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?


Tim Burrowes



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