Purpose-driven Communications in an Uncertain Era: multi-sector perspectives

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08 May 2018

09:30 AM

We live in a post-truth era. While the concept of fake news and all manners of disinformation or misinformation are not new, the post-truth communications phenomenon is now firmly entrenched in the public, corporate, and social sectors. Compounding this is a trend of pessimism and cynicism that drive counter-narratives. These are challenging and fragmented times, and of special concern to those engaged in purpose-driven communications to accelerate social progress. Over the past decade, brands – across sectors – have increasingly aspired to address social issues by taking a stand on something. And there is evidence for these decisions: conscientious consumers expect it; employees expect it and stakeholders expect it. Studies have shown positive correlations between social enterprise and financial performance and non-financial returns. But there is also a backlash against ‘purpose’. More and more purpose-driven campaigns find themselves criticised, mocked, or hijacked. And ‘purpose’ is used by some as a mere veneer for poorly-conceived CSR activities. Can purpose still drive sustainable growth and sustainable development? Are the traditional drivers of purpose still relevant in an uncertain era? Should the communications function play a critical role in shaping our world? How should communications professionals advocate for truth and honesty? Brian Tjugum, Managing Director, Social Impact, EMEA, Weber Shandwick will be joined by special guests to discuss these and other related issues. The aim is to find common ground on the future direction of  purpose-driven communications in Africa.

Moderator and Speakers