CommsCon: Gasps, laughs, and the death of likes

The third annual CommsCon launched with a brilliant lesson in how to become the most hated person in Britain and set us up for a day of case studies, experiences and communications strategies from some of the best in the Australian public relations and communications industry.

In a short three years, CommsCon has become a calendar must to hear how this evolving industry is developing and adapting with the rapidly changing media environment.

While the keynote starting the day prompted gasps and open-mouthed disbelief, the rest dealt with the nitty gritty reality of managing communications in a variety of industries with a variety of issues.

With standing room only at the content marketing session it was interesting to hear from James Chalmers from Mahlab Media, who surely deals with the hardest content marketing job of them all – trying to make insurance interesting.

It brought to mind all of the times I have complained about finding great content in the past – and I will certainly be thinking twice about complaining in future. The idea of really knowing your customer, what they care about and how to create content to appeal to them has never been so thoroughly demonstrated.

That, and I discovered that Aussies have larger heads than Italians – care of Therese Waters from Luxottica - meant that this content session was both eye opening and delightful!

Of course the best session of the day was Social Media Trends and Audiences from our very own Richard Spencer. He took us through some of the most up to date trends and stats for social media, including the fact that the majority of us check our smartphone before we do anything else in the morning!

The main take out from the session was the death of Facebook likes. The dramatic drop in Facebook organic reach clearly demonstrates the idea that social media can’t just be about the platforms that we have available to us now or in the format that we know them today. Platforms will grow and change, so we have to be ready for whatever guise that is. Social media is clearly much more than creating pithy 140-character messages and posting cute six-second videos – it is about changing your approach to communicating. It is about developing a true community-based connection to your audience and your client, no matter the platform.

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