What’s your #1 priority for 2021?


We asked IABC APAC Board members what their #1 priority is for 2021. Here’s what they told us.


We could have started 2021 with the usual set of ‘guru’ predictions. But, this year, we thought we’d look at the year ahead in a different way.

So, in this latest edition of IABC APAC ‘Board Thoughts’, here are what IABC APAC Board members see as their top real-life priorities for 2021.

If you’d like to, why not share your #1 comms priority for 2021 on our LinkedIn page.


Wayne Aspland – Director of Strategic Communication

Ironically, my priority for 2021 is to prioritise like a ninja… objectively and ruthlessly. In this environment, prioritisation is super important because it supports:

  • Space: Cut out the ‘busywork’ and spend more time on the tasks that really matter.
  • Quality: With more time, you can create better outcomes.
  • Value: With more focus and better outcomes, you’ll magnify the business value you create.
  • Health: Put this all together and you have a recipe for a healthier working life.


Tasha Bourke – Director of Digital Communications

My focus for communications in 2021 is to prioritise my messaging and to carefully consider when to speak up.

If I learnt anything from 2020 it’s that information overload is *always* going to end in confusion. The best businesses aren’t the ones that always pipe up at every issue, but instead know if the matter is relevant to their business and when to say something.


Gabrielle Dolan – Director of Thought Leadership

To continue the good fight of calling out the excessive use of unnecessary acronyms (EUUA). Every time we use unnecessary acronyms we are potentially isolating and disconnecting people. Acronyms also lead to miscommunication and put all the onus on the receiver to do the interpretation. It’s lazy and ineffective communication. As communication professionals, we should be leading the way on this.

Reducing things to acronyms is like eating a whole packet of Tim Tams in one sitting… just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.


Chris Dutton – Vice Chair

My communications priorities for 2021 are those same strategic communications best practices we rely on each and every other year to do our jobs.

The future always brings with it an element of uncertainty, but this year there seems to be so much more of it. Our work as professional communicators has a unique power in times like these, because— if we do our jobs well— we help others navigate a sometimes unsettling world.

We help our audience understand what they should (and should not) expect— and when. We keep our audience connected, engaged, and empowered with clear, accurate, and timely information— information that can smooth the chop of an otherwise bumpy ride.


Jyoti Khan – Director of Membership Marketing

My priority in 2021 is to take complete ownership of my learning agenda and focus on the outcome as we do for any communication activity.

Learning has been a constant in my list of priorities year on year. However, in 2020, for the first time, I felt overwhelmed with the volume of information and the number of learning opportunities I tried to make time for.


Ross Monaghan – Director of Professional Development

“Think global, act local” is a rallying call of those concerned about environmental issues. During a time of global unrest, my “local” priority for 2021 will be my inner peace.

I lead a privileged life. Even in 2020 I was amongst the luckiest of the lucky, yet the past year wore me down like few others. I’m frayed at the edges; mentally and physically.

I’ve started reacquainting myself with friends, family, fresh food and running tracks. I’m expanding my vocabulary to include “no”. A bad habit that has become the norm is multitasking. Communication channels are constantly vying for attention, but research and my own experience suggests that multitasking effectively on important tasks is a myth. I may not see the inside of a plane anytime soon, but “airplane mode” will get lots of use.

My priority for the coming year will be to focus. That’s a local action that, if replicated by others, could have global physical and mental health effects.


Marianne Sison – Director of Certification

My communication priorities for 2021 are to:

  • consider the real purpose of my message;
  • think about the ‘other’ person whose perspective may be different to mine, and adjust where appropriate;
  • return to the old favourite with a bit of a twist: “Keep It Simple, Sweetheart!” and
  • pause and go back to item 1 before I respond, like, or share.


Samara Williams – Director of Social Media

My biggest learning from 2020 was to slow down and go back to the fundamentals – so this is my communication focus for 2021.

What are the goals and objectives of my communication strategy? What is my message? What communication tools are best suited to convey this message? Most importantly – what measurements are best suited to evaluate the strategy’s effectiveness? These are the questions I’m asking myself to help ensure I develop a solid foundation for my 2021 communication strategy.


Mark Woodrow – Director of Member Engagement

My priority is to focus on video blogging and ‘live’ online events. Video is getting much more uptake and shares each year in social media and enterprise social networks. In Yammer, for example, video is 2.5 times more popular than written posts. So if you want cut through, you need to use video more regularly, for live posts and on multiple platforms. I have learnt a lot from Gabrielle, Ross, Melinda and on the IABC APAC Board on how this is done well. They are true professionals.

My other focus is to do my own demo’s of new technology- not rely on others – as is a great way to learn new things, inside-out.

And on a personal note, last year has convinced me to appreciate and show more gratitude for small things.