What to Expect for the Public Relations industry after COVID-19?

The world is a different place to live today. With everyone sitting in their homes, attending to the matters of both work and personal leisure at the convenience of digital platforms right in front of them- we can most certainly say that people, industries, businesses and governments are facing the side effects of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. While many businesses are shut by default and not choice, some are yet in business- sharing, interacting and connecting with their audience to build a customer base and improve brand loyalty.

From the last couple of weeks, people are spending more time on the internet- making it critical for brands to be present where they are. As social media platforms had become increasingly imperative in the lives of the people, public relations looked at a dip in the media industry. Brands believed that people would unlikely read about their product or service, as they would be busy consuming all the Coronavirus news. But as we moved on with our lives in the lockdown, people started getting bored / unmotivated because of the continuous Coronavirus updates and started expecting distracting, entertaining and relatable kind of content, news articles and more that gave them a feeling of the normal amidst the phase of coping up with pandemic.

As the publications were advised to not print and circulate physical newspapers at certain locations, it led to increased efforts towards digital PR for industries who believed in the power of strong communication and honest media to reach their target audience and create a ripple effect. Today, PR agencies are not just getting out the relevant stories but are also immersing their target audience in live digital events like webinars, live twitter chats, concerts, launches and whatnot. This trend is here to stay with its wider reach and consumption.

Many of the PR firms report that they are looking at a higher involvement from the client’s end after the pandemic, and are being roped into engaging their clients’ TG at an enhanced frequency. PR Firms are not just expected to curate informative content, but funny, quirky and relatable content- where the users of the brand feel more connected with the brand and create a conversation. PR agencies have become more agile than ever and will help their clients to become more relevant to their target audience by expressing care and concern for the people in need.

With the infusion of digital media everywhere, there is more space, opportunities and platforms for the PR industries to take on. However people are looking for more crisp and direct information that can be consumed in a click or two- and thus the PR firms should understand that nothing can be forced on the people anymore- and that they will have to adopt a more interactive digital approach where consumers feel involved, informed and cared for during the pandemic times.

Public Relations was assumed to be a luxury marketing tool, but these times have laid out a better future for the industry. Brands are now adopting PR more than ever to enhance their credibility and build a strong digital presence with the help of relevant PR tools, and Digital PR is expected to grow at an exponential rate in the times to come.

Authord article by Divanshi Gupta, Director, The Marcom Avenue

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