2024: Comms trends and predictions

From consolidating comms to adopting a global strategy, here are seven comms trends and predictions for 2024.

Change is afoot, and that's a good thing. I've spent the last few months talking with Sound Story clients, and the team, about the year ahead. From those conversations, a few noteworthy trends have emerged in the way that leaders (and we as a comms biz) are thinking about corporate storytelling:

1. The once very visible line between internal and external comms is fading, fast. Great leaders know how they communicate externally is just as important as internally, and vice versa. Consolidating all-organisation comms makes both strategic and commercial sense.

2. Crisis comms was once an afterthought (scramble?) in many industries — including tech, media and entertainment. But there’s a shift happening. At Sound Story, we’re seeing more leaders wanting to get ahead of issues and crises by moving from a reactive to a proactive approach.

3. Watch out, the post-COVID bandaid is officially off! Only high-performing comms people and teams will survive the year. Brutal, but true. 2020 and 2021 were the “reset”. 2022 was the “rebuild”. 2023 was the “reboot”. And, in 2024, the focus is shifting to “results”.

4. Export, export, export! This one is especially relevant to the music biz: ‘Borderless Business’. With few exceptions, geography is no longer a barrier. Great leaders (and creators) are thinking, acting and growing globally. Comms people and teams must keep up, skill up and meet the moment head-on.

5. Fewer pivots and more patience! Consistency is a strategy, so staying on message is both a competitive advantage and critical to building a remarkable reputation. Great leaders are recognising that their people, partners and customers are attracted to — and inspired by — reliability.

6. The craving for community is undeniable! Corporate events are back, and they might be your secret storytelling weapon. More than in previous years, hosting experiences with clients, prospects, media and partners will be part of most comms plans in 2024. Events, after all, leave lasting impressions.

7. It wouldn’t be a predictions post without at least one mention of AI! Yes, comms people will spend more time "learning the tools" in 2024, but the smart ones will spend time embedding them. The AI opportunity for comms is now and the possibilities are limitless. That said, we’re a way off ChatGPT being proficient in managing the next Budweiser brand boycott. But we will begin to see a less experiential and more impactful adoption of AI in comms this year.

These shifts in thinking aren't all new, but they are on the priority list in 2024.

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Jamie Larson