For communication managers, the Covid -19 pandemic was the least of expectations. The pandemic has disrupted life patterns and businesses. Of all that could have affected brands, not many thought there will be a situation to necessitate physical distancing. Rightly so because we are humans and many have not encountered this before. The Covid-19 pandemic created an avenue for crisis in organizations. Communications managers found themselves putting aside initial plans on growth and sales to provide adequate communications approaches to reach the audience effectively to a pandemic that put our lives on hold.
What the pandemic has proven is that communication is Important, better still, the way we choose to narrate it is even more essential. With the pandemic, brands were able to adapt to human needs and emotions because it was more about keeping the world moving and the need to still be here when the pandemic is over. The communications industry was seen as a place of respite to keep the world moving. In the fore of ensuring that people stay safe and well, communication is needed and organizations and brands had to be on their toes with the way they communicate. More than before, it has proven to us that when ascertaining crisis issues, there should be a large appetite for those universal occurrences that managers would most likely neglect. The digital space was a good back up to the restriction of physical distancing as brands leveraged on webinars and live streams to meet and communicate with the audience.
The question that Public Relations Managers should answer is ‘What next after Covid-19?’ The role that Public Relations and communications should play is to create a way out for brands to manage reputation. We should be concerned about how brands can adapt to what is now known as the ‘new normal’. This effect should be seen in how brands continue to relate to their audience bearing in mind how they are coping post- Covid -19. The pandemic has put more responsibility on PR practitioners because there is now a better understanding that the gravity of crisis is not quantifiable and it goes beyond any length. What makes the difference is the kind of preparation made for it.
Before the pandemic was effective in some climes, some PR managers had taken a clue about the possibility of it affecting their brands and started making preparations. Although it still had its hit on some brands, those that planned earlier were not as affected. The Future of PR post Covid -19 has revealed that PR is of high value to how we run businesses and the empathy that we need to create. It is a mechanism that has helped to build bonds and will continue to do so because the relationship of brands and organizations needs to be held. The future of PR post Covid -19 is one of value.