Page 1






��������� �������� ���������������������������� ��������������������������

������������������������ ���������������

������������������������������������� �������������������

���������������������� ��������

����������������������������������� ���������������������������

��������������������� ����������������

���������������������������������������� ���������������������������������


Virginie Coulloudon Transparency International

Gianluca Comin Enel

Stacey Minton Celgene International

Blake Cahill Philips

Sean MacNiven SAP

Martin von Arronet Electrolux

Lars Silberbauer Andersen LEGO Group

Julia Leihener Deutsche Telekom

Christof Ehrhart Deutsche Post DHL

Kate James Pearson

José María Palomares ING Spain


������� Anthony Lamy Facebook

Paula Hanneman

John McLaren AkzoNobel

10 /11

Dana White Renault-Nissan Alliance

JULY 2014


Patrick Kammerer Coca-Cola

Martin D. Hirsch Roche Pharma

Constance Kann European Investment Bank

Christian Lawrence Munich Re

Adrian Monck World Economic Forum

Caroline Wouters Wolters Kluwer

W W W. C O M M U N I C AT I O N - S U M M I T. E U

Jaume Duch Guillot The European Parliament





James Woudhuysen De Montfort University

Luca Biondolillo Benetton


Thierry Nicolet Schneider Electric

NOW! Virginie Louis Red Cross EU Office




Arja Suominen Finnair


Thomas Armitage Mondelez International


Pete Blackshaw Nestlé

David Shing AOL

Didrik de Schaetzen ALDE Party

Oliver Bartelt Anheuser-Busch InBev

Pascal Finette Entrepreneur & formerly Mozilla Labs

Médard Schoenmaeckers HSBC Bank


Dani Meyer Danone


Magazine for Corporate Communications and Public Relations

Jimmy Maymann The Huffington Post

Claudio Albanese Juventus Football Club



f you went out on the street and asked a random selection of passers-by, “What would you rather lose, your wallet or your smartphone? ” I’m certain that the majority would reply “wallet”. We are so dependent – personally and professionally – on the kind of easy and quick access to the online world offered to us by smartphones that for many of us life without this access is unimaginable. And the more dependent we become on this access, the more time we spend online, the more our expectations of life, work on society are inf luenced by digital developments. Social platforms, the sharing economy, augmented reality, web 3.0, the internet of things – these are more than just buzzwords, these are the signs and signif iers of a time in history where the silo walls between off- and online are being irrevocably blurred. If a signif icant proportion of your audience interacts with your organisation online, then you and your team really must anticipate and embrace the next digital stage. That is the idea behind the Storyteller section of this issue of Communication Director. We have invited professionals and professors to examine trends including collaborative platforms, open source software, startup acceleration, personalised branding, copyright and privacy, online video, the impact of technological innovation, and developing digitals strategies that match your organisation. Also, Jimmy Maymann, the chief executive off icer of The Huff ington Post and as such someone who has keen insights into how the media landscape has responded to the challenge of digital, shares his views in our regular Big Interview section. As always, limitations of time and space inevitably mean that we can only explore the observable digital universe – what lies beyond is as distant and unknowable as undiscovered planets. But for now, you are welcome on board our exploratory f light.

Marc-Oliver Voigt Publisher

Photo: Private





“Researchers tend to agree that intuition is a manifestation of expertise.”

“Is there anything more to this shift in papal outreach than a cosmetic rebranding?”



How to improve personnel management and your career

The latest in communication thought and practice

Reaching out with corporate apps Apps remain great tools for connecting with customers

PR ESSENTIALS Key aspects of corporate communication and public relations


28 32

How to know when and when not to go with your gut instincts in the workplace

Communication chiefs at iconic internet firms

Eugene Sadler-Smith



The feelgood factor When is the creation of regulatory fit through communications beneficial to an organisation?

Looking back at landmark communications


Lost in translation While there is no formula for global campaigns, basic truths can stop you from getting lost in translation



A brief outline of brand Hungary With its rich history, now is the time to celebrate 50 years of public relations in Hungary


Why communicators working in emerging markets must learn to embrace opportunity


Pope Francis, stakeholder governance and contemporary management

György Szondi

Adapting to change Tomas Jensen

A new state of grace? Toni Muzi Falconi

Tracy Benelli


Learning from intuitive hits and misses

The prophets of innovation

Daniel Laufer


Is communicating a downsizing truly the art of the impossible?

Helle Kryger Aggerholm

The corporate and academic stand on communication


Delivering bad news

Key communicators under the spotlight


Jimmy Maymann Insights into the new media landscape from the chief executive officer of The Huffington Post

Photos:; Wikimedia Commons / manhhai




“News is in a place now that’s not very different from where music was before iTunes.”

STORY TELLER Looking at the important questions of communication


The online world is in a state of flux

One example of cooperation between a major corporation and ambitious young startups


Photo: Johannes Worsøe Berg

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Emotional impact remains an essential ingredient in video, especially when it comes to online engagement

Frank Schwab and Astrid Carolus


The transformative effect of technology Innovations in the payments industry present exciting new challenges to communicators

Eleanor Orebi Gann

Karolien Poels and Evert Van den Broeck


Big content: a story of relevance and trust What does the sharing economy mean for the time-honoured concept of copyright?

Book Reviews


Dispensing digital vitamins

Infinite new horizons

European Association of Communication Directors


Companies can benefit from the open-source approach in a variety of bold new ways

Why is the office sacred? Cultural and technological shifts call for new and radically different work tools and practices

A round up of recent and forthcoming titles


“Walking the talk”

The latest developments in the EACD


Sebastian Spaeth and Georg von Krogh


What makes a web 3.0 digital communication strategy successful?

How do online privacy concerns interfere with the effectiveness of personalised brand messaging?

Interview with Pete Blackshaw



Personalisation and the privacy paradox

Caroline Wouters


When playing catch up won’t do the trick Hubert Callay d’Amato

An accelerated pulse Julian Geist



Surfing the next wave Dafydd Phillips


“Some personal data are less likely to induce privacy concerns than others.”

