my turn


Communication Innovation

In no place has the seismic illumination of communication as an innovation been more punctuated than the Obama administration. Yes, while smart and astute policy adjustments and groundbreaking new lawmaking have been vital to our nation's healing, so, too, has been the manner in which these transformative changes have been communicated.

It is not a coincidence that we all suddenly feel good about the changes taking place - nor is it a coincidence that we appear as a nation to have unending and unfailing confidence in our new President and his leadership. And it is not a random occurrence that the world at large seems to echo these sentiments.

Through a proactive and intentional ongoing dialogue with America and the world - be it on significant issues such as the changes being made to help us turn the corner in the recession or on softer issues such as an inside look at the President's first 100 days - the communication infrastructure of the White House is as much a restorative innovation as its policies. It is the combination of meaningful action and proactive and informative communication that catalyzes a rebirth of optimism - and, eventually, actualizes change.



This lesson of coupling meaningful innovation - both action-oriented and change-driven - with strategic communication emerges as a guiding principle for brands and their leadership as they work to successfully move forward in today's new world.

While the face of the media landscape remains in question as the masses continue to debate the value of traditional vs. new media, the pressing reality that emerges is that premium brands now must place quality content at the top of the priority list as they strive to keep their publics informed, engaged and loyal.

Leading brands, as much as the government, bear the burden of this new reality, and it will be those that embrace this new paradigm shift that will ultimately succeed. So, halfway into 2009, things continue to flux, while the hope of a better and brighter tomorrow coyly beckons around the corner. Some key trends to look out for in the quarter ahead include:

  • The Reinvention Economy goes from concept to reality, pressing meaningful change to occur at all levels inside leading organizations.
  • Brands that win embrace the re-inventive movement and create and develop products, technologies and ideas that instill value, simplicity and meaning, rather than excess, and push themselves to creatively communicate these changes.
  • Optimism will be a key driver for brand communications - influencing product design, communications, and even logo redesigns and colors selections - as a way to feed a hunger among consumers for good news and lighter times.
  • Disruptive innovations continue to emerge that meet societal demands and instigate needed positive secular shifts, but re-inventive innovations also take shape that value the best of the past and put forth new ideas built off of the values of yesterday's successes.
  • Leadership slowly becomes a badge of honor, not something to be shied away from. It emerges not just as a role that leads a company but as a job that places as much importance on creating shareholder value as it does on eliciting loyal brand ambassadors in its employees. A new generation of corporate leaders is born.
  • Entrepreneurialism and agility continue to prevail inside big companies and out. Sheer heft is no longer equated with dominance, eradicating certain pockets of corporate complacency.
  • Communication itself continues to emerge as an innovation, pressing brands to view it as a vital and driving force of the reinvention process, not an afterthought or simple mechanism of disseminating news.
  • The media landscape continues its alteration. Smart brands innovate to communicate with the new media titans, while also recognizing the need for traditional media interaction - in whatever remaining forms those institutions allow.
  • Pitching influencers that drive dialogue on these topics and help shape public opinion becomes more of a strategic tactic than pitching media titles. The era of the media uber-advocates goes from interesting conjecture to undeniable reality.

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