A few immediate reflections on The New Communications Forum 2005 which took place in Napa, California over the past two days. I’ve posted commentary on some of the workshops and panel discussions; others have also posted during the event (Guillaume de Gardier has a great post with links to many of those posts).
I will be writing more commentary during next week, after I’ve returned to Amsterdam. But I have already arrived at one clear and stark conclusion from presenting and participating in this conference:
Communicators, opportunity for you and your company is staring you in the face. It is yours for the taking. But you have little time to grasp that opportunity before it is whisked away from you by other, more nimble, people. If that happens, your value and relevance to the strategic development of your company is gone. You will become followers of events designed and created by others, not shapers of those events. Your participation, in fact, will not be required.
During these two days, the talk was about communication. PR talk, marketing talk, employee communication talk, investor relations talk, building communities. Talking about building sustainable relationships with the diverse range of people an organization must communicate with, and how the new tools like blogs, wikis and RSS are the enabling foundations for those relationships.
With no exceptions, all the communicators I spoke to now have much clearer understanding of the potential roles such tools can play in the overall organizational communication mix. And they are just that – tools.
So, more later. I’m traveling back to Amsterdam late Friday (San Francisco time). This will probably be my last post until Monday, when normal service will be resumed!