Our latest survey of PR pros finds uncertainty about the future is a major issue. On the other hand, nearly 90 percent believe PR will come back from the pandemic as strong as it was or stronger. Their thinking is that PR’s strategic importance has come to the fore during the pandemic.
It is clear that until the pandemic is over, the world will experience constant change and heightened uncertainty. This should be good for PR, as demand for strategic communication will remain strong. In addition, there will be plenty of changes in how PR looks and functions once the pandemic subsides.
We’ve all heard about the new normal, but what does it look like in the sector you represent? One way to find out is to use predictive landscapes that help communicators build possible behavioral models. Here’s an example using the travel industry.
With entire offices working remotely, the challenge of how to provide a quality summer internship lingered on the minds of those in the industry. Due to economic and bandwidth restraints, some businesses chose to forgo programs for students this year, but a great many overcame obstacles and developed new programming, albeit remote, to provide eager participants with a place this summer.
“The business of business is business,” Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006) said. Our PRNEWS survey of some 200 PR executives expands on that thinking somewhat. We found that in this difficult moment, an overwhelming number of PR executives are most concerned with the health and safety of their staff. Finding new revenue doesn’t come close.
In certain parts of Europe, where the novel coronavirus is a few weeks ahead of US hotspots, audiences have begun to reach the information and emotional saturation point. Many are no longer watching the news. PR pros have found it’s important to maintain a positive approach in their internal and external communications.
You’ve created your coronavirus messaging plan and advised executives to communicate authentically, transparently and from the heart. Your job is far from over, though. Perhaps the most important thing a communicator can do at this time is to be available and make plans for the day when the coronavirus ebbs.
In just days, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to shifts in the way communications is practiced across all industries and sectors, including not just traditional brand messaging, but how employers are disbursing important information to staff and governments to constituencies. Senior comms professionals gathered virtually on March 25 to discuss PR in these unprecedented times during a PRNEWS webinar, Communicating about COVID-19 — Navigating a New and Uncertain Crisis.
We don’t emotionally trust facts; we trust people – or we don’t. As we process facts emotionally, we trust leaders who move beyond facts to speak in a voice that echoes how we feel, right now. At a time when the public is worried, communicating with the heart can help. Facts alone will not drive people to action, writes Gil Bashe, managing partner, global health, Finn Partners.