leadership and communication strategies in 2024
We live in interesting times: two major regional conflicts, increased tension in the South China Sea, on the India Pakistan border and in Yemen will have a negative effect on an already fragile global economy. Yet there may be room for optimism: Jan Hatzius, Goldman Sachs Chief Economist recently predicted a ‘soft landing’ for the US Economy and gentle slowdowns in Europe and the UK.
More than ever leaders in 2024 will need to monitor events and respond in an appropriate and timely manner. That means taking control of communication.
During times of instability staff look to their leadership for reassurance. The more difficult the situation, the more you will need to be ‘present’. This can be more challenging in organisations with a hybrid working policy. Staff working three days or less in the office have fewer opportunities to interact with leadership and that can be destabilising.
In a busy hybrid working environment announcements are often delivered via email, video conferencing or voicemail. Information from an organisation’s leadership often falls into the ‘important but not immediate category’ that can be swamped by routine tasks which are less important but need immediate attention. Strategic information is more likely to be assimilated if the messages are repeated through different media.
Company announcements supported articles, press releases and blogs need imagery. Not only to break up the wordiness and make the communication more visually interesting, but to communicate tacit information – the mood and emotional components of your message. It is an opportunity to reveal your character, the importance of the communication and how you want it to be received.
More than Internal
Senior executives have several audiences – stakeholders include environmental groups, investors, local populations, media outlets, clients, suppliers and competitors. Messaging has to be edited in subtly different ways for each audience. Supporting imagery needs to undergo the same process; will it speak to its audience, what messages are contained within the portrait.
Enable your E.A.
Often E.A.s and communication teams are often frustrated by a lack of appropriate imagery. At worst they will have an out of date headshot taken whilst the executive was at a different company. Most will have a recent headshot taken during on-boarding. However, a single image cannot begin to serve for every message an executive needs to communicate. Most senior executives need a library of PR images that teams can draw upon as a resource for messaging.
Your PR library
A small library of public relations images taken in different environments will enable your communications team to react quickly to events as they happen in 2024. News Agencies and Feature Writers are more likely to include your quote (not your competitors) in an article if supported by a good image. Your team will be able to put communications together for staff, investors and clients in response to events before they can develop into an issue. In short it puts you and your team on the front foot. And that has to be an advantage in a year that is shaping up to be eventful.
About Studio Grey
Mark Grey is an experienced and qualified portrait photographer. He has a MA in photography from London University. Clients include: EY, Meta, Google, Fidelis. His images have been published in Forbes, the FT, The Times, Vogue and several industry magazines. He is supported by our Head of Make Up and styling, Louise de Brookley, whose clients include: Michael Caine, Peter Andre, Tony Blair and Theresa May.