Consistency, credibility and clarity are the 3 Cs every communication professional should live by in their profession. The COVID-19 crisis has proved that a great communication team are an asset to any organisation to manage crises, complex issues, engage diverse stakeholders, maintain staff engagement and protect corporate reputation.
Leading media intelligence firm, Isentia and International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) recently launched a study that uncovers insights around the future of the communication profession after COVID-19. The report unveils the evaluation of strategies and resources for the communications industry in the next 12 months. In this article, we will be covering the main pillars that would aid to shape the communications industry and profession in the coming months.
Strategy and Evaluation
Some of the key insights uncovered in the report are shifts in strategies, priorities and impact of technology on communication professionals in the next 2021.
Balancing internal and external communication while communicating with clarity and empathy to diverse audiences is crucial. New priorities such as employee engagement and brand reputation will urge 24% of the communication professionals to review their communication channels and focus their efforts on owned media. In comparison, 17% will rethink their message to market the approach. These professionals will have to leverage internal comms to ensure the employees and company culture become a brand asset. With increasing transparency and connectivity, brands and companies are no longer closed off from the public. The opportunity and challenge for comms professionals will be to tell stories of flexibility, generosity and resilience within the organisation.
Reputation is the central focus for professional communicators (14%), with most other areas of focus having a visible link to ensuring that reputation is enhanced or maintained. Content strategy will also be prioritised (12%) as a way to preserve a consistent message, establish thought leadership and strengthen brand reputation. Communicators’ top priorities for the next 12 months reveal the need to create a consistent brand presence that can withstand the test of time and crisis.
3. Impact of Technology
Communication experts will leverage technology to make a more significant impact on the lifeblood of their organisations over the next 12 months: Employees (15%) and Customers (13%). Internal employee relations are more valuable now than before and will aid in creating a more substantial impact on culture and brand behaviour on customers and reputation.
Opportunities and Resources to Support the Communications Team
With challenges, there are opportunities to overcome them to improve and adapt to the current economic climate, in a post-pandemic world. Some of the key insights uncovered by the report show that teams, agency collaborations and synergy amongst communication professionals will play a vital role in shaping the future of the industry in the coming 12 months.
The majority of organisations will not decrease the size of their communications teams (66%). These are still considered vital to success as reliance on external agencies diminishes. The communication profession has gained even more value to the eyes of organisations through the COVID-19 pandemic, where communication teams will have “the boardroom’s attention” in 2021. The requirement remains for communication teams to become more agile and join the rest of the business in the journey for digital transformation as an enabler for strategy, implementation and engagement.
2. Agency Collaboration
The post-pandemic world will require communication professionals to find more balance between internal and external resources like agencies. Budgetary pressure will push 43% of communication departments to evaluate their relationship with external agencies or consultants and increase their reliance on internal resources to implement the organisation’s strategy. Agencies and consultants will have the opportunity to re-evaluate what services will suit the current economic environment.
Communication teams will become the cross-functional glue between customer experience, marketing and strategy. Communication professionals will be at the epicentre of organisational strategy over the next 12 months, working closely with management teams to achieve business objectives and enable sustainable growth. They will also cultivate collaborative relationships with Marketing (19%) and Customer Experience (16%) to drive results across all stages of the customer lifecycle.
Organisations are still navigating their way through the pandemic and planning for the post-pandemic world, adapting and responding to the current climate that is rapidly changing. Over the next few months or years, companies will strive to rebuild to overcome the crisis, and the communications team would play a vital role in aiding the organisations to navigate through the crisis.
Download the full report here: https://www.isentia.com/comms-agenda-2021/