Industry heavyweights from the nbn, One Green Bean, The Monkeys, Edelman and more join CommsCon speaker lineup

The nbn’s reputation challenges, PR’s identity crisis, fostering true cross-agency collaboration, what millennial industry professionals actually want, and a debate on whether the PR industry is really set up to be truly creative are some of the latest topics confirmed for Mumbrella’s CommsCon conference 2018.

Chief corporate affairs officer for the nbn, Karina Keisler, will take the stage to discuss how negative word-of-mouth, industry finger-pointing and an ongoing political rhetoric have all become synonymous with the project. She’ll explain why nbn has made reputation an organisation-wide KPI, and her lessons in trying to cut through the political noise by taking a transparent and audience-led communications strategy.

Karina Kaisler Mumbrella CommsCon Conference

nbn’s Keisler will discuss negative word-of-mouth and industry finger-pointing

The nbn is currently one of the biggest talking points in Australia. Its reputation has gone through extremely challenging times, including emerging groups who are actively pushing fake news about the technology and rollout. It presents a significant challenge to the internal communications team which faces years more work on the rollout story.

Mumbrella’s CommsCon will be held at The Four Seasons in Sydney on March 22. Tickets are available here.

Also joining the lineup are Mark Green, co-founder of The Monkeys, and Carl Ratcliff, CEO of One Green Bean, who will take the stage together to present on cross-agency collaboration.

It’s been a massive year for both agencies, with Accenture purchasing The Monkeys and One Green Bean’s ownerships being solidified under Havas, while the pair have continued to rack up numerous industry awards. Despite working under different global companies with different priorities, The Monkeys and One Green Bean continually collaborate on client work.

Green (left) and Ratcliff will discuss cross-agency collaboration and how earned should be the centrepiece of work

Green and Ratcliff will explain how advertising and PR agencies can work together constructively and create ideas that transcend both advertising and PR spaces and create culture and conversation.

The PR and communications industry is currently in a state of flux, exploring significant new revenue opportunities and business models. This means PR is working closer than ever with a range of other agencies on a client’s roster. But the challenge is now one of remit and obtaining a seat at the decision table.

New revenue streams and exploration of business models also creates confusion in what PR actually does. So, is the PR and communications industry currently having a severe identity crisis?

Is PR having an identity crisis? HCF’s Sarah Kelly and Fuel’s Stu Wragg will join a panel to find out

Senior executives including HCF’s head of public relations, Sarah Kelly, and Herd MSL’s agency lead of Fuel Communications, Stuart Wragg, will join a panel discussing whether the addition of media buying, social strategies, creative opportunities and other areas is creating an identity crisis for the industry, and if so, what the ramifications are on areas including billing, hiring and future growth.

In addition, Mumbrella will host a panel on Millennials, by Millennials. For far too long senior executives have been hypothesising over what Millennials want, why there is a significant issue in churn and what motivates them to make the decisions they do. In this panel, the Millennials themselves will take the stage.

Industry HR executive Lynnette Edmonds (left) will lead a panel of Millennials, including Sling & Stone’s Tahlia Davies, discussing what they want from PR

The panel will be moderated by highly respected industry leader, Lynnette Edmonds, HR director at Edelman, and include a group of PR and communications professionals with three or fewer years of experience. Sling & Stone’s account manager, Tahlia Davies, is the first to be confirmed.

In another session , the strength of creativity in PR and communications will be debated. PR has always been generally creative, but this year has seen a number of executive creative director or creative director hires in the industry – are they the real deal or is the PR creative director a nice title with not enough opportunity?

Arguing that PR is in the perfect position to really push creative thinking and add true creative departments to its business are Edelman’s creative director Jamil Bhatti and Ogilvy PR’s creative director, Bridget Jung. They will be challenged by Poem’s co-founder, Matt Holmes and a soon-to-be-announced senior executive.

As discussion still rages around ROI and accountability for PR and communications, Weber Shandwick managing director for Australia, Ava Lawler, will present a session on how content and social media can directly drive revenue. She’ll describe the intricacies of creating content for social media, how brands are opening up important opportunities for consumers to interact directly with them and how this all creates the possibility for consumers to purchase based on the power of content.

Tickets for Mumbrella’s CommsCon conference are on sale now at early bird discount. More information on the sessions and details and be found here. Entries into the CommsCon Awards are also open now. There are 28 categories available, details can be found here.


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