We are in the middle of an unprecedented crisis that is impacting every aspect of our lives – personal and professional. It goes without saying but people are experiencing and learning to adapt and survive with this new normal. The Public Relations profession is also going through major changes. At the School of Communications and Reputation, we conducted a series of webinars to understand and learn from the leaders of communications fraternity about many aspects of PR and Reputation building. These webinars helped all the attendees to get the answers of the questions like –
How can we be future ready? How are the communications professionals of each sector dealing with this crisis? What is the right move for PR professionals? How does one measure PR efforts? How are Brands across various sector preparing? How can organisations create environments that work towards employee well being and productivity?
You can watch the recording of all the webinars here.
Having attended all these, I thought of sharing with you 4 key highlights from the webinars that answers the major question – How has COVID affected Public Relations?
We know that core of the PR practice will always be, to develop relationships, increase brand awareness and build a solid reputation for the cause or client, but the way we arrive at the bottom line has advanced. Public relations methods have already been replaced at least in part, by a personalised, virtual or social experience.
In an expansion to the above point – going digital is a new mantra. This difficult time has made every business and brand go digital. With everything finding space online, even the communication has shifted to online – platforms like E-paper, Blogs, Potcates, articles, e-meetings, webinars have taken place of newspapers, on-ground events, etc. Thus it is very important for every PR professional to understand and explore the potential of digitalisation in PR.
PR can play a pivotal role in a crisis of this magnitude. Saying that the function of communications professionals had become an extremely important factor for any organisation. Considering the fact that misinformation can spread during this time, consumers are in the dark, employees are stressed about the future, and there is a deep uncertainty around the functionality of many sectors; the role of PR professionals has expanded.
So it can be said that the career in PR is challenging and demanding during this time.
PR practitioners must reduce other communication such as pitches and brand-building, before jumping into COVID-19 related communication. As we all understand that currently, the consumer would not pay attention to new products unless they were designed to help with pandemic-related life challenges. This doesn’t mean a business should not continue, but the focus of all communication should shift entirely to the well-being of employees, customers, partners, and public safety. The underlying rule of all communication should be to avoid profiting from the pandemic.
Having said all this, we see a growing demand for PR professionals in the near future, as PR is no longer just a part of a business but it is a whole business.
Share if you have some interesting view or example on how COVID has affected the Public Relations, here on the comment box below.
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Shreya is currently part of a Marketing team at School of COmmunication and REputation, Mumbai (SCoRe). She has completed her Masters in Marketing and Advertising from Mumbai Educational Trust (MET) University. She believes that learning should never stop in life. Hence, learning something new every day is her moto. She loves to travel, enjoys the thrill while performing adventure sports, music and dance takes her to a different world.