A quick look at LinkedIn and posts are awash with businesses ‘pivoting’ and the ‘new normal’.

There’s so much advice and academic thought out there but, if you run a business and if like me, have been doing so for 20 plus years (as MD of Willoughby and then when I set up Liquid) you’ll know that nothing quite beats gut feeling.

COVID-19, coupled with technology, has seen a rise in internal communication, it has flattened corporate hierarchy and in turn has increased productivity. No textbook told CEOs to do that. It was gut feeling.

Communication changed during lockdown and this change will continue. From reduced newsrooms and the dominance of COVID-19 on the news agenda, we’re seeing far more creative ways of engaging with stakeholders. And those stakeholders have changed too – we’re realigning messages and channels of communication in line with new audiences.

Messages have to be authentic, that’s a given, but there’s a move to hyperlocal. We’ve seen the reliable corner shop flourish and a knee jerk reaction to support local businesses. Those with a good story to tell will be the ones to benefit from a new engaged local community.

Our use of celebrities has changed. The new heroes come from unlikely sources. We want people who have achieved through adversity, people we can relate to, who speak to us. Just ask Captain Tom.

So, as we prepare for a flexible return to the office, we know that the internal communication needs to continue, that we need to realign all campaigns with their new stakeholders and above all…we need to listen to our guts. We’ll know if something is right or not.