Short of apologizing for promising no coronavirus-related layoffs in late March, Edelman chief Richard Edelman is conducting a picture-perfect layoff operation. The world’s largest PR firm announced layoffs of nearly 400 staffers today.
We see more and more agencies preparing for life after the pandemic by establishing practices and offshoots dedicated to post-virus communication and strategy. We asked M Group chief Jay Morakis to dive into the thinking behind establishing such a practice.
Our latest survey of PR pros finds uncertainty about the future is a major issue. On the other hand, nearly 90 percent believe PR will come back from the pandemic as strong as it was or stronger. Their thinking is that PR’s strategic importance has come to the fore during the pandemic.
It is clear that until the pandemic is over, the world will experience constant change and heightened uncertainty. This should be good for PR, as demand for strategic communication will remain strong. In addition, there will be plenty of changes in how PR looks and functions once the pandemic subsides.
We’ve all heard about the new normal, but what does it look like in the sector you represent? One way to find out is to use predictive landscapes that help communicators build possible behavioral models. Here’s an example using the travel industry.
With entire offices working remotely, the challenge of how to provide a quality summer internship lingered on the minds of those in the industry. Due to economic and bandwidth restraints, some businesses chose to forgo programs for students this year, but a great many overcame obstacles and developed new programming, albeit remote, to provide eager participants with a place this summer.
“The business of business is business,” Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006) said. Our PRNEWS survey of some 200 PR executives expands on that thinking somewhat. We found that in this difficult moment, an overwhelming number of PR executives are most concerned with the health and safety of their staff. Finding new revenue doesn’t come close.
In certain parts of Europe, where the novel coronavirus is a few weeks ahead of US hotspots, audiences have begun to reach the information and emotional saturation point. Many are no longer watching the news. PR pros have found it’s important to maintain a positive approach in their internal and external communications.
You’ve created your coronavirus messaging plan and advised executives to communicate authentically, transparently and from the heart. Your job is far from over, though. Perhaps the most important thing a communicator can do at this time is to be available and make plans for the day when the coronavirus ebbs.