Good communication strategies evolve over time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it did start one day at a time. Here are 7 tips to position your brand for 2021 and beyond.
To position your organization for 2021 and beyond, consider our tips:
1. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Abraham Lincoln popularized this phrase to evoke the idea that great societies take time to develop. Success is the result of laying one brick at a time, or “one day at a time” as Lincoln reminds us. What habits are you establishing now that can serve you well as the pandemic ends? Is your website functioning the way it should? Does your messaging reflect the mission of your organization and speak to your key audiences? These are not one-stop quick fixes, but long-term processes that need daily attention.
2. Change is here to stay.
Zoom meetings will not disappear; home offices are here to stay and business travel will continue to be reduced. Kara Swisher writes in the New York Times, “The coronavirus has forced the kind of work experimentation that would have taken a decade to eventually happen: limiting business travel, cutting in-person office time, questioning every cost associated with the analog workplace. Technology is making doing business cheaper and more efficient and, as it has turned out, more productive.” How will this play out in your organization? We expect more Zoom client meetings. One thing for sure is that more people can attend the virtual meetings and since more executives are participating, our communication input sessions and presentations are actually better than ever.
3. No more snow days.
Schools are adapting to remote learning and even though there’s no replacement for in-person instruction, there is a way to reduce snow days by using remote learning models. We expect the “snow day” to be a thing of the past. How will that impact your organization? Will your workforce simply shift to remote meetings in the midst of the next Nor-Easter? Consider the role of a snow day. It disrupts the workforce and creates childcare issues for parents. Yet it also provides instant relief. It can be a magical day off. We recommend flexible policies for snow days that keep some of that unexpected freedom with delayed openings or reduced workdays while allowing your work to avoid a complete shutdown. Besides, who will shovel the driveway?
4. Planning is more important than ever.
Virtual meetings are not the same as in-person meetings. Visuals are more important so that participants can follow along. Preparing clear instructions with calls-to-action requires thinking out your agenda and making sure your content is defined and deliberate. The advantage of a casual in-person meeting is that you can read cues more easily and adapt your presentation as you go along. This is more difficult to do in virtual meetings where you may not have the same type of concentration from your participants.
5. Digital dexterity rules.
We have found that online meetings do allow you to access the Internet while talking. If you can multi-task, you can Google facts and find answers by using the Internet. We recently conducted a branding presentation for an LGBTQ client and there was a question about the origin of the “Rainbow” flag. While presenting our logo designs I was able to access the flag artwork and paste it into the presentation while we were examining the issue. Meeting from your desktop can be an advantage.
6. All the world’s a stage.
One tip that we learned from a Zoom-theatre director was to establish separate roles for each person in the presentation. One is the speaker (emcee), another is the moderator who lets people into the meeting and checks the chats, and if possible a third person is the actual host. This team approach makes your virtual meetings run more smoothly…and even when the pandemic is over, a well-run meeting is always appreciated. And as William Shakespeare says, “And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances.”
7. Back to the Future.
For many of us remote business does work. And yet, I can’t wait to see a new Broadway play or have dinner at a small Italian restaurant in the Village. Real-life gatherings and meetings with friends and extended family will become special occasions that we don’t take for granted. I think there’s a yearning for the community that comes with being able to hug someone and to laugh really loud without worrying about being six-feet away. Yet, curbside pick-up is really quite convenient (when it works) and streaming concerts can be quite fun. Think about what things will go back to normal and what will be transformed. What industries will power back better than ever and what will become extinct? Examine your organization and see what should be adapted and what should be discarded. The future is not about going back to how it was before.