As the world continues its roller-coaster ride due to the global pandemic, the business world remains the most affected globally. Many brands are forced to curb their expenses and start lay off within the company in order to face the impact of pandemic. As every industry is going through a slowdown, public relations profession is also facing a lot of difficulties. Most of the clients have withdrawn their interest towards continuing public relations activities and some of them have put PR services on hold until the global situation improves. This has resulted in a stalling scenario in the business and most of the experts are not certain when this will go back to normal ways after dealing with the impact of pandemic on PR. The lockdown has also affected product launches and other promotional or media events where PR teams play an important role. It has replaced with virtual meetings and digital events as the new normal.
With changing scenarios like this, earned and digital media are gaining momentum to face this impact of pandemic on PR. The multiplication of digital formats forced professionals to better understand the nature of these communication channels to adapt them to the fullest. In a crisis like this, it is important to be relevant and authentic for a brand to maintain that relationship with their key stakeholders. Many brands have redefined and reimagined their brand purpose to maintain this connection. For example, brands such as McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Audi AG, and Volkswagen AG smartly redefined and reimagined their brand logos to celebrate the spirit of social distancing during the lockdown. Many brands are trying to reinvent their brand purpose by leveraging the scope of Public Relations to position their brand goals in the best way.
In a crisis-ridden scenario such as this, what customers expect is that clarity in the information that is shared and the timely responses from the brands. Putting the public in front of the line, PR professionals are trying their level best to fight in the forefront of this crisis. This is the reason why content planning and content development have been given much important during these unprecedented times to face the impact of pandemic on PR. Content has the power to build a long-term connection and relationship with all the major stakeholders including customers, employees and it can also influence and transform consumer behaviour into strong brand loyalty. Many brands indeed used content leadership to build a positive environment during COVID 19. It has also turned out to be extremely critical to remain relevant and trustworthy to position each brands opinion on board.
As we are going through an unprecedented situation, it is also important to give attention to your mental health and wellbeing. As keeping human connection becomes the most valuable thing during this social distancing. This has developed a lot of change in the traditional way communications and PR profession was practised over the last few years. It has restated the need to inculcate rationality with empathy to build your brand’s messaging towards employee first and then consumers. Empathy and listening to your employees have become a crucial part of communications during these times and will prove effective when dealing with the impact of pandemic on PR.
The pandemic will make a lot of changes in the realm of PR and communications beyond post-COVID era. It is going to be much more challenging but will offer new possibilities at the same time.
Also read: Trends in communications post COVID 19
– Vani Krishna
Vani was a part of the Class of 2021 of the PG Programme in PR and Corporate Communications at SCoRe Mumbai. She pursued her bachelor’s degree from Mangalore University. She is passionate about Sports and Arts. She has done an internship in a Kerala-based PR firm Davidson PR & Communications, and with the Department of Information and Public Relations- (I&PRD) Kerala Government. She can be reached at @VK_thefernweh on Twitter, and as Vani Krishna on LinkedIn.