Hands write in a notebook next to a coffee cup and open laptop

Looking Back, Moving Ahead: Three PR and Communications Trends

As we round out anoth­er year, it’s the per­fect time to reflect on our suc­cess­es of the past year, the oppor­tu­ni­ties ahead and what we’ve learned over the past 12 months when it comes to the ways in which we help our clients com­mu­ni­cate with their stakeholders.

With 2022 plan­ning in full swing, we’ve asked our team to share how they believe PR and com­mu­ni­ca­tions strate­gies have changed over the past year and what that means for the year ahead. Here are three resound­ing themes we’ve seen across the board in 2021 and where our clients are look­ing to focus in the year ahead:

  1. Increased focus on inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions: work­ing with a vari­ety of clients in the man­u­fac­tur­ing and health­care space, Account Super­vi­sor Johan­na Hol­ub has seen an increased focus on inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions over the past year as many busi­ness­es con­tin­ue to nav­i­gate work­ing remote­ly, in a hybrid mod­el, or back in the office under new guide­lines and restric­tions. Peo­ple are the key to a suc­cess­ful orga­ni­za­tion and many face the new real­i­ties of “the great res­ig­na­tion” and labor short­ages. Because of this, it is essen­tial for busi­ness­es to ensure they are com­mu­ni­cat­ing with their teams in a way that not only rein­forces com­pa­ny val­ues, but cre­ates or main­tains a pos­i­tive work cul­ture — one that shows they care.
  1. Online is every­thing: Bri­an Bell­mont, Pres­i­dent of Bell­mont Part­ners, believes that while the pan­dem­ic def­i­nite­ly forced com­pa­nies to think cre­ative­ly about how to repo­si­tion them­selves and oper­ate dif­fer­ent­ly, when it came right down to it, many shift­ed back to the basics to com­mu­ni­cate with their cus­tomers. In a con­ver­sa­tion with Upsize Mag­a­zine for this month’s cov­er sto­ry, Bri­an talks about how, with peo­ple stay­ing home and turn­ing to their screens more than ever, busi­ness­es (includ­ing our own) need­ed to take a hard look at how they were com­mu­ni­cat­ing with their cur­rent and poten­tial cus­tomers online. This includ­ed cre­at­ing new con­tent on every­thing from web­sites, to blogs, to social media to ensure their online pres­ence was strong and rel­e­vant in an ever-chang­ing world.
     
    Account Direc­tor Megan Derkey agrees, adding that increased focus on a company’s online pres­ence also includes more focus on ele­vat­ing the thought lead­er­ship of indi­vid­ual employ­ees and exec­u­tives on LinkedIn. Over the past year, more and more of our clients have seen the val­ue of show­cas­ing the vast array of exper­tise on their teams in order to make deep­er and more authen­tic con­nec­tions with their key audi­ences. See­ing the impact and engage­ment that is pos­si­ble through LinkedIn, we’ve helped many of our clients shift away from paid efforts on the plat­form to gen­er­at­ing more orig­i­nal con­tent from indi­vid­ual sub­ject mat­ter experts to great suc­cess. This shift will con­tin­ue to be impor­tant as it allows for more per­son­al­ized engage­ment and ele­vates a brand’s val­ues and cul­ture by com­mu­ni­cat­ing through an indi­vid­ual per­son ver­sus a face­less organization.
  1. A focus on embrac­ing human­i­ty: Author and inspi­ra­tional speak­er Simon Sinek said, “If we don’t under­stand peo­ple, we don’t under­stand busi­ness.” This real­ly hits home when it comes to the sig­nif­i­cant shift in how our clients have approached their PR and com­mu­ni­ca­tions strate­gies this year, and as they devel­op plans for next. As Vice Pres­i­dent of Bell­mont Part­ners, I have seen the biggest shift in 2021 to be about con­nect­ing with peo­ple on a more mean­ing­ful and authen­tic lev­el than ever before. These last two years have impact­ed vir­tu­al­ly every aspect of people’s lives — what they care about and val­ue, and what they have the time and patience for when it comes to com­mu­ni­ca­tions from brands. Over the past year, we’ve helped our clients remain laser-focused on the peo­ple — where they are at on any giv­en day, week or month, and how to ensure their com­mu­ni­ca­tions are meet­ing them where they are at. This has includ­ed things like keep­ing a clos­er eye on when to pub­lish con­tent to not appear tone deaf, how often we com­mu­ni­cate, or how to deliv­er a mes­sage in a way that will res­onate. We’ve con­tin­ued to help our clients fine-tune their com­mu­ni­ca­tions strate­gies to ensure they focus on the peo­ple and align with their core val­ues in a way that con­tin­ues to build trust and loyalty.

While it’s hard to say what the next year will bring, we believe these shifts are here to stay, and for good rea­son. Whether it is launch­ing a new prod­uct or shar­ing inter­nal changes with your employ­ees, how you com­mu­ni­cate those ini­tia­tives can make a world of difference.

Leave a Reply

Graphic with coffee cup and woman's headshot
What’s Brewing? with Jamie Taets, CEO of The Keystone Group
May 17, 2022
Five people pose standing. The man in the middle holds a trophy
Bellmont Partners Takes Home MN PRSA Classics Win
May 13, 2022
Graphic with headshot announcing promotion
Bellmont Partners Promotes Julie Goulette to Assistant Account Executive
May 12, 2022
Woman takes a selfie in front of a harbor with the Duluth Liftbridge in the background
Bridget Nelson Monroe Named One of Ragan and PR Daily’s 2022 Top Women in Communications
May 3, 2022
What's Brewing image with Bob and Dave from Sustainable Safari
What’s Brewing? With “Safari Bob” Pilz and Dave Harvey from Sustainable Safari
April 21, 2022
A hand holds a digital calendar on a desk with a cup of coffee and a cell phone
Values-Based National Holidays — Marketing Fodder or Tacky Virtue Signaling?
April 20, 2022

Categories