Oil, tobacco and Barbie: Finding common ground on the commodities we love to hate

Are pipelines the safest option for transporting oil? Is Barbie a positive role model for young girls? Should doctors promote reduced risk tobacco products for those who choose to smoke? The ability to effectively engage and influence stakeholders with opposing views is critical to business progress. Influence can make or break political campaigns, government policies, investment decisions, employee engagement and community relationships. In our increasingly polarized world, facts alone are unconvincing. Influence and emotional connectivity are currency, making professional communicators more relevant than ever in shifting conversations.

Starting with audience polling on one of these topics, this interactive session will take participants through an experiential influencing exercise. Using show and tell techniques, the forum will provide communicators with practical tools to find common ground on divisive topics and advance organizational goals. Leveraging real life experiences from controversial industries, this unique session will demonstrate how practitioners can connect emotionally with audiences and apply influencing skills to evolve opinions on some of today’s most provocative issues. Participants will leave with new insights, ready to break through opinion barriers and drive business outcomes! Are you ready to shift your engagement and influencing strategies?

Format: Presentation
Track: Communication Driving Business

Presenter / Belinda Fox, ABC / Canada With 25 years of global experience in stakeholder engagement and communications, Belinda is drawn to finding common ground on polarizing topics. Before launching her consulting business, Outfox Communications Inc., she built and led the socioeconomic function for a national energy company. Prior to that role, Belinda spent a decade in health care communications, a year overseas in Romania supporting a mining project and eight years teaching post-secondary media and public relations. Her academic background includes a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Calgary, a two-year diploma in public relations from Mount Royal University and professional accreditation through IABC. She enjoys life in the Rocky Mountains with her spouse and living vicariously through her young adult children who are pursuing post-secondary studies outside Canada.

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