Chwarae Teg’s Chris Price at Sumlab 2014.

Recently I had the great opportunity to attend Sumlab2014, a collection of communication experts who gathered to share new ways to learn / share good practice across EU projects. We shared lot’s of ideas and these are just 3 of the many great ideas we discussed!

Twitter Timeline: #SumLab2014.

1. Change Hurts!

Mark Comerford, lecturer in journalism and new media shared some excellent insights to the world of change and communication.

His opening remarks revolved around the idea that change will create disruption and friction, this friction will be painful and this pain will lead to alienation of employees and other stakeholders.

To illustrate this he cited an experiment involving students who were required to walk down an alleyway before being hit in the face. The control group were told that they would be hit at some point whilst the test group were not. The control group registered far less pain, despite being hit with the same force.

It served to show how understanding change and being able to contextualise it can lead to less friction and therefore less pain.

2. Know Your Values and the Message Will Follow.

Mark told us the story of a Cheerios advert in America who had cast a multi-coloured family as part of their campaign. They had received a number of complaints from some members of the public who didn’t approve of the casting. Instead of grovelling or recalling the advert they, issued a statement effectively stating that they didn’t want these people to buy their products. They may have lost out on sales but what they have gained by sticking to their values and principles is immeasurable.

“Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face.”- Mike Tyson

This is the only inspirational quote in here, I promise!

When things don’t go to plan or the strategy you had in place falls apart you fall back on your values and ethics, it’s important to know not only what you stand for but also what you stand against.

3. Get Creative.

We talked a lot about low cost high impact campaigns, here are a few ideas that really stuck with me:

Guerilla Marketing.

Jiri from Prague, showed us these amazing 3D street art paintings that were created by a local artist. They were easy to produce, gathered a lot of attention and made for great pictures for people to share.

I couldn’t find the ones Jiri showed us, but this is one of my favourite examples of 3D street art: Spiderman street art by Kurt Wenner.

Spiderman street art by Kurt Wenner.

Quick Videos

@DorotheeFischer showed us how quick videos, edited on-the-fly videos can still have a big impact and how apps like Vine and Instagram are changing the way we communicate. We’ve got to become quicker, slicker and more inventive with our video communication.

Babies Is A Better Dancers Than You‘ Compilation: On YouTube.

Here’s the Youtube playlist of the adverts Dorothee showed us. This is probably my favourite advert, it’s from Dollar Shave Club, I think it shows how you can still get your message across in a fun and innovative way without having high production cost, plus it’s hilarious!

Matera in Southern Italy.

The conference took place at the beautiful city of Matera in Southern Italy. Where we were spoilt with picturesque views of an enchanting cityscape and dined on sumptuous local cuisine and wine.

Matera is campaigning for the European City of culture 2019 having heard their history and been treated to their hospitality, I truly hope they succeed.

By Chris Price. Twitter: @Cjprice88.