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RCG UPDATE | January 2020

Tuesday 04, Feb 2020

What a start to the year it has been - the bushfire emergency certainly has taken a physical toll on the country, as well as an emotional one. We have witnessed a shift as Australians have reacted to the emergency: an outpouring of support, but also a social shift, as more and more Australians become engaged, aware and vocal in the social, political and cultural space. We have felt the impact also from a work-perspective, as the BAU narrative became one no longer fit for purpose. Our staff, clients and colleagues needed more than just BAU, many needed cathartic discussions about what it all meant, how they could help out more, or become more socially active. 

This reflects the changing face of communications in Australia. As communicators we need to be on the front foot of these trends, as well as be willing to pivot and change when required. For PRIA and the RCG that moment is right now. We're setting the tone for the decade ahead. With a new PRIA president in place, Leigh McClusky, and Chair for the RCG, myself: we are looking to revisit our mandates, and expand them into new and relevant spaces. 

At the PRIA / RCG workshop last month we discussed what that might look like, and came to some exciting and very much required conclusions.

In the spirit of remaining open and accountable to our members, we are well aware that over the last decade the interest and relevance of the RCG has waned. There are several changes we are looking to make to ensure the RCG retains its relevance and is valuable to members. Together we have drafted a new mandate, underpinned by 4 pillars, and I welcome your feedback.

The RCG role: the one-stop shop for communications senior executives. 
Providing practical assistance and support from a networking, trends and staff perspective. 

FOUR PILLARS: 

  1. Staff Retention; 
  2. Global Trends; 
  3. Networking: Connections with Government and Corporate; and
  4. Key insights and training. 

Secondly, we are looking to update the research. For some fifteen years, research was conducted via the RCG into the industry with YouGov Galaxy. As David Briggs has recently retired (previous MD at YouGov), and with Adam Benson moving on as Chair of the RCG, we have an opportunity to revamp the research to make sure it is relevant to you. We are looking to contract a new research agency in February to conduct qualitative surveys with you to understand what you need and would like to know about. This will result in a changed direction, with updated questions in field for March. We will be looking to provide you with quarterly updates on the industry via the research, as well as conducting a pulse survey which takes the temperature on important topics in the communication space. 

Alongside this, we would like to get your opinion on the endorsement of the Uluru Statement. Last year we had Thomas Mayor (an important activist for the Uluru Statement from the Heart) speak at the end of year conference. There was a general sentiment that the industry should do more to drive forward this discussion. I wanted to canvas your thoughts on an industry endorsement via the RCG.

We have also had several questions around industry guidelines on parental leave. Whilst, we have provided ad hoc advice, we believe the establishment of a working group in this space, and a set of guidelines is incredibly important. If you are interested in joining this group please let me know. 

If you have any thoughts on the above or want to discuss anything RCG/communications related with me, please send me an email.

Kind regards,

Lisa Portolan
RCG Chair