Jamie Knightley

COVID-19 Redefined the Value and Influence of PR

By: Jamie Knightley | July 19, 2021 | 
1

COVID-19 Redefined the Value and Influence of CommunicationsResearch has shown that 85% of communicators report that the C-suite has been relying on them for strategic counsel during the pandemic.

The PR department has been leaned on these past 18 months to inform employees, investors, media, analysts, and more.

Using communications to keep internal workforces informed regularly, maintains spirits high, and reassures employees of the company’s way of coping with new challenges.  

These strategic shifts have meant the change of the seats at the C-suite table.

Similarly, to comms pros, CIOs have also gained influence through unprecedented growth in agility and responsibilities.

Stats show in the U.S. that more than 90% of CIOs are now working closely with the C-suite to improve the customer experience (CX) and promote innovation.

Virtual Events Are Here to Stay

At the same time as all of this has changed among the C-Suite, events and the PR strategy surrounding them have gone digital for product launches, thought leadership summits, and topical webinars.

The rise of the virtual event market has shown it’s imperative B2B companies refine their events focus to get ahead of competitors.

It also indicates the continued popularity of virtual events with 71% of marketers believing this new way of eventing is here to stay, beyond the pandemic.

The addition of the media coverage to support these events gives the message of ‘business as usual’ while successfully achieving third-party endorsements essential in target media. 

The new way of working has been welcomed by many with more than three-quarters of B2B buyers stating they prefer virtual reality due to its ease, convenience, and speed at which journalists can attend multiple events in one day.

Organizations have been faced with keeping brand reputation, mitigating service disruption, addressing operational changes, and caring for the internal workforce care.

An effective digital communication strategy has enabled all these areas to be covered efficiently and succinctly. 

The use of social media as a means of interaction has been used as a tool to build bridges between PR pros and journalists in lieu of face-to-face meetings.

This method has proven to build and maintain a healthy PR-journalist relationship. 

Data Analytics Are Becoming a Staple

Working from home has forced endless Zoom meetings and events and increased the need for effective digital communication.

Data analytics is essential for businesses to understand consumer behavior, inevitably to inform business decision making.

Pair this with analytical tools and you have a winning combination when it comes to communications.

The advancement of technology has made access to data readily available, a simple article and hoping for the best is not enough to carry the business narrative. 

The analytical tools give specified insight into who has been reading your stories and from where.

Being able to look closely at who specifically has been engaging with your content will enable you to evaluate which messages are most successfully resonating with target audiences.

Also using this analysis can help provide relevant media and journalist suggestions, further boosting journalist relationships and placement opportunities. 

Measurement and analytics tools such as Power BI, Hubspot, and Marketo can help show a real focus on long-term campaign results, indicating to company managers that PR pros are achieving ROI through these efforts. 

Keeping Communications at the C-Suite Table

The pandemic has undoubtedly propelled the responsibilities and importance of communications.

The quick response from PR professionals has meant they have earned their place among the C-suite.

Despite the rapidly changing society, good communications have helped businesses evolve alongside it—keeping prospects, customers, and workforces informed of its message consistently.

The opportunity to continue this trend is a strong one—one that many communicators can take advantage of to secure their strategic spot at the board table for eternity.