Having just returned from two communications conferences – the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) World Conference in New Orleans and the National Investor Relations Institute’s (NIRI) Annual Conference in San Diego – I realized how large and interesting the communications industry is. I attended the conferences in two capacities. First, as a practitioner who has spent almost 20 years working in the public and investor relations industry. Second, as an exhibitor showcasing our mobile communications products – theEMPLOYEEapp at IABC and theIRapp at NIRI.
While both conferences were made up of professionals from the same industry, it was amazing to see how different the personalities of the two conferences were.
At IABC, the level of interest from those who attended and their excitement in exploring the new paradigm in technology (i.e. mobile) was incredible. They realized that an opportunity exists to connect, engage and distribute important information and content directly into the hands of their most important audience, their employees. It was reassuring to hear the word “mobile” spoken in the same breath as “email” and “intranet.” When you think about it, email and corporate intranets have been the main delivery mechanisms that companies have had for almost three decades to communicate with their employees. Now there is something new – the mobile device – that allow communicators to reach their targeted audiences in an even more convenient and personal way. The corporate communicators at IABC got it.
NIRI was a bit different. This was our 5th NIRI conference as an exhibitor (we actually launched our company at the conference in Seattle in June 2012). With 100 great companies as customers of theIRapp, we were no longer the new kid on the block. Indeed, none of the exhibitors were new kids on the block. What I witnessed was that there are those professionals who are pioneers and who are interested in incorporating new ways of communicating into their work; they get excited by doing things differently and making sure that they use all means possible to get information into the hands of their investors. Then there are those who are reticent to try new tools; they aren’t interested in implementing new communications strategies unless their investors ask for it or they are forced to by regulation.
My overall takeaway from attending two very different communications industry conferences back-to-back? APPrise Mobile is truly serving the needs of the broader corporate communications industry. We have developed a solution that comes not from thinking we know the challenges they face, but having lived it ourselves. It was great to have quality conversations about these challenges and to discuss the opportunity that now exists to more efficiently and effectively do our work.