Last Thursday, some of our PR team at Icon attended the Mumbrella annual CommsCon event in Sydney, held at the Sofitel Hotel Wentworth. The event not only allowed us to spend time with colleagues and take a break from our day-to-day routines, but also reminded us of the vital role communication plays in shaping our world. Surrounded by industry leaders, we engaged in thought-provoking presentations and discussions, reflecting on the past year, and exploring the future of purpose-driven communication intertwined with technology.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the day:
AI isn’t going anywhere
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a central topic in global media and communications. It’s not to be afraid of though. The introduction of the GPT-3 language model has further fueled discussions on AI integration. While some organisations have already embraced AI and reaped its benefits, others remain cautious. As communicators, it is essential to recognise the significance of AI and its impact on the PR and communications industry. AI should be taken seriously, as it is not a fleeting trend but a transformative force that will have far-reaching effects.
Communicators are advisers of ESG
PR professionals and communicators are assuming a critical role as advisors on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risks for brands. Recent cybersecurity and data breaches have heightened the importance of guiding companies through these complex areas. As companies face an increasingly challenging operating environment, the communications industry plays a pivotal role in empowering clients to protect their reputation, enhance resilience, and navigate future challenges effectively.
Brands need to go beyond business operations
Businesses and their leaders can no longer solely focus on their core operations. There is an increasing expectation for companies to actively engage with social and environmental issues, such as climate change, diversity and inclusion, gender equity, and the recognition of First Nations people. By embedding meaningful values into their brands and engaging with these issues, businesses build long-term trust and loyalty with customers, employees, suppliers, and the wider community. Effective communication strategies are essential in meeting these new demands.
Balancing internal and external considerations
Businesses and leaders must adopt a balanced approach to effectively communicate with stakeholders and meet new demands. Internally, it involves creating inclusive environments that value diversity, foster open dialogue, and amplify underrepresented voices. By empowering employees to express their views, organisations can tap into diverse perspectives that enrich decision-making and drive innovation. Externally, businesses must engage with societal issues and convey a genuine commitment to positive change through transparent and empathetic communication strategies.
Purpose and profit go hand in hand
Building a purpose-driven business can coexist with growth and profit. Successful purpose-driven organisations go beyond having a statement about giving back; they integrate their commitment into every aspect of their operations. Purpose-driven companies understand that their products, services, and actions must make a difference in the world. The choice between purpose and profit is no longer binary. The success of organisations, regardless of their size, is intrinsically linked to purpose-driven behaviours and choices that impact overall performance. Creating a vibrant culture and fostering employee engagement and loyalty are crucial aspects of a purpose-driven business.
The importance of purpose in employee retention and engagement
In a competitive labour market, cultivating a purpose-driven culture is vital for retaining talent and avoiding the costs associated with high turnover rates and frequent training. Choosing clients wisely and aligning with organisations that share similar values and beliefs foster authenticity and long-term impact. Actively listening to stakeholders, engaging in meaningful dialogue with employees and customers, and empowering teams to define the parameters of purpose and values within the workplace are essential steps. Creating an environment that encourages continuous improvement and gives individuals agency in shaping the workplace further enhances purpose and fulfilment.
In a nutshell, AI has revolutionised how we connect, engage, and communicate with one another and has proven to be beneficial for the communications industry. With the help of its cutting-edge capabilities, AI has and will continue to significantly improve a number of aspects of the market resulting in increased convenience for both businesses and consumers as well as increased efficiency and personalised experiences.