Its all about reputation

A lot has been said and written about the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on businesses in India and across the world in the last six months, and hence I will not dwell much on that. However, I will say that the pandemic has been a most unprecedented Black Swan event and its impact is being felt by everyone – be it governments, businesses, or common people.

With businesses across the board, especially in hospitality, tourism, and civil aviation, experiencing an extended disruption, the Communications and Public Relations industry has been hit like never before. The revenue has contracted, sharply I may say, as agencies have lost clients or have seen their contracts renegotiated by clients looking to cut expenses. Agencies have been forced to cut employee salaries and reduce other expenditures to tide over the crisis. This is no doubt hurting everyone in the industry. At the same time, I believe that this setback will be short-lived, and the communications and PR industry will bounce back stronger soon. This has been the case during all major crises in the past, and there is no reason why it will not happen this time too.

The unprecedented crisis has brought into focus the role of communications and PR. Companies realize that “It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but only a minute to lose it.” Amid the crisis, and in an atmosphere of negativity to a great extent, many companies are looking at enhanced communication and PR to reinforce their reputation. Many companies are reworking their communication and PR strategies to include Covid-19 in the narrative. This is not only aimed at connecting better with customers but to also reassure them in these times of crisis.

Crisis communication is needed more than ever during periods of uncertainty. The Covid-19 pandemic has also brought to fore the importance of crisis communication. The pandemic has resulted in several challenges, including question marks over existence, for numerous businesses and sectors. Many of them are turning to communications and PR professionals and seeking their support and expertise to highlight their issues in relevant forums, be it in the media, on social media, or before the decision-makers. We personally have worked closely with multiple organizations in the last couple of months to work on their communication and PR strategy, and with considerable success, if I may add.

I believe that the worst is behind us. Most of the restrictions that were put in place during the lockdown have now been lifted, and the sentiment will improve fast. The upcoming festival season will also help buoy the spirits and demand. While there are several challenges in the near future, I am quite optimistic about the growth and future of the communications and PR industry.
by – Shailesh Goyal,
Founder, Simulations Public Affairs Management Services Pvt. Ltd.