Communications today and tomorrow: How PR priorities change during the pandemic

Why can’t you keep silent?

Every communication has its time

1. Now (period of isolation, quarantine, uncertainty)

  • Supporting employees and their families, customers, suppliers, local communities, and medical professionals. This can be provided remotely through online expertise, adding temporary partnership programs, or direct financial or product assistance. Global players should demonstrate their initiatives locally, by addressing local consumers and partners. With customer’s focus on internal problems, global initiatives may not be relevant for them today. Employees should become familiar with the company’s actions, before they hear about it in the media. Employees at all levels, from the secretary and warehouse assistant to department heads, should feel included in the company’s life. It gives a feeling of support and works positively for the company’s HR-brand.
  • Informing people with useful information by use of “social listening.” Create initiatives from clients and partners, not marketers. Conduct surveys, respond to their results. If these indicate people feel lonely in isolation, show them that you are there. If you learn they tired and fearful, offer the support of a professional.
  • Diversify content and do not try to adapt all your messages to the coronavirus. People already had enough negative news, and appreciate positive thinking — dreams of the future, and when again “everything will be fine”. Examples include summer holidays, returning to a favorite restaurant, or rollerblading in the park. Create a vibe and get involved in it.
  • Team up with the companies and brands you like and share the same message. It’s time for collaborations that allow you to grow your audience. Isolation has opened many doors for us — top managers, celebrities, consumers, consultants — all in the same boat and becoming more open and accessible than ever.
  • Start your own direct communication channels — like a personal or corporate blog. Direct dialogue is one of the most important communication tools today, working to strengthen the loyalty of existing customers and attract new ones. Attract new relationships by discussing challenges and share your personal experiences in addressing them. Let people know how you are coping with new conditions, what is working and what is not. Embrace open dialogue.

2. The moment of exiting quarantine (joy, euphoria, freedom)

3. New reality (mindfulness, economy, prudence)

  • Conscious consumption in Russia has increased in the past 5 years driven by falling disposable income. In Europe and America sustainability drove a similar shift. With the global economic conditions, conscious consumption trends may accelerate at least for the next 1–2 years. In communications, support people in striving for consciousness and avoiding excesses. The intention to simply “sell” something will be perceived adversely. Empathy and support will again become the basis for communication.
  • The principle of social distancing. Quarantine exit will not allow a complete return to the level of social contacts of the pre-pandemic. Brands must remain responsible and keep people informed about the importance of keeping distance including minimizing public events for the next 6–12 months. Review planned offline activities and potentially scale them differently or convert them to online. Constantly monitor new strategies, as the pandemic has boosted the development of online technologies and interesting startups. Be the first to start using something new.
  • If you have provided some products or services for free, make the transition back as gradual as possible. Do not turn off suddenly customer benefits available during the quarantine period.
  • Analyze your customer and partner successes during the pandemic. Look for what brought the most positive feedback and good results such as live broadcasts, videos, surveys, AR technologies, or user generated content. Continue transforming and adapting to new conditions.

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Communication agency, SABRE awarded. Over 10 years on the Russian market.

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Buman Media

Buman Media

Communication agency, SABRE awarded. Over 10 years on the Russian market.

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