Is CommsCon the new Vegemite renaming disaster? You tell us

So have we done an iSnack 2.0?

If you believe some of the comments following our story yesterday announcing CommsCon then perhaps so.

After we announced the event – which takes place in Sydney on March 14 – not everyone in the comment thread loved the name.

Spagoni asked: “Is it me, or does anyone else see that using the contractions Comms and Con in a conference name about PR just pleading with the world to smack them?”

The Internetz contributed: “Well spotted Spagoni! Too late for a rebrand? Maybe CommsMeet? CommuniCon? ConnectedComms 2013…brainstorm anyone!?”

Good Point added that CommsCon “sounds shifty”.

“Cous cous”, contributed Paul The Freelance Writer.

So, have we got it wrong?

Personally, I don’t think so. When the name was first suggested to me, I really liked it. So did most of our advisory board when we put it to them.

But I bet the good folk of Kraft thought they were on to a winner when they named Vegemite’s new product iSnack 2.0. And you’ll remember just how well that went.

Now clearly we shouldn’t necessarily be too swayed by a three or four comments from the internet. Criticism is always more likely than gushing praise when a name is okay.

And I’m also aware that if a new brand name is not utterly awful then it eventually takes on the attributes you invest in it rather than what you would first think. Mumbrella anyone?

But… We only announced the brand yesterday. We haven’t even finalised a logo. So it’s not too late to change.

So let’s ask the wider Mumbrella audience: Is CommsCon an acceptable name for an industry event and awards for PR and communications professionals?

So we’re going to run a poll of other possible names.

Now sometimes, it’s fun to hijack such polls and try and get everyone to vote for the most terrible name. That’s how NASA nearly ended up having to name a wing of the International Space Station after comedian Stephen Colbert. And remember Greenpeace’s whale Mr Splashy Pants? So to be clear… this isn’t actually democracy. Think of it as more of a consultation than a binding plebiscite.

I gather that some people who read Mumbrella are creative types. Some may even know a thing or two about branding. So we do want to know what you think. So you can have a vote in the poll, or indeed, suggest another name altogether in the comment thread.

The brief:

The event is for people working in the disciplines of: corporate communications, PR, publicity, media relations, internal communications, community management, social media.

Purpose: to create positive change, share knowledge, debate serious issues at a high level. It is highly specialised and intended for mid- to senior practitioners. Pitched somewhere between a workshop and a conference, the intention is an interactive series of sessions with an emphasis on discussion and audience involvement.

Topics to be covered at the event include:

  • measurement
  • social media and content
  • the changing media landscape (journalist relations, the death of mass media changes etc)
  • crisis communications in the SM landscape: live crisis simulation

It will be held annually, with the first event on March 14 in Sydney. Following the day’s conference, there will be an awards presentation.

So here’s the poll – it’ll be open for the next 24 hours. What say you?

What should the event for PR and communications professionals be named?

Tim Burrowes


  1. m0nty
    17 Jan 13
    12:19 pm

  2. CommsCon only works if the logo is a scone with the hammer and sickle on it.

  3. Analog Penetration
    17 Jan 13
    12:24 pm

  4. CommuniCon kinda sounds like ‘unicorn’ – which then solves your logo issue.

  5. Victoria
    17 Jan 13
    12:34 pm

  6. Just not ‘Con’ anywhere….not that.

  7. Dante
    17 Jan 13
    12:50 pm

  8. ConCommyConCon

  9. Sarah
    17 Jan 13
    12:52 pm

  10. I thought it was something commbank was doing!

  11. Fleur
    17 Jan 13
    12:52 pm

  12. Who would have voted for mumbrella at the time? Nobody? But it works. Pick and stick I say.

  13. Claire
    17 Jan 13
    12:53 pm

  14. Sounds like the name was developed by a bunch of branding folk rather than people from corporate comms, PR, internal comms etc…

  15. Good point
    17 Jan 13
    12:55 pm

  16. engageorDIE

  17. Four Peas
    17 Jan 13
    12:55 pm

  18. This story is just a con to promote the event with new content about a non-existent controversy. Very conniving, hopefully it doesn’t continue. Personally I will not be taking part in your contest.

  19. Comic girl
    17 Jan 13
    12:55 pm

  20. I say CommsCon but I hear Comicon. Maybe you need a superhero not a logo to go with this brand.
    As for CommuniCon it brings back memories of catholic school.
    Step right away from any urge to abbreviate.

  21. Really?
    17 Jan 13
    12:58 pm

  22. All I hear when I read it is Comic-Con – if Spiderman will be there then I will come.

  23. Emma
    17 Jan 13
    12:58 pm

  24. Dislike it, not punchy enough. Could refer to a bunch of telcos.

  25. Jack Bruce
    17 Jan 13
    12:59 pm

  26. Comms? I thought they were all hiding under the bed..

  27. Jack Bruce
    17 Jan 13
    1:03 pm

  28. Most of what we do is about creating, joining, or commenting on a conversation. I would be more inclined to go to, and think ti would be cooler, if it was called something like “The Conversation”

  29. Groucho
    17 Jan 13
    1:10 pm

  30. Nominative determinism?

  31. BrentW
    17 Jan 13
    1:17 pm

  32. If there is not a unicorn present on the logo then I’ll go full mental.

  33. Encyclic!
    17 Jan 13
    1:19 pm

  34. I suppose calling a convention filled with communications/PR reps and community managers a “Decepti-Con” would be right out of the question?