The personal side of communication directors


Inge Wallage Communications and Engagement Director, International Water Association



AGENDA SETTER The latest in communication thought and practice

REACHING OUT WITH CORPORATE APPS What are the ingredients that ensure your corporate app stands out from the crowd? By Dafydd Phillips


pps have shaped the way people experience the internet. They first began appearing in 2008, and by 2010 “app” was named Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society. A May 2012 comScore study reported that, during the previous quarter, more mobile subscribers used apps than browsed the web on their devices. Although observers hold that the market is peaked in 2013, the range and breadth of corporate apps shows no signs of letting up, as three recent award-winning example from diverse industry sectors testify.

A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT Customers looking for an immediate deal on a hotel for the night could do worse than look to their smartphone: the app of hotel booking website offers access to more than 260,000 hotels worldwide in more than 25,000 destinations, and

We wanted a more universal app across both phone and tablet, and we needed a more extensible design.


features an abundance of hotel guest reviews and lastminute deals, helping to make the arduous task of finding a room for the night just a finger tap away. The app has gathered over 33,000 ratings on iTunes and in February this year, released a redesigned version. According to Adam Jay, vice president of global product at, the redesign was for several reasons: “On the technical side,” he says, “we wanted a more universal app across both phone and tablet, and we needed a more extensible design which could support a rapid stream of new 02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR

features” (extensibility is a system design principle where the implementation takes future growth into consideration). “On the customer side, we saw an opportunity to create a more visually rich experience. We wanted to do a better job supporting ‘deals for tonight’, which make up a large proportion of iPhone bookings, we improved the offline experience and we put maps at the heart of the search. We also wanted to embed our loyalty programme, Welcome Rewards, more comprehensively into the app experience.” Describing the app as a collaborative, entirely in-house effort by the user experience design team and the brand department, Adam reveals that the process takes around 10 months: two to three in order to develop the “core” user experience design and a further eight in building the app, including, he says, adding enhancements to support the mobile experience more effectively. “There is actually considerable complexity around hotel e-commerce,” he explains, “and the team found a great balance of speed and quality.”

A DIGITAL PRESENCE Clearly, it is important to improve the customer experience of an app and, by


extension, a brand, but what other purposes can a branded app serve? The Danish Cancer Society could teach corproations a thing or two about succesfull app design. It describes Liv Med Kræft (Life with Cancer) as “the first Danish smartphone app intended to empower and support cancer patients.” Winner of the Mobile and Apps category in the 2013 Digital Communication Awards, the app bridges the offline and online worlds by connecting cancer patients and their relatives with others going through similar experiences, as well as with doctors and counsellors. Hanne Sandvang, the Society’s head of web and new media, says “our counselling services are brilliant. But how would you find them without a digital presence?” In fact, according to Hanne, the digital contact points for cancer patients and their families outnumbers the amount of offline contacts “by far.”

Screenshots:; Danish Cancer Society

Liv Med Kræft from the Danish Cancer Society

Searching for the right hotel deal with an app from

However, not only does the app serve the needs of cancer patients, it also conveys important messages about the Danish Cancer Society. As Hanne puts it, the app is way of “showing (rather than telling) that it is important to support our cause financially…. in a way, we use all our channels to tell our users that we are not governmentfunded, which unfortunately a lot of Danes think. It is an important statement that we need their financial support to keep up the good work.” Another important element of the app, and one that highlights an important issue that many corporate apps must navigate, is privacy: in the app’s cancer forum, users are able to create anonymous profiles including details of their illness. As Hanne explains, “Cancer information is personal and should be possible to delete when you are through the disease, in one way or another. The discussions and blogs in the cancer forum are not indexed by Google in order to protect our users’ information. Of course it is quite a challenge not being visible in Google search, but we regard it as necessary.” The app is by no means the sum of the Danish Cancer Society’s digital endeavours. In addition to the app, the Society has a presence on, among others, Facebook (the Society’s page is one of the most popular Danish Facebook pages), Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Identifying which platforms work best for the Society is another of Hanne’s responsibilities. “It depends on the purpose of the social media. Facebook is personal, LinkedIn professional, Twitter political, YouTube search and visual, Instagram instant visual, Pinterest aesthetic visual and 02/2014



links. We want a relevant presence on different media, and be where the users are. In my opinion, without a digital presence we would be invisible and fail in our purpose. Most people search the internet first thing after they get a diagnosis.”

the successful advertising campaign of a few years ago and it is amazing that it continues to be appreciated and downloaded.” Above all, the variety of the company’s app offerings is a timely reminder that today, companies have to become content producers. Says Viviana, “Big companies with important and recognised brands are increasingly communicating through stories and editorial content, becoming themselves producers of content for new digital channels, such as apps, web sites, video and social networks.” Eni’s corporate apps are designed and developed by a team of people from the web and digital communications department together with the company’s external digital agency, before being built by Eni’s information and communications technology department. The app development team also works in close cooperation with the company’s communication department, who regularly monitor reactions to the apps: screens and icons follow Eni’s brand communication guidelines, that are then adapted in line with digital communication standards.

RICH CONTENT A vital ingredient of any corporate app strategy is, of course, content – the words and images that will make people keep hitting that refresh button. Italian energy firm Eni has several apps, ranging from the corporate app to a digital travel notebook, a world energy and economic atlas, a car-sharing app and even a “sandartist” app where users can draw and record their artistic creations – in sand. According to Viviana Esposti, web press officer at Eni, there is a kind of playful logic behind Eni’s choice of apps. “For Eni, travel is always associated with the car and therefore filling up at our service stations. We also thought it would be useful to offer motorists the possibility of finding good restaurants along the way and this gave rise to the partnership between Eni and the printed guide Fuoricasello for the creation of a dedicated app. Eni’s Sandartist app, meanwhile, is linked to

HEADS UP Finally, some words of advice for those about to embark on a development (or redesign) of a corporate app. According to Viviana Esposti, “it is important, before creating a product, to clearly define what your objectives are in terms of brand awareness, communication and marketing. That is also the only way to counteract the resistance of those who are sceptical about the potential of the new digital tools.” Adam Jay recommends understanding “the real problems you are trying to solve. Then iterate, iterate, iterate. Test, test, test.”

