Be your own trend in 2021

Introduction by Jackie Tran, Communications Analyst, City of Monrovia
Article by Francie Palmer, President, Francie Palmer Consulting
2018 recipient of the California Association of Public Information Officials Paul B. Clark Lifetime Achievement Award and 2017 CAPIO Communicator of the Year.

It is easy to get caught up in the daily grind of projects, deadlines, and keeping up with urgent pressures. And as CAPIO members, it is probably safe to say we all have a desire for growth and professional development. We sign up for numerous webinars (I do love a good webinar!) and scan social media accounts for ideas to stay current with the latest trends in communications. Afterall, we want to be informed about the most useful and relevant tools and methods we can use to connect with our communities. 

The question then becomes, how do we stay on top of our daily tasks while keeping a pulse on what is up and coming without feeling overwhelmed by it all? Francie Palmer, President of Francie Palmer Consulting, was kind enough to share her perspective on this.

Our last CAPIO Communicator featured articles that focused less on the pandemic, and more toward reinvigoration and future thinking, including tips on communications trends. When I approached Francie with the subject of Communications Trends for 2021, I found her response not only surprising, but very grounding—it was exactly the thing I needed to hear to take a step back and refocus on what’s most important. Here is what she had to say     

By Francie Palmer:

The topic alone: “Communications Trends for 2021” sent my brain into a bit of a rabbit hole of self-talk and contemplation.  I initially started formulating a list of what to anticipate, tools to prepare and scour list-servs and groups for new finds to share with my communicator compadres; but reality was, this didn’t fulfill what my heart wants to share.

So instead, I would like to offer:

Communicate how you are doing.
It’s been said previously, but needs to be said again.  It is ok to NOT be ok.  There are some great virtual tools available for meditation, and even virtual therapy help, or schedule Zoom/FaceTime Happy Hours, coffee chats or virtual board game nights (Yahtzee & Bingo are great options).  Be OK with sharing with others how you are truly doing.  The key is to identify your feelings and gain skills to work through those feelings; and identify ways to help yourself.

Communicate your needs.                          
This could be a material thing, a larger home monitor, wi-fi booster, ring light or other tech for your work from home environment that could make things easier, run smoother, or just benefit your new work environment.  This could also mean if you need some quiet time, unplugged, disconnected, and focused on YOUR needs; that’s OK. 

Communicate your successes.
I have been on this soapbox for years, as public servants – we’re not good at touting our successes – “It’s just what we do.”  We are really good at kicking ourselves when things work out as we’d hoped.  This has been a year of chaos, rising above and beyond anything we could have ever imagined we would be dealing with in our careers.   Do not let that drown out the importance of celebrating your successes; share the results and positive impacts of your efforts in a way they can understand.

My “Communications Trends for 2021” are all about YOU.  The most powerful trend this year is to focus on you, take care of yourself, your co-workers, colleagues, and families.  I cannot imagine a better trend.

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