Communications Ecosystem: Is the Grass Always Greener?
A KlarecoConnect Fireside Chat
For our inaugural fireside chat, we hosted an insightful discussion about the communications ecosystem. The conversation covered topics such as what it’s like on different sides of the table and what we can be learnt from each other. We invited senior industry professionals, Tim Williamson, APAC Managing Director at Telum Media, and Belle Baldoza, Head of Communications (SEA, Hong Kong and Taiwan) at Airbnb, to share their experiences of working in the industry, offering perspectives through the lens of the media, as well as in-house and agency. The discussion was moderated by Prisita Menon, Partner at Klareco Communications.
One of the key topics discussed was the role of communications, particularly during difficult times such as COVID-19. A poll conducted during the session revealed that 57% of attendees view communications teams as a strategic partner for businesses.
The discussion covered how business objectives and priorities have been impacted by the pandemic and how robust communication strategies are essential for the survival and recovery of brands. The panellists touched on the importance of communicating changes to all stakeholders, both internally and externally, with efficiency and empathy. This approach requires communications professionals to work in tandem to develop creative communications strategies with shared goals.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the discussion which any brand can use to guide their future communications objectives:
Building Trust is Non-Negotiable
The role of communicators is to help businesses achieve their objectives by becoming trusted advisors. The first step to building trust in the stakeholder relationship is to be able to walk in their shoes and look at a given situation from their perspective. However, there is a fine line which separates providing sound advice versus being a ‘yes man’. Advisors are sometimes put in a situation where they need to challenge stakeholders’ views. A good way to disagree or counter propose is to support an argument with data and insights, while being sensitive to any cultural nuances.
Brand Philosophy Should Always Be the North Star
Messages should be crafted to uphold the mission of the company, in line with its brand. There are four Cs to guide how to better communicate challenging messages, especially in times like these.
Context – provide context regarding decisions and why they were made.
Clarity – provide clarity when laying the announcement out across different channels.
Consistency – there needs to be consistency to ensure that the same message is communicated to all stakeholders without leaving room for different interpretations.
Compassion – the need to display compassion when conveying challenging messages, especially in times where people are dealing with difficult and uncertain situations.
Creating A New Kind of Creative, Engaging, and Authentic Content
Digital platforms have been a strong enabler of increasing engagement across various stakeholders. Supporting this, 67% of poll respondents indicated that they were exploring new platforms of communicating online with the end user for the first time due to COVID-19. However, this has also created increased pressure to produce content. The onus is on communicators to identify metrics which are suitable and contribute to overall business objectives. Going digital, for example, has increased accessibility for spokespeople who would have previously been unreachable. Today, there has also been a shift in how consumers receive information. Therefore, communicators also need to be agile and able to adapt their campaigns to external factors.
If you would like to discuss the webinar further, or meet with our team, please sign up for our CommsClinic which offers 15 minutes of complimentary communications consultancy with one of our consultants. You can use the time to get answers to your burning communications questions, sound out your COVID-19 strategy, road test a creative idea, or even just find out more about the Klareco team.