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DB200IABC Victoria President, Damien Batey, talks about the comms lessons he’s learnt from Game of Thrones, our current events and some international volunteering opportunities with IABC.

After giving in to considerable peer pressure I’m now a convert to Game of Thrones.

Watching the show is an essential weekend pastime for my wife and I. The escapism is an important way of winding down after a busy working week.

The more I think about it, however, the more I see themes for professional communicators embedded within the show.

Please read on – I promise spoiler alerts are at an absolute minimum.


Don’t leave leadership communication in the Snow

They say knowledge is power, but watching two particularly cunning characters sometimes referred to by their mysterious monikers, Master of Whisperers and Littlefinger, is something to behold. They exchange carefully controlled verbal communication to manipulate outcomes, challenge leadership and advance their personal causes.  For another character known as Mother of Dragons, creative storytelling has formed the basis for a fearsome reputation that stems from powerfully descriptive words (mind you, her dragons are pretty scary too).

However, the clearest theme I take from the show is the critical importance of clear and instructive leader communication. This is never more important than in times of war when you are sending orders to troops on the front line (remembering you couldn’t tweet in medieval times) or inspiring in your followers a belief that you are a strong leader with sound judgment.

If you think I’m drawing a long bow to the world of professional communication, please remember inspiration and ideas can come from anywhere. After all, it’s a program that reminds us “Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.”


Beyond networking

From there we move to a game of chairs or, more specifically, my seat on the panel of a recent IABC Victoria event that examined professional networking.

I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Lloyd Lazaro of Ampersand, Think HQ’s founder Jen Sharpe and Michael Korjen of Bombora Technologies, all of whom blew me away with their depth of subject matter expertise, experience and variety of colourful war stories. The event was skilfully led by IABC Victoria student ambassador, Jenna Waite, who made an impressive debut as moderator.

All in all, this was a memorable event on many fronts. I came away with a better understanding of the kind of networker I am as well as the realisation that we can successfully build our networks regardless of personal style and approach.

Best of all, I got to spend time with so many people who reminded me that Victoria comprises one of the richest, most generous and diverse professional communication networks anywhere.

If you’d like to read more about the event, check out Jen Sharpe’s re-cap.


The art of social media

If you’re like me, you’ll be looking forward to our breakfast with Guy Kawasaki at 7 AM on Friday, 28 August. Guy has made the title ‘Chief Evangelist’ his own – first with Apple and now with Canva. He is also a world-renowned speaker and social media icon, with over 1.5m Twitter followers. I can’t wait to hear his insights.

Unfortunately, the event is sold out, but if you’d like to be waitlisted (in case there are cancellations), you can email at


Interested in a global profile?

Are you looking for your next volunteer opportunity? Why not volunteer with IABC at the international committee level? By playing a role on an international committee you’ll not only be exposed to the profession at the international level, you’ll make invaluable connections around the world. (It also looks great on your resume!) The IABC’s International Nominating Committee is seeking candidates for the following committees:

  • Audit and Risk Committee
  • Investment Committee
  • Research Committee
  • Editorial Advisory Committee.

You can find out more on the IABC website.


Take care.