New Era for Government, Media and Communication

Notes from Conference in Nicosia, Cyprus which discussed a New Era for Government, Media and Communication and was attended by the The President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades.


The President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, opened talking about the importance of communication in a democracy and that “an informed and active citizen is a better citizen”.






He was followed by the British High Commissioner, Ric Todd, talking about the role of effective government communication in public debate and discourse.

His best line: “good communication does not guarantee popularity, but bad communication guarantees unpopularity”.  This is a lesson many corporate managers can learn.

Mini-masterclasses in communication from Eleonora Gavrielides, the Director of the Cyprus Press and Information Office, and Alex Aiken, Executive Director for UK Government Communications. These expert professionals provided complementary perspectives on what it takes to deliver effective government communications. I can’t say I agreed with everything they said, but it was good to hear how governments are working hard to ensure effective communications with their key stakeholders.

Then some great additional perspectives from local and UK media, the Director of the Cyprus Media Community Centre, talking about the role of non-state actors in communication.

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How emotive communications drives brand affinity

As marketers we thrive on models and frameworks to explain what we do and what happens in the world around us to our clients and colleagues. We use them to explain complex processes, visualize tried and tested modes of operations or to hedge and focus our thinking and grasp of a situation or business problem.

One of these tried and tested models is the distinction we draw between B2B & B2C, bread and butter for many marketers in terms of understanding how to communicate with allegedly completely different sets of audiences.


Beyond the B2B vs B2C divide

But are they actually that different? Some argue that B2B and B2C distinctions do not exist and offer alternative models that try to encompass both routes to market with terms like Business-to-Person (B2P) or even simply Human-to-Human (H2H?) communication.

Whatever the terms that we might agree on in the future, what these challenger models attempt to do is uncover the commonalities between the traditional B2B & B2C frameworks: the emotive layers of human communication. Read more

What support Communication Directors need to improve high-level impact

What what support Communication Directors need to improve their high level impact

Notes from round-table discussions held at the Communication Directors’ Forum (Part 3), 8-10 October 2014, Aurora.


Stakeholder mapping

We explored the idea of stakeholder mapping, not just for campaigns but also for your career. Stakeholder mapping is basically just a resource prioritization tool so by thinking about this for your own career, you can think about how you create webs of positive influence.

There are of course many different varieties of stakeholder map: one of my favourites is to map importance on two axes:

  • How important are they to you? Who are the key people who can help you in your job?
  • How important are you to them? Where on their radar screen are you likely to fit?

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How Communication Directors can develop partnerships with the business

How to build on this organizational knowledge to give advice and counsel to senior executives, as a peer

Notes from round-table discussions held at the Communication Directors’ Forum (Part 2), 8-10 October 2014, Aurora.


The group discussions concluded true business partners seem to have three main sets of skills:

  • 1. Technical: they know their field and know that is how they add value. This is the professional core and why people typically get hired. It is also where the highest proportion of training budgets get allocated.
  • 2. Business: they know their client’s business and the environment in which they operate.
  • 3. Consulting / advisory: they are able to deliver that knowledge in a way that creates value.

We know from the group discussions that many people who aspire to be business partners are strong on the first and not the other two.

Maybe a lot of the money spent on technical training isn’t able to be turned into business benefit because it is not balanced with sufficient investment in the other two areas. Indeed, it was an almost universal theme: most participants had received technical and skills training, a few had sought to improve their business know-how, but almost no one had received training in consulting and advisory skills. In my personal opinion, there is little value in becoming an expert if you don’t have the skills to translate that into successful outputs, working with others. Read more

A seat at the table

In support of #trusteesweek which is currently well underway we have a guest post from IABC Vice Chair Michael Ambjorn on how to get a seat at the table.



If you have followed the Griffiths & Hinton research on the future of the communications profession you’ll know that if you want a seat at the table as a communicator, then you have to be able to operate at board level. The IABC Career Roadmap speaks to this, guiding communicators from foundation level, through generalist / specialist to strategic advisor and ultimately, for those who aspire to it, business leader.

You may have seen a couple of Communication World articles from IABC UK Past President Stephen Welch which set out practical steps for improving your business acumen:

The top of the tree can be a confusing place though – so if you want to help steer an organisation at the highest strategic level – here’s a brief guide that will walk you through three types of board (full-screen) Read more