Transparency, a long-term vision and remembering to focus on the individual – these were all labelled as some of the biggest challenges facing communicators in 2009 by comms professionals from a wide variety of organisations tonight.

We met at Able and How’s offices in London for the first of their round table events, that brought together various industries including Sony Ericsson, Lloyds TSB, The Big Lottery Fund and panellists from Virgin Media, EDF Energy and Innocent.

It was interesting to hear that despite the diversity of the industries represented, that the same themes kept cropping up time and again. It seems that when faced with headcount reductions, tight budgets and change, the focus more than ever is on ways to be creative yet sensitive to the needs of employees, stakeholders and customers. Ensuring you are still engaging and motivating employees, and delivering your company’s vision and strategy at a time of unrest, transformation and economic turmoil is no mean feat.  

Among the topics we discussed were; when is the right time to restart spending money on PR/advertising when you are making headcount reductions, how to equip senior leaders and executive teams to communicate effectively with employees and help them find their voice, taking the open and honest approach at every possible opportunity, and striving for a long-term vision that also allows each employee to see where they fit within organisations.

Definitely food for thought and thanks to David Ferrabee and the Able and How team for arranging such an interesting session. Here’s to the next one!