It’s already a long way from the days of subway, work, sleep… Today, morning meetings have become Zoom conferences, afternoon meetings turned into endless email exchanges, and the evening commute has been replaced by long minutes struggling with your wifi connection. But the communicators haven’t given up anything! During the lockdown period, 95% of the communication teams had to adapt and start teleworking. The We Are COM team surveyed more than 120 French companies to find out more about their recovery plan and their new challenges. Time for COM 2020 2.0!
🕺 Crisis, synonymous of added value for communicators?
First of all, let’s remember that out of the 126 communicators from the We Are COM team who took part in our survey, 65% of them belong to companies with a crisis unit. And you know what? Communication expertise is present in 70% of the cases and in a large number of sectors: banking, transport, IT, textiles, automotive, industry… Moreover, 2/3 of the communicators consider that this crisis has increased their profession’s value and half of them say they have been able to evaluate the effectiveness of their communication actions. The downside: communicators sometimes perceive a lack of consideration on the part of their General Management.
🤷 Well prepared or heckled communicators?
You don’t change a winning team. Indeed, the organisation of communication departments has not changed in these times of crisis. But what the communicators have lacked are technological tools that are really up to date to promote exchanges both internally and externally. The majority of communicators say they had some shortcomings in crisis communication that we will try to fill during the Club We Are COM workshops. Others regret a budget that is too light and not adapted to emergency communication deployments! In these troubled times, monitoring sensors are multiplying: competitive, environmental, e-reputation, regulatory…
💃 The show must go on!
You know the impact COVID-19 had on event communication. The ban on large gatherings led to the cancellation of 45% of COM events (trade shows, festivals, congresses, managerial meetings…), compared to 54% of postponements. Fingers crossed that it is only a postponement! Alternatives include videoconferences and webinars. In short, professional relationships became dematerialized without being dehumanized. Companies have mobilised themselves and their employees to support solidarity actions: donations to hospitals and the most vulnerable people, such as in the nursing homes (58%), using Decathlon masks as an example; promotion of new platforms dedicated to mutual aid or teleconsultations (18%), such as the Axa toll-free number, thanks to highly mobilised partners (13%) and calls for solidarity, particularly via social networks or customer newsletters (11%).
👉 What’s next in 2020?
Although few communicators had already finalised their recovery plan on the eve of 11 May, many decisions had already been taken for the rest of 2020. While more than three quarters of the communicators are thinking of adapting their communication strategy this year, via CSR, digital, customer reinsurance and solidarity in particular, the majority of budgets will be reduced or at best remain stable. Their primary objective? to satisfy the expectations of their post-confinement targets by focusing on proximity, usefulness, transparency and empathy.
💪 In conclusion for the recovery?
Nevertheless, some questions remain unanswered by the communicators: « What will our working conditions be during and after this long period of lockdown? « How will the behaviour of our audiences change? ». The future is still unclear, but there is a general awareness that brands will have to respond to or at least integrate. This is the real challenge that is taking shape, synonymous with a renewal and a potential for expressing each company’s business reason through concrete proof. Tomorrow, proximity will certainly be the key to communications with both external and internal audiences.
Join the We Are COM Club
The We Are COM Club enables corporate communication teams to progress together thanks to moments of sharing best practices only between peers, all sectors combined. Objective: 1h30 of immersion once a month on practical cases, concrete answers to the major communication challenges. An exchange in complete transparency and independence based on experience feedback: 0% self-promotion, 100% conviction.