The 2020 IPRS: The Acceleration of Digital Transformation and Its Impact on PR

PRINDONESIA.CO | Thursday, October 29, 2020
Pandemi mengakselerasi komunikasi menjadi 360 derajat
Dok. Istimewa

The acceleration of digital transformation during a pandemic has prompted 360-degree changes in communication practices. 

JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – As conveyed by Ajit Pathak, India's National President Public Relations Association while speaking at the 2020 International Public Relations Summit (IPRS) which took place online on Tuesday (10/27/2020). According to him, knowledge of social media, executing online events, communicating with internal and external digitally, producing content, and telling stories on social media are mandatory competencies for public relations (PR) practitioners during a pandemic.  

The pandemic has pushed the acceleration of digital transformation even faster. In fact, according to Timothy Coombs, Texas A&M University USA Department of Communication Professor, digital transformation is an important component for companies when they are facing a crisis. Including the crisis due to a pandemic like today. "Companies must have a website, a microblog, and a social network page that is always ready if one day the corporation faces a crisis," he said. 

In addition, Coombs said that corporations must have certain websites for crises as well as content that is ready to be uploaded if they face a crisis. "Corporations can also optimize the existence of social media to follow up on information related to the crisis they are facing," he said. He also appealed to PR to always monitor in order to carry out regular evaluations and improvements. And, take wisdom for future lessons.  

Meanwhile, Sandra Macleod, the Group CEO of Echo Research UK, argued that the acceleration of digital transformation has also brought about several system changes and focuses on climate change, sustainability, education, health, and community empowerment. 

“PR practitioners must be aware of the changes that are happening while still creating engaging contents. Although during the pandemic this effort can only be done through digital media,” said Sandra while emphasizing in this difficult and uncertain time, what companies do is more important than what they say. 

Gap Minimization 

Different countries have different conditions. According to Noke Kiroyan, the Chairman & Chief Consultant of Kiroyan Partners, the convergence of the pandemic and digital technology has sharpened two very opposing conditions in society, especially Indonesia. "Apart from accelerating digital transformation, the Covid-19 phenomenon has also exacerbated the digital gap in Indonesia," he said. 

On the one hand, there are people who have extensive digital access. On the other hand, there are communities that are limited or untouched by digital technology. “This is where academics and PR practitioners must come into play. They must have a sense of calling to bridge this social gap," he said. 

To minimize the gap, Bank Indonesia (BI) communicates through three stages. As explained by Onny Widjanarko, the Head of the BI Communication Department. First, managing expectations. Namely, developing a communication strategy that is able to direct public confidence in policy. Second, managing literacy. For example, explaining to the public about BI and education about macroeconomics. Third, managing credibility to build trust. (rvh)