Adapting to Comms Trends and Organizational Changes

Plus: A few parting thoughts on 2023

It’s been a few weeks since you’ve heard from me, but I couldn’t let you run off to your holiday break without sharing one final newsletter wrapping up 2023 — the year I went rogue. I mean, the year I started my communications consulting business and the Conservation Makers series.

First, I just want to say how grateful I am for this community, especially those of you who sent me a note at some point this year saying that you found something meaningful or helpful (or funny) in all my ramblings.

Second, just a personal update: I am still taking on new clients, but I’ve also accepted a part-time role in local government, which I’m finding very interesting. I’ve learned, for example, that people in rural Vermont are super passionate about road maintenance. (Is that true everywhere?)

It’s also just a handful of days before Christmas, and because I have an almost-4-year-old obsessed with Santa, this is my Super Bowl.

So, anyway. You’re busy. I’m busy. I’ll keep this brief.

If there’s any trend I can point to in the communications space this year, it might just be that change was constant. A new social platform debuted, spiked, and quickly questioned its own relevance. Instagram grabbed the top spot for engagement. LinkedIn was likely your best channel for growth. Google Analytics flipped the switch to GA4, and everyone pretended to know how to use it.

There have also been many leadership swaps in our little corner of the nonprofit space this year, so if you’re feeling some level of uncertainty going into 2024, it makes sense.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself if a new executive (or two) will soon be shaping your organization:

🏋️‍♀️ What do I want this manager to know about my role as a communications leader?

🙋‍♀️ What do I need in my role that might now be possible?

📢 As a comms staffer, what responsibility do I have to share updates on organizational leadership with members, donors, email subscribers, social followers, and press?

I’ve been wondering a lot about that last one. I’m not sure I’ve seen any of the organizations with major turnover at the top handle this piece well in 2023. Downplaying transitions might work fine in the short-term, but transparency will ultimately strengthen authentic connections with your brand. I hope this is a consideration for conservation orgs taking stock of their comms efforts in 2024.

For now, I hope you have a restful week away from your desks and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the natural resources that you work so hard to conserve and share with the world.

See you next year,

P.S. Just for fun, if you’re crafting your autoreply for the holiday break, here’s some inspiration. (I’ve always loved a listicle, even back in 2016.)

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