Forecasting the future #3: Dark social steps into the light & leaders take an intersectional approach to DE&I

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What will emerge as the defining PR, communications and technology trends of 2024? As the year draws to a close, we canvassed the Missive team as well as our friends, clients and suppliers one last time to find out more about the biggest opportunities and challenges ahead.

In the final instalment, we hear from Helette Gelderblom, Head of Brand & Marketing at Daemon and Missive’s Whitney Simon and Peter Sherwood-King.

You can read the rest of our predictions in part one and part two.

High-quality, reputable and trusted content will set brands apart 

Helette Gelderblom, Head of Brand & Marketing, Daemon

“It’s human nature. We all know the obvious one starting with an A, but my view is that, especially in light of the developments and focus on AI and ML, we should think about fresh ways to humanise content and ensure the level of quality sets you apart from the competition. We’ve reached a place where people can spot AI-created content. With the influx of content (often sheer overload), I’m more determined than ever to spend my limited time reading, watching or listening to high-quality, reputable and trusted content. As brands, we need to ensure we keep quality over quantity, giving expert views to support our clients while using tech and data to streamline and enhance our work.” 

Leaders will take an intersectional approach to their DE&I strategy 

Whitney Simon, Senior Account Director and Head of DE&I, Missive

“In 2024, organisational leaders will need to take an intersectional approach to their DE&I and wider business strategy. Coined by American academic Kimberlé Crenshaw, ‘intersectionality’ describes how race, class, gender and other personal characteristics ‘intersect’ with one another and overlap.

“It can be easy for organisational leaders to adopt a ‘one-size-fits all’ approach to their DE&I efforts to streamline and manage costs in a difficult economic market. That can manifest as creating ERGs (employee resource groups) for different marginalised identities, investing in and putting on DE&I training programmes, or launching social media campaigns aimed at celebrating different identities – but what about those employees who don’t fall into one group?

“What about your Black, Queer employee living with a disability? What about your neuro-diverse, non-binary employee who immigrated from India?

“When thinking about your DE&I initiatives, it is important to recognise that people are so much more than just their race, sexual identity, and ability – they are the sum of all those parts, which means that one-dimensional efforts won’t cut it. For example, you could lead/launch ‘Black History Month’ programming that digs into the history of Queer People of Colour or Trans People of Colour - shedding light on the experiences of those balancing being Black and Queer.”

Dark social will step into the light 

Peter Sherwood King, Senior Digital Manager, Missive 

"Any social media and digital practitioner will tell you that the social world is a noisy place, full of articles, blogs, whitepapers, infographics, videos - everything! However, behind the curtain, an incredible amount of activity and engagement happens in the privacy of DMs and messaging apps - this is dark social. 

“2024 will be the year marketers and businesses pay closer attention to the impact and possibilities of dark social. Granted, it may be intimidating to discuss with senior leads who may not understand, but we will see more and more information come out as the year progresses. 

“This will naturally cause a lot of problems when it comes to tracking brand-related engagement. Consider short links, real-time tracking, and updating your lead generation form to understand which channel your audience has come from.”

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you navigate a fast-changing comms landscape, get in touch with the team today. 

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