Creating art with the Sandartist app from Eni



Screenshot: Eni


PR ESSENTIALS Key aspects of communications

THE PROPHETS OF INNOVATION Heads of communication at the major players of the digital economy BUZZFEED Founded 2006 Headquarters New York City Type of site News & entertainment Website Slogan The Media Company for the Social Age

Ashley McCollum Vice President Business Development and Communications Start date February 2012 Previous position Coordinator, NBC News Communications



Founded February 4 2004 Headquarters Menlo Park, CA Type of site Social networking service Revenue $7.87 billion (2013) Users 1.28 billion (monthly active, March 2014)

Founded 2003 Headquarters Mountain View, CA Type of site Social networking service Revenue $1.52 billion (2013) Users 277 million

Elliot Schrage Vice President Communications and Public Policy Start date May 2008 Previous position Vice President, Global Communications & Public Affairs, Google

Shannon Stubo Vice President Corporate Communications Start date 2010 Previous position Senior Director of Corporate Communications at OpenTable, Inc


Photos: Private; Thomas Williams





Founded April 4 1975 Headquarters Redmond, WA Revenue $77.85 billion (2013) Employees101, 914 (March 2014) Products Windows, OfďŹ ce, Xbox, Bing, Skype and more

Founded June 1998 Headquarters San Jose, CA Revenue $5.6 billion (2012) Business e-commerce

Christina Smedley Vice President Global Brand and Communications Start date 2012 (as Vice President, Global Communications) Previous position Global Chair Consumer Marketing, Edelman

Frank X. Shaw Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Corporate Communication Start date August 2009 Previous position President of Microsoft Accounts Worldwide, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

The most exciting aspect of the communicator’s job in the digital economy is the speed with which a message can be transmitted and the targeting that can be achieved. While the shift to digital media has put an end to the news cycle and created the challenge of a massively fractionalised audience, it has also created social media and thematic destination sites and distribution that allow both instantaneous communication and narrow-casting based on specific interests. Vincent Sollitto,


Photos: Private; Brian Smale; Private; (3)

Founded 2007 Headquarters Berlin Type of site Social networking service, music website Users 40 million registered users, 200 million listeners

Kristina Weise Director, Global Public Relations Start date August 2011 Previous position Senior Account Executive, Outcast Agency

SPOTIFY Founded 2006 Headquarters London and Stockholm Type of site Music streaming service Active Users Over 24 million Songs added per day Over 20,000

Angela Watts Vice President Global Communications Start date January 2010 Previous position Director of Communications, Yahoo!




Founded March 21 2006 Headquarters San Francisco, CA Revenue $664 million (2013) Users 645,750,000 (January 2014) Tweets per day 58 million (January 2014)

Gabriel Stricker Vice President Marketing and Communications Start date 2012 Previous position Director Global Communications and Public Affairs, Google

Kristina Weise, Spotify

WIKIPEDIA Launched January 15 2001 Wikimedia Headquarters San Francisco, CA Type of site Internet encyclopaedia Users 129,828 active editors (April 2014) Articles 30 million in 287 languages

Founded 2003 Headquarters Hamburg Website Revenue 184.8 million euro (2013) Members 14 million (2013)

Katherine Maher Chief Communications OfďŹ cer, Wikipedia Foundation Start date April 14 2014 Previous position Advocacy Director, Access

Marc-Sven Kopka Vice President Corporate Communications Start date January 2010 Previous position Group Head Corporate Communications, WestLB AG

YELP Founded October 2004 Headquarters San Francisco, CA Type of site Business ratings and reviews Revenue $233 million (2013) Employees 1,984 (December 2013)



Vincent Sollitto Vice President of Corporate Communications Start date April 2009 Previous position Vice President, Corporate Communications, Cuil


The future of digital corporate communication lies in telling great stories that blur the lines between digital and physical/new media and old media, and educate, inspire and inform regardless of medium. Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft

Photos: Troy Holden; Private (2); Gabriela Hasbun

The next step in digital communications is to go offline to engage with reporters and not assume social will do all the work. Media relations is about forming meaningful connections with your company’s beat reporters by actually reading their coverage and educating yourself on what they are and are not writing about.


STRATEGIC THINKER The corporate and academic stand on communication

THE FEELGOOD FACTOR During a crisis, corporate communications can benefit the organisation by the careful creation of regulatory fit. By Daniel Laufer



heories from psychology have been incorporated in corporate communications for many years in order to enhance the effectiveness of a company’s message dealing with a crisis. For example, W. Timothy Coombs’ well-known Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) applies attribution theory to crisis communications and recommends crisis response strategies based on reputational threat levels. 02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR

Another well-known theory from psychology that has the potential for enhancing the effectiveness of corporate communications during a crisis is regulatory focus theory, a goal pursuit theory regarding peoples‘ perceptions in the decision making process. Could incorporating regulatory focus theory in a company’s crisis communications be


theory is that people have one of two primary orientations: a ‘promotion orientation’ and a ‘prevention orientation’. A promotion orientation is characteristic of people who are motivated by achievements, and a prevention orientation is characteristic of people who are motivated to avoid failures. A key factor identified as influencing an individual’s regulatory orientation is parenting styles they are exposed to during their childhood. Individuals who are raised in environments with positive reinforcements are more likely to develop promotion orientations, whereas individuals who are raised in environments with negative reinforcements are more likely to develop a prevention orientation. Parenting styles in western cultures such as North America and Europe are more likely to incorporate positive reinforcement, and eastern cultures such as China, Japan and South Korea are more likely to incorporate negative reinforcement. As a result, we are more likely to find more promotion orientation in western cultures and more prevention orientation in eastern cultures.

