View source: Felipe Reisch
As 2022 begins, we can sit down and analyze what last year has meant for our companies from a communications standpoint. Was it successful? What kind of metrics did you use to measure its effectiveness? It truly depends on the lens you are using and what success meant for your industry in 2020 and 2021, years like no other that were marked by global uncertainty.
- Redefining Success
The pandemic seems to have marked a shift in how the world is doing business and how employees perceive their roles and commitment within their companies. This is huge, as a whole new set of expectations is in place today given our shifting perception and understanding of what the important things in life are. I believe this calls for a redefinition of how companies measure success with real purpose at the core — instead of just providing a service because there is demand. Are your talent retention rates above average? Have you established a flexible working scheme? Tackling questions like these is part of doing business today. Therefore, you should measure your effectiveness in these areas in the same way that a firm tracks its sales strategies. Furthermore, communication is the conduit for achieving this redefinition and supporting the sensemaking process for internal and external stakeholders.
- Going Green With A Purpose
The green bandwagon seems to be getting larger by the day. But beware: Your stakeholders should perceive a real purpose in your intentions, or else they may disregard your efforts. In my experience, expectations within this realm have shifted dramatically, and information is just one keyword search away. The private aviation industry is a good example, and at Monarch Air Group, we are aware of the carbon impact discussion surrounding the market. We communicate our commitments to stakeholders and help them to make the best decisions — which, these days, are largely tied to the green movement. In essence, you should back your commitment up with sustained actions while not negating the reality of your situation. I believe this is the secret sauce for a purpose-driven green strategy.
- Prepare For The Worst And Hope For The Best
Did your company have a crisis-management plan before the pandemic? If it did not, well, congratulations: You can now establish one after navigating uncertain waters the hard way. That experience will allow you to sit down and define your crisis management plan moving forward. What could you have done differently for a better outcome? Crisis plans should address the operational side of things and how the communications team treats those efforts. This is a key aspect of the internal and external well-being of a business. In addition, from a communications standpoint, you should not only revisit this plan when a crisis strikes. That might not be enough for the company to achieve positive results. The purpose of a communications crisis plan is to keep certain trends from escalating into a crisis by constantly monitoring what most impacts your company; a solid issues-management strategy can be a safety net for the bottom line of any firm.
- Have A 30,000-Foot View
This cliché expression can serve us well in today’s hyper-connected global economy. How can a shortage of truck drivers in one area increase the transportation and logistics prices of goods all around the world? We can externalize the effect of issues like these to countless industries and assess those trends with global strategic awareness. This is especially important for those in decision-making positions and can help companies to maintain an important balance in their operations and utilize a “never too high, never too low” approach. You can tie this step into the previous issues-management strategy; it’s another key aspect in which communications professionals can noticeably add value to the bottom line.
- Co-Create Value Genuinely
Companies do not have all the answers. The pandemic showed us all that being prepared for everything is just impossible and that transparency in those cases is paramount. This is the same transparency that you should seek when requesting feedback from clients and dealing with social media requests. That is the essence of the co-creation of value. You should allow clients to be part of the brand experience while also accepting constructive criticism and genuinely accepting their suggestions about where there is room for improvement. Companies can start adding this level of added value to their outreach strategy in which, again, the communications department plays a massive role in the narrative and assessing the real perception of stakeholders surrounding the co-creation strategy. Firms should start transforming their active listening into real action.