The Changing Landscape, Challenges and Opportunities for Tech Communications in 2021 – US perspective
Following on from our last Kaizo Live, we shifted our focus across the pond and hosted a panel of senior US-based communications leaders to hear their thoughts on Kaizo commissioned research that explores how the tech industry has changed over the past 12 months.
The expert panel included Kaizo Director Steph MacLeod (host), James Prior, Head of Global Communications at SiFive, Kodie Dowe, Media Relations Manager at NinjaRMM, Kristin Miller, Global Communications Executive at Ping Identity and Zibby Keaton, Head of External Communications at Puppet. Our panel explored how the past year has changed technology communications and the media landscape, as well as the scope of work and wellbeing of communications professionals in the US market.
Our research identified a number of internal challenges for US tech communicators, including balancing priorities among diverse stakeholders, informing business strategy in a rapidly changing market and remaining agile in a fast-moving news cycle. Our panellists agreed these findings mirrored their own experiences, but noted that more exposure to senior business stakeholders over the last 12 months has led to a better business understanding of the value of PR.
Another challenge our survey identified was the perception that the US tech sector is a ‘winner’ of the pandemic. The panellists unanimously disagreed with this statement, but did say that empathy and authenticity are critical when communicating in the current climate..
The discussion also highlighted that earned media is only one part of the equation when communicating with your audience – particularly as the traditional media market is shrinking. Our panellists discussed the benefits of a more diverse communications strategy encompassing various types of content and owned channels, including social media, email marketing and websites.
Additionally, our panellists touched upon the mental health impact the pandemic has had on people in their industry. They noted that support for employee mental health and wellbeing must come from the top down in any organisation.
Finally, the panellists discussed some of the ways that agencies can support communication leaders during this turbulent time. Agencies that see changes and have their finger on the pulse, lead with creativity and have a game plan on how to approach current trends are highly valued according to our panel.