In the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview, W2O chief integration officer Emily Poe tells Doug Simon that her top recommendation for communicators in 2021 is to “listen to and understand your audiences.”

"Really understand all of the different elements of how your audiences are understanding and experiencing the world before you communicate,” she says.

Poe adds that data and analytics play a key role in deciding what kind of messages will connect with those audiences. “We’re spending a lot of time so that we can measure quickly what is working and what isn’t.”

The information gathered from that data allows communicators to “pivot and change with the environment.” And in the healthcare sector, which is W2O’s specialty, such flexibility is essential.

Poe also talks with Simon about to make more conservative clients comfortable about the new approaches and “digital transformation” made necessary in today’s environment. She says that being able to provide “case studies with measurable, demonstrable impact and results” can go a long way toward getting those clients on the digital bandwagon.

One more tip: “Let’s throw out the old playbook.” A big part of doing that, Poe says, is learning how to “communicate credibly and authentically without the corporate voice, the brandspeak.”

She also stresses openness and inclusivity, saying agencies must “make sure that we have more diverse representation in the content we’re putting out, who we’re putting out there to talk about what’s happening in the world.”

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.