There was a quote from Matt Damon earlier this month in GQ where he expressed his feeling on the return to Hollywood: “It has just been a lot, like from zero to hundred again. I was excited to kind of reengage with the world, but I forgot how fast it moves.”

It’s the same story across every industry; and comms certainly had a hectic summer.

This September, The London Underground saw the busiest Monday back since the start of the pandemic, as the rush hour roars back. Bars, restaurants, and cafes have bustled to life with eager customers; the wait for a table at your favourite spot is back. A frenzied summer of global dealmaking and transactions has set records, with almost $4 trillion of deals already signed on the dotted line. The job market is busy, with the second highest monthly increase in new employment coupled with a booming number of vacancies.

Headlines are dominated now by funding news, companies committed to growing their workforce and launches of new innovations. It’s exciting, it’s hectic, but it is worth taking a moment to reflect on what we’ve just been through.

When the pandemic blended our professional and personal lives, we learned valuable lessons in authenticity and vulnerability as the world changed around us. Whilst we ride the wave of economic prosperity and reopening, these resilient characteristics will be vastly beneficial.

Zooming out to see the bigger picture

As the crisis of the pandemic hit, conversations became more meaningful as we all stood on common ground. It facilitated more open and authentic discussion as we chatted home lives, mental health, and everything in between. Not only did we see inside people’s homes, including their bookshelves, but opportunities for more introspection and empathy across every industry were revealed.

Some changes were hugely impactful on our daily lives and some more subtle, but we developed a wider and more thoughtful perspective, reframing what we see in the ‘picture frame of life’. A crisis often helps us develop a wider point of view as we question the way we live and what is important to us. However, for many people, it was a challenge as industries ground to a halt or plans were cancelled completely. For those lucky enough to have job security and the freedom and space to dream big, zooming out to see the bigger picture can present brilliant opportunities for improving growth and communications within your organisation.

By breaking free of the prior rigidity of routine, we found ourselves to be more vulnerable. Everyone has experienced the past 18 months vastly similarly and vastly differently; we can resonate and sympathise with our neighbours and colleagues. Beyond seeing the glass as half full, we see new imagined and realistic ideals: moving to a new city, a new career change or a new passion.

The power of authentic and human communication

Whilst it may be tempting for businesses to focus on comms demonstrating growth, success, and innovation, it must be balanced with authentic stories highlighting the impact and human side to your brand. The power to bounce back is more paramount than ever, especially how we set forth with this ability.  This can be showcased with reputational assets- thought leaders, delighted clients, resilient workforces- the important part is to continue to build purpose-led authentic communications. Be wary of following what the rest of the crowd is doing  though, and make sure to march to the beat of your own drum. Audiences are sharp and they know when they are being duped with a manufactured story or a cliched idiom. To avoid these blunders, provide your audience with relatable, passion and enthusiastic messaging without overthinking.

Being vulnerable to stand out in the crowd

In a vast sea of communications, stick out withpersonable and honest stories. For example, the file sharing service WeTransfer had a viral, offbeat campaign entitled ‘Please Leave’, narrated by poet Roxane Gay, reminding audiences of their values of putting people first, and the importance of creativity.

You may feel like Matt Damon and have forgotten how fast pre-pandemic life zooms by, but don’t forget pandemic life either. We learnt a lot, and as hard as it was, in many ways it made us better and more human.

The last days of summer are upon us, as leaves start to fall and we sharpen our pencils for the return to school, and for some of us, back to the office.

August, traditionally a month for holidays and time off, has seen many of us staycationing around the UK, as we wait for the traffic lights to change green. Brits are looking to escape to the sand and the sea in particular; with Devon and Cornwall two of the most popular locations of choice. However, though many of us have enjoyed our holidays, the world of tech certainly hasn’t taken a break! Here’s our round up of our favourite and extraordinary tech stories from August.

The streaming revolution has completely changed the way we view shows and movies, as we flick through thousands of options on our devices, whether to binge our guilty pleasure reality TV shows or hard-hitting true crime series. Late to the game, industry player Disney+ has posted a higher than expected user jump with 12.4 million new subscribers between April and June alone, and is now boasting a total of 116 million subscribers. Still, there’s a way to go until it catches up to Netflix, which boasts a massive 209 million subscribers.

Talking entertainment, TikTok has officially been heralded the world’s most downloaded app in 2020 as it beat out the other top four apps, all owned by Facebook. TikTok’s algorithmic feed of videos (the For You page) on your phone, provides addicting, never-ending entertainment as it builds a customised model of your favourite content. No wonder then that it has 500 million users.

We have all turned to our devices for almost every day-to-day interaction; ordering drinks at the bar, making payments with the sharp decline of cash and even tracking our mood; but the question this month in the headlines: the privacy conundrum. We routinely input data into our phones – and it’s a treasure-trove of information. Every day we are asked to upload our name, email, payment details, address, age etc. in apps or on sites without always completely understanding where our personal information will be stored. Should we have to hand this all over, to grab drink at the pub or a coffee on our way to work?

One company also making headlines around privacy concerns is Apple. The company has pledged a new anti-child abuse safeguarding system through tech searches for matches of abuse material on images uploaded to iCloud storage, but some critics argue it could be a ‘backdoor’ to spy on people. WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart called Apple’s system “very concerning”, stating WhatsApp will not adopt the technique.

Finally, good news, a huge breakthrough in the possibility to diagnosis dementia with AI with just one brain scan, as researchers from the University of Cambridge start trials to test their approach. Algorithms within their AI system will detect patterns in brain scans to identify the disease far earlier, giving doctors greater confidence in interpreting scans. It’s in its early stages, but definitely gives us hope!

That is our August roundup! Want to receive a daily news roundup of the biggest tech stories? Sign up to our Firewire here

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