We’ve Announced the Date for FutureComms 2019

 In Comms Heroes

We’re excited to announce that the third annual FutureComms 2019 conference will take place on April 24 in New York City, and the invitation-only Customer Forum will take place on April 23. Both events sold out last year, and next year, we’re planning an even bigger event!

Topics for FutureComms 2019

FutureComms 2019 will offer presentations, interviews, and panel discussions with SocialChorus customers, partners, and industry experts about the current and future state of workforce communications. Discussions will focus on driving organizational alignment and improving employee experience by modernizing and streamlining communication across the enterprise.

Featured topics include:

  • Building the digital workplace “stack” – how communications, IT, and HR teams are connecting technology channels and platforms to reach more employees and streamline their work
  • The connected leader – case studies of and interviews with C-suite executives who have changed company culture by investing in communications
  • Career-changing moments – advice from leading internal communications professionals their success (and failures)
  • The “always on” employee experience – from crisis communications to open enrollment, use cases that show the impact of real-time communications
  • IRL (in real life) stories – programs and content that drove massive engagement and organizational change

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Insights from FutureComms 2018

FutureComms 2018 featured leading communicators from companies like Dow, Aptiv, Vodafone, Bechtel, Westar Energy. We also heard from Cliff Levy of The New York Times and Scott Galloway of L2. If you weren’t there last year, here are some of the insights you missed.

1. Giving the last remaining group in the enterprise a system of record.

Marketing has Marketo. HR has Workday. Sales have Salesforce. Comms has ____?

Over the last 10 years, most groups in the enterprise have procured their own cloud-based platform to help automate, streamline, and measure their work. But communications teams had what IT bought them: intranets, digital signage, email.

SocialChorus is leading the movement to put communicators in charge of their own technology. No more cutting and pasting or relying on whatever IT gives them. Instead, deploy a workforce communications platform to plan, create, publish, and measure employee communications.

This is a real moment now for internal and employee communications leaders to automate their work, make their teams more efficient, and to reach every worker with timely and relevant communications.

2. If it doesn’t work, turn it off

Erica Lockhart, Chief of Staff and Head of Communications at Vodafone, has approximately 80,000 employees. When she started, she saw that employee news and newsletter were getting extremely low engagement. She said, “If it doesn’t work, turn it off.”

Essentially if you turn off what workers don’t see or read, no one will notice. Erica did exactly this at Vodafone, and then she reallocated budget for a new workforce communications platform and a mobile solution for their mobile company.  

Cliff Levy of the New York Times at FutureComms 2018

3. Publishing for mobile does not mean shorter

Cliff Levy was one of the architects of The New York Times’ transformation to digital and mobile publishing. Winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, Cliff showed us how to engage readers, particularly in a mobile and multi-screen world.

One of his lessons was that content on mobile doesn’t necessarily need to be short. In fact, NYT’s editorial products, such as First Draft or the Daily Briefing, have been extending their pieces to 1,200 or even 1,400 words on mobile. But they take a very snackable approach to content by inserting headlines, photos, brief paragraphs, callouts, and links to other resources or stories.

Communicators shouldn’t be afraid to go for length to cover a topic well, but they need to do it in a way that a reader can scan it quickly, find what matters to them, jump off into another resource, and perhaps come back to the story.

4. Encourage empowerment at the local level to drive adoption and growth

Rebecca Bentley, Vice President of Global Public Affairs, at Dow, presented how they quickly launched the distributed program management of their platform outside of the core head office communications team. For example, they have over 135 users inside Program Studio, SocialChorus’ powerful content management solution and a single point of publishing.

Dow’s program managers manage over 34 content channels, distributing, and publishing locally—a significant contributor to their success.

5. Software automation handles the busy work for comms teams

Tim Christensen, CTO at SocialChorus, explained that one of the goals of software is to automate some of the busy work in order to free up teams for valuable strategic work.

Tim presented some of SocialChorus’ automation features which takes the repetitive work out of getting people to take required actions, from safety training to open enrollment.

6. Uber sets the new standards for the worker experience

Greg Shove, Founder of SocialChorus, spent time in April driving for Uber, the ride-sharing app. It is the largest worker app in the world with around 3 million drivers, and 99% of their experience as a worker, or driver partner as Uber calls them, is through their app. Uber is a huge laboratory of workers that are using an app as their only way to interact with headquarters.

Every resource drivers need is in the app, from driving tips to compensation updates to perks. And there’s complete openness—a driver knows exactly how much time they spend driving, their earnings, and Uber’s share. They offer a level of transparency that is unheard of for part-time workers.

7. Video content drives higher workforce engagement

We presented key findings from our Comms Effectiveness Survey which looked at data from our customers’ employees and program performance. From the analysis, we found that there was 3X the click-through rate on video content compared to non-video content, and users come back 60% more often, two or three times per week when our customers are using video-based content.

We’ve Announced the Date for FutureComms 2019

8. Commit to data and its predictive power

There was broad agreement at FutureComms that communications leaders need to get better at analyzing and using data to improve their programs. Charlene Wheeless from Bechtel explained that she was committing to data, and not just data for its own sake, but for its predictive powers. For example, measuring communications now to forecast the state of organizational health. She talked about a day when we could be predictive, where we could anticipate employee needs or concerns by analyzing what content is being consumed and what isn’t.

She stressed going to the C-suite with these insights to show the value that communications delivers to justify any increased spending or investment, whether it be in software, other technologies, or a team member to benefit the organization.

9. Digital transformation requires communications transformation

Pam Marko, Global Director of Digital at Aptiv, made one of the most impactful presentations at FutureComms 2018. Aptiv launched SocialChorus at the same time Delphi was splitting into two different companies, one of which became Aptiv. Pam lead the deployment of SocialChorus and the development of the content, messaging, and program to market it and engage employees in the transformation of their business.

Aptiv used video content to bring to life their mission and initiatives and placed their employees at the center of that message. They were emotional in their delivery and spoke from the heart. This is an important takeaway for all communicators. Emotional images and video resonate and engage much more than just written words.

10. Let’s build a community of employee communications leaders

We heard loud and clear that communicators want a forum to share best practices with each other and tap into a network of support for career development and growth. There’s a desire and demand, and SocialChorus is committed to investing in communicators and building that community.

Get a sneak peek into FutureComms 2019 by watching the highlights reel from this year’s conference. And to get more information on speaking opportunities and sponsorship contact us or sign up for those early alerts.

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