Working from home, with your family, your colleagues, using virtual conference: even if we are almost all back at the office, in our daily work routine, Covid19 has affected our way of working ; life will never be the same as before, at least for the next few months. More intimacy, more proximity, more solidarity: we were physically distanced but more emotionally connected.
We are entering a new era. Covid19 was abnormal, unexpected, unplanned. We had not worked on that kind of scenario planning to give us the answers. During this time, everything was abnormal, from our way of working to our way of living and therefore our way of communicating, consuming, selling, to eating. The new abnormal cannot be sustained therefore we now adapt to create this new normality, in order to bring more stability and vision.
As communication professionals, we will all remember the before and after. We adjusted our plans, our strategies and our channels of communication to reach customers. We adapted quickly because we had no choice and agility is key to service. We did it carefully and with consideration to all stakeholders now looking for meaningfulness messages. That was the impact of Covid19 in my opinion – we are all looking for brands who care: focused on employees, customers, partners, society and the whole ecosystem.
In the new normality of communication, we face an interesting and challenging paradox: on one hand, corporates look for long term and sustainable meaningfulness, aiming to offer a real purpose to society; on the other hand, brands are affected by budget considerations and have short-term visibility on their investment due to the uncertainty of the situation.
How do we offer long-term commitment with short-term engagement? This is where I believe that PR is key. We influence long-term reputation and businesses with quick actions. It’s all about trust and advocacy. Irrespective of your choice of engagement (directly with your consumers, social or traditional media, influencers or events), we need to reinvent ourselves: this is where PR can make the most impact.
Real digital transformation in communication is happening in Vietnam right now. Some companies were prepared, others not at all and now they have to be more agile to catch-up. Covid19 made this happen: you need to reach your audience online, have strong advocates and ambassadors to ensure business continuity. Covid19 forces the need to have technology at the heart of our marketing strategies leveraging a collaborative model with partners. Accomplished by enhancing creativity through technology facilitating more relevant digital experiences to connect brands, stakeholders and consumers.
Back to trust, brands and corporates can make their claims, it does not mean that they will be trusted. Reputation takes time to build and Covid19 situation has separated the opportunists from the authentic. Food for thought: be more creative, innovative, measurable and committed. This is the new post-Covid19 era, this is the new PR and communication normality. It’s time to build trust, sustainability and impact society.
By Luc Mandret