Part 1: The power of communication
Most people reading this blog have never experienced what the world is like during a pandemic as the last major one took place in 1918. The outbreak of COVID-19 placed unprecedented challenges on leaders in the political, industry, and business fields. With economies at a standstill, effective communication has never been more critical. Communication on a general note — social media and digital — was not present during the previous pandemic which should be more challenging now given the rumours that can be spread by almost everyone and at any time.
The public is seeking information that they can believe and trust. Therefore, it is essential for people to use credible sources to provide accurate updates on COVID-19, not misinformation, politically charged accusations or unsubstantiated theories that could harm many during crisis situations.
Companies around the world are implementing continuity plans designed to minimise business disruptions and prioritise the health and safety of their employees and other stakeholders. Today, it is definitely not ‘business as usual’ for most companies, and strategies should be created and rephrased continuously to adapt to the changes that the world is facing and to lend a helping hand in whatever possible way to those in need, be it the frontline workers, people that lost their jobs, needy families etc. These are the times that we can truly adopt the saying ‘in thick and thin’.
PR and marketing companies also have a vital role to play in times of COVID-19; it is through effective communication that companies can survive or at least minimise their losses during these challenging times.
If you want to know how to adapt your PR and marketing strategies during these times, the second part of my blog will cover this aspect.
Khaled Abu Hishme is Account Director at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me