Can I tell you a secret? The pandemic made me love video meetings. I wouldn’t mind never talking on the phone again.
Okay, okay…I have and will talk on the phone again, but nowhere near as often as I did pre-pandemic. Video chat and video meetings exploded during COVID-19, and in the process changed business communications forever.
With 41 percent of Americans fully vaccinated and more than half partially vaccinated, businesses are welcoming employees and customers back through their doors. How we work – and how we work together – in a post-COVID world will never be the same. As technology stepped up to keep society functioning in a raging pandemic, telecommuting proved to be viable for so many more employees than we ever believed it was possible. Remote interaction with customers has become easy and almost preferable for both customers and businesses. Even school kids have learned that snow days have sadly become a distant memory.
The challenge for business communicators now is adapting these new ways to connect with customers, employees, partners, vendors and the world, utilizing engagement tools that have quickly replaced obsolete ways of communicating.
What’s really changed is a realization that we can quickly and effectively operate in new ways.
To be fair, the tools have existed for a while now. What’s really changed is a realization that we can quickly and effectively operate in new ways. What the pandemic affirmed is that where there’s a will, there’s a way, and technology has become that way.
So, with employees, customers and others settling into their home offices for good, those charged with the job of communicating important information without the ability to use many traditional tools we’ve always relied on have found they must quickly adapt. Some are wondering where to start.
Conducting a communication audit will reveal how innovative we must be. Not all old tools are obsolete, but we won’t know which ones to keep unless we understand whether or not people are still using them. Likewise, we don’t know how comfortable people are in receiving information through new technologies unless we ask.
Today’s mantra of relying on science applies to communications, too. The science of quantitative and qualitative research as part of a communications audit unveils essential information, giving communicators the ability to create effective communications, selling services and products, reaching out to new audiences, and keeping their businesses functioning.
To use an adage, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, so I look for innovation wherever I can find it. Remember, the highest form of flattery is to copy! Likewise, be generous with your ideas and innovations, and send them out to the world.
The idea doesn’t necessarily need to be to create anew, but to evolve what has worked so that it can be effective for today’s needs.
With so much change happening, new best practices are shifting rapidly. Our efforts to find the right tools to use may be hit and miss right now, but we must ground them in what’s working. The idea doesn’t necessarily need to be to create anew, but to evolve what has worked so that it can be effective for today’s needs.
We can all agree that it has been a challenging year and a half. The disruption we experienced with the pandemic has left so many of us uncertain on how to proceed. But, communicating is what’s kept us going. We can be certain of one thing; how we communicate will make a difference in how we succeed in changing times.