Two Hill Impact team members, Dan Hill, founder and CEO, and Kate Brannen, managing associate, attended the World Communication Forum in late March.
You’re probably asking yourself, “What is the World Communication Forum?” The World Communication Forum (WCF), hosted in Geneva, Switzerland, is a conference that brings together professionals from around the world to meet and exchange ideas on trending communication topics and current issues.
While they were in Geneva, Dan and Kate made sure to visit local attractions and sample the cuisine—but this trip was not just about food. Dan and Kate had a mission in mind when they flew to Switzerland for WCF—introduce Hill Impact to a global audience and educate fellow professionals on the importance of ethics in public relations.
Dan, an expert in crisis, brand and reputation management, spoke on the WCF panel, “Why Ethics in Public Relations is of Crucial Importance Today?” During his presentation, he emphasized how crucial it is for companies to consider how ethics should be integrated into crisis communications and reputation management.
“The lack of ethics can be attributed to three factors: 90% greed; 5% sport (trying to prove we can save a brand from a crisis, against all odds); and, 5% ignorance,” said Dan. “The audience was receptive — the message seemed to strike a nerve even considering that most of the attendees were from outside of the U.S.”
His presentation highlighted that companies practicing bad ethics damage their credibility with not only their target audience, but with other professionals. According to Dan, panelist attendees were open to the importance of good ethics and were receptive to incorporating this practice into their own communication plan.
In addition to sharing their perspectives and insights, Hill Impact’s team gathered valuable insight from the forum’s international attendees on how other countries are affected by bad press.
“What stood out apart from the diverse experience of the participants was the panel on Country Branding.” said Kate. “It made me understand the challenges some countries face, for example, they get a bad reputation because of their neighbors, or misinformation, misconceptions, etc. and how PR professionals can work to combat those preconceived perceptions.”
Attending WCF allowed the Hill Impact team to create new connections with other communication professionals and be introduced to new perspectives. Open discussion between colleagues created an environment where individuals collaborated on ideas and solutions to relevant issues in communications.
“Watching Dan present was eye-opening for both myself and the professionals that attended as well,” said Kate. “We would all benefit from learning from each other and how surrounding issues can affect local ones.”
Our team is looking forward to attending WCF in the future and attending events and conferences that promote exchanging ideas and networking.
For more information about the World Communication Forum, go to: