What is the role of the global communicator, how is it changing, what challenges does that create and how should we respond?
Those were the themes explored in a conversation between IABC U.K. and IABC San Francisco, led and sponsored by the leadership in both chapters. We bought together three members of the U.K. chapter board, a board moderator and guest speaker in San Francisco, and 25 members who joined in person and virtually to ask questions and contribute to the debate. The “Conversation across the Ocean” was designed to leverage IABC’s international membership and learn via a wide-ranging conversation about the challenges facing global communicators, and some of the differences between the U.K. and the U.S.
Rather than hiring an expert, we aimed for an informal conversation. The conversation was facilitated by U.K. Chapter President Mike Pounsford, featuring Howard Krais, U.K. chapter president-elect, Daniel Schraibman, U.K. chapter board member, and Catherine Rudiger, vice president of employee communications at ICF.
In the U.S., Jennel McDonnell, the president of the San Francisco chapter, welcomed members and Suki Baz from the San Francisco board moderated the online contributions and questions. Todd Nelson supported the design and planning of the event.
The role of the communicator
We started by talking about the panel’s views on the role of the communicator. Three themes emerged: the communicator as business partner, connector and support to leaders.
Howard described how communicators today need to talk the language of business, bringing communication expertise to the table. But Catherine also suggested that communicators need to act as translators, turning business language into everyday language that makes sense to employees. She emphasized the importance of connecting people with each other, and to the company. Daniel highlighted how, in these times of change,...
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