helpful during a crisis? This article describes this important issue based on research that I have been conducting over the past few years with my colleagues. As I will discuss below, the crisis communications context differs considerably from the advertising domain where much of the research on regulatory focus theory has been conducted. Therefore, it is important to understand the unique nature of the crisis communication context before incorporating regulatory focus theory in a company’s crisis communications. Regulatory focus theory is an influential theory from the field of psychology that was developed by psychologist E. Tory Higgins. The theory’s impact extends beyond psychology and it has been incorporated extensively in the field of marketing, particularly in the area of advertising and persuasion. A major premise of regulatory focus

A QUESTION OF ORIENTATION Whereas culture plays a role in the regulatory orientation of people, companies can also assess the predominant regulatory orientation of their target audiences by looking at their positioning strategies as well. For example, Volvo’s slogan “Safe and Sound” is more likely to attract a more prevention-oriented consumer segment, while BMW’s “Driv-

The company can tailor its corporate communications more effectively by incorporating a message that is consistent with the target audience’s regulatory orientation. ing Pleasure” is more likely to attract a more promotionoriented segment. Identifying the regulatory orientation of a company’s target audience is important because the company can tailor its corporate communications more effectively by incorporating a message that is consistent with the target audience’s regulatory orientation. The alignment of a company’s message with the regulatory orientation of the target audience creates regulatory fit. A good example of the creation of regulatory fit is from a study we conducted involving product recall communications about laptops with overheating batteries. In order to create regulatory fit with a target audience consisting of consumers with a predominately promotion orientation, we included the following text in the product re02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR



LOST IN TRANSLATION Five essential truths mark the majority of successful world-wide campaigns and help bridge the global-local divide.

T 20

here is no exact formula for global marketing campaigns. During my time in global communications, I have learnt that each and every campaign has its own requirements, features and challenges, which makes it, at times, a bewildering prospect. This said, there are five truths that typically hold for the majority of global campaigns; pillars I steadfastly abide by when preparing, executing and optimising a campaign. What might be surprising to know is that many of these global principles conversely are focused on locality. Why? I believe that the rationale is best demonstrated with an example: There is a series of television adverts from a wellknown international bank that perfectly sum up how to run multi-region campaigns. The ads are designed to un-


derline that the bank is both international yet local at the same time. It does this by serving some great examples of local cultural nuances, the small habits and traditions that could cause disparity in our globalised business world. In one of the ads, we are light-heartedly told how an Englishman, sitting down to eat with a group of Chinese businessmen, understands that in his culture it is polite to finish all your meal to demonstrate your satisfaction and gratitude – but in Chinese culture, finishing all your meal is a sign that your host has not been generous with the portions. This leads to a farcical


By Tracy Benelli


cycle of the Englishman finishing his bowl of food only for replenishments to be hurriedly brought out. As marketers running global campaigns, what we are trying to avoid is this kind of cultural faux pas – or more specifically, we want to avoid our messages being lost in translation. The most effective campaigns use humour embedded within a known cultural context. But this, of course, requires that the campaign has local knowledge and application. For this reason, my number one rule, or truth, of running a multi-regional marketing campaign is to make sure you have a trusted team in each region. If your business is not yet

Socialising strategies among the team and encouraging co-creation will set up the campaign for victory. at the stage where it can afford to have directly employed teams in every country it serves, then it pays dividends to at least use a reliable agency or freelance marketer to help avoid being lost in translation. Look for someone who knows the local market and culture, as well as someone who can push back when they see something that really won’t work. But it is not merely about having people on the ground in every market your campaign will be serving; you should ensure you have the necessary skill sets within your extended team (directly employed or otherwise). Understanding the culture and having teams with emotional intelligence – that is those who can execute a level of organisational awareness and manage relationships effectively in market – is crucial to success.

These qualities ensure that the planning and creation phase of a global campaign is a collaborative process. Socialising strategies among the team and encouraging cocreation will set up the campaign for victory – and, for the most part, prevent unforeseen issues arising later.

ALL AROUND THE WORLD If we bring ourselves full circle and start at the beginning, running a global campaign is all about asking the right questions from the get-go – this is my second truth. We need to know: who we are; what we do; where we are going; why we matter; and what we bring to the market. Once you have short and easily understood answers to these questions you can build your business vision (or product/campaign vision), and the content needed to support it. This is where your regional managers and teams really come into play, but I must stress that at Dell Software, we already would have given our regional teams input during the development stage. Obviously a hierarchy of sorts needs to be adhered to (too many cooks…), but the intelligence, opinions and ideas of our regional teams are vital. For example, in Germany, Dell Software’s public relations team uses global public relations and marketing firm Waggener Edstrom Communications, which has provided valuable input to help us shape campaigns specific to DACHS. WHY GO GLOBAL? In a world that is growing evermore interpolated, global marketing campaigns make a lot of sense. They allow for consistency of message and worldwide outreach, which, in a connected world, enables brands to achieve global domination in one fell swoop. This said, the appeal driven by the widespread nature of global campaigns could, in fact, prove to be its own worst enemy. In driving content and assets to suit all, a campaign can teeter on the edge of becoming a marketing automaton. Ignoring the idiosyncrasies of individual markets could spell disaster – one size certainly does not fit all. This is why a global-local approach to marketing campaigns is so crucial. While a campaign may be rolled out across anywhere from 10 to 50 countries, and by its very nature be a “global” campaign, there must be adequate attention paid to local nuances – this is my third truth. Market-specific plans and tactics ensure that brands cannot only receive a bigger bang for their buck, but also tick the internal box of keeping country marketing leads onside. After all, keeping everyone on the same page can prove one of the most challenging aspects of going global. It is important to remember that for a global marketing cam02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR



ADAPTING TO CHANGE Communicators working in emerging markets need to readjust their strategic approach in order to meet specific challenges.

