“How is public relations starting to look Post-COVID?” By Lauren Reed

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of society. The public
relations world is no exception. Many aspects of PR, such as big events, had to be rethought
during the pandemic in order for companies to stay in business. Though progress towards
normalcy has been made, many events and routines still remain changed by COVID-19’s
impact. Hence, the term “new normal” has been used to describe a post-COVID world. Here are
a few trends that seem to be emerging in this new normal.


Virtual events and work
When the pandemic hit, companies were faced with two choices: move to a virtual environment
or stop working. In-person events and meetings are now possible again, but those may not be
as prominent as they once were. Uncertainty about the Delta variant continues to make
planning in-person events a challenge. Because of that uncertainty, PR professionals are
choosing to continue some events and meetings as virtual or hybrid. In addition to
accommodating health risks, a virtual setting can eliminate time spent on travel and adapt to
people’s increased comfort with online settings.


Focus on health
COVID-19 brought worldwide attention to healthcare processes and updates previously
overlooked by the general public. A year has passed since the pandemic impacted the world,
but the spotlight on healthcare has continued to shine. One instance is the White House’s
campaign for vaccines, which has utilized a variety of influencers on different platforms. Focus
on health has extended to mental health as well. COVID-19 brought awareness to the impact
bad mental health can have on people. Patience and awareness for mental health issues must
be utilized.


Expertise and punctuality
COVID-19 has only accelerated social media use and the time between recent topics and
trends. The public no longer has the patience to wait days for a company’s response, so PR
professionals must be quick to convey information, especially during a crisis. In addition to
timely responses, genuine ones are also expected. Consumers have less patience for
companies dancing around the truth or avoiding apologies during a crisis. In a post-COVID
environment, awareness must be employed.

Lauren Reed is a sophomore studying journalism-strategic communication. She is the 2021-22 VP of Finance for Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter here and on LinkedIn here.

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