Inside the PR Pro’s Mind as Coronavirus Spreads

It’s impossible to predict now, but coronavirus could usher in a highly inward-looking society as more of us fear leaving the safety of our homes. With digital technology making work from home far more common and apps that deliver all sorts of items to your door, we already were embarking on a more insular existence. Prior to coronavirus, you could go weeks without leaving the friendly confines of your apartment.

As the virus is making its way across the country, it seems possible that gig-workers may reshape the economy as they populate what may be nearly abandoned workplaces. Internal communicators, wherever they are working, may need to develop tactics to facilitate interaction with these new staffers.

More Digital Noise

In addition, the communicator’s job could be more difficult as participation in digital communities rises drastically. As workers are told to stay home, the assumption is that people will use Slack, Facetime, Skype and Zoom more often. With anticipated spikes in traffic, communicators are thinking about how to break through what might be an increased amount of traffic. Revisions to social media policies and related guidelines also are on the table.

Engaging Audiences Beyond Face-to-Face

For external communications, PR pros and marketers are realizing the importance of engaging audiences beyond a physical location. The virus has made us realize that we must avoid sole reliance on the ballrooms of large, five-star hotels for events. For the moment, delivery of valuable experiences through a small digital screen has become top of mind.

Fortunately, the idea of creating virtual experiences is one that many communicators have considered for several years. Some are using these technologies. With quarantines, we can anticipate rising use.

In an interview with PRNEWS in 2019, Hunter SVP Michael Lamp discussed technologies that “can solve human problems” and “help us tell better stories.” AR and VR can help communicators and marketers “break down distances ... and deliver experiences to consumers” who are unable visit brand-endorsed venues personally. A virtual tour through a museum is an example.

As the virus spreads, this bittersweet truth of disintegration giving birth to integration will reshape how brands communicate with customers as well as each other.

Mallika Tiwari is a marketing and communications specialist at Bista Solutions

This article is part of PRNEWS' daily COVID-19 coverage, click here to see the latest updates.