Making the most of the LMA Annual Conference

The LMA Annual Conference begins today after weeks of prep: locking down lunches, coffee meetings and booth demos, and, most importantly, finding a way to transport hundreds of Girl Scout cookies across the U.S. As a first-time attendee, these are a few of the things I’m looking forward to, and some tips on how to make the most of the four days in Vegas (discounting the recreational!):


MIPIM's hidden gems

As any property professional heading down to MIPIM knows, the week can often feel like a constant whirlwind of networking events, seminars and drinks.

For those looking to try something slightly off the beaten track, here are some hidden gems to keep an eye out for at this year’s event:


When bad recalls happen to good companies

Seeking to put end to a major product liability scandal, Takata Corporation last week pled guilty and proposed to pay $1 billion to settle allegations related to nearly $100 million in allegedly defective airbags.

But the story won't end there. It was reported on Monday that at least four automakers – Ford, Honda, Nissan and Toyota – knew of the defective airbags for years yet continued to use them in their vehicles.

These are companies with internationally known brands, loyal customer bases and millions of dollars earmarked each year for product design, safety and development. Yet somehow, even with teams of engineers dedicated to building safe products, bad things happened.

Product recalls are nothing new, and no company that produces consumer products is 100% immune from them. The list of companies that have had recalls in recent years includes some of the most recognized names in Corporate America: Samsung, Chipotle, Toyota, Cuisinart, Ford, General Mills, Nestle, Volkswagen and Lululemon. The smartest companies know product recalls will happen and are prepared when they do.


Five point guide to MIPIM

Well, the suitcases are packed, the business cards are printed / pocketed, and the diaries are well and truly crammed to bursting point. In a few short hours it’ll be goodbye London, bonjour Cannes as the Infinite Global team jet off to join the good and the great of the property world at MIPIM 2017.

For any company making the trip to the south of France, MIPIM is a considerable investment so it’s critical to do your homework and head off to the Riviera with a game plan. Here are some of our top tips:


Listen up! What podcasts do differently – and why it matters

It may sound cliché, but I really am coming to the field of public relations at a particularly interesting moment in time. In the United States, protests over press freedom have broken out, and former U.S. President George W. Bush recently defended the media, proclaiming that their work is "indispensable to democracy." Even as we recognize the importance of media content for good governance and the future of global civil society, the way we get this information is transforming at breakneck pace.

As podcasts gain popularity, they continue to push the boundaries of traditional media; both in content and style. I’m subscribed to many and am always on the lookout for additions to my queue. For me, podcasts play when I have the luxury of a wandering mind – while I’m making dinner, going for a run, commuting to work or walking to the store. While forms of "new media" are often criticized for allowing consumers – often those of my millennial generation – to skim, reacting almost mindlessly to a constant flood of updates, I’d argue podcasts can push us in the other direction.

Many podcasts release new shows only once a week, or even less frequently, meaning they can dive deeper into a subject and address it from several angles. The TED Radio Hour, for instance, explores one topic through several speakers in a range of industries, often focusing on a change in society or addressing how new information/research is altering how we understand human relationships or institutions. In November 2016, an episode titled "Democracy on Trial" featured discussions with academics, activists, reporters and writers, and former elected officials about alternative systems and facets of democracy that might improve or ultimately destroy it. Following surprising election results in the US and Europe, the topic was extremely timely. However, the podcast presented not news and current events, but rather the context required for better understanding. In short, I would argue it was creating smarter, more critical media consumers.

There is also something about the medium that allows the information to percolate. I’ll keep thinking about the topic afterward and come back to it without planning or conscious effort – something I can't say usually happens after scrolling through social media posts. Occasionally shows will also have "re-runs," replaying older episodes from their archives. I used to skip these if I’d listened when they first aired, but lately I’ve been taking a second listen. Many are surprisingly evergreen, even a year or two later, and I’ve gotten new or further insights from additional noodling on the topic and how it’s being presented.

As communication professionals, it's critical that we not only strive to stay ahead of media industry trends, but also understand and utilize the way these changes can and should affect content. Some innovations will allow us to simply increase the size of our audiences, but there is also value in considering how the variety of forms of media available to consumers affects the way they relate to and use the information presented.


Want to be regularly quoted in the media? Eight ways to get it wrong

For a professional, being regularly quoted in the media as an expert in your field has obvious benefits. It raises your own and your firm’s profile, it provides new business opportunities and it reassures your clients that they have hired one of the best.