Michael Schröder, IPREX Global President, has been speaking on the opening day of the European Communications Conference in Munich. In a wide-ranging review of recent political developments, he accuses politicians and professional communicators of failing to understand or prepare for “the other” (“in Germany it seems that nobody even had Mr Trump’s telephone number”).
He also maintains that we have not sufficiently appreciated the impact of the echo-chamber on social silo mentality – that we have forgotten to understand, accept and act on diversity (“We live among our own ... and since in public places many people lower their heads and fix their eyes on the mobile phone, they don’t even leave their own reality on the train or on a city stroll.”)
He believes that communication professionals need to up their game to deal with this, understanding how today’s communication channels and ecosystems are changing relationships between people, information and the media. What is missing is a commitment to understand, to empathize and to counter-argue, wherever relevant.
In an analysis of the status of “news” Michael, points out that the media tends to cover the unusual and the extraordinary, and so people who know the world only through the media will experience the extraordinary as normal. You don’t even need “fake news” (an “old issue”) to make this dangerous.
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Chilean strategic communication agency Comsulting, based in Santiago, has joined IPREX as a partner.
Comsulting is owned by two award-winning journalists: General Manager Blanca Bulnes, who founded the agency in 2008 after a career as a foreign correspondent in the United States and investigative journalist; and Executive Partner Macarena Puigrredón, foreign correspondent in Europe, a former TV journalist, and current affairs program host and editor in radio.
The agency has grown by concentrating on finance, banking, retail, real estate, mining, fisheries and waste management. Their services are primarily focused on public affairs, community relations, corporate communication and training – working on both external and internal engagements.
Clients include Credit Suisse, Banco Bice, Bethia, Vision, Reclay Group, Collahuasi mining company and Camanchaca, among other companies.
Pictured: Blanca Bulnes and Macarena Puigrredón
SalterMitchell, a public relations and behavior change marketing agency headquartered in Tallahassee, with offices in Orlando and Virginia, has joined us.
SalterMitchell is a growing agency of around 40 professionals with two divisions supported by its in-house research, creative and digital teams: Marketing for Change (behavior-change marketing) and SalterMitchellPR (public relations focused on business issues, public policy and good causes). The agency helps clients make changes in behavior and attitudes through marketing research and analysis, campaign design, communication counsel, earned and social media, creative, and media placement services.
Its global and national clients include Bank of America, Compassion & Choices, the Horizon Foundation, the International Rhino Foundation, Nestlé Waters, No Kid Hungry, Oral Health America and Verizon.
Pictures: April Salter & Peter Mitchell
Spain’s Instituto para la Excelencia Profesional has recognized the influence of Mayte González-Gil, CEO of Poweraxle, our partner in Madrid, by presenting her with the Gold Star Award for her work in the communication industry. Only four Gold Stars were awarded in 2016 – the others were for Medicine, New Technologies, and the Arts.
Endorsed by the Government of Madrid and the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy & Tourism, Gold Stars are awarded for professional innovation that promotes economic and social development, focusing especially on Continuous Professional Development and Total Quality Management.
Previous Gold Star winners include Luis del Olmo (journalist); Manuel Santana (tennis champion), Vicente del Bosque (World Cup winning football coach) and Padre Ángel, the priest who founded the global NGO Mensajeros de la Paz (Messengers of Peace).
“It is a truly great honor to receive the Gold Star”, Mayte says. “Our working philosophy expresses our love of the work we do and our passionate attention to detail”.
Congratulations to French/West/Vaughan on winning the Grand Prize as Communications Agency of the Year.