It is worth taking a moment to reflect on some of the changes that have come out of our year of Covid lockdown. A newfound appreciation for human contact, a greater sense of community, appreciation for our key workers and a reconnection with simple pleasures, and reflecting on how these have impacted creative comms and the way we interact with people.
Consumer preferences have evolved – partially due to circumstance – but also due to an enhanced awareness of the world in which we live and a more acute understanding of being ‘sold’ to across all channels and mediums as a result of more screen time. Given our role as communicators is to reflect and adapt to the world around us, I think these changes have positively impacted the world of Public Relations and Communications and are here to stay for the long-term.
Purpose is now purposeful
Consumers are demanding more of brands. Words need to translate into action or brands will be held to account. The functional CSR component of campaigns that were often just box ticking efforts are now front and centre because what matters most to people is saying and doing things that make a tangible difference. Purpose needs to be authentic to who you are as a brand and what you offer to the world, championing the expertise and ability brands have for good is paramount to fostering credibility.
Businesses have been forced to re-evaluate their relationship with their own people and are now placing internal communications and employee engagement at the heart of their communication strategies. Research has shown that consumers are recognising and rewarding companies that treat their workers with respect.
Partnerships for the better
Throughout the pandemic consumers’ sense of place has been heightened and there has been a deliberate shift to actively seek out local products and support local communities. We have learnt that there is strength in collaboration. Brands must do the same. Partnerships that pivot to invest in local suppliers, support local communities and champion local produce, while leveraging a brand’s core expertise, will in turn forge deeper relationships with consumers.
There has never been a more important time to ‘read the room’ before pressing send on any piece of content. Shifting consumer sentiment, growing societal tensions and ever-changing government restrictions require an agile and nuanced brand communications approach. Push messaging has truly been put to bed, the age-old generic press release announcement is dead – for content to resonate it must acknowledge the cultural context, embrace the new role the brand plays in people’s lives and be ‘sticky’ enough to earn its way into conversations.
Speaking with passion
With the explosion of audio, from podcasts and Clubhouse to the revival of radio, the art of crafting beautiful engaging content has never been more important. These forums are providing individuals, and the brands they represent, the ability to speak at length about topics they know the audience are engaged – in their own words while bringing out their own personality. Relatable anecdotes and memorable soundbites will ensure spokespeople leave a lasting impression on the audiences they connect with.
To talk with us about how your brand might benefit from a comms refresh, get in touch.