June 24, 2020
“The best way to predict the future is to create it” – Abraham Lincoln and Peter Drucker
The reality of the current Covid-19 pandemic is that until a cure is found, the Coronavirus will still be here, adversely impacting businesses and causing a downturn in the economy. Currently, many people are trying to return to the way things were but in all of this, we will all agree that the status has shifted, and is likely to continue shifting, in a post-pandemic world. A major consequence of this disruption is that brands will be in a race to make up for lost time, thereby increasing the demand for PR.
However, the following 5 shifts are likely to manifest in PR practice in the post-Covid era.
#1: Acceleration In The Digital Space
No doubt, PR has begun to utilize digital tools and channels to service clients’ needs, but post-pandemic, there will be extreme accelerations in the digital space. Simply put, the digital environment will continue to thrive and this will increase the need to develop strong digital and content marketing skills. As technology creeps into every sector, PR will continue to take advantage of this shift to adjust and adapt to the demands and challenges of the ‘new order’.
#2: The Practice Of Work From Home
As businesses around the world continue to implement physical distancing, Work From Home is a practice that will continue even after the pandemic. Built-in strategies to work from home effectively are required and while the brick-and-mortar workplace may not be entirely ruled out, creating a schedule to have a certain number of staff at work, and others working from home, is a system many PR firms will adopt. By deploying this schedule, many firms will still be able to retain that workplace feel that employees require to effectively and efficiently carry out their tasks.
#3: Investment In Capacity Building
Post COVID, PR firms need to optimize the key competencies in all employees while keeping a lean, efficient team in place to continue to deliver on tasks assigned to them. In addition, PR firms will be required to be frugal, taking on versatile employees, with multiple competences, in order to optimize productivity and value from them.
#4: Strengthen Marketing and Business Development
The demand for PR will continue to rise post Covid-19, as corporate Marketing budgets flow more in that direction. To take advantage of this, PR agencies and key players in the industry will be required to step up their game. Marketing and Business Development strategies will need to be enhanced in order to secure more business and keep PRT agencies sustainably viable and profitable. In this era, PR agencies should actively go out and market their services more seriously.
#5: Build Strong Financial Reserves
To prepare for the future, a strong, PR agencies should build strong financial capital reserves, to enable them better withstand financial shocks, such many have suffered with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, they should have properly developed and articulated business sustainability and continuity plans.
If PR agencies must create the future that they want, they will have to own the digital and content marketing spaces, strengthen health and safety policies in the workplace, have a strong marketing profile, manage the business better, put in place business contingency plans and generally be better prepared for any future surprises that could potentially have a negative impact on their businesses.
Covid-19 has indeed been a hard lesson to learn!