The pandemic has caused uncertainty in all professions and the IR/PR world is no exception. While earlier most companies focused on developing a strong, well-defined plan for dealing with investors, stakeholders and the public at large; in today’s times it has become impossible to plan in advance. Companies are trying to tread cautiously and make the best of the situation at hand.
Some common trends are emerging that will probably be the guiding force for IR/PR professionals for the remainder of the year 2021 and times to come. Let us take a look at some of these trends that I believe are here to stay and how we can successfully align our IR/PR strategies with them.
1. Digital Revolution
Several practices employed in maintaining relations with investors, stakeholders, regulators and more had already gone digital in the past few years. However, the pandemic has forced companies to adopt digital means for A-Z everything including flagship investor day events as well. Even when the situation adopts a new normal, the digital revolution is here to stay.
2. Planning with Contingencies
A good strategist is one who plans for all kinds of outcomes. This has been re-emphasized in the uncertain times of the pandemic. No expert is able to provide a clear indication of when the situation will return to normalcy. In the meantime, it will be good if we plan and strategize while keeping all kinds of contingencies in mind. There should always be a ‘Plan B’ ready, in case, of any unfortunate incident.
We are all shrouded in uncertainty as situations change rapidly. Companies are unable to maintain strong communication channels with investors and shareholders unlike pre-pandemic times. Since investors don’t have complete, relevant and accurate information at their disposal, it is, but, natural that their confidence is shaken. IR/PR professionals can overcome this challenge by making an extra effort to ensure that complete transparency is maintained all the time. Try to keep all stakeholders updated about significant changes in the situation. Be proactive in responding to investor’s concerns and queries. This will help re-instill confidence and win trust.
4. Focus on CSR
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become the talk of the town. Today, more than ever, people, including investors, are asking questions such as — what is the company doing for the society or how are we giving back to the planet or are we doing enough to help people? Ramping up your CSR efforts can have a positive impact on your reputation. It can also send a positive message to existing stakeholders and potential investors.
It is important to understand where the industry is going so that you can align yourself accordingly and reap major benefits. In the IR/PR industry, trends such as going digital and enhanced transparency are going to have a significant impact in the years to come.
Hope this has been an insightful read.
Wishing you health and success.
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