COVID-19 has been one of the longest news cycles we’ve experienced in recent times. An unprecedented event in our nation’s history, it is the driving force behind almost every communications and public relations campaign currently underway. Why? It’s changing everything. From where we work, to how we shop and of course, how we communicate. As a result, for those of us in public relations, our world has shifted dramatically. And it may never be the same. Here’s what COVID-19 taught us about communications.
1. The pandemic has shifted what people value.
Sweats have replaced business suits. With the stay at home order, no one is commuting. While the new normal is sure to be a blend of where we are now, and where we were, there will be a balance of what people truly want to see. That will impact how every company is perceived. Be ready. You’ll need to shift and adapt your message.
2. It isn’t about the experience anymore.
Events, conferences and networking events were all created to provide an experience. Now, with everything being moved to an on-line forum, these experiences have become one dimensional. Make sure that if your brand wants to host an event that its organized to provide value. It must be engaging and short – no one will sit on a zoom call for 8 hours a day.
3. Video chats and Skype calls are now not only expected, they are the norm.
In order to make these effective for your team, make sure they are trained in how to present on this type of platform, including lighting, dress and backgrounds.
4. We are having more intentional conversations.
Because we’re all at home, our conversations tend to be one-on-one, with very little office interruption and background clutter. The result? We are having more intentional conversations, which are much more beneficial.
5. Companies need to make sure they are owning their own narrative.
It’s easy to get lost in the COVID-19 onslaught and lose sight of your brand. Many may actually pause, thinking this isn’t the time to launch a major new project or initiative. While that may be true, it isn’t good to go totally dormant. Shift the strategy, move into another channel and keep the company present. That way, when you do get ready to do the launch, it won’t be starting from ground zero.
There is no question that COVID-19 has changed how we communicate. As our country begins to move forward, some things will be changed forever, while others will, over time, fall by the wayside. Remember, though, this too shall pass.
THO has created a COVID-19 resource page for those who would like more information on how to move forward.