The turn of the decade has brought on more challenges than any of us could have imagined. The Coronavirus pandemic affected all of our lives, in tragic and devastating ways. As our world has shifted into an entirely new headspace, we have all been forced to reconsider how we manage our daily lives, navigate our communication with others, and balance the stressors of the outside world with our own individual situations. With that being said, the world of PR has surely changed along with everything else. Our public relations firm, along with many others, have had to restructure their strategies, and create new ways to reach their audiences. Here are some of the biggest ways public relations has changed in 2020.
Adapting to a Virtual Workplace
The Coronavirus pandemic changed everything – including the workplace. Our perception of the workplace has transformed from sitting in rush hour traffic to waking up minutes before a Zoom meeting. We went from traveling the world and shaking hands to not leaving the house all day and having technical difficulties. For some companies, this was a huge culture shock; for others, the transition was easier. Regardless, for a public relations firm, our strategies have become hyper-focused on virtual communication. There has definitely been a surge of social media usage over the past 6 months, and this is now the best way to learn about an influencer or a brand without meeting face-to-face. While these virtual adaptations are trendy now, they will transform the world of communications as we know it, permanently.
Participating in Activism
This year has also been significant in the roar of activism all over the world. The Black Lives Matter Movement, the environmental movement, and the upcoming US Election are all at the forefront of the news. It became imperative for businesses to keep up with these movements and serve as a proactive member. Therefore, PR agencies must now make sure brands are staying in the loop of social issues. This means staying mindful, and encouraging your clients to use their platforms for social good. Some ways companies are participating are through posting petitions and donation sites, resources to support certain groups or local businesses, and information on contacting local and state officials.
Maintaining Social Sensitivity
Because of the various social movements this past year, this has emphasized the importance of education, dismantling harmful institutions, and learning how to be more inclusive. Companies are striving to implement better systems and practices in their workplaces as quickly as possible. This includes adding diversity training and education, as well making a workplace inclusive to multiple cultures and backgrounds. And while the current topic of discussion might be on social conscientiousness, this is surely not a temporary trend.
BLND is a public relations firm that wants to help brands adapt.