The pandemic has forever changed the role of communication leaders, requiring them to adapt to virtual communication, anticipate troubling news, and use media intelligence tools effectively.
Reading the recent report from VMA Group on Changing Communications, I found five meaningful ways in which the Covid pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have permanently galvanized the role of communication leaders.
- As virtual communications have become the norm, a lot of body language and shared energy has been lost. Especially in turbulent times, this makes it harder to gauge how well any given message was received internally, or how much impact outside messages have on our workforce. Video calls are simply not as informative as having everyone in the same room.
- Internal and external communications are rapidly converging. In a world of constant change, and often minimal feedback, speaking with one voice and making sure the message is heard is all the more challenging. In addition to the sentiment on the work floor, the news cycle is equally important to monitor, as it generates most of the turbulence experienced within an organization.
- Low feedback rates and the increasingly complex media landscape have also made it harder to anticipate the impact of troubling or even disruptive news. Yet that is exactly what is expected of the seasoned communicator: sensing what goes on inside and outside, and making sure all communications are aligned and synchronized to the heat of the moment.
- For communication leaders to see the matrix – see and hear everything, and put it into the right perspective – the latest media intelligence tools are essential. Managing a crisis is more than a fast response. It also means understanding how crises work, why they escalate and how communications can help dial down the heat.
- Staying on top of the myriad of messages shooting back and forth, and filtering out the truly relevant news requires setting up the right dashboards and alerts, and developing data-driven insights into what makes your sector tick.
In turbulent times, brands, businesses and organizations need to see the media matrix and make well-informed decisions in ever-shorter response times. That way, communication leaders can remain in control, even in times of crisis, even in a world where anything seems possible. Read VMA’s full report.