We’ve almost made it to the end of 2020. A year that brought pain, anguish, intolerance, injustice, resistance, persistence, innovation, ingenuity, togetherness, tenderness, healing and hope.
Hope is what I’ll lean on as I head into 2021. Here is what I hope for you, as a communicator:
- Inspiration: This year has allowed for a great deal of reflection. Time to think about why we went into communications. For me, it’s the human-centric storytelling that can move hearts and minds, inform and educate. It’s the people. My hope: You find inspiration in your work that reawakens your delight to write and serve your many audiences.
- Purpose: Our role is the heartbeat of the organization. It’s our job to clearly communicate vital news and updates to eager audiences waiting to hear information that will alter their lives, such as layoffs, office closures, permanent work-from-home mandates and pandemic-related loss. My hope: You know your worth. Every time you rest your fingers on the keyboard you think of the impact your comms has—whether life-changing or mundane—and it matters so very much.
- Connection: In a year where many felt deep loneliness, resourcefulness brought forth new ways to connect colleagues through virtual team happy hours, dynamic online town halls, email care packages, photo essays of life at home, wellness support groups and so much more. My hope: You continue to push the boundaries of employee and customer engagement and keep alive these new programs that allow for meaningful exchanges that reveal the true state of the organization.
- Influence: Our credibility has risen in the organization; we have a seat at the table right next to the CEO, offering wise counsel. We’ve proven our worth. Words matter, comms matters. My hope: You use this newfound influence to shine light on things like perception gaps, urgent diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, the demand for transparent leadership comms and necessary digital tools that keep audiences informed, engaged and connected.
- Stamina: Many of us are surprised by the hours, days, weeks and months we’ve been able to work at top speed. How that feeling of service to the organization and its people pushed us to keep going long after the streetlights went on and the house fell silent but for the click clack of your keyboard and the reverberations of your thoughts. My hope: You take time to recharge, reflect and reset. That you really recognize the amazing work you’ve done this year and the resounding impact of the prose created during those late nights and long weeks.
Wishing you warmth, joy and happiness this holiday season!
IABC Chicago Chapter, President
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