It’s no underestimation to say that 2021 has started in the same dramatic way that 2020 ended. As the world continues to grapple with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, more countries have been put into stricter lockdowns whilst at the same time many are suffering from political upheaval.
Whether it be through the unpredictable (the recent political protests in the Senate to serve as one example) or those we knew were coming (such as Brexit in the case of Europe and the UK), 2021 has started in a similarly uncertain way to the one which dominated most of 2020.
However, 2021 will be a defining year as we move to heal divisions and keep people feeling safe and supported. As communications professionals, here are our predictions to ensure we use the communications power within our armoury for the greater good:
- Diversity, Equality and Inclusion – it’s not enough to talk about diversity, equality and inclusion. 2021 needs to be the year when agencies and clients start putting plans into practice. Promises and pledges that were made in 2020 need to now be realised.
- Values and corporate social purpose – as agencies, we need to use our influence to push brands and influencers to align their marketing and communications to values which will help heal build trust, communicate the truth and heal divisions – whether they be societal, cultural, political or economic. Trust has been lost and we need to use our power to build this back again.
- Employee engagement – with most businesses working remotely we must not forget the pressure the pandemic has put on teams. We must challenge ourselves to involve and engage employees, helping support their mental health and wellbeing. It will require us to think beyond the tools we have used in the past to think creatively about how we can better help each other.
- Collaboration – if 2020 has taught us anything it is that the biggest threats to society lie beyond anything we can solve alone. We need to collaborate to make the greatest progress. This is a learning we can take into 2021 – if we can collaborate as an industry we will make the greatest headway.
- Hope – despite the challenging way 2021 has started we mustn’t forget the hope 2021 offers us. Science and technology have made great strides – whether it be through medical developments, environmental advances or developments in technology to help people feel better connected. We must lean on these to remember the power of innovation in solving problems. As Albert Einstein so rightly said: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”