I don’t know about you, but my 2021 is off to a fast start. As we enter our organization’s goal-setting process, I’m thinking about the topics and trends that will shape my work this year. The January 2021 edition of Strategies & Tactics provides a nice roadmap for some of the big issues we’ll be talking about and working through in 2021.
In “Looking Forward” (p. 8), Stephen Dupont, APR provides a nice summary of the “possible and probable futures” for 2021. Some of the trends that popped out to me:
- Communicators will need to work with leadership and HR to encourage employees to get vaccinated for safe returns to the office.
- Communication plans for returning to the office should highlight safety protocols, employee responsibilities and any flexibility your organization is offering its employees.
- Newsrooms continue to shrink. How can you nurture your relationships with journalists who will have increased workloads and demands in 2021? Should you invest more in your owned, direct-to-consumer channels (social, website, newsletters, etc.)?
- Communicators will need to help leadership develop tools and resources to help support diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
- The way we do business has changed in the last 10 months. Communicators should work with marketing and sales teams to embrace these trends and find new ways to connect with customers amid new shopping habits.
As I continued scrolling through S&T, two other articles stood out to me related to careers.
“New Realties: Job Searching in the COVID-19 Era” (p. 12) really helped me understand the challenges of looking for work right now, and what is lost by the changes in how we interview and interact with candidates. If you’re on the job seeker side, writer Susan B, Walton, Ph.D., APR, Fellow APR shares tips to help overcome these challenges and stand out from the competition. Knowing what job seekers are up against is helping me be a little more gracious and understanding as we review record-setting applicant pools.
Once you find your ideal candidate and extend an offer, what is the onboarding experience going to be like? Shannan Boyer has some great tips in “Welcome Aboard” (p. 11) to help new employees feel like part of the team. Things like a buddy system, regular check-ins and setting clear goals on day one all go a long way to helping a new employee feel more connected to their team, especially in a remote work environment.
Read this month’s Strategies & Tactics for more ideas for a successful 2021!
Joshua P. Romero, MA is the Communications Manager for the City of Bend and serves as a Communications Co-Director on the board of PRSA Oregon. For him, strategic communications is about educating, empowering and engaging his community. When he’s not working or volunteering, he likes to get outside with his husband and goldendoodle to enjoy all the outdoor activities Central Oregon has to offer.