‘Change is the only constant’ is a popular saying. Human beings and Marketers adapt to changes that come with human and technological evolution. This is what brings new re-inventions that make life easier and more comfortable. But what happens when there are radical changes in the world? We all know that the world has changed and will never get back to the pre-pandemic era. The new commercial world is called the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous) world. Uncertainty is the only certainty. How does this new normal affect mindset?
Mindset is mapped to the environment and surroundings of human beings. Culture, upbringing, experiences, community, and other factors contribute towards creating and maintaining mindsets. The human mind reacts very differently to changes both positive and negative. In this Pandemic world, people have been pushed from a ‘comfort zone’ to a ‘danger zone. There are some radical factors that have impacted mindsets-
- Presence of a highly infectious life-threatening virus: The pandemic has taken away our peaceful existence. Psychologically there is now a proverbial ‘gun on the head’. Strangely people in a danger zone behave differently especially when they see this threat looming for the long term. The assumptions of creating the typical PR key messages for them undergo a sea change. Decoding communications becomes more complex
- Minimized social interaction– A human being is essentially a social animal. We thrive on interaction with others and society. What others think of us matters much. Sudden isolation has resulted in various negatives. Depression, mental illnesses are rife. Families are thrown together longer with people working from home and familiarity breeds contempt. Marriages are breaking up, relationship expectations have crossed new frontiers
- Increased technological interface – The ‘Work from Home’ culture has given birth to several disruptions that include increased technological interface professionally and with friends & family! The entire method of interpersonal communication, including face-to-face human chemistry, understanding body language, and finding that human connection has been replaced by a screen interaction. Many people quip when they see a colleague or a work partner ‘Nice to see you in person after a long time!
Some evident changes in human mindsets during this era-
- Renaissance of being Human: Empathy, EQ, and ‘being human’ is back big time. The emerging 4 Cs of building relationships (Care, Caution, Concern, and Comfort) have transited into daily life. People today have become more sensitive and emotional therefore respond better to communicate with an emotional route
- Values have changed: Human values have changed. We value family, we value relationships, the normal world, life much more. More people want to contribute to society. Volunteering for causes and community welfare has increased manyfold. More and more people are seeking the art of giving or in some way contributing to social impact
- Mental health challenges: Mental health challenges have impacted mindsets. These include the fear of falling sick, the emotional fallout of social distancing, financial worries, grief due to the death of near and dear ones. Isolation is leading to a renewed approach to life and how to live it well.
- Revenge is on the cards big time: Sometimes like recently when there is a little respite and things go back to normal for a short while, the human mindset is to get the maximum out of life. The new adage is revenge! Revenge eating, Revenge shopping, Revenge vacation and so much more. However, with the Pandemic coming back to roost, restrictions emerge again like dark clouds on a sunny day.
Communications will have to keep pace with these changing phases and address its objectives with caution. Review often with an ear to the ground approach. As we all realise the global pandemic prompted three failure factors that impact the prosperity of PR work; budget cuts, physical events all but disappearing, and a lack of internal and external resources
Here is an inspiring quote “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it’s the courage to continue, that counts” Winston Churchill
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