The pandemic changes the content that we use in our marketing and communications. Is that going to be permanent?
The pandemic changes the corporate content and messages we use. George Theohari of Speak Media just wrote an insightful article for Influence magazine. Called “How will corporate content change in a post Covid world”, it challenges us to consider how our content needs to change. Many professional communicators know the lives and experiences of their customers and stakeholders are rapidly changing in the new world order. In my sector, UK holidays, there are fewer sales messages. Marketers are offering reassurance to customers. Marketers are giving details and specifics when they tell customers about holiday options. This is all new. Never before have we needed to spell out details of arrangements, hygiene and safety. This is now the way to attract bookings.
Trust in content
The content we create must be completely trustworthy in every aspect. Customers will rely on it for their safety and health. Attention to detail is paramount. The experience of the holiday must be exactly as we promised months before. This is hard to achieve over the course of a season with so many customers coming and going. Operations managers on a holiday site might need to make mid-season changes in response to rising Covid cases. Every on-site staff member delivers the holiday brand experience and their training and safety are, of course, paramount.
Internal communications will, therefore, link more closely with external communications. The content will overlap more than ever. This is another way the content changes post-pandemic. I believer this is going to be permanent because customers now expect greater transparency than ever before.
Sustainability is vital. Brands in all sectors need to demonstrate they have learnt from the pandemic. Part of their brand’s equity will be the care they show for all their stakeholders. Comfort, convenience and safety will be the news ways in which customers judge brands. As marketing communicators, we need to understand these concerns and communicate them in ways that are appealing and memorable.
I agree, though, with George when he says that good storytelling is still the best way to communicate and that is something that won’t change. On my website, https://nicolaprior.co.uk I talk about the 7 basic stories that we can all adapt to engage audiences, whatever sector we are in.
For more articles about the impact of the pandemic on communications, search for Influence magazine at https://www.cipr.co.uk/