Mar 12, 2024 - Axios Events

Axios House at SXSW 2024: The Rise of Corporate Communicators

Eleanor Hawkins in conversation with GoFundMe chief corporate affairs officer Margaret Richardson at Axios House at SXSW 2024

Eleanor Hawkins in conversation with GoFundMe chief corporate affairs officer Margaret Richardson at Axios House at SXSW. Photo credit: Cori Baker on behalf of Axios.

Communication leaders spoke about the renewed focus of communication at companies and the strategies they are implementing to adapt to today's shifting cultural landscape at Axios House at SXSW in Austin, TX.

Why it matters: Communicators are vital in today's climate where companies are having to navigate innovations like AI in a world where misinformation is prevalent while staying true to their mission around social and cultural issues.

When it comes to misinformation in GoFundMe fundraisers, chief corporate affairs officer Margaret Richardson says the "social proof"– where people are mainly donating to people they know rather than strangers– helps deter misinformation and drive trust among donors.

  • She says scammers using AI for misinformation can also help be prevented through that social proof aspect.
  • GoFundMe is also deploying AI as a trust and safety defense mechanism.
  • Also, AI will "never replace the dignity and the authenticity" of humans being able to tell their stories their platform, according to Richardson.

What he's saying: Corporate communicators are the "new coders" of their company, Aneesh Raman, vice president and workforce expert at LinkedIn, told Axios' Eleanor Hawkins.

  • "You [communicators] are doing some of the most important work at your company," says Raman.

Raman added that AI, its impact on work and the uncertainty of today's social climate makes "storytelling matter the most."

Sponsored content:

In a View From the Top sponsored conversation, Jim O'Leary, CEO of Weber Shandwick North America, stressed the need for companies to be "knowledgeable about what's actually going on" in order to mitigate the risk of potentially being misconstrued with political issues.

Thank you to Weber Shandwick for sponsoring this event.

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