How 2020 Changed Public Relations Forever
- Jul 09, 2021
- By Sara Myers
The unprecedented events of 2020 affected all industries with unpredictable challenges. The mandatory work-from-home orders changed how people interacted by transitioning from in-person events to video chats on Zoom. In many industries, communication and collaboration are critical assets in everyday tasks. During this difficult time, digital communications were needed more than ever to help public relations professionals maintain client and media relations. Because the public relations industry is collaborative, creative, and fast-paced, often requiring in-person productivity, many of us faced obstacles adjusting to remote work. However, we quickly pivoted and adjusted to the new normal. Now that we’re midway through 2021, here’s what we’ve seen change – and stay changed – in the world of public relations.
The State of PR
As soon as the pandemic hit, every public relations manager shifted into crisis mode. When industries and clients faced challenges based on their status, stability, and reputation, it also made it challenging for PR to produce stories that protected the industry and brought a positive light.
However, during the rise of the pandemic, there was an overload of false information in politics or about COVID-19 on social media. A lack of trust increased during a time when our society was desperate for clarity and accuracy. People began to question who and what brands were really there to support them during this difficult time. As public relations professionals, it became our duty to ensure that all communications coming from us were empathetic, authentic, and most importantly, factual. As the gatekeepers of enforcers of truth for our clients, we make sure that all information was correct and timely.
A Source of Expertise
During the state of panic, people relied heavily on the news for a sense of direction. This affected PR because it forced agencies and professionals to be more creative with tailoring stories. Public relations professionals were more strategic on how to make their clients still relevant and trustworthy during limited in-person events.
Authenticity was crucial for brands to communicate with their audience. Many PR agencies and corporate communications dealt with crisis reputation management to support their clients, while uplifting their communities. This wasn’t a time for brands to take advantage of the situation by doing promotional deals. Rather, it was a time to add real value and support to all diverse audiences.
Creative & Empathetic Story Angles
The pandemic changed how BLND PR pitched stories and approached social media strategies. Our team had to think of creative PR strategies to ensure that we were still getting press for our clients, while being sensitive about the state of the world and recognizing the challenges faced by many communities. Therefore, our team focused on quality more than quantity. Silence was not an option. People looked to companies to provide support, guidance, and leadership.
Through experience and extensive research, public relations professionals are trusted experts who know how to create, review, and revise crisis communication plans that can be properly implemented in our changing environment.
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