Public relations is an industry that is thriving when all other industries are thriving. At the moment, the world is struggling to take control of the coronavirus outbreak and is not focusing on the economy, which means PR is not the main priority.
This industry employs more than 270,000 people, and in 2018 the market was worth $63.8 billion. All these people are now coping with the difficult situation we all found ourselves in. In this article, we’ll talk about what PR agencies should be doing during this problematic period and what they are supposed to be focused on after it’s over, so keep on reading to find out more.
Don’t try to force things
Everyone’s afraid at the moment, and no one’s thinking about any other news except the ones that provide information on the latest numbers and achievements in the health industry. People are browsing the internet, but they are not paying attention to the things they usually do.
Seeing that the numbers are dropping and the plans are not going as expected, does not mean that you need to push harder. If you think that forcing things will even the score, rest assured that you’ll achieve quite the opposite.
The companies are trying to overcome these few months when the hardest hit is expected. Small companies are trying to survive at the moment, and forcing them into new projects is just irresponsible. They are now struggling with all kinds of problems like bills and taxes. Also, contrary to what many people think, small business owners don’t have huge salaries. On average, they make $66,373 a year, according to small business statistics.
Be valuable more than profitable
As we just said above, this is a time when humanity is at stake, and not too many people think about money. Yes, the economy is collapsing, but staying safe is much more critical.
PR is working with the media. The specialists in this field have lots of channels for working on their PR projects. All of them can be used for something valuable, like keeping people updated on the latest information.
Doing this “humanitarian” work and not chasing profits at any cost will earn respect for your company. The world needs all the help it can get at the moment, and this is the least a PR agency can do.
Turn to online businesses
Before the coronavirus, predictions about online industries were only positive. The numbers showed a constant rise in all segments of all industries. With the latest events, these numbers are only going higher.
The world is on lockdown, and billions of people are in isolation trying to get through the critical period. Still, they need to get their supplies from somewhere and need to live their lives, at least with the minimum requirements. How are they doing it? Through the use of the internet.
Social distancing and isolation made people do everything online—from staying in touch with friends and family to buying what they need. In the future, online businesses will see a tremendous rise. For example, ecommerce was projected to have 22 percent of the total retail sales by 2023. It seems like this number will be reached by the end of this year.
Focus on social media
Since these are times when there’s not much we can do to make a change and get things back the way they were, we need to come up with something to do and stay active. This is a great time to turn to social media and make the most of it as everyone’s already there.
People are at home all the time, and their best source of entertainment is social media. Now, when you have a lot of time on your hands, it’s best if you invest it in building a fan base on social media channels. You can do this by posting some of your achievements, memories, news from around the world, motivational content, or anything that you think might be useful for your followers and the company as well.
This is an opportunity to prepare for the future. If we take into account that the future belongs to the internet and social media, then there’s no doubt that this is the place where you need to be during these critical times.
Implement new technologies
When all this is over, nothing will be the same. The economy is in a serious recession, and the predictions are that it might get into an even bigger one if this lasts longer.
The fragile PR industry might not be ready for this hit. The owners of PR agencies will need to find a way to get out of the crisis. For many employees, though, this is going to be the end of their careers.
One thing is certain—everyone will need to turn to technology to make a living. The employees will take online courses to learn new skills and keep their active status, while owners will do everything they can to lower the cost of operations.
The good thing is that technology is on everyone’s side
Lots of courses are free right now, so don’t waste time if you’re in the PR business and not doing anything at the moment. As for the owners, it will be best to dive into AI articles, VR tours, and all the other technological breakthroughs that may give them a boost in the PR industry. See this interesting article on the subject.
No one can tell how long this crisis will last. Healthcare officials are constantly talking about flattening the curve. It means postponing the inevitable where the virus may infect as much as 70% of the population. They insist on this because too many patients are overwhelming the healthcare system, and there’s not enough capacity for everyone.
If the crisis continues for a longer time, no one can predict what that will mean for the world. If we manage to recover sooner, everyone will need to work twice as hard if they want to rise from the bottom.
Until then, we need to stay at home and follow the instructions we mentioned above. Focus on the internet, be patient, and be helpful as much as possible. When the worst is behind us, we’ll focus on more valuable things.