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Global communications during and post a worldwide pandemic: how can organisations break through the noise?

COVID-19 has understandably dominated the news agenda like no other story in a generation. But what about other disease areas that are both important and deserve public attention? How do we break through this wall, particularly as coronavirus looks set to govern the news agenda for the next few months at least, if not longer?

Zuzanna Grzeskiewicz, Account Director, Hanover

Large organisations and health-focused charities need to plan now to ensure their disease area of focus remains on the table. In many cases, plans made for 2020 need to be adapted. If we take a step back from the chaos and confusion, there are ample opportunities for our industry.

Embrace social and virtual

As the world stays at home more, in addition to holding your conferences online, highly targeted social media is key: disseminating messages to reach the right audiences at the right time, is more important than ever. We are seeing organisations which previously hesitated to use this platform starting to embrace it more, with great success.

Respond to the news agenda

During the pandemic, companies and charities need to be agile. It is worth exploring how your disease area has been affected: check-ups have been cancelled to free up health services across the globe, for example. Some charities have taken this as a chance to sensitively reiterate the importance of care in their field. In the UK, an example of this is Macmillan Cancer Support’s latest campaign.

In the pharmaceutical world, many are effectively emphasising solutions to alleviating burdens faced by health systems around the world. Examples of this include alternative therapeutic options available such as remote treatment, which has the potential to alleviate pressures on health services: a crucial concern of today’s media.

In other words, organisations need to ensure they are part of the global news agenda: not swept away by it.

Search for positivity

Positive non-coronavirus related news, we’ve found, is in high demand by the press. Organisations should consider this, and work with relevant contacts. It may not get you the front page during the height of the pandemic, but leading international outlets are made up of more than just the cover.

Looking to a post-pandemic world

What can large organisations do now to prepare to tell their story in a post-pandemic world? There will be a time when coronavirus is no longer front of mind. Organisations therefore need to plan ahead.

Today is the perfect time to craft your story; clarity in your mission, vision and values. Because in a post-pandemic world, values will be scrutinised. What did you do during the pandemic? How did you communicate this, is this aligned with your identity as a business? Did you build relationships that will help better patient outcomes? Get your story ready now and be ready to launch it as soon as the time is right.

As global communicators, we are skilled at adapting to trends and getting ahead of them. The worldwide pandemic, although a time of unprecedented uncertainty in our lifetimes, doesn’t change these fundamental principles.

13th May 2020

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