By Phil Rabin, Capitol Communicator editor

As we enter a new year, normally, there is a sense of excitement and anticipation that the celebrations associated with New Year’s Eve will ultimately bring a fresh perspective to our lives.  Unfortunately, for many, 2021 brings a sense of justified uncertainty, best pictured by the fact that on New Year’s Eve, Times Square and the surrounding streets in New York City was closed to the public.  In effect, the New Year in New York’s Times Square was basically greeted by silence.

On a positive note, the arrival of coronavirus vaccines brings hope that the end of this pandemic may be in sight but, realistically, there are still many signs that uncertainty will prevail for months and 2021 will begin with more questions than answers.  Specifically, for the communications community:

  • How will the large number of businesses that have gone out of business in 2020 impact us well into 2021 – especially in D.C. which has a large base of trade and non-profit organizations, where their income comes from members and supporters who may have been hard hit by the coronavirus?
  • Will businesses be cautious in hiring in an uncertain 2021, especially in the early months?
  • Will employees be going back to offices or continue working from home after getting the vaccine – or will it be a hybrid work situation?
  • Will organizations, given the acceptance of a work-from-home environment, hire people from out of the area, at the expense of the local workforce?
  • Will organizations hire communicators with different skills than in the past, reflecting the ongoing changes in communications tools and techniques?
  • How will communicators deal with the media – both traditional and online – that have experienced layoffs and closures?
  • How will the arrival of the Biden administration – as with the arrival of every new administration –impact the D.C. communications community?

As noted, the new year begins with more questions than answers.  We all are waiting for a “new normal” which, I expect, will not be here until well into 2021. And what it will be is yet to be seen.

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