Changeable. Temperamental. Unpredictable. Those words sum up the climate of 2022 and early 2023. It has made communications strategy trickier — and more crucial — for organizations of all sizes and kinds.

This will remain true, especially as mistrust and uncertainty (around companies, sectors, leadership, the media, influencers, products, the economy and so on) run rampant.

With that in mind, we asked SHIFT leadership and client advisors what they’re keeping top for clients in 2023. Here’s what they said.

Focus on performance communications.

Our team agreed that, in this landscape, companies need to focus on maximizing performance. What does a performance communications strategy look like? To us, it means starting with specific business objectives (beyond just awareness and coverage goals) and using research-intensive insights to build from there. The focus should be on where target audiences are and the channels and tactics that are working best. If marketing functions and channels aren’t already tightly integrated, now is the time. And prepare to stay agile, with those channels, tactics and budgets, as you work toward a set of measurable goals.

Nail the message.

Customer, investor and employee audiences all need reassurance in times like these. Media relations is getting more challenging (although not impossible if you formulate a solid thought leadership platform). So, lean more heavily into alternate channels (earned, owned and paid) to get important messages out. And hyperpersonalize those messages to the audience (whether that’s a reporter and his/her readers, customers, or another stakeholder group).

If you need help charting your communications strategy for 2023, we’d love to hear from you at

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