The event was described by Steven Waddington as “more like an Adobe, Microsoft or Salesforce event than a public relations gig.” The communications software behemoth drew close to 1,000 delegates to London’s Canada Water in November and we were in attendance.

Telling tales

The morning consisted of a welcome address from Cision CEO, Kevin Akeroyd and CMO, Chris Lynch, giving their views on current changes within the media world, setting the tone for the first -and in our opinion, the highlight of the morning – panel discussion.

Industry leaders from Virgin, Adobe, Wings Creative Leadership and HSBC provided an insight to some of their past campaigns and the stories that went along with them.

One of the key learnings was the need to integrate communications campaigns and eliminate a siloed approach. For public relations professionals, this is particularly pertinent when crafting compelling copy that really tells the story of a brand and its journey. According to Tamara Bennett, head of media relations at Virgin, 61% of brands operate siloed campaigns, which leaves us asking why?

Without a holistic approach to communications, factoring in paid, earned, shared and owned (PESO) media, it’s difficult to maximise the reach of campaigns and even harder to measure and evaluate them.

Take our CIPR PRide gold-winning campaign for the Fishing News Awards in 2017. This encompassed media relations, social media and influencer engagement to name but a few tactics and helped us share the stories of maritime heroes to a wider audience than ever before.


Technological takeaways

It was clear the focus of CommsCon was very much an always on, tech-led approach to PR and communications. Cision’s plan to disrupt the PR industry by providing technology and software as a service (SaaS) was apparent throughout and we must admit, its story was compelling.

While “changing the behaviour of public relations practitioners is our biggest challenge”, according to Cision CEO, Kevin Akeroyd, we must take note of the opportunities there are to enhance our offerings to clients by utilising new technologies where appropriate.

Ten years ago, social media barely existed and now it is central to most campaigns. By taking a truly integrated approach to PR, we can ensure we continue to tell stories and build reputations to the best of our abilities.

Dan Stead, Account Manager

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