Following up on the previous alert's key insights from agency professionals, Telum spoke with in-house PR professionals to hear about their 2023 forecasts and how communicators across the sectors of pharmaceutical, retail, technology and workplace solution provider are preparing for the transition into the new year.
Andre Zhang, Senior Public Relations and Communications Manager, Menarini China
It is fairly obvious that there will be more opportunities for branding and communications in 2023. Mainland China has been loosening COVID-19 restrictions nationwide since December 2022, paving the way for a gradual return to normal life. While the public continues to devote their attention to the pandemic, many expect economic and social recovery in the upcoming year.
Businesses and brands should tell their post-COVID stories - what will life be after the pandemic? How will you foster recovery? What will your opportunities be? How will you win workers and customers back? You’ll need to convince the target audience with your vision, growth plan and capabilities of your endeavour towards recovery.
In the pharmaceutical sector, companies will continue to tell stories of their investment, products and innovations. Many companies have sped up their digital transformation during the pandemic. As to what works and how will the new business model help in the post-COVID era, I think communicators can do some digging.
Izzy Guo, Senior Corporate Communications Manager, Luen Thai
One of our Group’s biggest business units is athleisure retail. As we come out of a pandemic, how consumers interact and shop at retailers will essentially change. With the new year, we expect a positive outlook and emphasis on the consumer shopping journey that provides a seamless and hybrid experience that shapes the future of retail.
We will focus more on physical retail spaces to maximise our communications efforts and pay more attention to social media sentiment through monitoring, collecting and analysing how people talk about us. And more importantly, we are looking to invest more in helping consumers understand our product life cycle to offer a higher level of transparency and relevancy.
Jinqi Li, Public Relations Manager, Witmem
High-tech startups, such as Witmem in the AI chip area, are considered to have great potential to guide Mainland China's high-quality economic development. Whilst attracting more attention, corp comms roles in these startups are also facing more challenges. With the global economic downturn, major industries will continue to feel the chill in 2023.
In this situation, communicators should act like programme producers that control the budget while producing diverse content to maintain frequent communications with the audience, both online and offline. Also, communicators need to be more sensitive. Be aware of over-marketing, over-hyping and negative public feelings that may lead to an enterprise crisis. The Internet is more complex than ever. Netizens can detect lies and also create lies easily. In spite of that, being honest and reliable will continue to be the winning formula for comms.
Pebble Lee, Head of Global Public Relations, The Executive Centre
The world of work has seen a dramatic shift in favour of flexible working practices and the adoption of hybrid workplace management models since the unprecedented global pandemic. Hybrid working has become a widespread concept, but the underlying principle is ‘flexibility’. Businesses have been unwilling to commit to long-term traditional office spaces and seek more flexibility for their corporate real estate strategies and employees’ wellbeing. This increased the adoption and growing demand for flexible workspaces, especially for premium spaces such as The Executive Centre. This demand will continue in 2023 and beyond with more corporates moving towards flexible workspace solutions.
Flexibility will become more important than ever, and comms strategies shall and always be flexible as well. Comms professionals have always revolved around being adaptable and flexible to be ready and able to pivot from a planned strategy in a short period of time. Be fluid, be flexible!