Communicating in 2013: 3 phenomena, 10 consequences

In 2013, will LinkedIn be the new Facebook? Will public relations and mobility be one and the same? And the double-screening trend (tweeting while watching television) will it sustain?

If you’re like me, the myriad of predictions published each year intrigue you, but also make your head spin. I suggest you look at the evolution of communications through the lens of social phenomena that are very much installed. Here are three of them and their consequences for us as communicators.

1. Changing reality of companies

Organizations’ tumultuous lives are currently marked by unyielding economic uncertainty, a shortage of qualified labour, employees who lack loyalty, and management teams under high levels of stress. How does all of this influence us as communicators?

  • A company’s internal reputation will increasingly become an issue. To attract employees as well as to encourage their engagement towards the company, a business should invest in its employee brand and create a positive company culture. Top-down internal communications are completely outdated.
  • A company’s culture should also show the organization’s willingness to act responsibly. The company’s leadership team increasingly relies on communicators to become influential. Authenticity, humanity, and realism are all part of a culture that emphasizes listening and adaptation.
  • Managers are increasingly interested in big data; they need certainty. On our side, we should invest more in research and analysis of quantitative as well as qualitative data. We should also make good use of asking the crucial questions: “So what?” and “Now what?”

2. Lack of time

Life moves at top speed. Citizens-consumers inundated with fast information suffer from a severe lack of time. What effect on our strategies does this reality have? Do we do ourselves any favours by adding to the noise? Again, what are the consequences for us?

  • Usefulness is greatly rising in value. Today, any gesture that makes people’s lives easier—consumers, trendsetters, or journalists—is greatly appreciated and will be rewarded.
  • Every good communications campaign rests on the creation and curation of good content that supports the business goals. Beyond news, content should have lasting significance and should be spread out over all platforms in an integrated way.
  • Great stories become increasingly valued. People remember what touches them on an emotional level.

  • Everyone understands the rise of importance of infographics, photos, videos, everything that is visual. Communicators should think in images as much as in words.
  • Mobility is becoming essential in all communication activities. Tactics become more and more personalized, precisely targeted and executed at the right time.
  • And this year, we truly hope that e-mail campaigns will end. Really, who needs more e-mails?

3. The power of the public

While everything moves quickly and time is scarce, organizations should fully embrace social media and the immense influence it can provide, both internally and externally.

  • The public becomes the co-creator of brands. The future belongs to brands that will allow people to transform, share, or promote their campaigns and programs.

The final prediction: communications will be fun for a long time!

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