have been the norm for retail and financial institutions, medical records are becoming an even more lucrative target for cyber-criminals than your credit card or social security numbers.

Recent cyber attacks are making headlines and damaging reputations, particularly within the healthcare space. For example, earlier this year a Los Angeles medical center had to pay $17,000 to recover its computer network, which was held for ransom by hackers. Media coverage was hard to shake, and rebuilding trust within the community will take considerable time.

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