W 24

hen communicators with a background in mature markets move into emerging markets, the first inclination is often to change their entire approach and scale down on planning, execution and expected results. However, communicators should apply the same standards and expectations in emerging markets as they do in mature, less dynamic markets. As I will lay out, significant differences do exist but they mainly have an impact on the execution level, not when it comes to planning, analysing, integrating or measuring. And, as is so often the case, many of the perceived challenges are actually opportunities to establish leaner processes, to take new positioning angles and to drive different audience approaches. No matter where they are in the world, most emerging markets face comparable macroeconomic and infrastructural factors: relatively young populations, high unem-


ployment rates, low internet bandwidths, centralised and/or immature media market and so on. Also, on a microeconomic level, communications departments in emerging markets usually have to deal with few resources. Because the challenges are usually pointed out as the main differentiators between more saturated, less dynamic markets on the one hand and emerging markets on the other, I would like to describe the communication challenges that I have perceived and which can be turned around and used as opportunities.

CHALLENGES First, it is hard to find good talent. Educational pro-

Photo: Whitehouse

By Tomas Jensen


grammes and faculties for corporate communications hardly exist anywhere, whether we look at Africa, the Middle East or Asia, so young, entry-level candidates have to be trained since they are not ready to hit the ground running. And, logically, more senior level professionals are heavily fought for as the talent pool is small. Second, the allocation of resources dedicated to corporate communications does not match the growth potential. Many companies today stress the strategic importance of emerging markets as the core area of growth. Yet most marketing and communications budgets are deďŹ ned as a percentage of the present revenue, which in comparison is still rather small in most cases compared to the average European market. Third, media often lacks the expertise and maturity to develop their own stories. Many media representatives, even tier one media, mostly copy and paste press releases. Finally, our profession still struggles with perception issues. In many markets, public relations professionals are being seen as some sort of superďŹ cial customer service and a strategic approach to corporate communications is largely unheard of. One of the traits communicators in emerging markets should have is to not accept the status quo; meaning that every challenge can be used as an opportunity. This requires creativity, stamina and conviction, but any of the above-mentioned challenges can have a positive impact on short and long-term external and internal perception changes. Let me share some personal experiences that can be generalised and applied in many scenarios across emerging markets communications.

I. It is important to become an educator and nurture your own talent from the ground up. Key stakeholders in emerging markets should be brought together regularly, and platforms should be created for fostering exchange, developing joint messages and adopting best practices, as well as for connecting emerging markets stories with the rest of the world. It is also important to create a virtual team that regularly gets together and acts as a catalyst to leverage, use synergies and make stories grow outside of their natural habitat. II. The ultimate goal should not only be to build capacity amongst the corporate communications community; you should also aim to empower the media to become more familiar with research techniques, and partners to better understand integrated marketing tools. For example, at Microsoft in the Middle East and Africa, I initiated an Information and Communications Technology University for Media as well as a Partner PR Academy. In both cases, my team was able to build better relationships with audiences as well as build their capacity on the topics delivered. III. On another dimension, owned media has become increasingly important for brands. Larger markets have seen a splintering of audiences as media outlets become more niche in focus in order to survive. Plus, editorial space in print and broadcast has shrunk as their own resources have constricted. In emerging regions, the media markets are often not mature, so owned channels are alluring for very similar reasons. IV. Recently, there has been buzz around the potential impact of creative, digital content, whether video or infographics. For emerging markets, we see the impact of creative assets in an especially profound way: as media

One of the traits communicators in emerging markets should have is to not accept the status quo; meaning that every challenge can be used as an opportunity. 25 often lacks the expertise and maturity to develop their own stories, they genuinely appreciate this type of prefabricated content. With an audience-led approach that guides content so that it is useful and interesting to targeted end audiences, getting editorial placement is not unusual. 02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR


How to improve personnel management and your career

DELIVERING BAD NEWS Communications during a downsizing process are never easy, but must be managed for the good of all involved. By Helle Kryger Aggerholm


tudies have repeatedly demonstrated the prevalence of employee reductions as a commonly used managerial tool to increase productivity and strengthen corporate efficiency and competitiveness in both public and private sector organisations. However, a variety of studies illustrate how downsizing not only has negative implications for the downsized but also seem to contain destructive elements for the survivors, having pervasive impact on their subsequent communication networks, perceptions and attitudes. Therefore, before managers or communicators embark on the difficult task of handling the downsizing, it is pivotal to have a thorough understanding of the different aspects and pitfalls of the process.


HOW TO UNDERSTAND DOWNSIZING Downsizing can be defined as “the planning, implementation and management of dialogical communication processes and activities in relation to various actors and stakeholders with the aim of deliberately reducing the number of employees.” Such conceptualisation includes elements of power, politics and strategic thinking as well as the creation of new meaning during the process, reflecting the organisational culture and values. It also perceives management and employee communication as decisive for the acceptance of the restructuring strategy. Researchers and practitioners have traditionally focused on the implementation of the downsizing decision itself together with the difficult conversations that follow. Within this understanding, downsizing is dealt with as an unpleasant isolated event with the purpose of adjusting the corporate activities, after which the communicative 02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR

and managerial purpose is to re-establish and normalise the organisation. In this process, the purpose of the carefully planned, sender-controlled communication is to orient organisational members of the management’s decision to downsize and to inform the redundant employees that they no longer have a future with the company.


ronment, one-dimensional change interventions are likely to generate only short-term results and heighten instability rather than reduce it. Thus, the focus within downsizing processes should be on the complex interrelationship between individuals, groups and organisation, in which change is a blend of rational decision-making processes, individual perceptions, political battles and establishment of coalitions.

