Societal Issues Communicators Should Think About in 2010

Communicators and our audiences have shifted focus over the past couple of years. Everybody is looking for the next breakthrough, the next big idea. I am not saying that there is something wrong with that, but there should be more to it. How will the next breakthrough or big idea help:

-Your business?

-Your audience?

-Your community?

-Your society?

If the breakthrough and/or new idea is worthwhile, then a good answer should be able to be applied to the above questions. Below though, are four themes that I believe communicators should focus on for our feeble society to stay at least near the top of industrialized nations.

1. Increased Incentive for the best and brightest in the Arts and Sciences

Yes, this is a business/economic lover encouraging the next best and brightest to focus on issues other than business, finance and the like. Why? Read this article that came out in November 2009. It highlights that the sectors that help our society (education, science, sociology, psychology, social work, etc) suffered a massive brain drain from the elite colleges and universities. There simply wasn’t enough incentive (salary, notoriety) for the top brains to attract them. There are too many of us business-minded people out there already (law of diminishing returns would also apply here- the more brain power going to business, the less reaped benefit for every next businessperson entering the field). My extreme scenarios:
-The first elementary school that offers a base salary of $1 million dollars.
-A school district governed like a corporation’s board of investors.
-Teachers actually invested in like stock; go to specific schools around the nation.

I like said, they are extreme. But something needs to be done. And communicators, let’s use our voice to help that happen.

2. More Attention on Small Businesses

The coined phrase “too big to fail” is probably the worst phrase we had to hear this decade (actually it’s a toss up between that, and anything that came out the mouth of Paris Hilton).

Quite frankly, these organizations got “too big to fail” due to our society’s reluctance to work with the little guys.

With millions of businesses out there, you’re telling me that less than 100 businesses crippled our economy?

Supporting small business increases the survival of our economy, cost of living, and overall quality of life. Go local, help the nation.

Few tips:

-Banking: If you decide to trust a bank again, use local and regional.

-B2B: The blame goes to small businesses too. We got to work together to stay relevant.

-Marketing: From my post, “Open letter to Charlotte…” statistics are there stating the dismal online performances- FREE performances actually- of small businesses. Contact those businesses that have dedicated to work with you. (Insert self-plug here).

3. Communicators: Can We Stop with the “Thought Leader” Nonsense?

Marketing, advertising, and public relations combined is the language of business; large and small. Of course we are going to have forums and conferences about “the state of marketing, advertising, public relations,yadda yadda”, but let’s get back to basics here. This industry was created because many businesspeople need assistance getting their message out. Period. Why not focus on the biggest segment of the U.S. Economy (psst, that’s small business)?

In any case, we, communicators, make the world go round. If business controls government (which it does), and marketing/communications is the language of business (which it is), it seems like we got some work to do.

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