April 21, 2020

Red Havas Releases New Predictions About What Communicators Can Expect Post-Pandemic

by Ellen Mallernee Barnes in News

Today, Red Havas released our “5 Communications Trends for the COVID-19 Crisis” report, which takes a look at five trends that will shape the integrated communications landscape both currently and with a view on the recovery process.

From trends and predictions in social and influence, to what brands are doing to give back and take care of their employees, to the state of strained newsrooms the world over, the report analyzes the communications challenges and opportunities that have emerged from the global pandemic.

“The coronavirus has fundamentally changed the way businesses communicate with internal and external key stakeholders,” said James Wright, Global CEO, Red Havas; Global Chairman, Havas PR Global Collective. “It’s been fascinating to watch the way brands have responded, or not responded, and how consumers have changed their behaviors overnight. We’re analyzing global trends and data to provide our clients with insights on how they can deliver meaningful communications at a time when it matters most. While some impacts have been more immediate, we are also seeing longer-term trends emerge that will have an impact on communication planning as we start to being the recovery process.”

The five trends are:

  • Capturing Captive Attention: Since the news media has become inundated with COVID-19 coverage, marketers’ approach to earning the attention of both media and consumers has been flipped on its head. Now, most attempts to engage audiences are filtered through a pandemic lens and both the delivery channel and the messages themselves have had to adapt accordingly. At the same time, brands and newsrooms are under intense pressure to deliver on increased expectations while navigating financial challenges themselves.
  • Conscious Communication: Brands and communications professionals have had to take a crash course on tonality and tact, and what does and doesn’t resonate with consumers in this uncharted crisis. The best brands have managed to deftly strike the balance between relevant and helpful, while the worst have come off as tone-deaf or ignorant.
  • Back to Social Basics: Brands are getting back to basics on social media, and it’s a good look. In most cases, having trimmed away content fat, what’s left is showing consumers who brands truly are and what they can offer beyond their product or service. Consumers have also been reminded of the original purpose of social media—and perhaps of life: authentic human connection through shared conversation.
  • Influence Innovates: During normal times, it’s an influencer’s job to showcase their beautiful body, curated living space, “perfect” family or big travel adventures. But COVID-19 has changed everything, and such posts today are not just out of touch; they’re also dangerous and costly.
  • The Rise of “Phyrtual Reality”: The global pandemic has made our “virtual” lives indistinguishable from our “physical” lives. Workout classes, concerts, birthday parties, baby showers, even proms and weddings, are all being made possible by a WiFi connection as we lean on—and into—technology to connect us more deeply to friends and family and to endear us to brands that are showing us where their heart lies during tough times.

View the trends report in full here.