In early 2005, I joined a select group of business communicators who were social media early adopters to found a new research organization and think tank that would explore new communication tools and technologies.
It had a clear vision:
To be the leading think tank for the advanced study of new communications tools, technologies and emerging modes of communication, i.e. blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasts, collaborative tools and the growing phenomena of participatory communications and their effect on traditional media, marketing, public relations and advertising, as well as their broader impact on business, politics, entertainment, culture, education, religion and society.
To investigate, develop, share and transfer in-depth and forward-facing insights resulting from our deep ongoing study, learning, and continuous mastery of new communications tools and technologies with the academic community and industry for the promotion of best practices.
This new organization was called the Society for New Communications Research – SNCR for short – and I was one of the Founding Fellows (eventually numbering 18) who got the ball rolling. SNCR was established as a non-profit foundation headquartered in California, and led by Jen McClure.
2005 was an exciting time to be at the sharp edge of social media (and it wasn’t even called that in 2005) and, for me, especially exciting to be involved with a group of very smart people in such a venture. I was thrilled to be part of SNCR and have valued my founding participation ever since.
And now, a decade later, SNCR has moved to a new level in its evolution as it merges with The Conference Board based In New York. In a post on the SNCR blog, Jen McClure notes the significant role SNCR will play as part of the larger organization:
SNCR brings to The Conference Board a vast portfolio of business publications, including thematic research reports, a peer-reviewed journal, a blog and case studies highlighting successful corporate communications practices. Most importantly, The Conference Board will be able to draw on the expertise of SNCR’s Fellows – a global network of futurists, analysts, scholars, business leaders, marketers and communicators, technologists and media representatives from around the globe – to engage its members in an ongoing dialogue on corporate communication issues and consolidate its thought leadership in the field.
I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in this terrific move and, especially, Jen McClure for her unwavering commitment and leadership over the past decade. Best wishes, Jen!
Here’s the text of the formal announcement on February 10:
The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) Joins The Conference Board
NEW YORK, Feb. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Today The Conference Board announced that the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) — a 501(c)(3) research and education institution dedicated to the advanced study of how new and emerging communications tools and technologies (such as digital, social media, and mobile) are affecting business, media, health, law, culture, and society — will join The Conference Board and operate as part of the larger organization.
Founded in 2005, SNCR brings to The Conference Board a vast portfolio of business publications, including thematic research reports, a peer-reviewed journal, a blog and case studies highlighting successful corporate communications practices. Most importantly, The Conference Board will be able to draw on the expertise of SNCR’s Fellows — a global network of futurists, analysts, scholars, business leaders, marketers and communicators, technologists and media representatives from around the globe — to engage its members in an ongoing dialogue on corporate communication issues and consolidate its thought leadership in the field.
Founded in 1916 and based in New York, The Conference Board counts as members over 1,000 public and private companies in some 60 countries. It produces research in a wide array of areas, including global economics, human capital, corporate governance, sustainability and philanthropy. By becoming a division of The Conference Board, SNCR expands the outreach of its knowledge and best practices while The Conference Board strengthens the value proposition of its corporate membership.
“Business leaders highly value the efforts of not-for-profit organizations,” said Jonathan Spector, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Conference Board. “By joining forces with The Conference Board, as The Committee for Economic Development did last year, SNCR will be able to reap the benefits a larger organization can provide — greater reach, resources, and scale — while continuing to focus directly on its original mission. It’s a real win-win.”
In the United States and around the world, The Conference Board convenes several Councils in the communications and marketing space — peer networks of corporate officers responsible for corporate communication strategy, internal (employee) communication, and social media. SNCR’s content is being made available to all Conference Board members and Councils, which will directly contribute to driving the future research agenda.
“We are delighted to welcome SNCR’s cadre of experts to The Conference Board home, and look forward to working with them on the expansion of our research offerings,” added Matteo Tonello, Vice President and Corporate Leadership Practice Lead at The Conference Board. “The Conference Board has a long history of fruitful collaborations with the research and business community for the advancement of knowledge and the creation of thought leadership. SNCR’s Fellowship will renew this tradition and is an extraordinary new resource for our Council members.”
The Conference Board will also continue SNCR’s Excellence in New Communications Awards program, which annually honors companies, media, government, nonprofit and NGOs, and academic institutions for their innovative use of new communications tools and technologies. Now in its tenth year, the 2016 awards ceremony will be held in conjunction with The Conference Board’s 21st Annual Senior Corporate Communications Management Conference, which will take place in New York City on 19-20 May.
“In today’s digital era, these two organizations are well placed to join forces to deliver unparalleled business knowledge,” concluded Jen McClure, SNCR’s founder, President and Chair of the advisory board that The Conference Board is instituting to coordinate future programs. “SNCR’s respected, independent and forward-facing research will complement The Conference Board’s existing offerings. In turn, The Conference Board’s access to company insights and production resources will further enhance SNCR’s research development process.”
Alex Parkinson, Senior Researcher at The Conference Board and an expert in corporate communication, corporate social responsibility and philanthropy, will serve as SNCR Associate Director and support McClure and Tonello.
The transaction was approved by the boards of trustees of both organizations and became effective on December 23, 2015, upon completion of the required regulatory review. SNCR’s catalogue of publications and other practical resources for corporate communicators is available at www.conference-board.org/SNCR.
About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in the United States. For more information, please visit www.conference-board.org
About the Society for New Communications Research
The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) is a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education foundation, think tank, and public service organization, dedicated to the advanced study of the latest developments in new and emerging communications tools and technologies such as digital, social media, and mobile, and their effect on business, media, health, law, culture, and society.