Edmonton journalists and communicators predict industry changes, share advice for 2021

By Linda Hoang

In 2021, the need for clear, accurate, and timely news and information will be more important than ever. That's one of the predictions local journalists and communicators shared with Taproot Edmonton as they look to the year ahead.

"People want news they can trust, especially when it comes to the pandemic. It’s vital that we continue to provide up to date information and disseminate all the information that comes our way into news that is to easy to understand for our audience," said Kevin Jesus, senior news producer with Global Edmonton

Communicators can expect to do more with less. "The ongoing shift towards jack-of-all-trade reporters will also progress — even more video-journalism abounds," said Courtney Theriault, CityNews Edmonton reporter. 

Organizations will place more value in strategic communications. "The past year showed us that communication is vital and plays a starring factor in the success of any decision, change, or policy," said IABC Edmonton president Suzanne Pescod.

Edmonton journalists and communicators share advice for the year ahead. (Supplied)

Edmonton journalists and communicators share advice for the year ahead. (Supplied)

To be successful in the industry in 2021, CPRS Edmonton president Lyn Brown encourages communicators to "get out of their own echo chambers." 

"Stop equating popular opinion with facts, evidence, and good science. Start listening more deeply. Be curious. Seek out different — even critical points of view in an honest search for common ground," Brown said. 

Organizations will need to do a better job incorporating diversity and inclusion. "I want to see brands invest in education about what living diversity and inclusion looks like, and what that means for their marketing efforts," said Ad Club of Edmonton president Jill Scheyk. 

2021 will be the year of back-up plans. "Every campaign I have in the market right now has a planned pivot for every possible spoke on the flow chart of outcomes for COVID, their revenue, and so on," Scheyk said. 

If your organization hasn't embraced online yet, now is the time. "The shift towards online delivery will continue to escalate. Local outlets will use every social media tool to satisfy the viewer’s news appetites. Social media will likely become an even greater force for local stories. You can still email or call your local station, but the best way to gain the attention of a producer seems to be with a viral tweet," said Theriault.