A demure Davos
Matthew J. Harrington, chief operating officer, Edelman
The tone of the 2013 World Economic Forum can best be described as “subdued” – far less troubled than it was two years ago as protests in Egypt broke out, and less nerve-wracked than last year in early days of European economic turbulence. Instead, there is an emerging view that we have entered a "new normal," a time when returning to past boom days is unlikely, and so we must, as they say in Britain, "keep calm and carry on."
This environment presents significant opportunity for public relations. At a time of underlying cynicism and even resignation, organizations must clearly and consistently articulate their sense of purpose to all stakeholders in order to build trust and, in turn, get any job done. Edelman's 2013 Trust Barometer, released at the Forum this week, outlined that although trust in business, government, media and NGOs went up, trust in leadership –CEOs and elected officials – went down. As a result, leaders need our counsel to help restore trust in order to advance the interests of their businesses or nations.
Social media was viewed as vital to rebuilding this trust and improving conversation between leaders, citizens, employees and all stakeholders. Any sense from prior meetings that social media was an "optional sport" had wholly disappeared.
The importance of internal communications was another key theme, as was the critical role storytelling serves in conveying strategy and aligning shared interests. When thinking about future opportunities, Africa was a highlight—specifically nations including Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa that are experiencing growth and emerging consumer markets. Asia broadly, and China specifically, continued to be in the spotlight.
In sum, there were few big headlines from this year's meeting. But this didn’t trouble me as perhaps it indicates some lessons have been learned about the folly of making deeps swings from irrational exuberance to doom and gloom. The new normal lies somewhere in the middle.
Read the full report via: http://www.holmesreport.com/featurestories-info/12930/Davos-Voices-Industry-Leaders-Assess-PR-Lessons-From-World-Economic-Forum.aspx