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By The Pollack Group

As 2021 gets underway, companies and marketers must approach 2021 like no year before it. What does leadership really mean, and how can brands remain relevant with their consumers? Experts from The Worldcom Public Relations Group shared their predictions for the new year, including a contribution from agency president Stefan Pollack. View the original predictions here.

Brands And Companies Will Need To Find Relevance

Pre-2020 communications tactics will not work the same in a post-2020 world. The world has entered a significant transition, and the long-term effects of that will start to become apparent over the next year. Sociopolitical currents will override almost everything else. To be successful, brands and companies must find ways to be relevant to their stakeholders and consumers during this time by creating meaningful interactions and solutions to what they need. To do this best, be helpful; brands and companies need to find ways to help, make a difference, and lift their communities – Stefan Pollack, President & CFO, The Pollack Group (Los Angeles, United States)

Clients Must Have A Climate Action Plan

The confluence of a COVID-19 vaccine and a Biden victory will put climate change back on the front burner. The US will re-rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, and companies will increasingly come under pressure to communicate what they are doing to alleviate or reduce their carbon footprint. This will matter to employees who increasingly are looking and examining their employers’ purpose and if it aligns with their own personal values and purpose – Tricia Doyle, VP and Business Strategist, CASACOM Montreal (Montreal, Canada)

2021 – Emptying And Resetting The Closet

The crises associated with the global pandemic and social/racial unrest took place far enough into 2020 that most companies pivoted and adjusted – modifying existing plans by cutting budgets, changing approaches (in the case of events) or finding different ways of getting things done. I’d equate it to being told you need to downsize your closet and so you rearranged things as best as you could.

In 2021 the approach will be different – we will see many companies conduct a full evaluation of their programs and rather than simply adjust, they’re going to empty the closet completely and reset everything in it – getting rid of some programs altogether and altering the mix of programs they do execute. As a result, demonstrating business value in communications has never been more important – Matt Kucharski, President, Padilla (Minnesota, United States)

The Role Of Corporate Responsibility And CSR Communication Strengthens

The past year has shown that companies that have invested in responsibility have survived better than others. Next year, corporate management will be more strongly committed to the development of comprehensive corporate responsibility. Responsibility determines the strategic direction, links R&D, management and customer insight together. Themes of social responsibility such as diversity, equality, non-discrimination, workers’ rights, pay issues, health and safety will rise alongside environmental issues.

READ MORE: Top 10 PR And Marketing Predictions For 2021

The company’s stakeholders, such as investors, suppliers, customers and employees, are placing greater demands on the implementation of corporate responsibility. In this development, corporate responsibility plays an important role as a mediator of information and an enabler of dialogue. Responsibility communication is not only an annual report, but rather means continuous, open and reciprocal interaction with stakeholders. The role of corporate responsibility communication is growing as an enabler of dialogue – Maria Pecoraro, Marketing Advisor, Medita (Helsinki, Finland)

PR And Marketing Activities Will Remain An Important Part Of The Annual Business

Planning Many companies face difficult challenges, but that will not lead to a cutback in PR and marketing budgets. Especially in uncertain times like these, companies will be aware of how important the right communication strategy is for their future successes. Companies must therefore stay visible and be sure to adopt the right approach – right now and in the upcoming year as well.

In 2021, PR and marketing activities will continue to play an important role in developing the future strategy – but there will be an even bigger shift to online activities – Corinna Voss, Managing Director, HBI Helga Bailey GmbH (Munich, Germany)

Ethics As The Value Of Communication

The future and professionalism of a PR agency will mainly be expressed in ethics. The ethics of content and activities will become more and more important. As reputation and image advisors, we take responsibility for the preparation and distribution of valuable and proven information, based on reliable sources and verified data – Monika Domańska, CEO, Made in PR (Warsaw, Poland)

Profit With Purpose – The New Norm

Values-based businesses – those that have genuine purpose at the heart of their brands – were on the rise before the pandemic. And this has continued unabated since the coronavirus hit home, reflected by the fact that the companies that have come out on top during this crisis are those that have been communicating with purpose. The coronavirus has created a more humane and community-led world. Doing the right thing and being true to one’s values when communicating and engaging with key stakeholders will therefore be the new norm in 2021. There are many great examples of purpose-led communications in the last few months but one of the most powerful was from Nike. The company put the message out that ‘now more than ever, we are one team’ with the hashtags #playinside #playfortheworld and a punchline – ‘if you’ve dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance’ – Chris Lawrance, Managing Director, JBP PR & Parlimentary Affairs (London, UK)

Rebuilding An Overvalued Business

We are currently in the survival period. We observe the impact of previous decisions on the changing reality and world around us. The ‘building era’ will be the next step into the future and communication will play a key role in the smooth running of processes. New strategies and tactics will include actions based on sustainable development and human consent both with hi-technology and with nature – Domańska

Act Positively To Help Communities, Customers And Employees

Brands will need to deliver value/purpose to their consumers to build a relationship of trust and loyalty. They must offer something much greater than their products or services – something that really inspires the consumer. Research shows that during the pandemic, 79% of people prefer companies that act positively to help communities, customers or employees – Angélica Consiglio, CEO, Planin (São Paulo, Brazil)

Agility Was And Will Continue To Be A Priority For Business

Because of the pandemic, companies had to adapt to digital, driving more and more innovative technologies. Therefore, in 2021, marketers will need to invest in new digital tools to make marketing more agile, improving the customer experience and quickly meeting – Consiglio