Wednesday 25 March saw VMA Group’s first London-based ‘Digital Advisory Group’ discussion – a snappier name remains a priority! – but the aim of which was to introduce digital experts and enthusiasts, from a range of industry sectors and backgrounds, all operating at a senior level and advising on digital strategy, who, since taking on VMA Group’s Digital Comms & Social Practice, I’d met and been inspired by, to:
- Discuss, debate and decide upon Digital Comms and Social strategic imperatives
- Explore new concepts, ideas and innovations
- Share best practice
- Network and make new contacts.
In turn, I hoped to gain a broader understanding of both the challenges faced by and opportunities for digital comms professionals, so I could provide the best possible careers advice and proactively support searches, whilst educating clients as to the various specialisms, skill sets, and value-add, making certain that their resourcing meets their requirements and that they are employing the best tactics in terms of attraction and retention, including role positioning and remit, professional development and progression, and, importantly, competitive remuneration (we are still seeing these positions being undervalued by £10-15k) – further professionalising the Digital Comms and Social disciplines and ensuring they are properly understood and valued, recognised and rewarded.
I posed two key discussion points:
The Digital Age: From Revolution to Evolution
The widespread use and interconnectedness of mobile networked devices and telephony, websites, intranets and online resources, and social media have become a de facto standard in digital communication. By 2012, over two billion people were online and regularly using the Internet, twice the number than in 2007, and cloud computing entered the mainstream. By the end of 2015, tablet computers and smartphones are expected to exceed personal computers in Internet usage. Digital, now integral to all our lives both personally and professionally, continues to evolve at pace – as do our expectations. What then is the perceived value of digital in your organisation? And what are the associated challenges and potential opportunities for communications in the next 12-18 months?
Key skills required to be a successful Digital Communications Manager / Social Media Lead
Every 12 to 18 months, computers double their capabilities, and so do the information technologies that use them. The Emerging Future company (TEF) tell us (using Ray Kurzweil’s historical trends of exponential growth charts for predicting the future) that in just five years’ time computers and information technologies will be 32 times more advanced, in 10 years a thousand times more advanced and in thirty years a billion times more advanced! It is this that is driving the changing requirements, and the definition, of a truly great Digital Communications Manager. What then are the skills are required for today’s communication professionals to successfully navigate this ever evolving digital landscape?
And I was not disappointed… With attendees from financial services, not-for-profit, the public sector, consumer and consultancy the conversation was animated and wide-ranging, covering everything from the need for senior management buy-in and education to successful community building and how to continually create compelling content that engages.
Five key competencies / skills emerged, a new five ‘C’s’ of Communication; Credibility (personal impact and influencing skills); Coordination (of resources, internal and external, paid and voluntary); Content (being creative, storytelling and developing a Corporate narrative, and identifying standout supporting visuals and rich media including animation, infographics and video), Channels (understanding the pros / cons of all and being aware of emerging channels); and last, but definitely not least, Courage (of your convictions)!
Finally we discussed the launch of VMA Group’s global digital survey – coming soon…
The next session is planned for June – please do let me know if you have an interest in attending or an agenda item you’d be keen to discuss.
“A big thank you for organising and inviting me! A privilege to sit round the table with such talented & interesting people.” Kate Tonge, College of Policing
“Thanks again for inviting me… I got a lot out of the conversation.” Silvia Cambie, Independent Consultant
Talking digital. It really is good to talk! https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/talking-digital-really-good-totalk-keith-lewis?trk=object-title
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