Hopes for communication in 2021

At this point in a ‘normal’ year I would be asking people to tell me about their favourite piece of communication from the year, to publish as a ‘best of’ blog during December. But this year I just can’t bring myself to do it!

A notebook with a love heart on the front
I decided instead to publish a more hopeful list. So I asked my guest bloggers and my wider network to tell me:

  • What do you hope for communication in 2021?
  • And this is what they said.


    Reading has been my refuge and inspiration throughout 2020. In particular the “nature” writers who defy genre silos. The writing of Helen MacDonald and Dara McAnulty has supercharged my love of nature and shared human experiences beyond my reality.

    From autism, loneliness, bullying and human migration, their fearless introspection and ability to capture the beauty of the world around us, has filled me with courage and hope. We’ll need lots more of both in 2021.

    Adeela Warley OBE, CEO CharityComms


    Employers learning from 2020 that increased flexibility helps employee engagement, productivity and performance, morale, increased motivation and innovation. Flexibility could be around anything from timings of a working day, location or upskilling through to job shares etc.

    I’d like to see them communicate this flexibility when recruiting for new staff, which will make it more accessible, especially for women or those looking to change career, and give them the opportunity to show their fantastic transferable skills. Imagine what we could do if we communicated in this open way, rather than trying to fit everyone into ‘boxes’ that don’t fit the modern world.

    Caroline Green, Owner, The Talent Cycle

    The communication I would most like to see and hear next year is ‘no mask required here’. I think that the wearing of face coverings has perhaps been the most symbolic feature of the great pandemic of 2020. To see them gone, will bring closure for millions.

    Whilst difficult, 2020 has been a good year for internal communicators which saw us step forward and overcome some significant challenges. In 2021 and beyond, I truly hope that we can convert our success into an enduring respect and credibility within organisations everywhere, and that we don’t let this opportunity slip through our (washed) hands.

    Martin Flegg, communication professional, The IC Citizen


    I’d like to see environmental and ethical-related communication from organisations next year, on a regular basis rather one-off statements.

    I’m hoping to achieve some consistency in my business communication next year, such as regular newsletters and blogs and get some balance in my social media.

    Nicolette Evans, netwalk leader and freelance copywriter


    Despite the havoc it’s created in our lives, 2020 hasn’t been a total write off. As COVID-19 caused disruption and employees were dispersed, the spotlight has shifted to internal communications.

    Having worked through the financial crisis of 2008 and now Covid-19 pandemic this year, I know well that recovery won’t be overnight, and in the months to come leaders will have to make tough business decisions. But as IC professionals, if we continue to weave through compassion, clarity and consistency in all our communications, keeping a line of sight on our shared purpose and values, my hope is that we won’t lose the valuable connections that we made with our people in 2020.

    Shalini Gupta, Leadership and CEO communications manager at BT


    I would like to see a major company come out and say that rather than making staff redundant, they will go through their entire business and get rid of the amount of time and stuff they waste, because a company is nothing without its loyal staff.

    Phil Gowler, therapist and trainer


    I have hopes for the way we communicate coming into the New Year. I believe that greater transparency is the key to greater success in all aspects of life. It is with clarity and direction that we are more confident in taking calculated risks.

    Jesse Appiah, International Management and French Graduate


    I believe 2021 is the year for recovery and action. I therefore hope organisations keep measurement and evaluation high on their agenda.

    I hope it is a defining year for communication, where we prove our worth – how we add value to the organisation and through measurement and evaluation create a more meaningful narrative.

    Adeeba Hussain, freelance measurement and evaluation professional


    Brene Brown’s podcast Unlocking Us has got me through this year with its wisdom, warmth and incredibly inspiring guests. But what you asked for was the communication I want for 2021.

    I want to hear that people are dancing in the streets, hugging, laughing, gathering in big crowds, enjoying themselves at festivals and sitting around the dinner table in big, loud, chattering, love-filled groups.

    Caroline Doran, Charity Change Specialist, Facilitator and Coach, Deliver and Grow

    And finally…

    A world map overlaid with the words love lights more fires than hate extinguishes

    My own hope for communication in 2021 is that we will begin to share stories of kindness more widely. That the kindness which exists in the world is celebrated for its power. No longer seen as fluffy or weak.

    I, for one, will be finding ways to speak up about those stories.

    Wishing all my readers a safe and relaxed festive season, however you are marking it this year. After the ways things have been, we all deserve a (socially-distanced) pat on the back for getting through it.

    Until next year

    Heart photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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