Maybe this post should really be called – Surviving the Culture Wars in 2024 as a leader, creative – human. It is going to be a rollercoaster ride.

2024 sees multiple important elections throughout the globe, wars and conflicts continuing to polarise and media and social media a wild west of news, misinformation and politicised opinion. Combined with climate change, the cost of living crisis and cuts to services, things are very intense and challenging.

In recent times, people who have shared social media posts and aligned with a particular group have found themselves cancelled, sometimes with devastating career consequences. If you have not seen or experienced this, take it from us, the situation is extraordinary.

Meanwhile, there is strong pressure to take a stand, take sides and be seen to be active.

Do you take the reputational risk? And what happens to the great work you do, if that risk has consequences for you and your organisation? What is important here and what is the bigger picture?

Managing your mental health this year to keep up the great work, think twice about how much you want to enter the political boxing ring in public and online. Will charged debate change any outcomes? Where are you putting your energy and focus? Who needs to benefit the most from you doing great work, and what is most important for you to achieve in 2024?

What we are recommending to our clients this year:

Social media is not your friend – stay on message about your work and your organisation.

  • Take great care with every like and share you contribute to in a personal capacity
  • Explain to your staff how activism can reflect and create challenging situations for an organisation
  • Be upfront with the team – have a meeting to talk about these issues and why you are making the decisions you are making
  • Encourage everyone to stick with the company’s decision to focus on the work and all the communities and clients associated with that work

Stick to your knitting and do your best work – you may be a leader with a team under you, and you may have great influence or you may work in an organisation reliant on funding and sponsorship. In 2024 focus on your work and the people who directly need you. Make a conscious decision and be mindful of your activity and actions.

The bigger picture from a PR perspective is that if you lose or compromise your position of power, then you cannot affect the change and good that you were destined to create and deliver.

Recommended Reading – a profoundly supportive book that we have found enables us to understand how we centre ourselves towards peace.

Thich Nhat Hanh – Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet