The Communications 2022 Year in Review: A permacrisis of war, death and scandal

Welcome to the PRmoment Podcast.

Today we’re reviewing 2022: The Year in Communications with Charlotte West, executive director of global corporate communications at Lenovo.

Charlotte and PRmoment founder Ben Smith talk through the biggest events in PR and communications through 2022.

Before we start the PRmoment Awards 2023 early entry deadline is on 16th December, check out the awards site PRmomentAwards.com for all the details. The final entry deadline is 27th January.

Thanks to the PRmoment Podcast sponsors, The PRCA.

Here’s a summary of what Charlotte and PRmoment founder Ben Smith discussed:

1.30 mins January started with us all looking forward to 10 good years of economic growth as the economy roared out of the Covid lockdowns…

3 mins Did the tech sector, and Meta’s stock value loss of 26% in one day, give us a clue, even before the war started, that all was not looking quite as rosy as many of us had hoped?

6 mins Then February bought the war in Ukraine with Putin’s unprovoked, brutal attack on the people of Ukraine. The war has been a travesty for the innocent men, women and children of Ukraine.

The actions of Putin’s murderous regime have been well covered in the media and Charlotte give’s us a corporate communications perspective. What steps did communication directors of big global organisations need to take as a result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine?

10 mins How the war in Ukraine changed the lens of all 2022 communication plans

12 mins Quite rightly the war in Ukraine dominated much of the new agenda for the rest of the year but thinking back to April and May - what else was on the agenda for in-house communicators?

13 mins The role of internal communications in developing post COVID working patterns

“Employees just wanted clarity”

14 mins And then in the summer, The UK’s politics got even more bonkers! Charlotte talks about the implications of this for in-house communicators at the time.

“It was like a soap opera playing out in real life…as comms leaders that becomes a huge distraction.”

“People became fed up with the news”

18 mins How did the chaos in UK politics change the decision making criteria for communication directors during that period?

19 mins September saw the death of her Majesty The Queen - which was a difficult balance for lots of brands in how to communicate during the period of mourning.

22.30 October brought talk of the coming recession - and again comms leaders had to adapt their communications.

24 mins Charlotte talks us through the Just Stop Oil climate change protests and their implications for communicators.

“Who’s next after the fossil fuel companies?”

27 mins Was November was the month of the celebrity CEO or the psychopath CEO?

“About 18 months ago a celebrity CEO was a good thing, it isn’t anymore!” Ben Smith

In the tech sector, some companies have become their leader, and that’s dangerous for many reasons…it’s an issue of good governance for a company.”

“The tech sector has been able to get away with a lot because it's interesting and exciting but regulation is coming….the organisations have to show good governance.”

30 mins Charlotte and Ben discuss the Elizabeth Holmes Theranos scandal - including whether she was treated differently because she was a woman - there are a lot of rogue male CEOs who did not end up in jail.

32.30 mins Was Cop 27 a bit of a damp squib?

“Every opportunity is not a PR moment - a better approach is to do it for wider good”

34 mins The comms issues of The World Cup: a global event with differing perspectives

36 mins Charlotte’s end-of-year reflections: A perma crisis with war, death and scandal.

37 mins A media in crisis: 1000 UK journalists have lost their jobs since June https://pressgazette.co.uk/news/journalist-redundancies/

37.30 mins The need for a communications director to be a corporate diplomat in an organisation.

38 mins why communicators need to be “optimistic about the future, not deluded but measured in the advice we give.”

39 mins Who are Charlotte’s key internal stakeholders now?

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