Spring often represents rebirth and renewal, it is a transitional time of year, where the cold and dark disappear, and everything is blooming again in the light. After the craziness that has been 2020 and 2021, a season of reawakening seems much needed. While we are still dealing with COVID-19, the end is on the horizon, and spring 2021 feels more hopeful than spring 2020. Public relations professionals are also feeling relieved and looking forward to the changes COVID-19 has brought to the industry.
One of the biggest changes that the public relations industry has had to adapt to is virtual events. It is one thing adapting to the new work from home environment, but PR professionals also have had to pivot and learn the logistics of virtual events. Not only did PR professionals figure out these online galas, but they thrived and discovered an untapped potential for functions. In the future, many events will still have a virtual component to tap into an even larger audience and be more interactive with consumers.
Another change that COVID-19 has brought to the public relations industry is social listening. During the pandemic, consumers want brands to acknowledge what is happening and read the room; it is about authenticity. With everything that has happened in society over the past year, consumers do not want to see brands trying to sell them items but instead want to see brands put into action. Consumers want to know the brand’s values and that their action to put their values into effect; actions speak louder than words. Companies will need to tap into their voice and not be afraid to stand up for what they believe.
Overall, the most important thing to carry into the post-COVID era of communications is that the only constant is change. PR professionals have dealt with numerous crises throughout the year and have learned to evolve and expect the unexpected. Brands that can adapt and go with the flow of changing trends will fare much better than those stuck in their ways.
This one-in-a-lifetime pandemic (hopefully) has turned everything we used to know on its head, and after a year’s perspective, maybe it was a good thing. PR professionals are now even more quick thinking and constantly thinking of their plan B, knowing they will most likely need it. During this springtime rebirth, PR professionals can finally look ahead to post-COVID but will take what they learned during COVID and apply it to everything moving forward.