Communication and PR are constantly evolving and becoming increasingly important at a time when credibility, values, gender, and identity politics are the major benchmarks – combined with a constant crisis atmosphere after years of pandemic and war. But before you panic, spend a few minutes reading our suggestions on what to pay the most attention to.
ARE YOU TRUSTWORTHY?
Of course, you say with great certainty. But what matters is how your customers and clients perceive you. Because at a time when credibility is increasingly fluid, there are few objective truths left. A popular mantra says that “there can only be trust where there is truth” – and that saying is under pressure these days. Fake news is an integral part of our vocabulary, and even established, and respectable institutions cannot be sure that their messages will be accepted. Authenticity will continue to be a keyword in all communication. As is collaborations with people who the users or customers trust.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE NEW WORLD ORDER?
We have been living in times of crisis for years now. Firstly, a pandemic and all the following lockdowns of society, then war on our continent for the first time in more than 70 years. Inflation, rising interest rates, and general uncertainty dominate the dominant agendas. The trends point more toward the necessities such as energy, fuel, and food and less toward hyped tech companies and business models that have not yet been able to make money. In other words, it is about concrete products that make a difference in everyday life – and that there is a greater purpose than the individual.
DO YOU KNOW THAT THE CLIMATE IS THE NEW BATTLEGROUND?
It is no surprise that the climate crisis is at the top of the list of the most important issues for millions of people – and, thus, millions of potential customers and consumers. Added to upcoming demanding EU requirements for documentation of companies’ climate footprint, it is increasingly evident that communication about climate is becoming even more essential. There is a pronounced fear of greenwashing, i.e., making yourself look better via airy intentions and not complex data. Still, it is also necessary to talk about the good initiatives that help for a green and more sustainable transition. And you’d better start thinking about your USPs when going green.
WHAT ARE YOUR COMPANY VALUES TO THE PUBLIC?
Diversity, LGTBQ rights, #metoo, and structural racism. Yes, there is plenty to consider as a company. The war in Ukraine has once again shown how important it is to understand and act on current trends. ECCO has taken a historic slide down the image lists because it persists in selling shoes in Russia. It can cost in the short term but can also lead to long-term recruitment problems. Consumers are increasingly calling for companies to take a stand on the surrounding world, engage in it, and dare to show it. But it also requires the courage to think something if it is not to become an indifference that quickly gets the label “washing” – and that is far worse than not thinking anything at all.