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President’s Update – October 2016

We are only days away from the US election and it just gets curiouser and curiouser. There is no shortage of commentary so I won’t bother you with mine except to say that it is an intriguing case study in the use of language … I refer you to the current meaning of the word “Trumped” which is a little different to having a winning hand at cards.

It’s the role of communications in politics and public debate that inspired our next event On Message – exploring political communications. We are beyond excited to have on our panel the previously unknown creator of the The Shovel, James Schloeffel who will be sharing his first-hand experience of the US election and the role of comedy in political debate. Two incredibly intelligent and savvy ladies will join him, Georgina Downer from the Institute of Public Affairs and Alys Gagnon from Mamamia (and former national organiser for the ALP). This event is going to be an absolute ripper so make sure you secure your tickets here.

A big part of the political game is understanding and articulating the value of your messages and ideas and how best to make those connect with your audience. I have spent a lot of time over the last few weeks thinking about the idea of value and how that can be so easily distorted depending on context. I recently managed an event that provided all attendees with free food, drink and entertainment. I was blown away by the behaviour of individuals just to ensure they got a free ice cream – it wasn’t pretty. It got me thinking, if something doesn’t cost you anything, how do you perceive the value? If we had charged $1 per item, how would this have changed people’s behaviour?

My theory is that if you have no skin in the game or investment of any kind, the mentality shifts to being one of entitlement rather than a focus on the interaction itself. I reached this conclusion after last Wednesday’s midweek mingle down at Riverland. We had a group of people who were all there for some “free” drinks, but the interaction and behaviours could not have been more different than at my event two week earlier. And it’s because the drinks were merely the connection point, and the real investment was people’s time.

It’s that investment of your time and sharing of your professional skills and experience that will enable you to get the most out of your IABC membership. You can learn plenty of great things by attending events and reading the newsletters but for me, the gold is in the conversations and connections that we make with people on a personal level. I want to make sure we have opportunities for members to connect more often in this way – if you have any ideas on how we can do this, please get in touch, I really want to hear from you. There are only a few days left in membership month so if you want save some money and be part of this great community then just do it!

Cheers,

Deb

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