Finally, we have a year in which we organised three conclaves. Ever since, the social enterprise I co-created with my colleagues took off in late 2014 we have done one initially and then two conclaves in two of the three major metros in rotation. We finally stabilised the Gurgaon and Mumbai conclaves in 2018 focussed on Innovation and Influence. The third pillar IMPACT did not have a home and it was only logical that it would reside in Bangalore. These conclaves revolve around the three important pillars of good Public Relations. Together with superb Storytelling and a sound Strategy any reputation management programme will find its feet.
The format is straight forward. Half-day spent at a central venue where the best minds in in-house communications gather with an assortment of six speakers, mostly business leaders who share insights and ideas that stimulate conversations. The biggest danger facing today’s corporate communication professionals is the lack of opportunities and time to get continuously trained. PR firms on the other hand are able to devote resources for training because there is a sizable number that can be trained at any given time.
Well, I personally like inclusive events where anyone who is interested can buy a pass and attend. Unfortunately, based on multiple factors we had to create these in-house professionals focussed conclaves because of a variety of feedback that we had received, which I will avoid sharing here. I strongly feel if the corporate communications professional today does not go out of the way to invest in learning for professional development the day is not far when he or she will be obsolete. There are technologies that are emerging that will manage to undertake all tasks that a professional does including creating content, serving it to the right recipient, offering advice from a range of choices based on algorithms. Bosses and organisations will still value the human who brings a genuine value addition. Every corporate communication professional should strive to be that person and not rely on the confidence that they are indispensables and their jobs will go nowhere. I get at least half a dozen CVs each month where the in-house professionals are desperate for a new job because his or her previous organisation found someone who can do the same set of tasks for half the price.
This also made me realise that there are not enough avenues to showcase the power of a corporate communication team to people within and outside the organisation. That is why we launched a platform for teams to submit a set of questions that goes to an eminent jury and get evaluated based on several parameters. We engage with over 300 corporate communication teams and only about 20% bother to participate. Of this half move into a shortlist and then the rankings are shared, and the teams honoured. We will make it bigger and better next year. Because rewards and recognition are integral to the community we engage with and these platforms go a long way in building a case for solid corporate communications teams.