Council on Communications Management 2006 Conference in Santa Fe

I thought HR people knew how to drink. I thought marketing people knew how to drink. But corporate communications people know how to put it away.

As I was on the bus back from the gala dinner tonight singing Elvis Presley’s greatest hits with a busful of wine-infused communications people I must add them to the list of corporate functions that know how to have a good time.

I presented on a panel with three other top-shelf blogging experts, Chris Barger, IBM’s blogger in chief, Chris Hannegan from Edelman (we were surprised to find we live four blocks from eachother) and Michael Rudnick from Watson Wyatt. It was a great team that Teryl assembled to explore blogging from inside the company, outside the company and from global multinational organizations to the solo professional hanging out a shingle.

The CCM know how to throw a conference. They had the Effectivness Institute – an improv team – riff on the day’s content and had the attendees in stitches with a medley of Elvis, Mathis, Dylan and Denver. I was singled out as one of the youngest attendees and then they tried to explain to me who Bob Dylan was – kiddingly of course – I didn’t get to fire back my line ‘Does that have something to do with an 8-track?’ Catering was fantastic.

The staff at the Inn at Loretto was helpful, attentive and cheerful. Highly recommended.

I came in to Santa Fe on Monday via a prop plane from Denver. I can handle up and down motion in a plane during flight – it’s the side to side that makes me run season one of Lost in my head and start spotting how to claw my way out of the wreckage and hide food from my fellow passengers. This was enhanced by the pilots opening the cockpit doors upon descent so you can actually see the horizon twisting and turning.

I’m no corporate communications junkie and usually regarded the folks that wrote communications plans as slightly crazy when trying to re-arrange deck chairs when your company is a Titanic. But it is always fun to be in a group of geeks about anything – and these folks are big geeks about corporate communications, both internal and external.

I missed the discussion about the media and communications and lessons from the 2004 Presidential Election. My birthday was on Sunday and I didn’t want to do business travel as I marked my birth.

The CCM folks are warm, genuine and generous folks. The organization, though small (just under 300 people), has been in existence for over 50 years. They received blogging with the usual amazement and confusion and I think we may have won over some converts.

If you have any yen for corporate communications – both internal and external – you must party with these folks. They are a great bunch and welcome ya with open arms. Their site is at

And if you ever get to go to the Inn at Loretto – get the full facial spa treatment. The extractions hurt but sometimes beauty requires pain.

Big thanks to Teryl O’Keefe and Barbara Govednik for all their help in setting our presentation up!






One response to “Council on Communications Management 2006 Conference in Santa Fe”

  1. David Stocum Avatar

    Next time fly into Albuquerque and take the beautiful 45 minute drive north. It will save you the “toy plane” ride.
    The drinking and party atmosphere isn’t the CCM, it’s New Mexico. Why do you think we call it the land of enchantment. 🙂

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