Learnings from the pandemic for communication professionals

All of us have heard the popular maxim, “Change is the only constant.” How many of us abide by it? Do we consciously make an effort to imbibe change, or perhaps, create something new, or just maybe try doing things the unconventional way?

Very few of us even think about it, right?

Well, the global pandemic hurled at us, some real unforeseen circumstances which compelled each one of us to think beyond the obvious or the known?

Know why?

Because that’s what is going to make a true difference.

For communication professionals across the globe, Covid-19 presented an unraveled world filled with challenges and the latent opportunities hidden right underneath. Those who embraced these challenges and confronted them with innovative solutions, moved forward, adapting to the newly coined and much popular phrase of 2020- ‘The New Normal’ and those who kept evaluating the risks or the situations somewhere lagged.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that Covid-19 brought the world to a standstill. However, interestingly, the profession of communication still kept going. It became more crucial than ever. Communication which is often considered as a support function suddenly emerged as an important business function. Businesses, corporates, and brands started relying heavily on communication professionals to keep the channel of messaging intact while marketing and advertising spends were halted.

The media and the communication landscape also underwent unprecedented changes while the pandemic was going on. It necessitated the need for new tools of communication, the need to pivot to new assets and formats, and the need to think and reflect in newer ways. All in all, the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic helped paved the way for fresh thinking and a new approach concerning the profession of Communication.

Here are the top four learnings that the pandemic rendered to communication professionals:

  1. Be Agile

”No matter whatever comes my way, I will take it heads on and make it work the right way.”

This is the spirit that Covid-19 has sparked amongst professionals. Agility is significant for communication professionals to shine through and achieve significant milestones in their respective domains.

The more agile and quick you are, in response to a particular problem or a challenge thrown at you, the more able you become to arrive at innovative solutions to those problems.

  1. Learn and Unlearn

In the profession of communication, some things are fed to us as rules of the trade. We learn these tips and tricks for solving any problem or situation. However, Covid-19 has made us learn the harder way that, at some point in life, we need to let go of such conventional rules and learnings and dive deep into the unknown.

If we don’t know how to unlearn what we had learned, we fail the abilities of the human mind.

Our mind is wired in a way that it starts believing in whatever we tell it.

As communication professionals, we must know to welcome and accept the newer learnings with open and wide arms. The moment we start doing this, our job will become much more interesting and insightful.

  1. Be empathetic and inclusive

No matter who you may be communicating with, be empathic and inclusive in your communication.

Empathy is the fundamental human emotion that is familiar to all. The more empathetic and inclusive we become as humans, it starts reflecting across our behavior and actions and makes us stand out differently.

With Covid-19 hitting us right in the face, we must learn to move from ‘I’ to ‘We’. When we start imbibing empathy and inclusivity as the core of our working regime, we grow into becoming effective and impactful communicators.

  1. Invent, Innovate, Explore and Experiment

It is quite correct that “a closed mind is a dying mind”. In the profession as challenging as communication, more often not, our vision gets clouded by the plethora of options and ideas that come to us. However, we must always keep our minds open to innovation and invention. That’s one of the biggest learnings that one can take from the pandemic.

An idea when pursued relentlessly transmutes into an action or a tangible product or an asset. Until we wouldn’t think outside the box, we will remain untouched by the unparalleled range of opportunities waiting to be seized by us.

As professionals tasked with the significant responsibility of reputation management for brands and corporates, we must explore and experiment with new assets and channels. We must continue to harness the potential of our minds to innovate and invent newer tools and pave a way for the communication business to thrive in leaps and bounds.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nakul Ghai
Nakul is a seasoned professional with over five years of experience in PR, Communications, and Advocacy. He has received prestigious awards, including 'e4m's & PRMoment's 30 under 30' and Adgully's 'Corporate Communications Professional of the Year 2022'. Nakul has worked with Fortune 500 corporations across sectors and helped them solve reputation issues and challenges. He holds a master's degree in English Literature and a Post Graduate Diploma in Advertising & Public Relations from IIMC. He has also completed a PG Certificate in Digital & Social Media Marketing from MICA.

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