Important Changes in Communication Trends | Brandmark Studios - Ridgefield, CT

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Important Changes in Communication Trends

Trends in communication have always been fast-paced and constantly changing, even before the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic contributed more to the speed of changes for communicators and added existing stress to some of the main challenges communicators face. Communicators are tasked with many things which can result in difficulty setting clear priorities. Author Gini Dietrich discussed the future of communication after analyzing the MuckRack survey, which compiled a list of information from 300 communication specialists about their experience in the field. Dietrich broke down the results of the survey as to what they mean for communication, what's working, and what needs to change. 


One of Dietrich's main findings: "Organizations value communications more than ever" may validate that organizations are placing a stronger value on communications than before the pandemic. This still does not mean much for how communicators are treated or what organizations are doing to improve the experience of communicators. Value on communications and treatment of communicators are not synonymous. This ties into a similar finding. 

Just because there is a high percentage of the organizations (66%) that took the survey that have formal DE&I (Diversity Equity & Inclusion) in place, a small percentage (13%) of which implemented these programs as a response to the social movements and political unrest in 2020. The addition of these specific programs still do not tell us much about the internal atmosphere of these organizations. It is great that organizations are able to move with society and make changes to reflect goals and responses, but where do we go after just implementing the programs? As Dietrich pointed out, the majority of leadership is still represented by old white men minus a few "token" women or people of color. So even though these companies do have DE&I programs, what are they actually doing to help improve the experience of their diverse employees, if they even have some. Yes, implementing programs is a great start, but there is still work that needs to be done.

On the topic of DE&I, the survey analyzed trends on organizations taking a stand on political or social issues. There were mixed reviews by the participants, but it is important to note, organizations need to adapt to modern times. Customers expect to hear about organizations' points of view on certain social and political issues in order to be more mindful of what businesses they are supporting. Yes, companies risk losing some of their customers by vocalizing on social issues, but that is just what comes with being an organization in 2021. 

Another important finding from the survey was the credibility of sponsored content. It seems that there is sponsored content almost everywhere now- print papers, online newspapers, search engines, and on all different social media platforms. It is vital to understand that even when looking at sponsored content, it is necessary to do more research about what is being advertised before being influenced by it. The results of the survey indicated that 62% of the respondents stated that sponsored content can be credible "some of the time", depending on who the source is. Almost half (40%) of the respondents have never purchased a paid piece, and about the same amount (41%) stated that their organization has "at least dabbled in sponsored content". 

One of the final findings of the survey really ties together the entire experience of communicators. The structure of reporting for communicators does not benefit them. Most of the time, communicators are reporting to the CEO, SMO, or Chief Communications Officer. This prevents them from being independent of marketing and adding more stress to their already full plate of things to keep in mind. If communicators are already cognizant of their DE&I programs, taking a stand on social and political issues, having credible sponsored content, and being valued by different organizations, reporting to someone high up in a company only adds more stress to their plate. 

Communication trends are constantly changing and it is necessary to stay up to date with them. These trends will reflect society and give insight into how communication technology is used in major organizations. The programs implemented and organizations statements made by them on social and political views can help you as a consumer be intentional on who you are supporting and why. 


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