  35. I know
    17 Jan 13
    1:23 pm

  36. Lets have an offsite I say. We can go away for a few days, nut out our vision, mission, get really drunk and come up with the same stuff we went in with.

  37. Angie
    17 Jan 13
    1:30 pm

  38. I agree that the word ‘Con’ needs to be left out of this. Applaude the concept and look forward to attending but…the PR industry is already blamed as its own worst enemy at times so lets not feed it the PR critics quite so easily.

  39. Penguin Alert
    17 Jan 13
    1:31 pm

  40. CommShop. There, I said it.

  41. Kristen
    17 Jan 13
    1:38 pm

  42. I thought it was something to do with the Commonwealth bank as well

  43. David Thomason
    17 Jan 13
    1:40 pm

  44. If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my years of marketing, it’s that surveying your target consumners on individual elements of your comms mix, including names, is a disaster – because a survey immediately puts respondents into ‘rational’ mode, and can never capture how the name will be used.
    I still think ‘iSnack 2.0’ was brilliant and shame on Kraft for not having the imagination or the guts to persist. Where’s ‘Cheesymite’ today? Is it still on the shelves?
    When MLA first used Sam Kekovich, an agency came to us and said they’d proposed him for a similar concept, but it bombed in research and the client killed it. Of course it would have bombed! So the mesage is clear – be brave and back inspired ideas. And don’t let the rationalists derail you.

  45. Double Page Fred
    17 Jan 13
    1:45 pm

  46. The Commfrence.

  47. Ben S
    17 Jan 13
    1:47 pm

  48. I like the name. Don’t understand the uproar.

  49. Ms PR
    17 Jan 13
    1:47 pm

  50. There’s a process that we go through when developing brands/names – i am sure this is known to the group. Developing brands isn’t a guessing game around a table. It seems this is what’s happend which is why it’s so awful. What a great opportunity – missed. Too late you cry. Never. Fix it or wither. What does the brand stand for? As a PR of many years i really hope you can do better than this.

  51. tvguide
    17 Jan 13
    2:02 pm

  52. The inclusion of ‘con’ perhaps lends itself to an undesirable connotation and may be too close to the bone

  53. bob is a rabbit
    17 Jan 13
    2:22 pm

  54. PRom. Afterall, isn’t it just a big show for all the pretty people that did a BBus at uni?

  55. paul the freelance writer
    17 Jan 13
    2:32 pm

  56. Just about every channel in the world is now delivered to the consumer via something starting with an ‘i’ so just call the bloody thing iMeet. In the ’00s it would have been eMeet so who knows what the future holds.

  57. Matt
    17 Jan 13
    2:45 pm

  58. Call it PRaaaahhhCon.

    Have posh girls with over the top hair sweeps and killer heels greeting you when you arrive.

  59. bob is a rabbit
    17 Jan 13
    2:51 pm

  60. @ Paul the Freelance Writer – Are you the melbourne Paul? The one that perhaps worked around 2006 at M&C (not Taylor)?

    If so, wrightoff will mean something to you…TauN.

  61. Trent
    17 Jan 13
    3:04 pm

  62. CommsUnity

  63. Dave
    17 Jan 13
    3:08 pm

  64. How about ProCom13?

    Unless someone else has it.

    * pro = for/in favor of/positive
    * pro = professional
    * pr = public relations
    *com = communications

    Dumps ‘con’ which although having an element of truth and transparency is a step too far to my mind, and invites a lot of unneeded negative reaction. Plus it’s a redundant addition to what should be short and snappy, and limits the event to being a ‘con’ ference or ‘con’ vention when it should be much more.

    Procom is simple, can be pronounced and spelled [spelt] correctly and more easily – all of which signify professional communications and PR [unless you want something deliberately evasive, obscure and not possibly honest].

  65. paul the freelance writer
    17 Jan 13
    3:37 pm

  66. Christ Almighty, Bob, you’re not in the next office AGAIN, are you?

  67. Embarassed
    17 Jan 13
    3:38 pm

  68. Comm One Comm All?

  69. bob is a rabbit
    17 Jan 13
    3:47 pm

  70. Not again my friend, but probably not far. Back down St Kilda road…

  71. Michael
    17 Jan 13
    4:00 pm


  73. Good point
    17 Jan 13
    4:01 pm

  74. @ David Thomason

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my years of marketing, it’s to spell consumers correctly. – Sorry, I am just having a play wid ya! 😉

    I like the suggestion by Jack Bruce (comment 14): “The Conversation” – fits perfectly, sounds professional and people will want to join it…

  75. Mo S.
    17 Jan 13
    4:16 pm

  76. I really thought it’s something Commonwealth bank is behind from the headline…

  77. What a crock
    17 Jan 13
    4:26 pm

  78. I’m with @FourPeas

  79. Anonymous
    17 Jan 13
    4:54 pm

  80. what about CC?

