This year has been a HUGE year for us at Engage Comms. We’re not even 18 months old and we now have our own offices, which we plan to grow into over the next five years, a fantastic new team member and two regional silver industry awards under our belts! It has also been a big year for digital communications in general…

The year of the personal brand

Back in January, we released our first ebook on Amazon on how to ‘Power Your Personal Brand for 2013’. It included a chapter on the context into which we were entering 2013 in the wake of the banking crisis, MPs expenses and the phone-hacking scandal. It looked at the ‘new economy’ that was emerging as part of the ‘social media revolution’ and hailed 2013 as the year to make your own by carving a niche and building a personal brand for yourself online. Social media is all about people and that’s why we believe our background in PR puts us in such a strong position when it comes to advising on digital communications. Human interest is king and this year, we’ve seen many of the big corporates move away from bland updates to tweets and other content with a bit more personality.

The website isn’t dead!

Many social media gurus have forecast the death of the website in their New Year predictions over the last few years. On the contrary, we’ve seen a huge focus on the importance of corporate websites as the hub of your communications strategy. The ability to publish your own content and ease with which blogging has made this something that anyone within the organisation can do has meant that corporate websites are being put at the heart of a brand’s online presence and, even where huge audiences are being built on social media platforms like Facebook, brands are understanding the importance of driving them back to a website full of content that is as engaging and interactive as the platform they are visiting from. In some cases, and particularly in some sectors, we’ve found that outdated websites (both in terms of content and interactivity) are in fact hindering brand reputation across the board and even damaging internal comms. In 2014, we will partnering much more closely with some of the web companies that we work with to offer an integrated package. Read more on why you can’t build a decent website without a comms expert here:

Recognition for Digital Communications

What we’ve been most encouraged by this year is the increasing recognition that digital communications has gained. The evolution of social media has seen communications in business come to the fore and there has been an early recognition that digital communications, which integrates use of social media with wider business communication, needs to be addressed at the most senior levels. A few months ago, we saw the BBC advertising for a Head of Digital Communications which acknowledged the digital communications team as “ responsible for shaping the BBC’s digital reputation and leading the innovation story”, which is a very encouraging description of how wide ranging digital communications should be! Read our recent blog on ‘what is digital communications?’ for more on this:

So, here’s to a prosperous for 2014 for all our clients, partners and contacts – we’re sure it’s going be an exciting year for your businesses and for digital communications in general and we’ll do our best to be the first to keep you updated on the latest developments! Please also follow us on Twitter @engagecomms and keep an eye on our blog for the latest insights from us.