Some influent people have said that newspapers could die in 5-10 years: what are your views on this and how does it affect “the brand” and your role as a communicator?
People have been predicting the death of newspapers for some time now and there’s no doubt that physical paper sales are in steep decline.
But there will always be a market for reliable news and information that has been edited and filtered by people who know what they are talking about. Newspapers might die but good journalism and thoughtful communication will always be essential. Brands can play a role in this, by thinking like publishers and offering interesting and worthwhile content that customers can consume and share.
If you had one recommendation for leveraging reputation management as a corporate asset what would it be?
Be consistent. With the rise of social media and citizen journalism it’s absolutely essential that your story is the same (and authentic) however people encounter your company. The customer service must be as good as the advertising promises, the reaction to a crisis must be as fair and honest as the sales pitch, the technical staff must understand the brand values and why we’re doing what we’re doing.
What would your top three tips on driving creativity and innovative communications strategies be?
1. Create a strong team and then trust them.
2. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new strategies.
3. Communicate. Share experience, ask experts, talk to your agencies, never stop thinking about how you can do things better.
What session, other than your own, are you most looking forward to at Leaders In Communications?
It’s a very good agenda. I’ll be very interested in Stephen Lotinga’s take on managing what seems to be a perpetual media storm and more personally I’m looking forward to the final panel session on managing relationships with rest of the board.