However, when management decides to downsize, the organisation comes under pressure and can experience a state of crisis. Inspired by crisis management, it makes sense to extend the communicative focus within downsizing to not only include the dismissal itself but also comprise the different stages before, during and after the reductions. Opposed to understanding downsizing as an isolated phenomenon, a process-oriented change perspective does not operate with a beginning or an end. On the contrary, downsizing occurs across functions and hierarchical divisions and should be seen as a complex, political and cultural process in which the organisational attitudes, structures and strategies are challenged and changed. In today’s business envi-

A PROCESS VIEW In the pre-downsizing stage, the decision to downsize contains a series of strategic considerations that come before its implementation: how does the downsizing strategy link up with the overall corporate strategy? What does the company want to achieve by the reductions? Which employees should be made redundant? And how should the actual reductions be implemented? All these considerations need to be communicated both internally and externally. After this, the process enters its second stage: implementation. This stage is mainly composed of dialogue between the various organisational members, who individually and together make sense of the new organisational reality. Finally, the process moves into a post-downsizing stage dominated by all the consequences of the downsizing, such as survivor syndrome among the remaining employees. Since the future of a company is based on the survivors’ performance and results, it makes sense to ensure their commitment, motivation and loyalty. Studies have demonstrated how surviving employees often react negatively to reductions, including stress, dissatisfaction, disloyalty, resistance to change, lack of commitment, absenteeism, intention to leave the company and decrease in job performance. Employees often become narrow-minded, self-centered and risk averse as they lose trust in the management and the corporate future. MANAGEMENT COMMUNICATION IN A DOWNSIZING After a downsizing it must be assumed that the re-

maining employees represent indispensable knowledge and resources of pivotal importance to the company. Therefore, it becomes critical if these people subsequently leave the organisation. Unfortunately, this is quite common. Generally, organisations are aware of the importance of communicating with the surviving employees. However, the communication is first and foremost based on an idea of disseminating managerially-controlled information with the purpose of facilitating a planned change process in the form of employee reductions and their derived organisational changes. Since managements rarely seem 02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR



LEARNING FROM INTUITIVE HITS AND MISSES It is important to acknowledge the vital role played by your gut feelings in all aspects of work.



ether we like it or not, we have all experienced intuition. It is often in in situations where we are faced with a complex and potentially-life changing decision for ourselves, our employees or our business. It can be a hard-to-pin-down vibe given off by a candidate in a selection interview, a knee-jerk reaction to a pitch from a public relations agency, a hunch about a risky new project tabled at a board meeting or in any number of complex decision-making or problem-solving situations. We don’t invite intuitions in, they gatecrash our experience. We 02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR

don’t know where they come from, seemingly arising out of the blue. They tend to be sticky, nagging away at us until we give them our attention. They are pervasive, and can be very persuasive, in professional and personal life, ubiquitous across situations and cultures, and potentially powerful and perilous in equal measure. For these reasons it is vital that managers acknowledge and understand intuition, are able to interpret their own and other peoples’


By Eugene Sadler-Smith


intuitions, and can use intuition in discerning and discriminating ways rather than being beguiled or hindered by their gut feelings.

ACKNOWLEDGING INTUITION Surveys and studies of in-

tuition in use reveal that managers find intuition to be a viable decision making tool: (1) in sensing potential problems, for example when someone’s story doesn’t ‘add up’ or there is an ethical dilemma; (2) when they need to perform well-learned behaviour patterns rapidly; (3) if expectations are violated, for example when we expect a situation to go a certain way but it doesn’t - this can set off the intuitive alarm bell; (4) in synthesising the bigger picture - when faced with multiple isolated bits of data and information, harnessing intuition lets managers stand back, avoid ‘analysis paralysis’, and sense how the pieces might fit together in a coherent and convincing way; (5) in checking-out the results of rational analytics with a sense for whether the data stacks up or not -– intuition can be deployed when the hard data, or our analysis of it, doesn’t feel quite right. This can prompt us to seek-out more or better data, or to take a new or different look at the data we have and the way it has been analysed. Senior managers tend to make greater use of intuition than middle or junior managers and use of intuition is related to job type: for example it is used more commonly in marketing and human resources than in finance and accounting (incidentally, there is no strong evidence for the stereotype of female intuition). These findings recur in multiple types of organisations large and small. That said there are organisational cultures where it may not be acceptable to acknowledge or

use intuition. But given that intuitions are rapid, involuntary and pervasive this situation is potentially problematic. It can force managers to rely on intuitions covertly and make-up rational reasons for a decision when they may actually be acting on their gut feelings. A further danger is that this can impede managers in learning from their intuitive successes and failures and prevent them from developing better intuitive judgement.

UNDERSTANDING INTUITION Researchers tend to agree that intuition is a manifestation of expertise and some even refer to it as ‘expert intuition’ or ‘intuitive expertise’. One way to think of intuitive expertise is as “analyses frozen into habit and the capacity for rapid response through recognition” (Nobel laureate Herbert Simon’s definition of intuition). Experienced managers can report knowing what to do in complex, fast-moving situations where they have to process multiple cues simultaneously and take a decision or solve a problem under time pressure with limited information. Curiously though, if asked to explain their reasoning such intuitive experts may end-up being perplexed because they cannot unpack their intuition into an analytical explanation. It is possible to know without knowing how or why we know. The key to this is pattern recognition. Experts in any field, from management to musical performance, have an extensive database of knowledge, skills and action scripts held in long-term memory. These patterns make up complex mental models of the world built-up through formal

Researchers tend to agree that intuition is a manifestation of expertise and some even refer to it as ‘expert intuition’ or ‘intuitive expertise’. learning, exposure to challenging real-word problems, and from constructive and timely feedback. Novices lack complex mental models so they tend to deploy the rules and procedures they have been taught in an un-nuanced way without taking the subtleties of the context into account. Intuitive experts on the other hand have the skill to be able to discriminate quickly and seemingly with little cognitive effort between large numbers of contextual variables. They are able to arrive rapidly at a viable course of action without considering exhaustively the full range of options. This “intuitive muscle power”, as the decision researcher Gary Klein refers to it, is built-up through deliberate, focused and sustained efforts in appropriate situ02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR



Looking back at landmark communications

A NEW STATE OF GRACE? Pope Francis seems to have turned around press coverage of the Vatican. Comparing his approach with those of his predecessors also teaches us about stakeholder governance and contemporary communication management.



or centuries, political, religious and volunteer-led organisations considered the process of recruitment of individuals around ideas, values and issues as their true core business, with the ultimate aim that the recruited in turn become advocates-at-scale. Only in recent years have commercially driven corporations begun to transfer their own stakeholder relationships efforts from a ‘nice-to-have’ feature to a structural and strategic part of their core businesses. Also, traditional customer relationships efforts to increase sales are rapidly up-scaling to a wider and more sophisticated involvement of carefully-identified internal and external stakeholder groups: idea by idea, value by value, issue by issue. Organisations who intend to be sustainable are mandated to adopt a communicating-with-stakehold02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR

ers approach for better achieving their licence to operate, in large part abandoning the 20th century model of one-to-many communication. This new approach is quickly becoming essential not only for communicators but for each single organisational function whose managers are aware that relationships with their own stakeholder groups are only truly effective when that process is coordinated through an institutionalised role, directly reporting to and in constant proximity of the organisation’s leadership. Most of all, this coordinating role needs to listen

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / manhhai

By Toni Muzi Falconi


The nave of St. Peter’s Basilica during the opening session of the Second Vatican Council on 11 October 1962

to and interpret frequently-conflicting stakeholder expectations before objectives are defined and implemented, as well as by adopting ongoing, integrated multi-stakeholder and multi-channel policies.

