Leading up to the virtual IABC World Conference 2021, speakers will spotlight their can’t-miss sessions on Catalyst. Read on for a sneak preview of “Unleash the Power of Social Impact Communication,” 4:40–5:40 p.m. BST on 29 June (8:40–9:40 a.m. PDT, 29 June; 1:40–2:40 a.m. AEST, 30 June).
As an African IABC member, the opportunity to participate and contribute to the IABC World Conference 2021 excites me. Digital communication allows us to join the World Conference without spending thousands of rands, our local currency. Joining virtually is such a bonus and a privilege, making the “I” (international) in IABC a reality.
While the cost-savings are a perk, I do regret not being able to travel to the conference this year. Attending previous IABC conferences in exciting locations has expanded my horizons on more than just a professional level. This reality, however, brings into focus why I chose my session topic: It is about time we unleash the power of social impact communication.
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Today, no continent, no country, no company and no communicator can ignore the impact of social issues, especially against the backdrop of challenges like disease management and health services, poverty, unemployment, education and literacy failures, climate change and environmental issues, and access to infrastructure. As captured in the Sustainable Development Goals, sustainability is not just a theoretical concept or jargon anymore. These elements impact us — personally and professionally — every single day.
With travel restrictions in place, focus on local circumstance has been enhanced in the past 18 months. Weaknesses in social systems have been highlighted. Strengths and assets in this area have been many regions' saving grace. As a development communication professional, I have become acutely aware of how different areas are and how similar trends play out in every continent we work in. The pandemic has given us a canvas to highlight the reality of social impact and the tools we have access to as communicators that can influence social change.
It's about time we get recognition for contributing to measurable social impact changes, adding value to business results such as productivity, employee and customer wellness, climate and environmental challenges, economic struggles and health communication. We must pay this necessary discipline in our profession more than lip service.
It's about time we understand that social issues are not going away. We need to deal with them responsibly. It’s about time we focus on understanding our shared humanity without taking on these responsibilities alone.
Now, more than ever, development is and must be part of the strategic communication professional's job. The interactive session I will host will give you a paradigm to work from, with five tools for social impact communication. I will also share some multi-national case studies, showing the tools in action. Finally, I will provide some templates that will assist you to immediately activate the social impact communication tools in your environment, making meaningful contributions to business and society. I look forward to my exchange with you.
Don’t miss “Unleash the Power of Social Impact Communication” and many other inspiring sessions during the virtual IABC World Conference 2021, taking place online 28–30 June. Register now to secure your spot for this top-tier virtual event, and look forward to connecting with communication professionals from around the globe.