The business of public relations has exponentially changed over the past couple of years, due to the shift in lifestyles. More people than ever are working remotely, and are exclusively handling their careers from their computer. This change has been intimidating, but it is impressive how so many people have been able to embrace a virtual world. Therefore, brands are able to communicate with people all over the world and from their homes. Public relations executives must consider how this reality impacts how people will perceive companies. They are reading, watching, and comprehending content from the comfort of their home rather than the office. It has forced the industry to take a more humanistic approach to connecting with the public.
With these changes in consideration, businesses have shifted the way they conduct business on a daily basis, including their marketing, advertising, and public relations techniques. Those who are willing to adapt will survive the difficulties of the pandemic, and there are some tips that will help you do so. The below tips for public relations professionals reflect the current trends of the industry, and are likely to change rapidly as the pandemic moves in a different direction. We do not know which direction we are headed in, but keep in mind that it highly depends on the growth or reduction of a virtual world.
The power of sympathy: We need to understand that millions of Americans are struggling due to the pandemic, specifically those who are lower to middle class. People have been continuously laid off, struggled to find work, and been unable to support their family. The government has been working to alleviate this, but it still impacts people everyday. In order to truly connect with the public, understand their issues and make an effort to create change. Consider the target market, and whether or not they have been doing better or worse while experiencing a global pandemic. This shift in sympathy will allow public relations professionals to better connect to their customers emotions and needs.
Halting production: Since people have not been able to meet in person as often, professional production has greatly decreased. You have probably even seen several commercials that feature facetime or Zoom calls. This raw footage is important to the public, because it is also their reality. Allowing raw footage and casual production will further connect the customer to the business, specifically if a business is selling a common need or desire.
Get real with the public: This trend connects to the previous tip, in which businesses are developing raw marketing content. Everyone knows everyone has been struggling, so professionals need to get real with the public. Be honest, open, and do not be afraid to get personal. There has even been a trend in social media where people are posting more casual information with real depth, rather than only posting the most attractive components of life. It is time to get real with potential customers and clients!
Online consumption: People have been working, shopping, and even spending time with friends and family on their computers and cellphones. Online content consumption has greatly increased, which means businesses need to consider how many advertisements a person is viewing everyday. Public relations professionals should create quick, easy to read/watch content that captures the attention of a people.
Social media presence: Many small businesses used to be able to survive without a social media presence, but that is no longer a reality. It is important to understand which platforms will reach a target audience, post frequently, and develop interesting content. If possible, hire a social media manager or even a part-time intern to help create this content and connect with customers.
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