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  • RJ Bardsley

Three Ways to Reshape the Communications Industry

By RJ Bardsley

We have all read a lot about how the Pandemic has reshaped the world. Part of that reshaping has been good – people have gone out on their own and started businesses in record numbers. In 2020, 4.35 million new business applicationswere submitted to the US government – about a 24% increase over 2019 and the largest increase in the past decade. In communications (PR, internal comms, exec comms, etc.) the number of new firms is harder to come by. But Provoke Media did indicate that smaller firms grew more last year (5.7%) than the industry at large (-4%). This year, broader growth is back – WPP’s earnings are up, as are other industry indicators.

Now, as we get moving again, it's the time to ask ourselves how we can rethink what we do as an industry. Here are a few ideas:

  • Empower Curiosity – Sometimes it's hard for leaders to sit back and let others try new things. I recently listened to a team member take a totally different approach to a project than I would have taken - it was uncomfortable, but I let her run with her ideas. We need to create space for people to learn and try new things as they grow professionally. (Peter Prodromou was good at allowing me this latitude coming along).

  • Figure out new ways to help – it’s time to rethink how we are impacting the world. For our part at Wireside Communications, we’re looking closely at the type of clients we engage with and what it means for improving the bigger picture – environment, wellness, health. We're also trying to build a team that brings together many different, diverse perspectives (BTW, we're hiring).

  • Rethink channels – Internal comms are crucial to keeping remote and hybrid workforces together. It’s time we rethink how we engage internal audiences that are much more broadly separated.

Our industry is at a crossroads. As we get back to work and as growth gets back on track, it’s time to rethink what we want our teams, programs and goals to look like.

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