In 1963, Pope Paul VI issued a decree on social communication. In this conceptual framework (institutional proximity to leadership of the function, and recruitment of stakeholders to advocate an organisation’s unique values and characteristics), the dramatic turnaround led by Pope Francis of the Vatican State, until recently a highly-troubled religious organisation, emerges as a revealing case history.

A COMMUNICATION DECREE Since the inception of Propaganda Fide, created in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV to promote and organise evangelisation in the New World, as well as to buffer the rising Protes-

tantism in the Old World, the Catholic church has become a significant part of what one today would define global proto-public relations practice and may be considered one of the first global organisations to adopt a ‘relationships with publics’ perspective. Also, the requirement, in place since Propaganda Fide’s inception, that missionaries regularly report on cultural and social developments from the territories in which they operate, indicates a strong attention to organisational listening (perhaps as an extension of the confession, the interpersonal listening tool that is a unique characteristic of the Catholic church). In 1963, in the context of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI issued a decree on social communication with his Inter Mirifica decree. Together with the annual official documents on the same issue that have been promulgated by the pope ever since, this decree remains a fundamental point of reference for anyone studying Vatican outreach. Here are some brief excerpts:

1 The church welcomes and promotes with special interest those (technological discoveries) which have a most direct relation to men’s minds and which have uncovered new avenues of communicating most readily news, views and teachings of every sort.... 2 The church recognises that these media, if properly utilised, can be of great service to mankind… . The church recognises, too, that men can employ these media contrary to the plan of the Creator and to their own loss... 3 The Catholic church….considers it one of its duties to announce the Good News of salvation also with the help of the media of social communication and to instruct men in their proper use. It is, therefore, an inherent right of the church to have at its disposal and to employ any of these media... Also, the same decree sanctions the transition from the term ‘propaganda’ to that of ‘communication’. Pope Gregory XV coined the term propaganda and the term did not carry negative connotations until it became associated with Fascist and Communist publicity after the first world war. Together with Giovanni Eugenio Tomassetti, a student currently enrolled in the master of science in corporate communication at USI Lugano, I am currently studying 35 years of Vatican outreach to the world in three different geopolitical contexts. What follows is only a brief summary of our findings based on intensive consultation of documents and in-depth interviews with top-level Vatican expert analysts, observers and protagonists. 02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR



A Malév aeroplane flies over Budapest. The Hungarian national airline’s bankruptcy was a textbook example of poor crisis communication

A BRIEF OUTLINE OF BRAND HUNGARY Even before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Hungary had a robust public relations sector that continues to flourish.



n November 2014 Europe will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which marked the birth of market economies in eastern Europe. According to the popular view, the fall of communism also marked the birth of the public relations industry in several eastern European countries. Many (western) writers are of the view that “there was no public relations in eastern Europe before 1989 because the 02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR

concept was not acceptable under socialism.” This statement may hold true for Bulgaria (see the 01/2014 issue of this magazine) or Yugoslavia but it definitely does not for Hungary, where public relations dates back to the 1960s when the country embarked on economic and political liberalisation.


By György Szondi


PR IN THE SOCIALIST ERA In January 1968 a series of economic and social reforms were launched in Hungary. The New Economic Mechanism attempted to combine features of central planning and those of the market mechanism. During the 1970s consumerism – together with a limited private sector in the form of small businesses and business partnerships – emerged in Hungary. Coinciding with the start of the reforms, Hungary’s first book on public relations was published in 1968 with the title Public Relations a Gyakorlatban (Public Relations in Practice). Its author was the public relations officer of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and he clearly separated public relations from both advertising and (commercial) propaganda, making a strong case for the wider use of public relations both domestically as well as abroad. In fact, it was the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce which consciously made use of and promoted public relations from the 1960s. The Chamber focused on export promotion and, in order to be more effective in foreign markets (particularly in capitalist countries), it turned its attention towards public relations. The Chamber’s aim was to promote export by creating strong corporate identities for Hungarian companies abroad as well as creating a strong country image in key markets. In May 1966, the Chamber’s bi-monthly trade journal, Külkereskedelmi Propaganda (Foreign Trade Propaganda), devoted an entire issue to public relations. Twelve years later, the journal changed its title to Propaganda, Reklám and Public Relations, justifying the inclusion of public relations in its title as follows: “We wish to put pub-

lic relations – an activity conducted with great success already in many countries– into its right place in our country”. The Chamber also organised several training courses and seminars on public relations during the 1970s and 1980s where participants were awarded diplomas and were asked to write case studies about their own organisations. The first doctorate in public relations was defended as early as 1966. The other line in the evolution of Hungarian public relations in the 1970s and 1980s was related to libraries, particularly the national library. Not only did it publish booklets on the subject but it also organised several conferences, seminars and clubs across the country about the theoretical and practical aspects of developing and maintaining relations with the public. The first public relations conference in Hungary was organised in 1972 with more than 300 participants from all over the country and with several foreigners on the speakers’ list. By the 1980s, several organisations – department stores, export and trade companies, libraries as well as ministries – included public relations as a planned activity and a function clearly distinct from both advertising and propaganda. In 1988 the International Public Relations Association held its first east-west conference in Budapest.

