Assess and Adapt: Communicating Digitally in a Global Pandemic
Everyone around the world has been navigating unforeseen and unpredictable challenges at work in the last two years, but digital communicators were hit with the perfect storm right from the start. While digital was already emerging as the preferred source of information for a growing number of audiences, the pandemic expedited its growth disproportionately. So how did digital communicators deal with the unexpected power, and therefore, the responsibilities that were now theirs to claim and carry, during the last couple of years?
To answer this and other burning questions about the ‘Digital Insights from the Global Pandemic’ webinar, IABC BC brought together an exciting panel of senior communicators comprising of:
- Keith Quon: Digital Marketing Specialist at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine
- Danielle Windecker: Account Manager at Jelly Marketing & PR Agency
- Angela Wilson: Senior Director of Media Relations at Simon Fraser University
The exciting discussion was tied together wonderfully by the moderator Linda Ong, Manager- Internal Communications at Nicola Wealth.
The conversation revealed the inner workings of creating a consistent and timely digital strategy and response mechanism at a time when the lines of information and misinformation seemed to blur. The first thing that stood out from the discussion was that no organization could afford to ignore the importance of digital communications from here on. Not only will digital communications teams support the traditional communications and marketing efforts, but they will also take the front seat in driving authentic conversations about brands with their most relevant audiences.
The key insight that emerged from a rich discussion and Q&A is that the game-changer for digital communicators will be their ability to assess, re-assess and swiftly adapt to the evolving rules of engagement and communications. The three panelists were united on the criticality of being nimble to communicate successfully in the digital world. Delving deeper into how the pandemic fundamentally shifted the approach to digital communications, here are some other big takeaways and insights that anchored the discussion:
Overcommunication is Not Overrated: Whether it’s the context of messages or multichannel approach to the same message, we cannot afford to under-communicate. Speaking consistently and in a timely manner is the foundation of a great digital strategy.
Embrace the Change: While our lives have been upended by the pandemic, many of us found a way to evolve with the changes it brought about. Communicating successfully in the digital world will require the same sense of resilience and openness to change and evolve to suit what’s right for the audience at any given time.
Authenticity and Personality: The audience living in the digital world can detect information that’s not authentic and is brave enough to question it. Making your presence count in the digital world would mean that organizations have to speak authentically and add more personality and humanity to their voice.
Bring Levity and Balance: Lastly, the toll of the pandemic cannot be understated for anyone – leaders, customers, or communicators. To continue to thrive and not simply survive, our interactions and approach to work should reflect a sense of lightness. We need to get over the urge to take ourselves too seriously.
It’s no longer a question that digital will be the centre of all future communications. What will help make this transition easier is our ability as communicators to drive this change with responsibility, openness and creativity.
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