People are seeking authentic, genuine content and a more ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at businesses. Consumers look to support local and small businesses that provide an authentic view into how they operate, who they are, and their values.
Social media has become the easiest and most personal way to connect with audiences. When lockdown restrictions halted trade, closed stores, and shut down events, genuine, behind-the-scenes content helped brands become more than a provider of goods and services and establish meaningful relationships with their customers.
Communications success in 2021 for larger companies means sharing truth, facts, and education. The industry has already shifted towards championing these communications strategies, and prioritising campaigns around authenticity and transparency. We will see this continue to grow with companies putting more resources into authentic communications strategies and fostering genuine connection with their audiences.
Creative and flexible strategies
2021 will provide the perfect springboard to find new ways of connecting with stakeholders and consumers. Even though parts of life here in Australia are starting to resemble the ‘Before COVID’ era, we now have the opportunity to rethink how to get materials to wider audience in any environment.
We have created platforms and technologies that will allow us to explore new opportunities and create experiences across a wide range of technology types. In-person events are still valuable, but it is necessary to deliver just as valuable of an experience virtually.
Having seen how quickly new policies and movement restrictions can come into play, a creative and flexible plan A will serve you better than having many alternative plan Bs. Communications professionals should consider all possibilities when developing that plan. Embrace technology, have options for all audiences, and set frameworks that allow you to adapt the strategy at a moments notice.
New ways to reach audiences
‘Thinking outside the box’ starts with the question: where is your audience? Media coverage is a core activity of PR but is not always the best way to reach and meaningfully engage audiences.
Beyond traditional publicity, platforms like podcasts, panel discussions, and webinars offer opportunities to expand your reach and enhance your credibility. Creative activations and guerrilla marketing can do wonders for brand voice and storytelling. Offering virtual and in-person opportunities to access any events or thought-leadership significantly expands your engagement.
Being able to understand the potential of your strategies and reach will see the communications industry to evolve – and allow your business to remain connected to your audience, no matter where they are.