RMG Networks Blog

Today I attended my first Melcrum event, the Digital Communications Summit in London. And aside from battling a bit of jetlag, day one of the event proved to be a great adventure. I’ll go through a few highlights, but a consistent theme throughout the day was also a troubling one. As companies go through changes and technology evolves, what role does internal communications play? The fact that the question even needs to be asked should get corporate communicators off of the proverbial sidelines. 

Now to some of the key takeaways…

  • Kudos to Melcrum for keeping the 100 or so attendees engaged in the event, thanks to IML Worldwide. Its Blackberry-like devices allowed us to not only answer questions and provide feedback but also allowed questions to be heard through microphone capability. I love seeing technology used to enhance engagement and this was impressive.
  • At the beginning, we used IML’s devices to submit a quick statement about what we hoped to learn from the day’s events. It’s not surprising that the word cloud produced highlighted “digital” and “social.”
  • John Stepper (@johnstepper) from Deutsche Bank kicked off the event and set the tone for communicators getting off the sidelines. His point that communicators should not simply report on change but be an enabler for it resonated with the room. He shared some of the ways Deutsche Bank empowered employees. My favorite was recreating a version of Apple’s Genius Bar. It enables employees to showcase their skill sets and help other employees. Powerful stuff.
  • IBM’s Social Business Manager Kasper Risbjerg (@kasperrisbjerg) shared a great analogy for maximizing social’s impact. The idea here is that a softball and bag of marbles have the same volume but drastically different surface areas. You have a better chance of your content making an impact if it has more surface. . . so to speak.
  • I loved the use of “The Phantom” as a pseudo account on Lexis Nexis’ Yammer account. The account didn’t last for long but it allowed users to ask difficult questions that would then be passed along to leadership without fear of retribution. It allowed employees to get comfortable with using Yammer and helped relieve any anxiety. Laurie Hibbs (@lauriehibbs) showed a few examples of how the deviated from their typical corporate voice to help promote Yammer.
  • The event also featured 3 Ignite sessions, similar to Pecha Kucha style. Each presenter had 5 minutes. Philip Trippenbach (@trippenbach) nailed it with questioning gamification fo internal communications and employee engagement. Read his blog post on it. Worth every second.
  • Timed with the event, we launched a new paper called “10 Stats Every Corporate Communicator Needs to Know.” It was fun pulling it together and I hope you enjoy it.
  • On a personal note, it was great to finally meet Rachel Miller (@allthingsIC) and Dana Leeson (@danaleeson) in person. We’ve bantered and shared many times on Twitter, and it was nice to finally see their lovely faces beyond the avatar.
  • But the event wasn’t all positive. During one of the breaks, they played some John Mayer songs as background noise. Coming all the way over to England, don’t you think I could at least get some Duran Duran!?!

If you’re not attending day two, follow along with #MelcrumDCS. And catch up on day one with Rachel’s Storify.

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