The Goods, December Edition 2023

‘Tis the season for reflection and anticipation. As we wind down another exceptional year here at Global Strategy Group, we are sending you our warmest winter wishes.

And you know our year-end edition wouldn’t be complete without our team’s predictions for 2024! Together, we look back on the many insights from this year and take a peek at what’s in store for social goods communications. 

The Goods is a newsletter that helps social impact communicators keep track of the latest updates, trends, and industry best practices. This content is compiled and curated monthly by Jade FloydVictoria Dellacava, and Nancy Hine.

“The elections will dominate the conversation. And each company has to weigh the benefit of being in the mix when you know that Donald Trump is lurking, ready to pounce on your brand if he finds it beneficial in any way. But staying out of the fight can get you in equal trouble with your employees or customers. Managing your brand reputation will be even more important in 2024, so weigh in carefully, thoughtfully, and with a plan in mind.”

– Jefrey Pollock, Founding Partner and President

“2023 was perilous for companies and organizations who decided to weigh in on social issues. Only a handful did it right, and we expect to see some adjustments in the coming year. 

In 2024 we will see companies and organizations do one of two things regarding engagement around current events:  

  1. They will engage boldly and with conviction on issues that matter to them. These are the companies who acutely understand their stakeholders and can tie their stance back to their organizational mission and values. They are prepared for blowback, and ready to stand firm in their words and actions. 
  2. Or they will take a more silent approach staying out of the lime light. Even amidst public pressure these companies will choose not to engage in polarized conversations. They will recognize that they are not the expert or authoritative voice on a subject, are unsure where their stakeholders stand and/or simply be unwilling to wade into controversial territory. 

Both approaches have merit, depending on the issue and the current landscape. What will continue to bomb is the attempt to please all audiences on a high stakes issue. The old adage you can’t please everyone is alive and well in 2024. Many companies learned this the hard way last year, and we expect to see smarter engagement, and perhaps lessened engagement, on some key issues.”

– Tanya Meck, Partner and Managing Director, Communications and Public Affairs

“Among young people under the age of 35, there will be an increasing dependence and use of social media in general and Tik Tok specifically as their PRIMARY news source. “

– Jeffrey Plaut, Founding Partner

“Politicized attacks on ESG initiatives do not reflect the public. In fact, they reflect a very thin and partisan slice of the public. Yet, companies with such initiatives are at elevated risk of slings and arrows during the campaign year. Corporate leaders should feel confident that ESG initiatives that are grounded in a business rational, employees, and communities are not merely defensible – they win supporters and customers.”

– Jim Papa, Partner, Communications & Public Affairs

“Corporations and brands will prioritize ESG storytelling through carefully crafted narratives being mindful of anti-ESG rhetoric brewing in state and federal legislatures. We will see an influx of narratives focused on authentic storytelling and outside validators will be called upon to share how companies are embracing impact driven initiatives in their communities. Communicators have the opportunity to seize this moment and produce compelling creative, reports and digital moments to elevate their impact across multiple audiences- from policymakers, to shareholders and consumers.”

– Jade Floyd, Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs

“Expect public calls for increased oversight of generative AI tools. In 2023, our polling indicated 52% bipartisan support for federal regulation of AI. Boosts to public perception will not quell the continued concerns over AI capabilities. Don’t be surprised when naysayers and critics demand regulations over the new technology.”

– Emily Williams, Senior Vice President, Digital Communications

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