At this year’s Page @ Davos reception at the IBM Pavilion, Bloomberg Television anchor and editor-at-large Francine Lacqua joined in a conversation with former Page Chair and CCO of Mubadala Brian Lott, to examine a journalist’s perspective for 2024.
“Well, I think the biggest challenge with CEOs is trying to understand what they're talking about when it comes to AI. A lot of times we speak now in broad terms, but actually… how does generative AI impact your business … and then just trying to understand how it impacts society, even how we talk to each other. And I think some of the conversations here go in that direction.”
When describing her role at Davos as a journalist, she explained how it is not too different from corporate CCOs; namely, she uses the week to directionally prepare for the year ahead and get ahead of crises before they break.
Reflecting on 2023, Francine noted how difficult it was to predict macro trends, both financially and geopolitically.
“Actually, 2023, from an economic point of view, was okay. And it showed that the economy was much more resilient than expected and inflation is going the right way. What's not going the right way is actually all of this uncertainty in geopolitics. And so when you look at geopolitics, again, the U.S. being at the center of this is dealing with a lot.”
The main implications from this geopolitical turmoil, according to Francine, is that more countries will become domestically and regionally isolated, only weighing in on issues that impact them and their immediate neighbors.
With over 50 countries hosting democratic elections in 2024, Francine highlighted the uncertainty posed by the contests, but also offered a silver lining.
“I think it's unpredictable. I'm London-based, so we also have elections in the next 14 months… You don't really know. You look at the polls, but the polls have been wrong in the past ...I think it makes the economy safer in the next 12 months, because no government in their right mind would crash the economy right before the election. But then there's debt and deficit and all sorts of things that crop up in the next couple of years because of election cycles.”
Toward the end of the conversation, Brian asked Francine for advice on how CCOs could better communicate with the press.
“The pitch needs to be kind of to the point. I know you all know Bloomberg. I still get random pitches for things that just don't seem to add to what we do. The more you consume the outlets of the journalist or the news channel or newsletter that you want to get into, it makes a real difference.”
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