By Eli Natinsky
IABCLA Vice President of Operations
Our chapter held its first Dine & Discuss of the year on February 27 at TOMGEORGE in Downtown LA. Julie Wright, president and founder of (W)right On Communications, Inc., lead the discussion on “PR in the Digital Age.”
Attendance was capped at 10 people; we keep the number small in order to facilitate a discussion in which everybody can participate. There were folks who were newer to the communications industry, as well as those who had been in the field for some time, and all with diverse career experiences – Julie said this mix led to a “thought-provoking” conversation.
The group talked about issues from fake news and distrust in media to technology trends like content marketing, visual storytelling, and data-driven communications. There was general agreement around the notion that a compelling concept and story are at the heart of all successful campaigns and initiatives. Regardless of technology trends and changes in media consumption, well-crafted stories and well-researched messages that speak to target audiences are what drives successful communication.
One of the best moments of the evening came when a guest brought up this intriguing idea: what if we communicate less? For instance, what if you could only send five business emails a day? Who would you send them to and what would you say? Also, he mentioned Banksy, the street artist, as someone whose work speaks in a sparse, yet powerful way.
Julie was intrigued by the concept of being discrete and sparing in her digital communication. The next day at her company, she talked to colleagues more in person rather than through messaging. When Julie did email, she held onto her feedback longer than usual – she found that often issues had already been resolved by the time she weighed in.
Board member Ephraim Freed noted the counterintuitive nature of this suggestion: “As communicators, we assume everybody needs more communication, but often when you talk to your audiences you find out something different than what you assume.”
New ways of thinking are just one of the many positives to come from Dine & Discuss, and that’s why it’s one of our most successful programs. Look for this and other upcoming events on our website, as well as social media – our group is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and now Instagram. We also send out regular emails to our members and supporters notifying them of activity. If you’d like to be added to our mailing list, please reach out to Grant Skakun: firstname.lastname@example.org.