KAMPALA — It’s been nearly a year since the novel coronavirus began spreading around the world. While we have learned a lot about Covid-19 since the year started – and how to live and work in lockdown – there’s still much we don’t know about how the pandemic will change our societies.
One thing we are sure about is there must be a change in the way organizations, governments and individuals communicate to their desired publics. It is therefore our task as communication consultants to overcome challenges such as inaccurate information flow, sense of isolation, need for increased engagement, difficulty in project cooperation to mention but a few, and come up with sensible and impactful strategies for our clients.
Below, I share some strategies that we can utilize to fulfill this role amid myriad practical challenges:
1. Encourage clients, especially those in the tech space to put innovation at the forefront of their communications.
2. Communicators should drive the innovation agenda to enable their clients’ publics continue to interface with them after such a global pandemic.
In face to face communication we obtain a lot of information by interpreting non-verbal signals. Thanks to the knowledge of body language, we are able to read the context more easily and deduce the intention of the interlocutor. With remote communication, we need to remember emotional intelligence as we build relationships through the use of non-standard forms of communication.
Marketing is all about communication: What you are communicating, how you are doing it, and how well it ultimately lands, is important as it shows commitment to improve the lives of your publics.
2. Embrace genuine stakeholder engagement as an irreplaceable asset. The most successful and resilient companies during the pandemic will be those that establish good communications based on a deep understanding and appreciation of their stakeholders.
4. Adopt transparency as a rule. When we accept our weaknesses and ask for help, audiences tend to value such gestures of humility. These actions must undoubtedly be genuine because, as several recent brand reputation surveys demonstrate, empty commitments can easily be exposed and rejected.
Establish partnerships for the greater good. As we learned from recently developed public-private initiatives, these types of partnered solutions have a greater potential to generate shared value.
While the responsibility for applying these lessons and building a future in which good communications play an even more strategic role rests with the entire communication sector, it is incumbent upon everyone to play a role however small to communicate to their publics in this era.
The writer, Hassan Lubaga, is a Senior Account Manager at Hill+Knowlton Strategies Uganda +Rwanda.