PR DURING THE 1990S After the fall of the Berlin Wall, public relations played a vital role in turning a centrally planned economy into a free market economy, involving the privatisation of 1,850 state owned firms and more than 11,000 hotels, shops and catering operations. The first Hungarian-owned agency, Publicpress, was established in October 1989 and international consultancies set up offices in Budapest to serve the newly arriving

Public relations played a vital role in turning a centrally planned economy into a free market economy. multinational companies. When the Hungarian Public Relations Association (HPRA) was established in December 1990, several of the 30 founding members already had long standing experience in public relations. In 1992 public relations became a recognised profession by the Office of Central Statistics under the chapter of “business counselling”. In the same year, HPRA developed a standardised terminology and defined public relations as the “art of trust building”, a definition still frequently cited. 02/2014



THE BIG INTERVIEW Key communicators under the spotlight

JIMMY MAYMANN Chief Executive Officer, The Huffington Post


Last year, The Huffington Post launched in Germany and Japan, and this year in Brazil and India. For a media company, growth and expansion calls for ever-increasing amounts of content. Is this sustainable? Our model is working very well for us and that is why we’re expanding globally. When you have a free news site and are able to create scale around that, and monetise that scale, then the bigger you become, the better monetisation you get and the more profitable you will be. So from our perspective, the bigger we can grow our free news site the better it is for our business. That’s not something that’s sustainable for everyone out there and, for the news industry to thrive and survive this paradigm shift, we need different models. The Huffington Post is just one model and definitely not the only one that will work. But for us it is working very well and scale has been important. 02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR

Can you give us an indication of how the expansion is progressing? When we started launching internationally we planned to launch in 15 markets before the end of 2015 and hoped we would be able to get 200 million readers. We started off with 45 million two and a half years ago and we are now at 94 million unique visitors on a monthly basis, based on comScore. Forty-four per cent of our traffic is now international. So in two and a half years we have almost doubled our traffic. As you can hear from these numbers the businesses in local markets

Photo: Johannes Worsøe Berg

Interview: Dafydd Phillips


are gaining a lot of momentum and are really starting to pay back the investments that we have made in those markets. Another element of your strategy is online video. Why is that so important to the future of media? We have ambitions to be a global media company and that means we need to be able to provide news other than in a text-based format. There are many eyeballs moving online – if you look at millennials, that is where they watch the majority of programmes. People in that age de-

Media has been democratised, we’re moving away from a broadcasting model to one where people are participating. mographic are not really watching television anymore. It is important to figure out how we can capture a huge online audience with video. And HuffPost Live was that big bet for us. We launched very big, with five days a week, 12 hours every day. During the day we have 20 or 25minute segments and then after the fact we cut them down into twominute segments, which means every month we have more than 3,0005,000 news clips in our library. Our journalists can draw on the library and insert relevant video into their text-based journalism, and by adding a context-relevant video the engagement on the page increases. When we have relevant video on our pages we see high engagement because people like to consume video, it is a great way of getting a message across. How does HuffPost Live differ to a regular news television channel?

We want it to be different from television, we want it to be accessible for people. We want people who have opinions to be able to dial into the conversation with the politicians, the professors and the host in the studio. We have had more than 20,000 people in the last 18 months taking part in the different segments via Google Hang Out or Skype and that’s another innovative way of trying to use the medium in a way that underlines where things are going. Media has been democratised, we’re moving away from a broadcasting model to a model where people are participating. If you look at social media, people have something to say, they want to take part in the conversation, they want to share things, and that is why The Huffington Post has been successful. We’re not just another news site, we are a news community, a platform where people come to read news but also because they have opinions and they want to have conversations. We have had more than 300 million comments on our platform and every time we have a big story there is a very engaged audience discussing it. We want to activate people, we want them to not just lean back and look at what’s going on in the world but to lean forward and dive into the conversation. So far that is what we’ve been successful in doing, combining traditional news with social media and creating a news community. After new markets and video, the third part of your three-pillar strategy is, diversification. Could you describe this for us? It is a consolidation of what we have done over the last three or four years. The Huffington Post has gone from having 10 or 15 verticals to more than 50. Because in contrast to a print magazine, if you have a niche audience online you can easily serve an offering that is just for them. Let us say that people are coming to The Huffington Post but a lot of them leave for bridal sites. We can create a category or vertical for brides. Why send them somewhere else if there’s an audience at The Huffington Post that wants to see that content? What we have done over the last two years is consolidate that. We are focussing on four big areas right now, namely Politics and News, which is our DNA, it’s where the business came from; Lifestyle, which aggregates our different lifestyle offerings and where we have more than 25 million readers on a monthly basis here in the US. No lifestyle publication has that size, so we invest a lot in that both editorially but also how we package it for advertisers so we can monetise that audience. The same with Entertainment, another area with more than 25 million readers a month. And lastly we have Business and Technology with 11 million readers a month. 02/2014 COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR


STORY TELLER Looking at the important questions of communication




THE NEXT FRONTIER Bridging digital innovation and communication strategy “Surfing the next wave” by Dafydd Phillips page 50 – 52

“An accelerated pulse” by Julian Geist page 54 – 57

“Personalisation and the privacy paradox” by Karolien Poels and Evert Van den Broeck page 58 – 61

“Big content: a story of relevance and trust ” by Caroline Wouters page 62 – 65

“Walking the talk” Interview with Pete Blackshaw page 66 – 68

“Infinite new horizons” by Sebastian Spaeth and Georg von Krogh page 70 – 73

“Why is the office sacred?” by Jon Froda page 74 – 76

“When playing catch up won’t do the trick” by Hubert Callay d’Amato page 78 – 81

“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” by Frank Schwab and Astrid Carolus page 82 – 85

“The transformative effect of technology” by Eleanor Orebi Gann


page 86 – 89



The Next Frontier: Communication Director 02/2014  
The Next Frontier: Communication Director 02/2014  

Preview of the latest issue of Communication Director magazine, with a special focus on cutting-edge digital communications.