by Angela Kambarian, Founder of Essential Communications
Let’s face it: 2020 has been a year like no other. Who would argue with that? 🙂 Even the Oxford English Dictionary is at a loss for words to describe it. We all know why… 2020 is the year of COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, civil unrest, climate disasters…not to mention a highly divisive and tumultuous presidential contest.
Some business professionals are wondering if there is a better way to adjust their communication efforts to stay relevant, reinforce relationships with their clients or customers, and move forward with confidence. Despite all the setbacks….
So here are a few critical observations on what we can expect in 2021.
Keep in mind that communicating a few message points may no longer be enough
Now that we are beset with deep divisions over culture and politics, PR must clearly communicate values, not just message points. Therefore, there is continued pressure on brands to align their marketing and communications with corporate principles. 2020 is a year of “norm-shattering” and the loss of trust in institutions means that businesses should invest more time, thinking and effort into expressing brand and corporate values – now more than ever before.
Start paying more attention to new social platforms
It goes without saying that the pace of social influencer growth has accelerated; on YouTube it took up to 14 years for a single channel to reach 100 million subscribers. Yet social media usage rose sharply during the lockdown. I have no doubt in my mind that the trend will continue, and by this time next year, fresh names will hit new milestones. Remember: brands that catch rising stars as new audiences emerge, will benefit significantly.
Find new ways to connect with your audience on a deeper level
As you may already know, today’s brands are expected to do more than put out blatant sales pitches. They are expected to forge and maintain a personal connection with their target markets and keep in mind who the customers are – their likes, dislikes, thoughts, needs and desires, and constantly tweak and adjust their approach based on that. In other words, the content companies put out should be more about the customer, rather than the organization and its leadership.
Innovation rules the world
When it comes to innovation, big ideas that drive media attention, engage clients and customers, motivate employees, and extend marketing budgets will be more impactful than ever in a fractured and fragmented attention economy. So it’s high time to get your creative juices flowing and engage in some serious brainstorming.
Bland generic messaging is a thing of the past
If there is anything the Covid crisis has taught us, it’s that the days of monotonous and generic messaging are gone. Personalization is what impacts brand awareness, brand loyalty and lead generation and is so crucial for marketing and PR .
Invest more time, effort and thought into thought leadership
Now more than ever folks are craving for genuine and trustworthy content that offers value and provides some insights about the future. These thought leadership materials can take the form of brand-relevant eBooks, white papers, well-researched blog posts and educational articles, among other things.
Reveal your intentions and unveil your plans for the future
Your clients or customers are probably wondering what your plans are for the future and how you intend to move forward. Why not draft a letter from your CEO answering these questions and outlining your course of action and explaining how it is going to influence both business and client? This is a straightforward strategy to establish a deeper connection with your audience, bringing your prospects and clients into the business fold and initiating them into your activities. Interestingly, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson wrote an open letter to his employees which is a great example of leadership and understanding to “steer the ship” in a time of uncertainty.
Tweak and adjust upcoming PR campaigns
When it comes to PR in the Covid-19 era, it is essential that you adjust your communication materials to suit the prevailing trends and sentiments. Many experts predict that the virus will stick around for a while, so if you can salvage upcoming marketing or PR campaigns instead of abandoning them, now would be a great time to start adapting the messaging. By the way, Nike’s recent campaign encouraged athletes and fitness enthusiasts to share how they were keeping active at home during the lockdown. Not only did this campaign align with Nicke’s brand identity, it also provided inspiration and hope while urging people to stay at home and stay safe.
Sometimes adaptation can be as simple as changing a few words or tweaking a few sentences while other campaigns are in need of design tweaks or substantial reworks.
The virus is still out there and sadly, the chaos continues to unfold all across the country and all across the world. We are in uncharted territory and some tried-and-trusted methods of brand communications are no longer relevant. There is a fine line between sensitivity and trying to generate the sales needed to keep a business afloat. We are here to help you navigate through uncertain times with a reframed mindset and come out on top.
If you are ready to start planning your PR for 2021, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and discuss your needs, goals and aspirations. Looking forward to speaking with you!