Three Reminders for All Communications Professionals
By Adriel McMahan, Jeff Winton Associates Account Coordinator
As communicators, it’s imperative that we adapt to ever-changing circumstances, technologies and communications channels. Although our work is constantly evolving, the fundamentals remain the same. I recently attended the Life Sciences Public Relations & Communications Summit in New Jersey where I had the opportunity to take a step back and revisit a few basics as well as gather insights on the future of our industry from several highly-experienced communications professionals. Here are my takeaways on how to stay true to our foundation while still progressing forward:
Companies perform better when they have a clear sense of purpose
The industry has been adapting to flexible work styles over the past three years, with more employees moving to hybrid or at-home arrangements. Transitioning away from collaborative, in-person environments has made it more challenging to reinforce company culture, yet these values matter now more than ever. Although it might prove difficult to keep engagement levels high at a distance, companies must still make the effort to cultivate that sense of purpose to motivate and retain current employees as well as attract new talent.
Strategy is the foundation for impact
Having a strategic plan in place is beneficial when conveying a story, but it’s important to keep in mind that activity by itself does not equal achievement. Attention spans are steadily declining, so every piece of content needs to have consistent messaging and frequency to inspire action. Additionally, leaders need to communicate with an authentic voice to ensure the storyline is clear and aligns with the company’s mission.
Your CEO as Chief Brand Ambassador
A noteworthy question one of the speakers asked was, “How do we build trust during a period of increased distrust in our industry?” As mentioned above, authenticity and activity are two of the most important components to successfully communicating a company’s message. By engaging the CEO as a brand ambassador, companies can reinforce core messages and expand reach. Both the CEO and the brand will benefit from building this trust and visibility.
The summit was the perfect reminder that while being able to adapt is important, communicators should continue to build messages and campaigns on strong foundational principles as the industry navigates what one of the speakers called “the next normal.”
Adriel McMahan brings to Jeff Winton Associates a contemporary perspective and special expertise in social media and communications technologies having previously served as a social response and technology advisor for Apple and a graduate assistant at the prestigious Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.