The importance of public relations can be seen in Google’s Fight Ebola Campaign, where following the outbreak of the Ebola virus in 2014, a strategy implemented by the public relations was able to attract the media’s attention and raise $7.5 million as donation to the people in need.
Public relations strategies – whether to promote a brand or to raise donations for an affected community, have always managed to engage and inform audiences. However, what about the pandemic? With the escalating number of Covid-19 cases, people are panicking and their focus is no longer on business developments. As a result, it is evident that PR strategies cannot continue as usual and instead, the public relations sector has to adopt new models and techniques.
Work From Home
Even though the objective of the public relations sector in the lockdown scenario is to sustain brand communication strategies, PR practitioners should be sensible and work from home only. The reason is not only to keep all the employees safe but also to keep the company’s name out of headlines as a probable cause of the coronavirus spread. For example, no company would want to bear the responsibility of spreading the virus as did Biogen, an American multinational biotechnology company that held a conference in a hotel and was consequently blamed for the spread of the virus in eastern Massachusetts.
But even at home, PR professionals are recommended to work 24/7 so as to maintain the stability and come up with creative and innovative ideas and strategies to bring the company in the limelight even in this lockdown scenario.
Stop All Non-Essential Conferences and Launches
Without a doubt, it can be said that press releases and launches are key elements in public relations. However, with the pandemic and the number of rising Covid-19 cases, there is absolutely no time for any latest announcement.
The reality is that now people are focusing more on the current situation rather than company news or new brands. Therefore, a smart move will be to cease all press releases and product launches until things start to go back as usual.
Focus On Online Services
Digital PR is the future of public relations.
It is obvious that during the coronavirus pandemic, with movie theatres, pubs and restaurants closed, people are stuck at home and hence have been spending more and more time online. Even though in-person events and conferences are out of bounds at the moment, the public relations sectors can still make the best use of this situation. Now, the question that arises is how.
First, PR practitioners can start searching for ways to use the online world to support and promote PR strategies. For example, one can create webinars. As the name suggests, it is a blend of web and seminar. In layman’s terms, a webinar refers to an event that is organized virtually and is attended by an online audience. The interactive feature of webinars allows a presenter to reach a large and heterogeneous audience from all over the world. The speaker can share PowerPoint presentations, web pages and videos and the participants can also share audio, documents and even engage in online discussions.
Moreover, regular videos can be made and then posted on different new media platforms.
Make Full Use of the Social Media
Needless to say that during the lockdown, social media has gained much popularity and has become the most crucial tool of information for the general public. As a result, public relations can use different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and much more to build and maintain people’s trust in the organizations.
For instance, it is important to make sure that all of your information on social media is up to date.
Next, you can search for interesting methods on how to spice up your social profiles and feeds. For example, experts recommend the use of visuals. As images can speak louder than words, similarly, visuals can set the perfect tone and enhance the image of a brand or a company. Some of these ideas are:
- Color palette – It is believed that color is more than just a visual aid and is crucial for branding and marketing. Colors can convey emotions, feelings and can capture attention of people.
- Logo: No one can forget the logo of McDonald’s. Hence, a logo should not be taken lightly and instead should be used as an avatar on social media platforms.
Public Relations is an integral part of today’s society and if you want to learn more about the new PR strategies, don’t forget to come back for part 2.