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On Monday 18 November, IABC Victoria celebrated an early Christmas at The Honey Bar in South Melbourne. It was a fun evening for the many who attended… an opportunity share stories from the last year and ponder together the big trends for 2014.

This year, the group was very fortunate to share the evening with Robin McCasland who, as International Executive Board Chair of the IABC, was making her first trip down under.

Robin took some time to share her thoughts on 2014 and what she sees as the big trends. In essence there were five:

Our customers are king like never before: In these days of social media, consumers can review, choose, buy, endorse and, if needs be, complain to an enormous audience. And they’re not afraid to do it either.

From communication to conversation: The other critical impact of social media is the need for our profession to shift from communication to conversation. We are now not so much gatekeepers, but the facilitators of conversations both within our organisation and with our customers and stakeholders externally.

Brand ambassadors: In response, brand ambassadors are becoming increasingly important. Brand ambassadors – employees who have been trained with enough business information and social smarts to converse with stakeholders on behalf of the organisation – are becoming an absolute necessity for all brands.

From specialist to generalist: There is a growing demand for communicators to be well-grounded in a broad range of stakeholder and communications functions. This allows for greater collaboration and integration across the team and more flexibility.

The leadership dilemma: Managing the reputations of organisational leaders is both critical to business success and harder than ever. Openness and transparency are now must-haves. Spin needs to become a word you only hear when you’re doing the washing. And communicators must flex their executive counsel muscle while becoming vocal advocates for strong stakeholder relationships.


What do you think?

So what do you think the next year holds?

IABC Victoria is conducting a short survey to determine your views on the big ticket communications trends for 2014. This survey will help us be better advocate for our profession and improve our program for the next year.

So please take five minutes to fill out this short survey. Feel free to share the survey with your communications colleagues as well. Your views will remain private and the survey will remain open until 5pm, Friday 6 December.

Oh, and a random prize of two Gold Class cinema tickets is waiting for three lucky respondents. Not bad for five minutes work!

You can find the survey here.