The boundaries between journalism and corporate communication are becoming blurred
José Manuel Velasco, Dircom President, at the Dircom-APM conference: “Global Communication Trends”
Madrid, April 30 2014. Dircom, the Spanish association of communication directors, and the Madrid Press Association (APM) have held a joint one-day conference entitled “Global Communication Trends” at APM head offices, within the framework of the activities organised in the run-up to the 2014 World Public Relations Forum. The aim was to debate the present and future challenges of communication, as well as to discuss the role of journalists and corporate communicators in a constantly evolving environment.
Carmen del Riego, APM President and José Manuel Velasco, Dircom President, opened the assembly. Del Riego kicked off the day by stating that “journalism is communication but not all communication is journalism.” She took the view that, although they play very different roles, journalists and communicators continue to survive because the work they both do is essential. But she added that “in today’s world, where everything is communication and very little is journalism, journalists increasingly depend on communication professionals.”
José Manuel Velasco outlined the challenges that communication has to tackle in a new political, economic and social environment and how journalists and communicators are necessarily joining forces on the playing field. “The borders between journalism and corporate communication are becoming blurred,” which is positive as it expands the global reach of communication. Velasco stressed the attitudes that the communicator of the future must adopt: the humility to adapt to change and intelligence to learn from successes and failures equally. He mentioned two key tasks in this respect: questioning conventional approaches and outlining ethical principles and codes of conduct.
Pilar Suárez-Inclán, Director of Institutional Communication and CSR at Reale Seguros, María Cortina, Director of Corporate Communication and Institutional Relations at Siemens, and Arturo Pinedo, Partner-Managing Director of Iberia at Llorente&Cuenca took part in the roundtable that followed, chaired by the Managing Director of Dircom, Sebastián Cebrián. All the speakers highlighted how the Internet and new technologies have changed the way in which information is consumed and indicated that these platforms represent a challenge for journalists and communication directors nowadays. “Communication departments have also suffered a lot, like journalists,” María Cortina stated, “we have had to adapt how our team works by creating the role of the ‘community manager’ and shift our focus in media relations.” For Arturo Pinedo this change is not just taking place in terms of the channels used, but also as regards objectives, as corporate communicators have to inform like journalists while seeking to create a reaction through the message they are transmitting on behalf of their company.
The role of communication professionals and journalists in this new technological and social model means they need to be more transparent and creative in their communications and learn to share the same global environment. These issues will be covered at the upcoming World Public Relations Forum (21-23 September 2014, Madrid) where more than 1,000 delegates from all over the world will gather.
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