Navigating the ever-evolving landscape of comms (or communications for those not in the field) requires a keen eye for what works and a willingness to switch up strategies that have outworn their welcome.
In the realm of business communications, staying relevant isn’t just a matter of survival, it’s critical to standing out in an age of revolving, disposable content.
As we slide into 2024, I’ve pinpointed a handful of communication tropes that, in my opinion, need to be left behind in 2023. Each of these has its roots in a bygone era, and it’s time to embrace what truly works in the current landscape.
- Taking a spray-and-pray approach to media releases
Collating a list of generic news inbox addresses and sending out the same release to all of them is about as effective as sliding your CV under the door of every business in town and waiting for a job offer – you may be lucky to get the odd pick-up, but more likely, your ‘CV’ will end up in a discard pile, never to be looked at again.
Instead, effective communication in 2024 demands a strategic approach. Craft compelling stories tailored to specific outlets, engage with journalists, and build relationships. It’s not about quantity; it’s about the quality of your message, the news value of the angle and reaching the people who matter to you and your business.
- Perpetuating the ‘spin doctor’ image
For years, comms practitioners have grappled with a persistent challenge — the perception of being spin doctors; lurking in the shadows, hanging out on the dark side, running interference, and at times, misleading the public.
In reality, contemporary, ethical comms is about promoting transparency, openness and accountability, contributing not only to public reputation and community wellbeing, but also to fostering a positive workplace culture.
In 2024, we should be challenging the stereotype of the ‘spin doctor’, instead championing a new era where communication is an authentic, integral, and positive force within organisations.
- Using AI like your personal scribe
In the rush to embrace technology, 2023 saw some organisations hailing AI as the solution for all their communication needs.
The result? Cold, formulaic LinkedIn posts, media releases and emails that lack creativity and original thought (and usually littered with Americanised spelling).
While AI can be a helpful streamlining tool, human intuition and strategic thinking remains irreplaceable. As we move forward, striking a balance between technology and human touch when crafting your comms will be crucial for maintaining authenticity and resonating with all your audiences.
- Treating social media like a billboard
The beauty of social media is that it provides a direct link to your audience. It’s a place where you can engage, converse and establish a genuine connection with your people. However, when all you use your social accounts for is to push your corporate agenda, people will quickly see through any feigned connection.
Social media should be fun, mostly light-hearted, and a place for two-way conversations. Stop talking at your audiences, and you’ll be surprised how quickly your engagement grows.
- Pushing corporate jargon on your audiences
Would you ever say ‘synergy’, ‘circle back’ or ‘touchpoints’ at a family BBQ? Of course not, because nobody rooted in reality talks like that!
Ditching the corporate jargon and speaking plainly enhances approachability and helps make sure your message is understood. Being relatable is key to building connections, and in the year ahead, simplicity will be your greatest asset.
If you’re ready to banish these communication tropes from your business strategy in 2024 and embrace a fresh, effective approach, treat this blog post as your starting guide.
Let’s make 2024 the year of effective, meaningful comms. If you need help, feel free to give us a call – here’s to a year of clear, impactful communication!