A data download
Snow fell against the window of Bladonmore’s London office as guests arrived for our latest breakfast seminar.
On the panel, Bladonmore Director Kit Cooper was joined by Matthew Newton, Head of Communications EMEA at Goldman Sachs, and Patrick Meyer, Group Communications at Refinitiv, to talk data in the context of communications. The point was made that many businesses are now ‘tech companies’, with a wealth of data to inform and improve how they operate. The challenge is how each can build belief in its own tech story.
Build a data culture
Our panellists presented an interesting contrast: Goldman Sachs, a world leader in financial services reshaping its identity through a technology lens, and Refinitiv, a data giant working to establish its brand in the wake of its spin-out from Thomson Reuters. Refinitiv is also due to merge with the London Stock Exchange Group in the near future – subject to regulatory approval. Both agreed that developing the right culture was a vital part of supporting their tech story. Creating a data culture helps to attract the best talent and sends a strong message to customers that you are open for business, in a new, improved way.
Know when it’s right to react
Refinitiv alone processes over two terabytes of data each day. With access to a vast amount of insight and information across a range of subjects, businesses have the opportunity to respond to topical trends or events, the moment they unfold. But this demand can challenge established comms strategies. Flexibility is always good – but not all subjects are right for every business. It’s important not to lose sight of the longer-term communications objectives, rushing to appear firmly on the pulse. Businesses need to carefully consider whether they want to be part of a story – whether it is something to take the lead on, corroborate, or simply to stay clear.
Numbers alone aren’t enough
The overriding message from the discussion underpins the importance of every communications function; data is just that – facts, stats and figures. It’s perhaps unfair to suggest that these are meaningless on their own, but… they sort of are. Ultimately, good communication is about making a connection with your audience – grounded in creativity and genuine storytelling above anything else. Data should inform your narrative – but it will fail to deliver the desired impact unless it is shaped in the right way.
As the discussion was brought to a close, the snow outside intensified. Like data, each flake has its own unique structure that can form an infinite number of shapes. As it crystallises together it can create something striking – but in isolation, it soon melts into nothing.
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