Published on 14th September 2021
In this second part of a six-part post, our communications experts take a look at Leadership Behavior / PR Strategy Trends which they predict will be affecting the communications environment in the next six months and beyond. Thank you to our Worldcom Partners from KGB Texas Communications, Onva Consulting, Padilla and Enterprise Canada, for sharing their insightful predictions.
In addition to the trends below, you can view the Leadership Behavior and PR Strategy Trends video.
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Business Leaders Will Need To Align Operations With Marketing And Communication Efforts
As the pandemic eases, business leaders will face a new challenge – finding workers. In industries hit hardest by the pandemic, such as retail, airlines and hospitality, owners are pushing to quickly return to normalcy and regain revenue. But they are struggling to find the workforce needed to support rebuilding to pre-pandemic levels. As priorities shift to hiring, training and economic growth, CEOs and business leaders will need to communicate around these issues, with a focus on keeping communication consistent and authentic. If operations are not in line with marketing promises and communication efforts, it will only accelerate failure.
It won’t just be individuals that suffer from ‘long-Covid’, businesses will too. The toll on employees and leaders taken by the pandemic will mean things won’t just bounce back to normal. Leaders who recognise this, and communicate how the organisation will navigate the challenge, will be rewarded with higher employee engagement and performance. It will be more important than ever to be purpose-driven and provide certainty about how the organisation will operate and how every individual contributes to achieving that purpose.
As the world retreated indoors, many businesses cut budgets on offline marketing, for example, outdoor advertising or experiential marketing. Instead, online marketing budgets increased rapidly, especially influencer marketing and now feature more highly in the brand marketing strategies of companies.
Influencer marketing is much more valuable as it introduces a human element in authentic brand and consumer storytelling. On social media platforms, influencer marketing can result in plenty of conversions and sales. But it’s not just a simple set-it-and-go program. To be effective, we will need to define target needs, find and create a hands-on relationships with suitable influencers, and carefully plan, execute and manage the implementation to ensure we achieve marketing goals.
For companies who are engaging in the internationalization process, influencer marketing is a much better way to gather local consumers’ attention. It can solve localization problems and also be highly cost-effective. Some tech and Internet brands from China are now ready to co-operate with influencer KOLs in North America and other overseas regions, to promote their brand and products all over the world.
From the Me Too movement to Black Lives Matter, it’s no secret social issues are increasingly at the forefront. Through social media, every brand, company and individual is being watched more closely than ever, and one out-of-turn comment or inappropriate action from the past can result in a PR nightmare – or worse, ruin a career or company.
In Canada, the discovery the graves of hundreds of children who lost their lives at Residential Schools, sparked calls to cancel Canada Day – our equivalent of July 4 in the U.S. – in recognition of what happened more than 50 years ago. Every major company in Canada faced important marketing decisions on how to handle Canada Day this year.
Diversity and Inclusion policies and actions have moved from being purely Human Resources issues to ones that impact almost every aspect of internal and external communications. PR professionals will be increasingly called upon to work with the c-suite to develop meaningful inclusion and diversity standards that will have significant implications on internal, external and reputational communications.
Other predictions from our Worldcom Experts:
If you want to re-visit the predictions our Worldcom Experts made at the start of the 2021 you can view these here: