02 September 2016 / public affairs / akkanto /

5 post summer communication trends

There is no denial, the holidays are over. August is gone, September is here, #Rentrée2016 is trending. So let’s embrace this back-to-school feeling, and see what’s coming up in the world of communication. Here’s a top 5 of what the akkanto team is getting excited about:


1. Public Affairs: politicians are so eager this year…

...that the Belgian federal parliament will resume its activities earlier than before. The first plenary session will already be held on 15 September and not, as before, on the 2nd Tuesday of October.  High on the policy agenda for the weeks and months to come: the budget for 2017 (new savings ahead!), tax reform (new revenues needed!) and additional measures against terrorism (towards a Patriot Act à la Belge!). With coalition partners not aligned, opposition parties not supportive and trade unions not amused …. all ingredients are gathered for a ‘hot and steamy autumn’.  

2. Reputation Management: constantly measuring your progress

An increasing number of Belgian companies regularly track their corporate reputation. Not (only) to see if they are doing better than their competition, but to find out if their reputation has increased and if it has contributed positively to their business performance. In this context, reputation tracking is evolving from a project based activity to a model of continuous analysis. This approach offers on-going insights; a detailed view on the evolution of the company’s reputation over time that evens out temporary or seasonal effects. Such longitudinal figures are essential for transforming reputation data into true, actionable KPIs. You can’t change the seasons, but you can change your reputation!

3. Digital Media: real-time, realer-time, realest-time!

Interaction on social media becomes even more real-time than it was before. The “live” features have now popped up almost everywhere, and we soon won’t remember what life was like without them. Whereas Twitter may be facing challenging times due to the popularity of Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram, the channel remains a popular ‘news’ channel, particularly used and consulted during major newsworthy events. So, to follow the developments…. in real-time. Their live video service Periscope lends itself perfectly for this. Facebook live is gaining popularity too, even among politicians (seen Guy Verhofstadt’s Facebook page lately?).

4. Internal Communication: “The only thing permanent is change”

…Heraclitus once said. Unfortunately, (behaviour) change is not an easy nor a short process; it takes a lot of effort and patience. At akkanto, we constantly explore new, creative ways to capture employees’ imagination, and increase their engagement. With flexible work arrangements becoming the standard, it’s especially challenging for companies to communicate with employees working remotely. We notice that employees expect – now more than ever – an interactive way of communicating. Apps, videos, gamification, social intranet, etc.  respond to this challenge. We live in the digital era after all, right?

And, have you thought about storytelling when talking to your employees? There’s no strong story without a good storyteller, which is exactly why we’re continuously refining our training programmes and toolkits. Mastering storytelling techniques will help you to inspire your people. Make sure they’re happily bitten by the change bug and aware of its good results.

Oh, and did we mention we’re very anxious to discover the outcome of the CEB Internal Communications Summit & Awards?! Put November 1-3 on your agenda to get even more inspired.  

5. Media Relations: vox populi on the rise

The “rentrée” is also visible in the Belgian media, who have been presenting some of their new programmes. We can spot an interesting trend:  the man/woman in the street, the public, will intervene much more in television and radio programs.

With regard to channels and tools, it is clear that traditional press conferences & press releases are becoming less attractive to journalists, who are under constant time pressure. In order to have more impact, we always advise tailor made news with strong content and visualization such as infographics or videos. And, don’t forget the power of a multi-channel approach, (website, blogs, social media ) to spread the good news !

The akkanto team


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