Ten years ago, I drove from my home in Concord, California, about 50 minutes north to a Napa hotel for a conference intriguingly titled The New Communication Forum. It wasn’t from a known entity. Two enthusiastic early adopters — Jen McClure and Elizabeth Albrycht — created the event because they weren’t finding the kind of information and resources they wanted anywhere else. Several of the attendees remained behind after the event to talk about a way to keep the vibe going. That conversation led to the creation of the Society for New Communications Research, a research and education foundation and think tank dedicated to the emerging digital communication space.
Since then, SNCR has held 14 conferences, published 300-plus case studies and nine volumes of the Journal of New Communications Research, produced several important research studies, hosted an annual awards program, and served as a vital resource to communicators, leaders, and others seeking to make decisions based on a solid foundation of substantive, rigorous research.
Today, Jennifer McClure, who steered SNCR since its beginning and served as its president, announced that the society has merged with The Conference Board, a globally recognized business research organization celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. For at least two years, the Society will be known as The Society for new Communication Research of the Conference Board. McClure will chair an advisory board that will help guide the merger. (As a Founding Fellow, I was invited to join the advisory board.) In anticipation of the merger announcement, I was able to interview McClure and Alex Parkinson, Associate Director at The Conference Board, about how the merger came about and what the two organizations plan for the future.
- Merger announcement press release
- SNCR on The Conference Board website
- Founding Fellow Giovanni Rodriguez’s Fortune article on the merger
About our Conversation Partners
Jennifer McClure is CEO of JEM Consulting, LLC. Prior to founding JEM, Jen was VP of Digital & Social Media and the head of the Digital Center of Excellence at Thomson Reuters. She was Managing Director of Re:Imagine Group, a consulting firm focused on helping clients to re-‐imagine their business models for the digital age; CMO of Redwood Collaborative Media, a start-‐up focused on building professional online communities for technology professionals; and Managing Director of Albrycht McClure & Partners, a strategic marketing and communications consulting firm, specializing in serving high-‐tech Silicon Valley start-‐ups. She also held marketing, public relations and financial management roles at Ziff‐Davis and Ketchum Public Relations.
Alex Parkinson is a Senior Researcher and Associate Director in the Corporate Leadership division of The Conference Board. He specializes in corporate philanthropy and communications and marketing. He is Executive Editor of “Giving Thoughts,” a blog and online publication series addressing topical corporate philanthropy issues, and “Framing Social Impact Measurement” and its related Strategic Overview and business implications reports. Visit www.conference-board.org/GivingThoughts for more information. Before joining The Conference Board in September 2013, Alex worked as a Senior Consultant in London and New York for corporate social responsibility (CSR) consultancy Context.