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Spotlight on Digital Communications | Edition #13 | Cyrus Mavalwala | Advantis Communications Inc.

Welcome to the 13th edition of Intraskope’s Spotlight Series featuring Cyrus Mavalwala, Cyrus runs Advantis Communications, an award winning social media and video production agency based in Canada, focused on content strategy, creation and activation. He earned international accreditation as an IABC Accredited Business Communicator in 2009 and is one of about 60 people in Canada to be awarded IABC Canada’s highest honour and lifetime achievement designation, Master Communicator.

About Intraskope’s Spotlight Series

In this series I interview key thought leaders on topics interrelated with internal communications such as culture, crisis, change, executive presence and leadership. The goal is to help unravel why they matter, what can leaders and communicators learn from experts and how we can put insights to practice. Watch these short interviews and get better at understanding these key topics and how you engage with internal communications.

In this conversation with Cyrus discusses the growing importance and value of digital media and why organizations and leaders must invest in it. He also addresses key trends shaping the digital landscape and what it means for communications, especially internal communications.

“Transparency, trust and authenticity make up the three legs of the stool. Cornerstones of good business regardless of the industry or the medium used for communication”, says Cyrus.


  1. A report conducted by Deloitte and MIT Sloan Management Review, entitled ‘Strategy, Not Technology, drives Digital Transformation’ reveals that 80 percent of employees across all generations want to work for a digitally-enabled company or digital leader. How do organizations build a culture where digital media is valued and accepted at work and beyond?

I recommend a two-pronged approach which needs to be adopted by:

  • C-Suite/CEO:
    • Create a digital strategy and digitally reimagine the business (different processes, workflows etc.)
    • Communications Leader:
  • Clearly articulate the value that digital technologies and transformation brings the organization

Maturing digital businesses are focused on integrating digital technologies, to transform the business. Less-mature digital businesses are focused on solving discrete business problems – bolt on approach with individual digital technologies.

2. What are some of the trends you spot with social media?

  • Privacy concerns are spiking
    • Dark Social – private networks are growing
    • Video continues to dominate
      • vertical video
      • live video
      • short-form video (TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram Reels, LinkedIn)
      • interactive video
    • Paid is critical
      • Pandemic – digital spend accounting for half of all ad spend
      • Ugly truth for communication professionals
  • 3. With Covid19, what do you think will change for social media?
  • Sped up adoption of new channels by organizations
    • More effective use of existing channels
    • Further cement social as a primary communication and marketing channel
    • Need to ensure extracting value – conduct a Social Media Audit
  • 4.How important is transparency and trust for organizations to tap the power of social media?

  • Add a 3rd  — “Authenticity”
    • Transparency, trust and authenticity make up the three legs of the stool. Cornerstones of good business regardless of the industry or the medium used for communication
    • Majority of consumers say their loyalty to a brand increases when they feel connected… social media is all about creating connection
    • Brands need to weigh the short-term gain with long-term trust and relationship building
  • 5. With the lines blurring between internal and external social media, what is your advice for leadership and organizations to drive their agenda?
  • Forget about the communication channel, it’s about telling the truth inside and out. Employees are also consumers, shareholders etc.
    • Messages should resonate with everyone
    • Transparency is key
  • 6. How does social media play a role in enabling employees as brand advocates?
  • Everyone now has a platform and the corporate message is much more powerful when it comes from an individual employee vs a corporate page or LinkedIn Company Page
    • We train executives and sales teams to leverage LinkedIn to help share the message, position in powerful ways…organizations potentially have thousands of voices to help their cause so leverage this massive opportunity.

  • 7. Any final thoughts?
  • Social media is free…like a free puppy.
    • Inhouse or hire an agency like Advantis, conduct a social media audit – extract massive value
    • What if you could better navigate an issue or avert a crisis by having good governance when it comes to social media
    • Tap the Social Media Success Framework

Watch the complete video interview on YouTube or read the complete transcript above.

Missed the earlier episodes? Watch them here: D. Mark Schumann (Culture), Peter Yorke (Executive Presence), Sia Papageorgiou (Leadership Communications), Dianne Chase (Strategic Storytelling), Gloria Walker (Communication Planning), Rebecca Sangster-Kelly (Stakeholder Management), Ray Walsh (Localizing Employee Communications), Prof. Matt Tidwell (Reputation), Geri Rhoades (Manager Communications), Erik K Meyers (Business Acumen), Russell-Olivia Brooklands (IC Practice Governance) and Paul Barton (Public Speaking and Business Communication).

 You can also look up the ongoing Intraskope’s Spotlight on Internal Communication Series featuring practitioners from around the globe sharing best practices and perspectives.

Liked the interview? Post your comments and share it with your network. 

Keen to participate in the ongoing series on Personal BrandingCrisis Communications, Internal Communications or CSR Communications? Drop me a note at [email protected]

Here are Internal Communications resources you can use: 

You can also visit my website and You Tube channel to know more about my work. 

#IC #digitalcomms #socialmedia #digitalmedia #trust #transparency #authenticity #value #tiktok #instagram #Linkedin #Facebook #Reels # #internalcomms #communications #internalcommunications # #covid19 #cyrusmavalwala

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