Eat, pray, love and communicate effectively.
For almost two years the pandemic has been with us and this is a long enough time to get used to lockdowns, restrictions or working in home office mode. So much theory, and as the practice shows, the situation is so dynamic that when implementing a new project or daily cooperation with the media we still learn something new. Especially in such an important area as communication.
Since most employees have moved to remote working, the ways and methods of communication have changed dramatically. Journalists and media workers have swapped bustling newsrooms and editorial labs for the comfort of home, and marketing and PR professionals have had to say goodbye to regular face-to-face meetings and conferences in favor of instant messaging or phone calls. Of course, many companies do not give up organizing meetings for the media, but there are also those whose internal regulations and concern for the comfort and health of their partners do not allow for mass meetings and business meetings.
As a result, we have had to learn communication in the PR industry almost from scratch, and the lessons learned from this experience are quite interesting. It's worth noting that while just a dozen or so months ago, many people struggled with online meetings and meeting apps were third-choice options, today we are even able to hold quick meetings for a team or between individuals overnight.
In our practice of communicating with journalists, video conferences have a high priority, not only in terms of organizing product launches or company team meetings, but also in terms of everyday relations with journalists, for example. And here we come to the heart of the matter. While at the beginning of the remote work system many people thought that it was only a transitional period, today, when we know that the situation is unlikely to return to the state before the pandemic, it has become almost natural to use applications and tools that "replace" meetings and face-to-face conversations.
Our experience shows that nowadays individual conversations and e-meetings with journalists, bloggers or artists are much more popular and effective than email exchanges or messages in popular communicators. A personal approach to communication (necessarily preceded by preparation for the conversation) is extremely important for us to achieve an effect in the form of publication; the exchange of even a few sentences unrelated to professional duties creates a friendly atmosphere that allows to settle specific issues or solve a problem. What is more, small talk sometimes allows to lead the conversation in such a way, that the key issue of the conversation recedes into the background, and it turns out that together we can realize another, sometimes better idea.
We will not hide the fact that the salt of a PR or marketing person's job is excellent relations with media or artists. It is obvious that nothing can replace a meeting and a conversation in a relaxed atmosphere which will allow to discuss important issues, projects to be implemented or cooperation plans. Unfortunately, the prevailing conditions do not always allow it and we highly value the possibility of e-meeting and individual conversations with the people we work with every day. Sometimes even a few minutes of non-work related conversation is so creative and valuable that it can replace difficult negotiations or sometimes troublesome talks about current projects. A friendlier atmosphere and getting closer to our business partners definitely affects the relationship that will stay with us for many years. So, on the one hand we had to learn to communicate again, so to speak, but on the other hand we can see the arguments for taking advantage of the "benefits" brought to us by the pandemic and the remote working system.