How the PR industry should behave post-election
After months of ads, rallies and debates, the 2020 presidential election has been called. However, with President Trump’s claims of voter fraud and a slew of lawsuits to boot, a recount in some states is inevitable. It is safe to say that the election chaos is here for the long haul. So, where does this leave the PR industry?
As PR professionals we should operate in truth and transparency – no matter the circumstances. The post-election era, more than ever, is a time to hold tight to our industry ethics and founding principles.
Be cognizant of post-election happenings
While the election has been called, Joe Biden and Donald Trump continue to dominate the news cycle. From press conferences to lawsuits to tweets, the world is still watching. As PR professionals, it is our job to make sure our clients are operating with this in mind. It is imperative to avoid big announcements or social media promotion at the same time as election news and events. Failure to do so could come across as tone deaf and ruin your client’s relationship with stakeholders.
Be patient with journalists
The journalism industry has just survived a hard and long election season – not to mention the non-stop election day(s) coverage. The post-election era is the time to humanize journalists. As PR professionals, we need to make sure that journalists know we care about their well-being and appreciate the work they do. Be patient when you send a pitch and be mindful of your tone and sentiment in any follow-up emails. Journalists make our job possible and it is our responsibility to give support when they need it.
Support new social corporate responsibility movements
This election season has stirred up strong emotions and large movements. Some organizations will stay silent, but others will not. Social corporate responsibility initiatives are becoming more and more common – especially in the wake of this election season. If your client wants to craft a message to stakeholders around the election, the recent social movements or even the pandemic, be on tap to help them. We are living in a time where brands are no longer staying silent and just selling products. PR professionals need to be prepared to serve clients who want to be a part of a broader conversation.
Create an open internal forum
During times of uncertainty and fear, it is important to monitor your internal team’s temperament. Creating an internal forum where employees can ask questions, give feedback or share any other general feelings about the post-election season will help them feel heard. The forum is an opportunity for your organization to show empathy, humanity and compassion toward one another in a time were this is lacking. It is also a reminder that if your internal team is not feeling recognized and cared for, it will ultimately reflect in their work.
The election season has been a turbulent time for our country. In the next few months, it is imperative that the PR industry keep a watchful eye on the affairs of the nation. It is our job to humanize those around us and put honesty at the forefront of all we do. This is an industry of flexible individuals. When the times change, we change tact too.