Insights

Liquid modernity and challenges for communicators

22 June 2020, By Canela

We live in an ever-changing and volatile society, in which everything including people and ways of communicating flow like liquids and are susceptible to transformation. Nothing explains this new paradigm better than the concept of liquid modernity, introduced by the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman in the 90s. Since then, while communication has undergone a profound revolution, trust and credibility remain strong principles.

It is important to go beyond what we see on the surface and to deepen our knowledge and understanding of everything around us. This is the only way to overcome superficiality and banality and, at the same, avoid falling into the temptation of being carried away only by emotions or unsubstantiated communications that can lead to mistrust. Fake news is a reflection of ‘liquid communications’ so communicators should do all in their power not to contribute to the creation of a reality that is even easier to dissolve. On the contrary, communication must provide solidity while preserving the values to create content with transparent and relevant messages.

 

Photo: John Lockwood

 

It is true that the internet and the appearance of social networks, which have become real protagonists, have changed the communication process. Today we have more communication channels than ever, but that doesn’t mean that the rules of the game have changed as well. Identifying social changes and adapting messages to our target audience is important, but what remains crucial is credibility. It is direct, transparent and relevant communication that generates trust and allows brands to evolve and prevail.

Another great challenge lies in the lack of commitment. One of the most characteristic features of liquid modernity is based on individualism and an ephemeral way of living that lacks solid values. Consumers are increasingly reluctant to engage with brands, so making and keeping them engaged is one of the greatest assets of communication.

The fact that life has become so unstable and changing has led to a need, or we can even say anxiety, to constantly renew ourselves. As a result of this, there is also a fervent need to launch new products, which for brands implies another great challenge, finding their place in the sun and reaching the public in an increasingly competent environment.

In this scenario, it is clear that the ability to adapt to changes is vital, but without forgetting the main principle of good communication: truthfulness of the content regardless of the channels used to reach the target. Therein lies the mission that each communicator must have and that is to be a generator of trust, credibility and knowledge and, in this way, a bridge between brands and the audience.