• Tim Herrera

The struggle to keep up with a constantly changing culture

Culture is constantly evolving and it’s hard to keep up. As communicators we have to keep pace with what’s going on around us to do our jobs effectively.

In his article “Brands – if you want to understand culture, you need to participate” expert Leo Rayman writes: “Culture is dynamic and constantly moving and the only way to truly understand it is to participate. Whether you dip your toe in or dive in headfirst it’s up to you.”

It used to be that companies, agencies, and organizations could make business communications plans and follow them for five or more years. Now things change so rapidly that keeping pace is a full-time effort. And flexibility in planning is important.

In an online article titled “Keeping Up with Change: A Three Dimensional View” John Sefcik emphasizes the importance of adaptability in all forms of planning. He writes “Because change is so prevalent, long-term plans may become outdated and possibly obsolete within months. Business plans must be reviewed, updated and revised quarterly.” We have to be flexible and be willing to adapt.

That makes sense when you consider the impact social media continues to have on our culture, which impacts how we communicate, and which impacts how we develop our communications plans. If we don’t keep pace with the world constantly changing all around us then we will be left far behind.

The world is changing faster than a tweet can travel. Businesses struggle to keep up and the same goes for those who handle the strategic communication planning for businesses and organizations. Technologies evolve. Once tried and true practices can become obsolete quickly. All of that has a big impact on how we do our jobs in communications, public relations and marketing.

Writer Kevin Daum, in an article for Inc. titled “5 Ways to Keep Your Company Ahead of the Curve” once wrote “If you spend your time enjoying the present or worse, wishing for the past, the world will most certainly pass you by.” This rings true in every profession. Just think of how much our culture has changed in the last five years alone. (Cue the spinning heads here!)

(Tim Herrera is the author of Media Training: A Guide to Giving Great Interviews and several other books on communications.)

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