27 Apr 2021

In an uncertain world, it is easy for an organisation to stick with the status quo, remain static, and fail to stand out.

However, for progressive leaders, the current environment presents opportunities to take stock, drive change, build a stronger business and positively impact society at large. Successful leaders are using this as an opportunity to rewire their business objectives.

In a survey conducted by Hanover Communications and Censuswide, mere weeks before the arrival of Covid-19 on our shores, we found that over 7 in 10 of Irish employees believed that their company has a clear purpose, mission and vision, but only 17 per cent know exactly what the purpose of their company is, only 13 per cent know what their business is trying to achieve in the short term and only 10 per cent know what type of impact their business is trying to make over the next five to ten years.

The current situation has prompted the C-suite to ensure that they are operationally ready for reputational challenges and ready to reap the benefits of raised awareness, goodwill and accelerated growth that a good reputation brings.

At Hanover we’re asking the C-suite the hard questions that will bring our clients long term recognition and success.

What parts of your pre-pandemic messaging are still relevant, and which no longer ring true or are high priority? What trends are happening in your market today—and forecast for tomorrow—that you can authentically own or address?

Re-evaluate your goals

While we will always be tasked with promoting our clients’ products and services, now more than ever we are asked to help companies determine what they stand for and how they can give back – and to build their reputation around that.

It is in time of crisis that we often make the greatest impact and lasting change in how we do things.

Researcher and author Dr. Brené Brown defines a “value” as “a way of being or believing that we hold most important” and shares that “living into our values means that we do more than profess our values, we practice them.” While the media has highlighted a lot of organisations that have not lived up to their values during the COVID-19 pandemic, for others, the pandemic has provided opportunities to demonstrate the greater value they are bringing to market. It is in times of crisis that we often make the greatest impact and lasting change in how we do things.

Re-engage with your audience

PR is about helping businesses effectively communicate with the audiences that are most important to them – customers, prospects, investors, and industry influencers. PR can take on many forms, but the one constant is the importance of having a deep understanding of these core audiences’ motivations and challenges and reaching them across the channels they are most likely to engage with. This has proven to be true whether the goal is to build awareness for an emerging start-up or to maintain the strong reputation of an established player.

The coronavirus effect has perpetually changed consumer behaviour. Taking stock of these changes and how they affect how we communicate with our target audiences is core to rewiring client strategies and communications campaigns as we move through 2021. Five key trends in behavioural changes emerging from the impact of Covid-19 are:

  • Increased digital adoption
  • Change in mobility patterns
  • Change in purchasing behaviour
  • Increased awareness of health
  • Changes in interpersonal behaviour

These trends are interconnected and overlapping. The pandemic has increased people’s use of digital tools in life and business to stay connected in a world that is physically disconnected. Increased use of digital tools is blurring the lines between work, lifestyle and social interaction, as well as between domains like mobility, health and finance. We expect this to continue in the post-Covid-19 world. Our industry and our clients must continue to adapt accordingly to our audiences.

Communications has always required agility and constant evolution and as public relations practitioners we know we must be constantly ready to imagine, rewire and execute new ways of connecting brands and businesses with the people who matter to their success.