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Couldn’t make it to Singapore for Fusion 2017? Never mind, our official #FusionConf2017 reporter Amanda Dennett has a summary of all the happenings for you here!

Day Three: Friday, 25 August

The opening keynote for the final day of the conference was by Jim Macnamara, Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney, on new approaches to evaluation and the lost art of listening. Using case studies such as Brexit, Professor Macnamara presented findings from a global study on the status and direction of evaluation of public communications through advertising, public relations, corporate and organisational communications.



Next up was another series of breakout sessions – and more difficult choices to make about which ones to attend!

Deb Camden, Founder of The Communication Dividend, spoke about the importance of measurement to improve communication and organisational outcomes. Deb says setting SMART objectives and measuring communication outcomes is critical.



David Pembroke, CEO and Founder of Content Group, says “explaining is winning” when it comes to communication. He presented Australian case studies on why sharing important business information with audiences works.

Susie Hambleton, Director of Communications at Beckon Pty Ltd, presented on the fusion of strategy, data and digital to tell a story. Focusing on change and communication projects, Susie offered key learnings from her work on the Australian Government’s new National Heavy Vehicle Regulator digital permit system.

Ashwani Singla, Founding Managing Partner of Astrum Management Advisory, shared his insights on using science to persuade during the 2014 general elections in India. His case study gave real insight into the challenges and opportunities of communicating with 850 million voters.

Priya Bates, President of Inner Strength Communication Inc, presented on successful brand adoption across cultures. Priya explained why brand is more than a logo and tagline, and shared her tips for turning brand skeptics into brand supporters.

Simultaneously, Stephen Welch led the interactive Corporate Snakes and Ladders workshop. Delegates worked in groups to help fictional Communications Director Carmen Spinoza climb the corporate ladder, negotiate good outcomes with colleagues, and avoid the corporate snakes. The IACB Victoria crew didn’t win the Corporate Snakes and Ladders game, but we had a lot of fun trying!



You can read Carmen Spinoza’s summary on how we did helping her career as an Executive here.

After lunch there were more breakout sessions. Rachel Catanach, Fleishman Hillard’s President of Greater China, presented 10 trends in communications in China. She explained a new tech and disruptive era has emerged in China, which is having an impact on business communication.

Mary Todorov, Community Engagement expert and IABC Victoria member, shared her tips for engaging with the public and community groups when communicating about infrastructure projects. Mary advocates for active and collaborative engagement to gain support from stakeholders.

Jovina Ang, Lecturer at NUS Business School, presented insights on transforming employee communication. Using case studies from Fortune 500 companies, Jovina showed culture and peer relations are critical to employee communication success.

Chia Wu, Lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, presented research on how Millennials in Hong Kong and Shanghai consume media and their attitudes to business communication. For these audiences, ‘official website’ and ‘traditional media’ are still the most trustworthy sources of information.

Glenda Hewitt, Consultant and IABC NSW Past President, shared her insights on how to get a seat at the board table. Through personal stories about her own career and belief in life-long learning, Glenda demonstrated that thinking strategically and expanding your business knowledge is critical to board success.

Carlo Figueroa, Assistant Professional Lecturer at De La Salle University, presented about the state of public relations education in Southeast Asia. As Southeast Asia’s economic market continues to grow, there are increasing opportunities for those wanting public relations and marketing careers. To address the current PR skills gap, Carlo suggests dialogue, mentorship, and partnerships between industry and academe.

To close out #FusionConf17 there was an engaging panel discussion on communication trends and challenges in the Asia Pacific. Key issues discussed were the increasing importance of data in communications, effective communication measurement, how to skill future communications professionals, and ways communicators can battle fake news.

Panel members:

  • Genevieve Hilton, Corporate Communications Asia Pacific at BASF
  • Jim Macnamara, Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney
  • Ashwani Singla, Founding Managing Partner of Astrum Management Advisory
  • Richard Spencer, Chief Marketing Officer at Isentia

Hope you enjoyed the conference summary. Big thanks to IABC Victoria for the opportunity to travel to Singapore as official reporter for Fusion Conference 2017. If you’d like to see more updates from the conference, check out @iabcvic and #FusionConf17 on Twitter.