Covid 19’s Effects on the PR Industry
Since Covid-19 many industries have had to make drastic changes in the way they operate and perform business. Companies have had to completely remodel their business plans in an effort to keep their doors open. The PR industry is no different. Although there have been numerous changes that Covid has brought upon the PR industry, below I will go over a few changes that I think are of value.
Social Media is now the Name of the Game!
The pandemic has only provided more fuel to the fire of social media. The pandemic has changed how people use social media and for what purposes.
Since the pandemic, social media has not only grown but exploded. With the pandemic continuing to go on for more than 2+ years now, it may be safe to say that social media isn’t going anywhere. According to the Pew Research Center, 86% of Americans get their news from social media. Because this trend of social media consumption continues to grow, as a result, it is now more important than ever that PR companies ensure that any newsworthy information they want the public and audience to be aware of needs to be blasted across all of their social media platforms. As social media continues to become more and more popular, it would benefit PR to insist that all of their employee’s methods of communications (branding, advertising, marketing, campaigning) all be streamlined to social media first. As it is apparent that many people get their news and updates about companies from social media platforms.
Whatever direction social media decides to take, one thing is for certain. Creating high-quality communications and social media content will become fundamental in a PR company’s key to success.
Brick and Mortar Offices are on the Decline!
Similar to every other type of business, since the pandemic, PR firms will have to reevaluate the cost of their physical office space. Once viewed as an asset (and a necessary one at that), since the pandemic office buildings and spaces have begun to be viewed as massive unnecessary expenses. As a result, virtual “offices” or work-from-home “office” spaces have become increasingly more popular. However, since face-to-face human interaction and contact makes up a critical component of PR, it will be interesting to see what happens in regard to in-person office spaces. While many other businesses may be more adept at transitioning to a work from home model, this would be extremely difficult for a PR firm to do. As their foundation for the creation of PR is based on face-to-face communication and interactions with others.
Every Single PR Firm is now a PR Crisis Firm!
Since the pandemic, regardless of whether you work at a PR firm or not, every employee that resides in the communications department has been turned into a crisis communicator. This is especially true for those who work in PR! Regardless of which role in communications you started off in or currently reside in (content writer and editor, influencer marketing/advertising, etc.), all employees that were once considered a part of a PR’s specialized communications team now encompasses the entire firm in becoming educated in the role of issue consultants (crisis emergency communicator/communications). This means that prior to Covid 19, crisis communication which once was considered a specialized field is no longer! Every PR professional’s job description now comprises crisis communication. Of all the wonderful curveballs Covid has thrown our way, no curveball was bigger than issue management in PR. PR firms and agencies will now consider it a requirement for PR professionals to consider issue management in any task they are to complete regardless of position or department. Covid has shown us that not only is it relentless, but the crisis it can cause and its results are staggering.
Increased Workload for PR Professionals!
As Covid-19 continues to dominate our world, so will its pals change and uncertainty. For those PR firms that are able to keep up with the changes, they have another curveball headed their way! As the world begins to enter into a “new normal” post Covid-19 world and life, PR firms and professionals will be held to much higher standards. It is likely that the PR industry will join the rest of companies that belong to Corporate America in the sense that they will be putting a primary focus on ethical business standards. Some of these standards include but are not limited to, philanthropic work, volunteer work in addition to pro-bono jobs that show the public that they are going above and beyond to serve and fulfill their community’s PR needs and expectations. Post Covid-19, the public will be expecting (demanding) more results from businesses and organizations.