September 26 2022
The past few years have brought previously unseen challenges for societies globally – pandemic, war, inflation and increasing social demands and tensions. Communications professionals will have to take these new factors into account when advising their clients on day-to-day activities as well as when drafting communications plans.
Increasingly, it is not the communications theory behind, but a deep understanding of current issues and practical steps applied to address them that make or break a communications strategy.
A recommended approach that tackles our new realities can be summarized in seven simple steps and tactics:
PR pros can no longer put together a communications plan considering only what companies want to communicate but also what the public wants to hear. Without this empathy, communication may even be counterproductive rather than helping a brand.
If there is one thing we all have learned in the Covid pandemic, it is that companies must be flexible and adjust to what is happening around them. Planning is essential but can easily become useless if we do not adjust our actions to the needs of the moment.
The top-down approach also belongs to the past. Today, a level communications field is preferred, and it is a must to listen to customers. There are now many tools available, ranging from social monitoring and listening apps to polls and surveys made easy to help us hear what the audience wants or says.
In today’s environment, a comms plan made in the headquarters of a developed market must – more than ever – go through local consultants to adapt it to the realities of each country before the plan is applied in several markets.
Uncertainty has become one of the great challenges of the 2020s. Why not use this to our advantage in communications plans? For example, when announcing a multi-million-dollar factory investment, make sure it goes hand in hand with facts underlying that the project will not contribute to price increases of final products. People tend to try and read between the lines. So why not give them the final benefits in the beginning and stop all the worries right there.
Environmental concerns and projects used to be the privilege of large companies on rich budgets. Today caring about the environment has become everyone’s duty and mission. Time for inaction is over. All companies must contribute to building a better world and this involves actively taking care of our planet and considering it as a long-term investment.
With all the changes around, solutions of the past will no longer serve us in the future. Comms consultants today must be more creative than ever before when creating the best communications plans for 2023. And they constantly have to look for the new angles.
By considering these factors and applying new approaches, we will be able to continue to make a difference as advisors and provide added value for our clients. For this we also have to seek clients who really want to listen to their advisors and not end up always doing the same.