16 April 2021
Get ready for rapid-fire sessions on the most pressing challenges and innovative opportunities in the communications industry. Sessions include: "Identifying Burnout Among Communicators," "Lessons Learnt" and "Steps To Overcome," presented by Shaniek Parks. IT'S ABOUT TIME we had a conversation about taking care of ourselves as communication professionals. The PR industry has been labeled as one of the most stressful careers. According to the 2020 Gould + Partners Industry Turnover Report, the average PR agency turnover is 24.5%. Our heavy workloads coupled with the need to be the voice of calm in a crisis have left many stressed to the point of burnout. This reality has become more prevalent during the pandemic because as we support teams internally and lead external company responses, at times we may deprioritize our own wellness. This session will encourage communicators to reflect on times when they have deprioritized their needs, become present to those actions, and gain actionable strategies to improve their ways of work.
The next session is "From Communication To Interaction," presented by Vip Sitaraman. 2020 marked a dramatic shift in how organizations and brands communicate. Once upon a time, PR / Business Communications was a one-way street: from HQ, to your audience — not the case in today's online & social world. This past year opened unprecedented conversations between brands and their audiences — and nearly 100% were online, due to Covid-19. Just one example: breakout apps of last year like Community and Clubhouse by enabling celebrities & local influencers to connect directly with their online audiences. The key to staying ahead is not AI, IoT, or AR/VR—though that may help. Future-proof strategy starts with principles, not technology: authentic brands, human connection, interactive content; in short, the shift from publishing content to building experiences. This talk will discuss trends and insights re: interactive digital experiences derived from my own companies' data (ie. from millions of readers at Explica) and that of many household name-brands.
The next session is titled "Game-changers: How junior communicators are ready to change the world," presented by Mubashira Farooqi. Young people are changing the world and junior communicators are leading the charge. As a woman of colour and a visible minority, I have spent my educational and professional career bringing awareness to the value of diverse perspectives. It's about time our industry started taking people like me seriously. In this short presentation, I would aim to share examples of exceptional junior communicators who are changing the world, one city at a time. I would amplify the key tools and strategies that they are using to share their messages in the hopes of inspiring other junior communicators to do the same. As the future of our industry, these communicators hold a deep understanding of the direction we need to create positive and meaningful change – internally within our organizations and across client work. This presentation aims to inspire young communicators while informing senior communicators of the value of our perspectives.
Learn about "A New Kind of Social Capital Ecosystem Is the Antidote to a COVID World" in the final segment. The complexities of the world exceed our ability to maintain balance and order and ensure safety and security for all. It's about time we came up with a better way. We are beyond sponsorships, corporate giving, and social responsibility. Too often they become mere lip service. Just not good enough anymore. Organsiations are called upon to re-evaluate their role in society and to deliver benefits for all. How do organisations get to grips with what they need to do? How do they stay ahead of all stakeholder expectations and stay relevant? It is time for communications leaders to stand up, speak up and be listened to as the people in the room making sense. The session will give alarmingly simple and practical steps on how to build a communications ecosystem for our times. It's the basics done well. Understanding social context. A clear purpose. Smart leadership. Strategic clarity. Authentic engagement.