Reset-Realign-Reboot – PR & Communications Trends post the Global Pause

As the world in modern history witnesses a lock-down to combat a health pandemic; at all levels across countries ; there is a near complete stoppage of economic activity. Collectively, the economy is on a global pause until the next few weeks, as we all wait to welcome the world with new perspective and gratitude.
Never before has humanity come together so connected through in spirit while ‘social distancing’ physically. 

Surely, this pause will affect global economies and we will see a new business environment shape up. What does this mean for the world of public relations and communications ahead? 

A ‘trend-o-meter’ to reflect upon! 

  • Business Communications 

A major source of loss of workplace productivity is a lackadaisical approach to business communications. Considering the ‘water-cooler’ conversations that happen frequently, business communications often miss out on details which add up to small loss of information overtime; leading to repeat corrections, multiple email threads and communication backlog / wrong information. Post the global pause; business communications has the opportunity and need to be precise, succinct, and crystal clear and detail oriented to get the economic and business actions moving correctly and overcoming the three week time lapse. 

  • Environment, Risk, Recovery and Health Communications 

As the world gears up to start afresh; environment, risk, recovery and health communication will become a new integrated business outlook in itself. This global pandemic has outlined the need of the often overlooked physical and environmental health implications of global businesses. Risk and recovery ( crisis ) communications will factor in socio- cultural- health parameters when writing about, reporting on and creating business case studies and evaluating business profitability. 

  • Green Economics 

The silver lining in the abrupt halt of global economic activity is the resurgence of a cleaner and greener environment. Green economics will now be mainstream and business reporting and communications will evaluate the environmental impact of economics with a much finer and more intentional eye. 

  • Marketing campaigns and ‘back-to-basics’ approach 

This global pause in economic activity will force marketers to create campaigns which realign with their brand basics. As consumers come out of their self-isolation in a few weeks and begin their purchase activity; it is important to note that while liquidity is restrained; the consumer will have plenty of choices and a fair amount of interest in physical brick and mortar stores 

(Remember we are online dependent when social distancing). 

Any good or service that can tap into this mindset with clean, clear, succinct brand communications and campaigns will have a good chance to make a sale. 

  • Lifestyle Communications 

Lifestyle communications hitherto has largely be defined into diet/ food and fitness. Given the post pandemic world that we will step into, mental health and fitness will find a stronger voice, impact and role to play. Given the ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-isolation’ mode that most of us find ourselves in today ; lifestyle communications will move beyond food, fashion and fitness to include more holistic views to stay mentally fit, engaged and address mental health with more empathy and acceptance. 

  • CSR and Social  Communications 

CSR and social communications will grow into stronger verticals, beyond annual campaigns, feel-good posts and photo-ops. Given the emphasis on green economics, CSR and social communications across businesses will see more detailed, result oriented efforts and strategic PR campaigns drawn. The focus will be hiring and having communication specialists in this field address business impact and implications on global markets. 

  • E Communications and E Learning

E – Learning has never been more in demand! As virtual connections expand over the next few weeks, many of us will take this self-isolation to learn new things online. This indeed is the perfect time to pick up some good courses and brush up your knowledge. In the post-pandemic world; e-learning, content creation will call for specialists as we will all probably always have a plan B of working from home, no matter how rosy the day looks or how promising the corner office is! 

  • PR and Crisis Communications

Crisis Communications and PR pitches take into effect human/ man-made crises more often than health pandemics or environmental impact. Going forward; crisis communications and brand PR will also look at socio-economic indices when creating a media roadmap in advance.

If at all this global pandemic has brought into sharp focus; it is that businesses are inherently dependent first on the environment/ecology and then people (economic drivers) over any other crisis that can come. Health and fitness will become mainstream business practices along with environmental impact evaluation and communication.  

  • Travel Communications 

In the post-pandemic world; travel will no longer be taken for granted. Until now, travel communications have been in two buckets – lifestyle (planning, itinerary, fashion, photos, food, shopping etc.) and advisory (more from Govt. and security purposes). However, going forward we will see a committed rise of ‘conscious travel’ notes – that will factor in physical health, carbon footprint evaluation and economic impact when choosing to see more of this world. Travel will no longer be just a social media update. It will be a more holistic. 

  • Political and Public – related Communications 

This global pandemic has made everyone an avid follower of govt. related communication updates.  Much of our interest in government policies is skewed during financial year beginning or key financial announcements. However, this current scenario has ensured that moving forward, the average citizen will be a much keener recipient of political communications and messages; more than just electoral manifestos and budget highlights. 

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

Matuli Madhusmita Swain
Matuli Madhusmita Swain is a seasoned marketing and communications expert with over 10 years of experience in hospitality, social development and advertising with brands like The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, IHG, Grey Group and Dr. Reddy’s Foundation.
A writer, speaker, artist and WICA (Women in Corporate Awards) Nominee 2019; her communications expertise is honed working on stellar marketing campaigns and creating compelling PR pitches.
She loves good content, digital storytelling and champions conversations on marketing, women leadership, new age work place practices, economics, entrepreneurship, sustainable travel and tourism.

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