Humanity is being confronted with an unprecedented COVID-19 problem, which threatens the human race’s fundamental existence. While we have seen obstacles, we remain optimistic that a remedy is not far away. Since March, almost every country has been under lockdown, and as a result, the world economy has been in the doldrums and is on the verge of recession. Businesses are suffering massive losses and are being driven to cut costs in a variety of ways.
The majority of businesses are taking a ‘wait-and-see approach, which appears to be the most prudent course of action at the moment. Even in a service-oriented industry such as public relations, this is true (PR).
Let us begin by examining the impact of COVID-19 on the public relations sector and the alternative strategy that appears risky at the moment but has the potential to yield a profit in the long term.
The public relations industry’s difficulties
With the global economy slowing, the majority of industries are struggling to survive. The public relations industry is no exception. We are all aware that the public relations and media sectors are inextricably linked. Due to the slowness, individuals are hesitant to purchase newspapers, despite the fact that the WHO standards specifically state that printed newspapers provide no risk of getting the virus.
The majority of people are in a state of panic, which has resulted in a precipitous decrease in newspaper sales. Almost all segments of the media, with the exception of a few, are focusing exclusively on the epidemic, which has harmed client coverage.
Clients have removed their aggressive attitude toward ongoing public relations operations, and the majority have put their public relations partnerships on pause until the lockdown is lifted. This results in a halting situation in the sector, and most analysts are unsure when things will return to normal.
Additionally, the lockdown has disrupted product launches and other promotional or media events in which public relations teams play a significant role. With all of these issues and uncertainties in mind, should a corporation proceed with the public relations plan or should they pause for a while? Take a closer look.
The Importance of Public Relations
We are all aware that maintaining a relationship with the masses is always beneficial and necessary for any business. Having a longer-lasting brand memory among the public aids at all phases of the marketing funnel and influences purchasing decisions. The pandemic has produced such a gloomy environment in which people are fearful of anything novel or unknown.
A strong promotional plan can help build a positive and trustworthy image around the brand so that when the situation improves, people can blindly trust the company. Regrettably, the majority of businesses are unwilling to consider this.
They believe public relations is not a necessary function at the moment, even if the amount allocated to it is a fraction of the marketing and advertising budget.
For startups and small firms, the situation is more favorable. They can obtain maximum exposure if they are ready to take a small risk, as the big players are taking a back seat.
Quite frequently, small and medium-sized businesses can boost their sales and acquire new clients if they strategize appropriately and promote their products and services effectively. Additionally, a large number of people work from home and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
Outdoor advertising, which is prohibitively expensive for any business, is becoming obsolete for the time being. If we can divert 40% of those funds to public relations, we can get comparable, if not greater, brand awareness. The current situation creates a level playing field for small and medium-sized businesses.
Maintaining a healthy balance between risk and safety
We are all aware of the adage ‘no risk, no reward.’ These are difficult times for businesses that must stay afloat, and in order to do so, they must prioritize their offerings. However, this is an excellent opportunity to seize the market by the scruff of the neck and thrive.
Consider Facebook, General Electric, IBM, and Disney, which all began during the recession and have grown to become industry leaders. While most businesses consider public relations to be a luxury at the moment, all indications indicate that with the proper use of public relations strategies, a business can grow exponentially, and with the market situation gradually returning to normalcy, public relations strategies will provide businesses with the much-needed boost.
We recommend that clients take a proactive approach rather than a reactive one. Public relations may generate enough talk about your brand that people will think of you whenever they require anything you provide. Additionally, public relations will provide you with the impetus necessary to resume normal operations once normalcy returns.
Allow us to be heard when the majority of the major market participants remain silent. Let us be those who dare to sail in the midst of a storm and claim the sea for themselves. We can easily accomplish this with the correct initiative and publicity. Public relations will be critical in this case since people must be adequately acquainted with the brand.
While some believe that public relations are a luxury, let us leverage the power of media and exposure to propel your business forward.