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Archive for February, 2010

Get a sense of what to expect from the CCM 2010 Annual Conference with our “Four questions for…” speaker series. Today’s guest is Mary Ann Kotlarich, Director, External Communications, Maersk North America. Mary Ann will be presenting When Pirates Attack: Crisis Communication Study.

1. Tell me about yourself and what you do.

My team and I handle the media, crisis readiness and response, corporate social responsibility and corporate event planning.  Working with the C-Suite executives on a day-to-day basis gives me the advantage of having visibility to the current opportunities and challenges of the organization, the strategy for North America and the individual personalities, which is key during times of a crisis.  We work closely with all levels within the organization from security to facilities to managers to ensure that our colleagues, customers and stakeholders are kept informed of a particular situation and the status of the response. Because of critical timing during a crisis and during the course of managing media issues, I work closely with the internal communications team as well to ensure internal and external announcement are carefully timed.  As a member of a global organization, I also work closely with colleagues on an international basis. I am fortunate to be able to say I love what I do and that each day is a new adventure.

2. What is the one thing CCM attendees will learn that they didn’t know before your presentation.

Attendees will get a solid understanding, from a global organization perspective, of how our role in the internal and external communications process can be likened to a musical choreographer.  They will glean the importance of the critical timing of information release and the ongoing flow of information as well as the crucial importance of having a solid crisis plan in place that addresses both internal and external communication processes prior to any incident.  The dress rehearsals are the key to success. The music, the dancers, the actors, the costumes, the props, the marketing, the venue, and the attention to detail all need to be a synergistic experience in order for the audience to have the “wow”.  The same is true for a crisis communications event.  The participants, the situation room, the technology, the pre-existing relationships, the vested partners, the media and the flow of information are key.

They will also know what color my bathroom towels are!

3. After your session, what will attendees be able to immediately bring back to their job and implement.

Attendees will be able to takeaway a checklist from the presentation in order to review their current plan of attack for a given situation and ascertain what needs to be accomplished for an event to be less stressful and proactive.

4. What‘s in your crystal ball for “What’s Next” in communications for 2010 and beyond.

I believe the next step in the social media process will be for communicators to examine their specific industry and business and really begin to understand which vehicles are appropriate and relevant for their particular needs and applications.

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Get a sense of what to expect from the CCM 2010 Annual Conference with our “Four questions for…” speaker series. Today’s guest is Mary Boone, President, Boone Associates.

1) Tell me about yourself and what you do.

I help senior executives understand how innovative approaches to communication can help them achieve their business goals, strategies and objectives.  In particular, I’m interested in how to exploit large meetings and interactive technologies to manage change in complex organizations.

2) What is one thing CCM Conference attendees will learn that they didn’t know before your presentation?

They will learn about the intersection between complexity theory, leadership, and communication and they’ll have a practical, hands-on experience with some of the methods that are used to address this intersection.

3) After your session, what will attendees be able to immediately bring back to their job and implement?

They will walk away with exciting new ideas about how their leaders can use large meetings to manage complexity and advance communication and business strategies in their organizations.

4) What’s in your crystal ball for “What’s Next” in Communications for 2010 and beyond?

In the near term, you will see Communications playing an increasingly important role in the executive suite.  This role will go far beyond the typical role in which the senior communicator helps with “messaging.”  Instead, CEOs will be looking to Communications to assist heavily in strategy formation and execution.  In the longer term, I think you are going to see a full integration of the Marketing and Communications functions in organizations, and you will see many, many more CCOs moving into the CEO slot.

Interview conducted by Teryl O’Keefe.

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On Thursday evening, those attending the conference are invited to gather for cocktails and dinner in the unique and elegant ambience of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), the nation’s oldest art museum and school, and a National Historic Landmark.

A stunning architectural achievement, the Academy is the perfect setting for our informal networking, with its rich collection of masterpieces by great American artists, including Thomas Eakins, Charles Willson Peale, Mary Cassatt, and Benjamin West.

During the evening, we’ll be given a private tour of the exhibition of Hudson River School Masterworks, on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Museum docents will take us through the exhibit and  teach us about these beautiful works of art.

There’s no additional charge for this event, and we’ll have the entire facility to ourselves.  Transportation to and from the museum will be provided.

Don’t miss this special event where you can see another special feature of the wonderful, history-rich city of Philadelphia!

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