30 Aug 2015

World Communication Forum Review: Global Communications Agenda 2015 - PR, Culture & Social Media

Stunning & magical city of Davos
On March 10-11, 2015, took place in the Davos Congress Centre the 6th World Communication Forum - #WCFDavos. Bringing and bridging together 33 nations through politicians, global PR experts and representatives from Communication departments of diverse international organisations. Annually, #WCFDavos identifies and defines the trends on global communications for the months to come, until the meeting is held again in the Swiss Alps.
Faith Muthambi, Minister of Communication of South Africa, speaking at the #WCFDavos
Having lunch with Mr. Kim Kyong-Hae, known as Korea's PR father

BRICS for Communication

Masha Aladzhova and Lars Hilse - Like & Comment #WCFDavos

Flavio Oliveira and Faith Muthambi, Minister of Communication (South Africa)
On the 11th March, I had the pleasure to moderate a DEBATE entitled: “Global Communications vs Cross-cultural Communicaton: Which shall be the communication of the future”.
Now, the debate and many other very interesting & pertinent presentations on PR, communication and digital media have become a book, the first one of its kind, edited by the World Communication Forum Association, this book brings a lot of knowledge on the current status of global communications – a must read for PR & Communications’ professionals worldwide.
Here I will republish the article I have written in-cooperation with Rana Nejem and Dr. Volker Stoltz.
The main question of this debate relied on the assumption that there are two forms of communication when dealing in an international level. On one side, global communications encompassing the international dimension of the communication process, that is, when the communication is established with counterparts located and/or originally from two or more nations. On another side, cross-cultural communication which would consider communication when dealing with two or more different cultures. Rather than the initial question of which would be the communication of the future, the debate relied much more in the discussion whether there should be any difference between those terms at all.

The debate was moderated by Flavio Oliveira (http://www.forumdavos.com/people/135), Global PR Consultant and #WCFDavos Ambassador. 

Flavio Oliveira
The debaters were, defending cross-cultural communications: Rana Nejem (http://www.forumdavos.com/people/204) – an expert in cross-cultural communications and business protocol with a long track record of improving diplomatic awareness on cultural differences in Jordan/Middle East. 
Rana Nejem
On the other side, defending global communications, Dr. Volker Stoltz (http://www.forumdavos.com/people/219) , a veteran in the field of global PR & communications, founder of the Global Communication Institute - http://www.globcom.org/

Dr. Volker Stoltz

The compilation of the ideas defended by Rana Nejem is follows:
           “Several sociologists and culturalists have developed different models that aim to help us understand how culture affects the way we approach certain tasks or view things.  Among those is Roland Muller, who did anthropological and sociological research among the Bedouin.  An organisation called KnowledgeWorkxs then carried that theory further into application for the business world.
           Muller suggested that all societies could be grouped into three main categories or worldviews with reference to the main motivators that drive behaviour. He called these three groups:
•         Innocence /Guilt societies
•         Honor/Shame societies
•         Power/Fear societies
           He proposed that every society has a unique mixture of these three worldviews, making each one distinct from the other.  The first principle to remember is that the all three worldviews are always present in every person or group of people.  So you will never get a pure honour/shame culture, a pure power/fear culture, or a pure innocence/guilt culture.  Each worldview has its strengths and weaknesses, and all also have abuse mechanisms.

           Then the question is: can the gap be bridged? Rana’s answer is yes, it can.  But it requires a conscious and continuous effort by businesses, governments and communicators around the world. 
To make that effort to open up and first start by taking an honest look at one’s own cultural beliefs and values and the glasses through which he determines what is right and what is wrong and then open up to see that there are other ways of doing things, other ways of seeing things and other ways of saying things.
           Inter-cultural Intelligence is defined as the ability to anticipate other people’s culturally motivated behaviour; correctly interpret that behaviour; and then adjust one’s own behaviour accordingly.  This requires a continuous conscious effort that starts with a healthy degree of self-awareness.”

One the other side, defending Global Communications, was the global PR veteran Dr. Volker Stoltz. During his presentation, he introduced the following thoughts:
§  We all speak English (Lingua Franca);
§  We all eat Hamburgers;
§  We all drink Coke;
§  We all watch Hollywood films;
§  We all „google“;
§  We all look for „ Facebook friends“;
§  We all consume: same news / same time;
§  Development to a sort of „ global culture“ on a lowest denominator;
§  A sort of „McDonaldisation“ of our world – as some fear?
§  The good news : The impact of the McDonal- disation varies from culture to culture.

Therefore, Global Communication,  is inevitably cross-cultural. If it deals with more than one country, and consequently, with more than one culture, global communications will always be cross-cultural. From the ideas proposed by Rana during her initial speech and after Dr. Volker proposed his ideas, it was clear that the initial question of the debate about which type of communication should be the communication of the future was soon let aside to give stage to a more pertinent question: is there a differen between the terms?

The debate which started with the question whether cross-cultural communication or global communications should be the communication of the future concluded that there should not be such question.
Global communications or international PR, or any communication effort involving two or more different nations, should consider cultural dimensions in the communication process to achieve better outcomes and avoid [manage] possible conflict. 

As per Hofstede quote: “culture is more often a source of conflict rather than synergy”. However, the debaters also concluded that if we manage cross-cultural communication processes properly, it is be possible to achieve states of cultural synergy, where the sum of the efforts of each of the individuals from different cultures, will have more creative and successful results.


#PR #RP #communication #culture #global #globalcommunication #international #managament #Hofstede #cultural #culturaldifferences

Thank you for reading this post and do not forget to keep on smiling :-)

Tot zo!

1 comment:

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