(Expansión) – After more than two years of living with a virus that upset all kinds of companies by generating uncertainty, confusion, speculation, contradictions and even confrontations, the first balance could be that no one has been immune from this pandemic and its consequences. effects.
Since its inception, it has transformed everyday life and the way of working. This included the way of communicating inside and outside the companies. Communication never entered into confinement or a healthy distance; on the contrary, it helped to bring closer even the most distant and to understand the new way of working at a distance and in confinement.
Out of necessity, governments and companies transformed their forms of communication to make it more fluid and constant, in order not to interrupt productivity and strengthen the bonds of union and understanding between all their related audiences. Like few times, brands had to face the challenge of aligning what was said in congruence with what was done and, at times, facing criticism from their audiences, especially customers.
But, precisely, the fact that communication has been immune and remained intact and, on the contrary, has been strengthened during this long time, allowed to increase empathy and fidelity not only externally with customers and suppliers, but also within organizations; played a preponderant role in joining efforts, improving work dynamics “in absentia” and providing certainty in the midst of a panorama that was uncertain at that time.
Two and a half years later, when there is already more control over the pandemic -although its end has not yet been declared- it is time to think about how post-covid communication is taking place, after the internet demonstrated, with pros and cons, that many Activities do not always need to be face-to-face, and it made consumers more critical.
Today, many companies are beginning to return to physical presence, others maintain a hybrid format (part face-to-face, part remote) and still others seem determined to keep working remotely. In any case, changes will be generated in customs, habits and practices in business management and, surely, in communication.
The possible modifications to the administration and production plans and processes will have an impact on the labor part, which is worrying for the collaborators with a consequent affectation to the organization. Given this scenario, corporate communication must be attentive to changes, analyze how the map of its related audiences is reordered, their specific weights and the relationships established between them and with the organization, to determine messages and the most appropriate channels for make them arrive.
Of course, the changes will not be generalized since they will be taking place mainly in those organizations that consider them necessary in terms of cost adjustments, rationalization of operations or an operational reconfiguration. But regardless of the situation of each organization, the situation represents a challenge to the management of communication in order to achieve understanding and collaboration.
The foregoing implies communicating with empathy and transmitting confidence and security, both inside the organizations and out; The dissemination of changes to the organizational culture in a new scenario will be successful if it is underpinned by transparent, close and reliable communication.
Communicate from empathy and through positive messages, will be postulates that gain more and more importance. The first thing will be to understand the way in which each related public has been transformed as a result of the pandemic to define well what it is that you want to communicate. Among employees, for example, there will be those who resist physical presence because they have already adapted to a style that has been convenient for them, as well as those who return in high spirits, but uncertain about the changes.
If we think of the consumer, he has also been transformed and has changed his behavior and the way he relates. Sensitivity to unfulfilled promises is now greater, so the corporate strategy must anticipate communication scenarios and design messages that generate trust to build loyalty in the relationship.
That is why communication must continue to be transparent and based on messages that are close, positive and adapted to the target that needs to be addressed, in order to gain their trust.
The challenge will be to transform communication into a fundamental element of value for the management of companies, not only the large ones, but also the medium and small ones. Today, more than before, it is necessary to understand the requirements of customers with greater sensitivity than was the case in a distant year of 2019.
If the coronavirus brought changes, uncertainties, distancing and distrust, post-pandemic communication will have to carry the weight of creating more pleasant scenarios of trust, transparency and security on its back. For companies to connect with new consumers, it will be necessary to establish messages of closeness, that inspire confidence and are positive.
Editor’s note: Mario Maraboto Moreno has a degree in Journalism from UNAM. Research Associate at the University of North Carolina. Author of the book “Journalism and Business. How to link companies with journalists”. Consultant in Communication, Public Relations and special situations/crisis since 1991. Write to his email [email protected] and follow him on . The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.