  81. bob is a rabbit
    17 Jan 13
    5:04 pm

  82. Communications Utilising New Trends – or its acronym.

  83. John Grono
    17 Jan 13
    5:26 pm

  84. Joe McCarthy versus the CommiCons. I’d go and see that.

  85. Spagoni
    17 Jan 13
    5:31 pm

  86. I’m so very sorry. I only just made a passing comment and now I’ve inadvertently unleashed a shit storm. I especially loved the Four Peas conspiracy theory. Its like some grassy knoll in conference-land.

    I’ve now got a better idea. How about we come up with a really contemporary moniker that reflects where this conversation has landed.

    I’ve got it.

    Lets call it Silicon!

  87. L2-LUB-FEST
    17 Jan 13
    7:11 pm

  88. The Festival should be called LoveToLoveYouBaby (The lock-up device in the logo should include the shorthand version, L2-LUB-FEST). And each “interactive session” should end with a series of hugs among the participants, where everyone repeats the mantra: LoveToLoveYouBaby.

    Or hang on, maybe we should shorten this name as it seems a bit convoluted now. How about LoveFest?

  89. Spencer
    17 Jan 13
    11:39 pm

  90. CPR.

  91. LW
    17 Jan 13
    11:39 pm

  92. Project C? CPlus? Or C Org, but the Scientologists might hunt you down… :-)

  93. Mike
    18 Jan 13
    1:16 am

  94. PRICS

    = PR Industry and CommS

  95. EE
    18 Jan 13
    1:31 am

  96. @Dave Pro also = prostitute and 13 makes me think of the teenage or unlucky variety rather than the year. Com doesn’t mean anything in the absence of the second m, except .com

    ProCom13 = website for teenage prostitutes?!

  97. Angus
    18 Jan 13
    8:56 am

  98. Agree with 23 – The Commf(e)rence – brilliant.

  99. Good point
    18 Jan 13
    11:56 am

  100. <3 Comms

    Tag line could be:
    "Because you <3 comm's"

  101. Seahorses
    18 Jan 13
    2:40 pm

  102. MumComm.

  103. Rumpelstiltskin
    18 Jan 13
    3:20 pm

  104. @ Mike #47, hahahaha, thanks for the Friday giggle!

  105. God
    19 Jan 13
    12:10 pm

  106. Who gives a flying fuck?

  107. John Hollands
    21 Jan 13
    11:30 am

  108. I’m OK with STET name.

    I suggested “SexpoCom” in the survey to get cheap hits, but also I’d go for “mUmBLES”. Or “mUmBLING” – ties it in with the mothership (mUmSHIP).

    “Can-and-string”; “ListenUP”, “Path to Enlightenment” all possibles…

  109. Dave
    21 Jan 13
    12:30 pm

  110. @EE #48
    That’s a real stretch of the imagination.
    Most people wouldn’t expect 13 yo prostitutes to be holding a conference.
    Someone better tell all the organizations and towns that have a PRO staffer!
    On the other hand, ! appreciate your blunt honesty about how PR people may be perceived.

  111. John Hollands
    22 Jan 13
    2:38 pm

  112. @Dave

    Now you’ve opened that can of worms…

    “PR” has a particulat meaning in the medical world.

  113. Dave
    22 Jan 13
    3:38 pm

  114. @John #56
    I bite my tongue.
    I assume this is a family friendly discussion.
    I’m sticking with ProCom13 for 2013, ProCom14 for next year.
    In deference to the sensibilities of EE #48, I suppose it could be ProCom13AO to avoid problems with potential under age attendees.
    Until ProCom18 that is.

  115. Fat Canyoner
    24 Jan 13
    11:26 am

  116. CommuniConCarne?

    Mmmm, now I’m hungry…

  117. Branding Solutions dot Con
    24 Jan 13
    1:26 pm

  118. $1000 for the consultancy and I retain ownership of the name,


  119. MATTHEW
    25 Jan 13
    2:07 pm

  120. How about Commdon?

  121. Graham White
    25 Jan 13
    6:44 pm

  122. I think it could be Can-U-Comm – clearly, many people get it wrong, so if the conference is about education and best practice, this title suggests you will be able to assess yourself at the end of it. BTW, I have had two glasses of wine and nothing to eat, so if this idea is shit, that’s my excuse!

  123. Johno
    29 Jan 13
    5:23 pm

  124. Actually isnack 2.0 was not the top choice that bubbled up when KRAFT crowd sourced. Some smarties at KRAFT ignored the crowd and went with another name. Then the tribe spoke!

  125. Honey
    12 Feb 13
    2:42 pm

  126. Please – Communicon. With this