Last Friday, I enjoyed the privilege of speaking to a group of professional communicators in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It was really a first-of-its-kind experience for me. That’s because I have spoken to many groups over the years, but typically either niche-oriented groups of specialists or groups of non-communicators who want some led shed on the fundamentals of what we do.
InterCom is a 20-year old group in Kalamazoo that is ahead of its time. Its membership is comprised of a variety of communications professionals from writers to ad sales to photographers to PR to marketing to fundraising to entrepreneurs. All of those groups (and seemingly more) were represented in the group I addressed on Friday.
When Don and I started our firm and we chose “strategic communications” as part of our branding, a lot of observers wondered what a couple of “PR guys” where doing with that moniker. In the years since, we have educated our clients and others about the need for a well-rounded communications program, grounded in a spirit of collaboration and designed to support business strategy, in order to succeed in an evolving world. But the members of InterCom have known that for many years.
I hope the group learned a few things on Friday, I know that I did. The session helped remind me of the variance in comfort level with new platforms that really depends on where you “sit” across the continuum of communications. What I heard around the room in Kalamazoo, once I thought about it, really reflects what we at Tanner Friedman encounter every day. Things are moving so fast, it’s impossible for everyone to stay ahead of the technology trends. I was reminded on Friday that by sharing experiences and ideas, the organizations we need to communicate will all benefit.