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Meet the Author: In Conversation With... Fiona Passantino

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Meet the Author: In Conversation With... Fiona Passantino

Following Tuesday night’s (11th July) Meet the Author event, I’m writing this blog post questioning if I should resort to a diagram to communicate the key takeaways… and for those of you who are wondering what I’m talking about, maybe it’s time to look at Fiona Passantino’s wonderful guide to Post-Covid Engagement in the workplace.

What Did You Miss?

When we think about communicating, the likelihood is that we first think of words, right? Well, Fiona Passantino’s talk around her comic book 'Handbook for Post-Covid Communication' encouraged me to consider to think outside the box and reflect on the power of visual communication. Whilst the comic sketches may seem rather frivolous at first glance, Fiona has truly demonstrated the ‘ideal marriage of text and image’ (Fiona Passantino), combining visuals with academic research. Touching on the concept of ‘dual coding theory’, Fiona noted that factually, it takes humans less time to process a picture, which will consequently allow audiences to engage more efficiently; a huge benefit in a busy work environment. Not only that, in an increasingly multicultural world (see blog on multilingualism), using image to communicate can facilitate the process. Let’s take IKEA construction manuals as an example – we’ve all seen one, and probably used one (maybe to much frustration!), but ultimately, this diagram technique is to ensure the same information can be communicated to global audiences.

So, What Does Fiona Suggest?

Some audience members highlighted that sometimes bringing in such change into their Internal Comms practice isn’t necessarily going to be well-received at first, and perhaps fair enough – it’s not like comic sketches are usually the first port of call for business communications. But, think outside the box and understand your audiences! Fiona exemplified how visuals can be a particularly useful tool for communicating the slightly-less-exciting topics to employees e.g., a new IT policy. You don’t have to use visuals for your everyday communications – but why not use a photo or a sketch, or even a short animation to mix it up and let the visuals ‘do the heavy lifting’ (Fiona Passantino) for you? Moreover, your workforce is getting increasingly younger! Think about your new recruits; maybe they are fresh out of University, the real Gen Zs! The reality is there are so many channels and it’s easy for you, me and everyone else to be bombarded with words… texts, emails, social media captions, you name it. So, why not? Why not try and incorporate some visual content to communicate to your workforce?

What Authors Have We Met?

Throughout the series, VMA GROUP’s Senior Consultant, Crystle Pearce has organized and collaborated with some of the best wordsmiths in the world of comms. Kicking off the series, we welcomed Lesley Allman, author of 'Better Internal Communication: How to Add Value, Be Strategic and Fast Track Your Career', we then chatted with Jenni Field, the mind behind 'Influential Internal Communication', as well as Kim Page, who presented an engaging evening around her book 'Finding the Right Kind of Loud'. More recently, we have also welcomed Anne Gregory, with her co-authored book 'Strategic Public Relations Leadership' and finally, the dream team Advita Patel and Priya Bates who chatted through their impressive work on 'Building a Culture of Inclusivity'.

We Want to Hear From You!

If you have been to any of our Meet the Author events over the past few months, thank you! At VMA GROUP we really take pride in what we do; yes, we are recruitment consultants, but we also want to help you expand your knowledge and grow your own networks. For now, Meet the Author will take a short break for the remainder of the summer, but rest assured we already have something scheduled for October, and there will be more Meet the Author events to come!

Finally, we want to take this time to welcome your suggestions and ideas for future events and we would love to hear your feedback.

If you are keen to get in touch regarding Meet the Author, please contact Crystle Pearce via email: meettheauthor@vmagroup.com<