Mindful of an Ongoing Pandemic, a Divided Nation and Historic Mental Illness
As marketers and communicators heading into the third year of a pandemic that contributed to increased social inequality, we must continue to recognize the power and responsibility to create authentic narratives on behalf of our clients and for the collective good. In this era of continuous real-time news cycles and social media, consumers are very much aligned with brands that are politically savvy, environmentally sustainable, and multiculturally relevant. In 2022 and onward, marketing professionals must strive to be authentic and take into consideration the polarizing views that exist throughout the country during these turbulent times, while still authentically championing clients’ voice and goals.
By prioritizing authenticity in our narrative, we can gain and strengthen the trust of the public. We have seen the lack of trust permeate throughout the country and our lives with serious repercussions. Legitimate institutions, including government and scientific think tanks are questioned and pitted against misinformation and conspiracy theories on many social media platforms. Nonetheless, these online platforms provide immediate access and an interactive channel where an authentic narrative can educate, address advocacy issues, or host real-time debates. When a brand does receive negative attention, an authentic and strategic response is critical in defense of its reputation.
Sophie Bowman, multi-award-winning social media scientist and founder, ConvertYourFollowers.com, noted that a top key business trend for 2022 is authenticity. “Authenticity is everything. The world changes quickly (ahem, Covid), so you must keep up with the movement. Today’s consumers want to buy from, and follow, brands that resonate with them over others that don’t. To achieve that resonance, I cannot stress enough the importance of being authentic. That involves telling your story and being true to your mission.”
Furthermore, as communicators we must recognize the impact of the words we choose and how they influence a society whose mental health has been greatly affected by the pandemic. With Covid continuing to impact how we live, love, and work—mental health continues to be at the forefront of issues steering the trends and strategies that are called for in 2022. Social media critics have pointed to the vulnerability of youth and adults who are affected by toxic narratives. As we look ahead, if we are to effectively touch the hearts and minds of our audiences, we must acknowledge that mental health is a top area of concern in 2022 and how our narratives can impact individuals’ mental health.
How do we weave empathy and hope in our narratives as we guard the reputation of a brand to a sensitive, weary, and at times distrustful public? Start by asking yourself these three questions:
- What is the goal of the story you are telling?
- Is the narrative factual and does it uphold your clients’ values and beliefs?
- Is the story being told in a kind and respectful manner, mindful of a divided nation and cognizant of the growing mental health challenges?
We can all benefit from a narrative that is empathetic and respectful of diverse opinions that add hope in challenging times. At Comunicad, we adhere to our core values that shine through in the way we address our diverse audiences. We strive to create narrative that positively contributes to the conversation and authentically represent our clients’ voice.
Gloria Rodriguez, CEO/President, Comunicad