IPREX Global Leadership Conference

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Hayley Graham
Senior Account Director

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Just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the IPRX Global Leadership Conference in Chicago. If you don’t already know, DH is a partner in IPREX – a global network of 65 independently owned communications and marketing firms. This partnership allows us to seamlessly tap into the experience and resources of our partners at any time, and vice versa.

Throughout the conference, we did just that. We learned from our partner firms who are experts in specific areas of marketing and communications, shared creative campaigns we’ve been working on, and exchanged ideas about ways we can make our agencies even stronger and areas we can continue to work together. We also had the opportunity to hear from some nationally-recognized professionals like Senior Vice President of Digital News Products at the Chicago Sun–Times and Director of Strategic Partnerships at Women Employed.

Because this conference was so informative, I thought I’d share my 3 key take-aways with all of you…

  1. Do you have a Commander’s Intent? Carol Fowler, the Senior Vice President of Digital News Products at the Chicago Sun-Times, introduced us to this term used in the military. When a general is sending troops into battle, he knows he can’t be with every soldier at every moment, especially when every second counts and decisions have to be made quickly. So, before every battle the Commander gives his “Commander’s Intent” – “whatever you do, make sure you do _________.” For Carol, it’s “drive traffic to the website.” Her team knows that when making a decision, choose the one that will result in web traffic. Sounds easy enough, right? As leaders, it’s our job to make sure our teams know that if we’re not present and something needs to happen quickly, they know what the overall outcome needs to be. But give them the freedom to decide how it gets done and help them if they need help.
  2. Are you ready for the era of #MeToo? It’s only a matter of time before the kinds of crises that media companies and electeds are experiencing go more mainstream and begin to affect organizations of all sizes. Take #MeToo for example. We’re seeing more and more people talking about the movement, but are people actually talking about how to handle those kinds of situations if or when they arrive in their organization? Sharmili Majmudar, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Women Employed, encouraged us to ask ourselves if our teams are prepared to handle sticky situations (or help our clients handle them) whether that’s with colleagues or clients. What do we have in place to help build understanding about behavior, and ultimately change it? And if there is a crisis, how do we (or help our clients) talk about it or act? In the era of #MeToo and gender equality, leadership has never been more important.
  3. Why IPREX? I’ll be honest, prior to the conference I didn’t fully grasp what IPREX is all about and how it provides value to both DH and our clients. But today, I see it much differently. I see the access we have to other experts in our industry, colleagues in cities all across the world to help us serve our clients better who aren’t in our own backyard, and resources to stay up-to-date on new trends, methodologies, technologies, and more. In fact, just this week, we had two calls with IPREX partners and attended a webinar simply to learn more about best practices in both research, crisis communications, and agency operations. Not to mention, the people within IPREX are passionate. They are passionate about helping others and they are passionate about growing their knowledge and expertise. Because at the end of the day, we all want to be the best consultants we can be.  
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