#RTOC 1: Bringing the Fraternity together

We are in the midst of a bizarre phase, where to arrest the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) calls for responsible individual, social and institutional behaviour. It is an exceptional period for our generation where it totally depends on how one looks at a situation. In such times, reputation managers play an important role of advising different brands on how to react or communicate to the different stakeholders.

As we know, communication professionals have been the solution providers in every critical situation since decades. With this new normal of going digital, work from home and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Reputation Today in partnership with SCoRe decided to organise its very first online conclave. The RT conclave that was scheduled this month in Delhi had to be postponed due to the pervasive outbreak. To have a discussion on the current situation and how to go about it, some of the best communication leaders from PR firms and corporate communication heads from various sectors were part of this conversation. The panel of 15 members and a dynamic moderator delivered powerful, short and crisp messages while discussing How Companies are Dealing with Volatility, Uncertainty, Chaos & Ambiguity

It was a great opportunity for me to attend and enrich myself with insights on how organisations are responding to the ongoing pandemic, and how reputations are at stake. My 10 key takeaways from the #RTConclave are:

  1. Brands should focus on what they stand for, their purpose, how can they give back to society rather than getting distracted during such a challenging time.
  2. It is always important to stay ahead of the curve to avoid mistakes and leverage the opportunities that come by making a good impact.
  3. One should trust their colleagues and co-workers by giving them space to work according to what suits them best.
  4. No matter how difficult the scenario is, brands should be empathetic and humane, not only to their customers but towards all their stakeholders. 
  5. As communication professionals, one should bust the myths surrounding the pandemic. 
  6. During such vulnerable conditions, a brand should not only speak about themselves but also their stakeholders, including the government as a lot is going to change from now onwards.
  7. Being authentic, engaging and having a meaningful conversation in these trying times is important for all communicators.
  8. Such unusual times call for unusual responses like by being creative and delivering the right message.
  9. Engaging with the employees, checking on their mental health especially and addressing it differently is more important in today’s scenario.
  10. This is not the time for businesses to make profits rather a time to be generous and help society.

But above all, the biggest reminder during this conversation was ‘we the communication professionals are in the people’s business at the end of the day’.

Other than discussing how communication professionals can bring normalcy to this situation, the conversation ended with an action to bring awareness and commitment towards caution and health. People from Reputation Today, PRCAI, SCoRe along with the panelists, pledged to fiercely uphold our profession as never before by promising to stay safe, to stand by their clients and to be ethical no matter what. Anyone from PR fraternity can take this pledge and be a part to communicate better even during these testing times.

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

Neha Goyal
Neha Goyal is a Senior Account Executive at Adfactors PR. She is a young, energetic and curious communications professional with an ability to deliver impactful results across high value clients through brand and corporate communication campaigns.

She is an alumnus from the School of Communication & Reputation (SCoRe), Mumbai and loves meeting new people, interacting with them and learning from their experiences.

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