Behind the Headlines With Aedhmar Hynes
Aedhmar Hynes, CEO of Text100, says you need a powerful story. No matter what platform or method of communication, a great story will always make an impact.
In this interview, Aedhmar discusses the benefits of working with the C-suite, the importance of effecting positive change with communication and why better understanding your audience will lead to more effective communication.
How did you discover your passion for communication?
I started my career in communication in London where I had the opportunity to work with many North American CEOs in Europe. I found it tremendously rewarding to help them translate their messages and make them relevant across countries, cultures and audiences.
From there, taking that experience to a global stage was very powerful. I’m passionate about giving brands and their key executives a voice, and I love to tackle complex challenges and find ways to solve them.
Seeing the impact of effective communications on a company’s business performance felt extraordinarily impactful to me. So my passion has been as much about communication as it has been about the brands I work for.
What do you like most about working in the communication industry? What do you like least?
From those early days, having access to the C-suite and providing strategic counsel, has always been the part I’ve enjoyed most. From there, the evolution of our industry to see that strategy be executed across integrated communications platforms has been extraordinary.
On the flip side, the thing I like least about our industry is that we are often way too apologetic for the work we do. We need to stop justifying our raison d’être and get on with doing world-changing work.
What has been the proudest moment of your career?
In a communications career, we shine when we effect change. I joined the Board of BornFree, a philanthropic initiative to eradicate the mother-to-child transmission of HIV by the end of 2016.
My team jumped on board, and we developed and executed an extraordinary integrated communications campaign. It’s been mind-blowing to see the data to support the profound impact this initiative has had and to know we played a small part in that.
What are some of the key components of a successful strategic communication strategy?
Put simply, the most important thing is for a brand to understand who they are, who they want to communicate with and why anyone would care.
While that may seem obvious, it often shocks me how few brands truly understand this and go straight to tactical execution, then wonder why they do not get the kind of powerful results they should expect.
The communication and PR industry is constantly evolving. How can brands keep up?
While our industry is evolving with constant innovation and the development of new technologies and platforms, it is important to understand that effective communication, the effective transmission of a message from one person to another, remains the same.
It’s important to remember that the human race has been telling stories for generations. A powerful story well told, regardless of platform or method, will always be a powerful story. Once you keep that in mind, you understand communication at a macro level, and you will always be able to find people who will help you tell your story in different ways and by different means.
What advice do you have for brands looking to stand out in the marketplace?
Take an outside-in look at your brand. Understand what is important to your audiences and how you as a brand fulfill that need in a compelling and authentic way. Be it and live it in every aspect of your business.
Identify powerful ways to tell your story to a group of influential people both inside and outside your business. Once you have built a core group of advocates they are likely to tell your story and be more influential making your brand stand out more than you ever will be.
How do you envision the future of PR and communication? What do you think will change most?
As I said earlier, the fundamentals of great communications will largely stay the same over time. I believe that technology and how it will support human interaction will continue to evolve and change over time. This facilitates in making the world smaller.
The biggest change is that our communities have moved from being local to being global at a rapid speed. We will find people who agree with our poor of view and disagree with our opinions at a grand scale.
I am optimistic that rather than dumb down our sphere of reference this will empower us to become more educated, think more critically and broaden our perspectives.
What will remain the same?
Human nature and the power of a great story effectively told.
Rapid Fire Round
1. My biggest pet peeve is…being late.
2. If I was stuck on a desert island, I’d…relax.
3. My hidden talent is…drawing.
4. I laugh most at…dinner with friends and family.
5. The thing that gets me up in the morning is…the joy of a new day filled with new possibilities.
6. My favorite social media platform is…Twitter.
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