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Where Communication Professionals Can Focus in 2024

February 28, 2024

With the start of another year, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the barrage of thought leaders and pundits predicting what’s ahead and warning what you must do now to stay on top of it all.

What’s in, what’s out for 2024?

Whether it’s Gartner or Gallup, Forbes or Fast Company, the list of “biggest trends that everyone needs to be ready for now” can feel long and disheartening.

  • Dampened employee engagement and persistent burnout
  • Social issues and an increase in employee activism
  • Divisive elections
  • Influx of new technologies
  • Economic uncertainty and its impact on headcount and resource constraints
  • Ongoing war and conflict
  • Concerns about retention
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Growing need for mental health awareness and support for well-being
  • Continued tensions over return to office
  • Increasing unionization across many industries

Given this, what should you do?

Rather than provide another daunting list, we’d like to offer a different perspective — one to help focus your energy, versus spinning to try to tackle the multitude of issues.

Instead of thinking about issue, perhaps think about role. Communication professionals have many roles, all of which are important to the business. The question is – how much time are you spending in each? Since COVID, most of us have been leaning into our communicator role, responding to crisis after crisis, managing issue after issue.

This year, consider giving more time to your other roles as well, which will put you in a strong position to navigate upcoming trends and whatever hot issues arise in 2024.

Where to Focus in 2024

You, as Strategic Partner

As a communication professional who has endured several years of constant crisis mode, it’s time to take a breath and recommit to investing in yourself — so you can show up as the strategist that your executives need most. It’s not selfish; it’s smart. How will you grow this year? How will you stay ahead of best practices and latest thinking? One way is to stay actively connected with your peers, other senior communication leaders who can serve as a trusted network of support and growth. Also take an honest look at how you’re perceived by leaders: as a strategic partner or a responsive order taker? Before jumping on requests, ask questions to fully understand the deeper need and advocate for a different course of action, if you think that would be more effective.

You, as Change Champion

While recent economic volatility may have stabilized for now, more disruptions inevitably lie ahead. Rather than trying to predict what those might be, it’s best to ready yourself to be “disruption-agile.” Get back to the basics of change management. What’s your framework for driving change in an organization? What are your guiding principles and strategies for securing strong sponsors, addressing resistance, and bringing employees along in a transformation?

You, as Operations Manager

One of the best things you can do this year is reassess your current infrastructure so you can concentrate efforts where they’ll have the greatest impact. Next, ruthlessly prune and replant. Measurement is key to knowing which communication channels deliver the most value.

Also, if you haven’t already, it’s time to embrace AI. Determine how you can use it to automate some tasks or speed up work. And don’t forget about the manager, a vital communication channel. How are you enabling managers as communicators and change agents, particularly in leading remote employees or distributed teams?

Learn more about the ROI Partner Group

The ROI Partner Group
The ROI Partner Group

Network with senior communication leaders, receive personalized 1:1 consulting and get exclusive access to best practices, industry data, networking events and strategic advice with our exclusive ROI Partner Group.

You, as Communicator

Today, perhaps more than ever, you need to be ready for anything at any time, making this a good moment to reset your crisis communication plan. The U.S. presidential election and heightened attention on social issues underscore the need for a well-articulated, consistent plan for dealing with issues that are sure to arise. Does your plan include a rubric for determining when your company will speak on an issue? Is your plan consistent with your company mission and values? What is your process for pressure testing messaging with ERGs and regional leaders before it’s released?

Where to turn for help

We believe every communication professional deserves the best of care so they can excel in their many roles. We are here to help, whether it’s with a communication assessment, an AI workshop for your team, a crisis communication strategy, or the ROI Partner Group, which provides you with a high-value network of peers to connect with.


Lesli Gee ROI Internal Communication Agency Employee.
Lesli Gee

Executive Vice President

A founding member of ROI, Lesli is an expert at change management and HR comms expert with more than two decades helping executives design and execute large-scale change initiatives to strengthen organizational culture, streamline processes and improve performance. A 27-time marathon runner and charity fundraiser, she has helped numerous Fortune 500 companies achieve their business goals.

Catherine Forman ROI Internal Communication Agency Employee.
Catherine Forman

Vice President

With a deep expertise in change management and employee engagement, Catherine helps manage largescale, complex strategic projects for our clients. As an avid rock climber, Catherine approaches her work as she does her climbing - always with an eye on the next move. Her expertise has made her a valuable contributor to ROI since 2003.