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The Things We’ll Carry (Forward)

by Montieth Illingworth

As we all grapple with the spread of COVID-19, we want to share with you some of our thoughts about the changes we are all going through and what this may mean for the future of how organizations, and people, will work in the months and years to come.

& We’re all now better communicators

If nothing else, COVID-19 has underlined the importance of communicating with . . . everyone. That starts with employees, business partners, and stakeholders. The principles of transparency, clarity, confidence, trust and understanding in communications have come through loud and clear for so many organizations during the pandemic.

& What we’ll take into the future

Improvements need to be made in how we communicate, and they are being learned and adopted urgently and quickly. These are the types of learnings that are most likely to endure.

& The new public-private partnership

A crisis of this scale and magnitude requires companies and government to work together in ways not seen in several decades. Whether it’s GM making ventilators or a pharma company making a new, faster COVID-19 test, the meaning and value of these partnerships have been renewed with a focus on the public interest.

& What we hope will continue

The definition of the public interest will go beyond a health crisis, and the power of these partnerships will address critical issues like affordable housing and income inequality. Crises like this always disproportionately impact people with fewer resources.

& We are all part of civil society

I read about a restaurant making meals for hospital workers, colleges offering free online courses, news organizations providing free subscriptions, and on and on. Civil society is people linked by common interests and collective activity. Fully engage in it, and civil society brings out the best in us.

& Civil society 2.0

As with public-private partnerships, once people and organizations see how an empowered civil society can make a difference, they will want to keep seeing the rewards in our communities, of all types in all conditions. License to operate will have a new societal meaning.

It’s not easy where we are now to think about how much of what’s changed will stay with us. Work from home, to some degree, will be here to stay, I think, and put in the broader context of how effective distributed workforces can be. But, then, this will not just be about changes in how we work. It will be what we bring forward into the new future to improve who we are, together.

PR Takeaways

& Not your uncle’s content

As we work from home and get used to remote communications and distributed work teams, we’re also creating new ways to engage with customers and clients. That is most prominently seen through content. It’s the price, and the opportunity, of doing business in a whole new way and having to do it seamlessly, frictionless, and fast.

& Content’s new future

The risk is “empty calorie” content that promises much and delivers little. The opportunity is in the role of content in helping to drive a transformation of the enterprise that results in more meaningful engagement and delivery of value.

Additional Resources

Find out how our marketing communications and PR practice can help you navigate the post-Covid-19 environment.