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CONQUERING STEREOTYPING IN MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

An issue close to my heart, something I’ve experienced repeatedly and one of the main reasons I’ve set up Turas. It’s not just about fairness. It’s about maximizing our value and positioning organisations for long-term success in a competitive, complex and dynamic marketplace.

Marketing & Communications stands at the forefront of shaping brand narratives, product (and revenue) uptake, driving engagement and connections with customers, stakeholders and communities. Yet, stereotypes often ‘cramps’ our potential and that of our organisation.

Often dismissed as ‘the colouring in department’ or ‘spin doctors,’ we can face being undervalued in decision-making right through to struggling with burnout due to unrealistic expectations. And it does reverberate through our profession.

PRODUCTIVITY: boxed into narrow roles, our ability to innovate and drive results is stifled. We often become tactical order-takers, implementing ideas with limited opportunity to contribute our insights fully. This hampers our productivity and that of the organisation.

WELLBEING: often compromised under the weight of unrealistic expectations and constant pressure to deliver. Creativity thrives in collaborative, autonomous environments. However, when faced with rigid, multi-layered structures characterised by constant relitigation,, our mental health takes a hit, leading to decreased motivation and increased stress.

RETENTION: this becomes a formidable challenge when stereotypes persist. Talented individuals seek environments where their skills are recognized, their voices are heard, and their contributions are valued. Organisations risk losing their best performers to organisations offering a more inclusive and empowering culture.

WHAT CAN WE DO?
1. TAKE CHARGE & TALK THEIR LANGUAGE
We have a job to do. Stereotyping is underpinned by lack of understanding of our IDENTITY and VALUE PROPOSITION. There’s confusion between Marketing, Comms, Marcomms. Do what we do best. Create a consistent narrative and take every opportunity to set the story straight – in a way a non-marketer/comms professional will ‘get’.

2. START AT THE TOP
Dismantling stereotypes has to start at the top. If we’re not understood there, it’s a harder hill to climb. Understand the power dynamics of the organisation, find those influencers and work with them to reposition your team.

3. MEASURE WHAT MATTERS
Be relentless in measuring the impact of your work and how it contributes to organisational success.
Make it visible regularly.

4. SYSTEMISE OUR ROLE
Formalise our role in decision-making and sign-out processes. This provides opportunities for professional development, and fosters a culture of trust and respect.

It’s about our ‘agency’ and taking charge of our narrative, ensuring we are active participants in reshaping perceptions and driving change.

This is what we do everyday. Let’s now do it for ourselves…

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