Why we have to rename the Director of Communications to…

The Unwanted Commy

COMMUNICATION, The Myndset Minter Dial Digital Media and Brand StrategyIn English, “Comms” has long been the abbreviation for communications.  In French, the term is “la Comm.”  In both cases, the associated meaning is typically reduced to a rather unfortunate, if not pejorative, activity of one-way, manipulative messaging.

To the extent words structure our thoughts and titles can have a way of “leading” the discussion, why not convert the name of Director of Communications to be more in line with the intention, if the right intention is there, that is?  What intention would that?  Presumably to get the word out there, in a credible, congruent and convincing manner, with the right people.

A New Title?

My suggestion for a new title for the position of Director of Communications would be Conductor of Conversation.

Why Conductor?

As with any musical conductor, getting in sync is key.  Rhythm, harmony, timing, emphasis, virtuosos… Many points in common with a good communication plan.

Why the Conversation?

At the very least, for those involved in Communications as it relates to the client (i.e. PR, Corporate Communications…) or even for those responsible for the Employer Brand, the notion of engaging in conversation might foster a more powerful relationship.  For Investor Relations, I think the term would be lost on shareholders — even if there could be mileage in creating a long-term dialogue with shareholders!

Conversation for energy, trust and engagement

Trust in sand, the Myndset Digital Marketing Influence, Minter Dial, Brand StrategistConversation is a most natural phenomenon — albeit not the exclusivity of human beings.  Conversation is one of the quintessential drivers of energy in a person.  Of course, not all conversations are positive or enjoyable.  However, the art of conversing and sharing should be cultivated.  Conversation is a — if not the best — way to gain trust; and as most of us know, trust is cruelly missing in the employer-employee relationship as well as in the brand-customer space.  Conversation is a way to learn.  Conversation means listening.  And, for those employing social media for their comms, conversation and active listening are at the heart of an effective digital marketing strategy.  At its core, conversation makes our brain synapses fire up and this has a dynamizing effect on us, far beyond coffee.  Try falling asleep in a scintillating conversation.  When you listen to a professor drone on, the shut eye cometh with nary an effort.

I talked at the IABC France conference at AUP recently about the power of Energy in Connection“.  You can find a fine resume here.

What do you think of renaming your Communications Department, the Conversation Department?

  • http://www.rightbrainbrands.com Tracy Carlson

    Another great post, Mynter! While the term Conductor of Conversation gets at a couple of very important issues, as you've articulated, it seems a bit skewed towards social media and the two-way communication this particular channel affords.

    As an alternative, I'd propose Director of Connection. This is perhaps better suited to Marketing (vs. strictly Communications), but it gets at the core responsibility: finding and maintaining a vibrant connection with our audiences.

    Keep up the great work!

    • http://themyndset.com Minter Dial

      Hi Tracy, sorry to reply so late, but had an intensedebate (app) issue! Great idea Director of Connection. It is true that the roles of PR, Communications and Marketing (not to forget Customer Service) all have conversation at their heart in the new social business model. (PS i love the name Mynter)

  • martin husar

    I really like the core of what you're getting at here, Mynter. Great post. Fires my synapses!

    At first glance, the following comes to mind for some of the different levels of resources that could eventually arise in a larger Conversation Department: Hosts, Caretakers and Ambassadors.

    1) Conversation Host: operational, community manager, front-line, opens the conduit for transparent conversation and keeps the flow. Most importantly, identifies when conversations need to translate into organizational action.

    2) Conversation Caretaker: ensures that care is actually taken, both in positive and negative conversations. Outlines and executes operational action plans that can easily be carried out by existing organizational resources. Identifies when the organization is faced with a challenge in engaging its customers where a change is needed in structure/process/product/service.

    3) Conversation Ambassador: sets the direction, energy and tone for the department, both in words AND actions of the organization. Ensures that this is equally proactive and reactive with respect to the conversation space. Guides resulting organizational changes. Hmmm… sounds like the CEO a bit …

    Keep it up Mynter!

    • http://themyndset.com Minter Dial

      Thanks Martin. I love where ou are taking this. The Host might be closer to the Marketing role. The Ambassador speaks to the PR role (and discovering influencers). The Caretaker could be customer care? (Sorry for the delay, but I had an issue with my comments widget!!)

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  • KarenRams

    Smart article. Thanks Minter for your always open minded ideas.

    • http://themyndset.com Minter Dial

      Thanks for coming by, Karen!!