Council Post: 15 Challenges Corporate Communications Teams Will Face In 2023

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The communications industry changes year after year, especially as communications technology and platforms continue to evolve. These changes can often be positive, but sometimes they make a corporate communicator’s job even more challenging.

As the new year begins, those in the field may find themselves facing various obstacles—from continuing to work with entirely remote or hybrid teams to navigating digital marketing after the loss of third-party cookies. Here, members of Forbes Communications Council explore the corporate communications challenges that they anticipate will impact the industry in 2023 and ways professionals can prepare to meet them.

1. Retaining Employees In An Uncertain Climate

Corporate communications will face many challenges in the future. General uncertainty, employee resignations, a looming recession, mental health challenges, pandemic consequences and challenges and employees demanding flexibility, direction and support. For reputational corporate communication, it will be vital to retain the best employees and invest in the best managers who are caring and supportive. – Katja Fašink, ELES

2. Positioning Brands Amid Public Scrutiny

Public scrutiny of companies is at an all-time high, and corporate communicators must have clear plans for positioning their brands positively beyond traditional communications. Executive opinions and internal practices must match the brand’s values in ways that are externally visible. Additionally, contingency planning for mishaps must be a top priority, which it never has been before. – Roy Hutchinson, Deem Finance LLC

3. Communicating With New Employees

A top challenge that all internal communicators will face in 2023 is an influx of new faces in the building or online. Whereas, in the past, many communicators could coast along, knowing that their seasoned team of workers pretty much knew the drill, having lots of new folks dictates more frequent communication, with a focus on this new audience. – Daniel Durazo, Allianz Partners USA

4. Dealing With Fragmentation

We are surrounded by more choices of tools, platforms and ways of getting our jobs done than ever before. It may sound rigid, but the need for standards and process are paramount to ensuring we’re harnessing the power of technology and doing so in a way that doesn’t have negative, unintended and unproductive consequences. – Paul Stoddart, Salesforce


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5. Staying Current With Changing Technologies

The communications landscape is constantly evolving, and corporate communications teams will need to stay up to date with new technologies and platforms in order to effectively communicate with their audiences. – Jaime Hunt, Old Dominion University

6. Communicating Transparently

With all the news around a recession, communicating in 2023 will be critical. Companies sometimes want to have all the answers before communicating, and then the information they want to announce leaks, and they are left to clean up the damage. Be transparent, be authentic and provide the “why.” Ensure you pay close attention to your communications calendar; contradictory messages are detrimental. – Wendi Sabo, ECI Software Solutions

7. Standing Out Among The Noise

2023 will be a year full of noise—whether it is politics, the global market, world affairs or the local economy. Corporate communications teams will have an opportunity to think intentionally about how to create a signal in the noise. This signal will enable them to stand out from the noise and drive brand affinity and trust with their stakeholders, customers and employees. – Jonathan Shroyer, Arise Gaming

8. Handling Budgets And Layoffs

Budgets and layoffs will be the biggest challenges in 2023. The team whose budget you thought was approved, the campaigns you thought you had the money to run—they could all go straight into the trash can. You will have to learn to do more with less and write powerful letters of recommendation for your former staff. It will be a hard year, but adversity builds resilience. Good luck. – Dave Platter, Juwai IQI

9. Coping Without Cookies

As privacy laws expand in the coming months, communicators will be forced to set aside any reliance on cookies for targeted marketing strategies. Instead, we’ll need to turn to content development to engage and familiarize ourselves with our audience. Use content to create two-way dialogue, keeping them interested in ongoing interaction. Teams should develop targeted content now to prepare. – Nona Phinn, THuS Marketing and Branding

10. Shifting Toward Contextual Advertising

As the marketing landscape enters a new age of strict privacy frameworks, we bid farewell to identity-driven marketing. The death of the IDFA (identifier for advertisers) and the gradual decay of third-party cookies are making the marketing industry turn toward contextual advertising. More transparency and less intrusion will build a greater sense of trust between online users and advertisers. – Toma Sabaliauskiene, Nord Security

11. Finding The Intersection Of Personality And Professionalism

People want humanity in brands more than ever. They want to see the face, personality and soul of the company. What values does the company hold? How does your company speak and interact with customers and prospects? How diverse are the faces and voices representing your company? Organizations can’t hide behind a logo—it’s got to be real. – Casey Munck, Act-On Software

12. Planning For The Impacts Of Changes Driven By Cost Savings

Maintaining a balance between a positive workplace and the need for changes driven by cost savings is a challenge facing all businesses this year. Morale can easily be damaged if communications are not handled delicately. Be prepared by understanding the full scope of upcoming changes. Plan now to handle potential future impacts in a way that allows you to be seen as a guide toward a better future. – Jeanniey Walden, LiftOff Enterprises

13. Gaining Traction Amid Volatility

With such volatility in our operating environments, a company’s focus can be challenged. This will make it harder for corporate communications teams to align their messages for maximum impact. As you plan for 2023, spotlight two or three big areas that your company can really gain traction in, and place your efforts there. Don’t be distracted by the smaller items that will come and go. – Camille Weleschuk, ATB Financial

14. Capturing An Audience’s Attention

Capturing an audience’s attention is becoming more difficult with the increased use of digital advertising, content, social media and so on. Even an internal audience is bombarded with emails all day. Ensuring messages are clear, short and sent only when needed ensures we’re not overcommunicating a simple message in a complex way that is guaranteed to be missed by an audience. You can’t go wrong by keeping it short and simple. – Brittany White, Apple Growth Partners

15. Maintaining Agility And Flexibility

If you are following macro trends, 2023 could get interesting, or it could get difficult—no one ever really knows! As communicators, we are on the front lines, interpreting the real world and staying attuned to subtle changes in what key audiences are experiencing. So, keep your radar up and pay attention to what is going on in the big picture so that you can be agile and flexible in your communications this year. – Chris Cradduck, LDWW



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