This year’s State of Global Communications and Marketing report by IPREX comprehensively surveys the communications landscape and breaks it down regionally, identifying fault lines and pitfalls that are both universal and geographically and culturally influenced. The Americas, and specifically North America, hold the distinction of being the region in which most global organizations are conducting business. The breadth and depth of the market encourages agencies and communicators operating within North America to be more innovative, more agile and more tapped into the ever-evolving media landscape in order to compete.
Globally, the news cycle is fast-paced and ever-changing as news inventory is consumed by the latest unprecedented event. Operating within this cycle means developing and delivering flexible messaging with quick turnarounds. On the regional breakdown of top challenges in this year’s report, the Americas ranked the highest on political instability/conflict, above both APAC and EMEA. This reflects the complex environment in which American communicators are tasked with managing client news amidst an unpredictable domestic news cycle.
Additional challenges facing communicators in America include the dwindling number of outlets and reporters due to both macro- and micro-trends, such as economic uncertainty, polarized politics, media industry mistrust, layoffs and budget cuts. Furthermore, the diversification of information sources from traditional newspapers and evening newscasts to include social media, podcasts and individual content creators means being a nimble, adaptive agency able to execute across multiple channels, is critical, not to just success, but to survival.
The Covid-19 pandemic functioned as a hard reset, forcing industries to adapt to new models and redefine best practices. With this malleability still lingering in the corporate world, companies can take risks and try new processes to boost efficiency while balancing that experimentation with an increasing emphasis on providing an exceptional employee experience. Within that framework, some traditional hallmarks of the industry like networking — as discussed in the expansion best practice section of the report — are re-emerging, powered by an enthusiasm for authentic engagement and injected with a creativity unfettered by the “status quo” and limitations that defined networking, pre-pandemic. Communicators have opportunities now to embrace new channels and media forms and experiment with new methods to achieve authentic connection – with clients, media, influencers, etc.
Technology is playing a more active role industry wide. It is prompting conversations around the role of AI and machine learning in the communications and creative fields. As the technology continues to improve and expand, it is incumbent upon the thoughtful communicator to continuously assess technology’s role as well as its limitations and ask ourselves how we can responsibly and effectively incorporate new technology tools to better serve clients and tell compelling, important stories.
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