Another meeting on MS Teams or Zoom? We have all gone hi-tech now since lockdown has enforced home working on people. The impact of Covid-19 has meant we now need to keep our distance from others and inevitably it drives us towards using the technology that is available. For those in PR and communication it is easy to focus on this at the expense of some of the other channels.
It is important not to forget some of the basics including maximising community engagement and working with the media. There are people that we still can’t reach by using social media and the latest technology, as well as many who are feeling a level of fatigue with the computer.
I was involved in an interesting discussion yesterday with fellow communicators and the conversation went back to the value of print and even text messaging. Don’t worry I am not advocating a return to using the fax machine, even if these still exist. But there are many methods of communication that have been in place for many years that can still help us in this time of a pandemic.
The key is always to remember the fundamentals of communication – what do you want to achieve and who are you trying to reach. It is still important even at a time of crisis. And as we are moving into the next phase of the crisis, we need more than ever to keep people engaged and interested in what is happening so they can learn what they can do to help.
I spent a large amount of my day on social media and using technology, so it is easy to forget that so many others don’t or even can’t. Communicators need to look from the perspective of those they are trying to reach. Will they want to learn about that development? Can they easily find what they need to know?
This next phase of the crisis is one where developing conversations with customers or service users will be really critical. We are no longer broadcasting directive messages. We are working together to find a way forward to keep people safe and rebuild our communities. It is vital that everyone is involved to stop the spread of Covid-19 and navigate the challenges ahead.