One lesson I’ve learnt from lockdown is the importance of face to face communication. Not only has this been something I’ve missed from my personal life, it’s something I’ve missed from a professional perspective too.
With ever increasing opportunities for virtual engagement it’s easy to see how we could move away from face to face meetings for good. As we move towards our new normal, it’s got me thinking if there really is a need to travel long distances for meetings and spend every day in the office.
While many have suggested the traditional office formalities are near extinct, I’ve begun to appreciate the need for personal interactions and believe they are invaluable in the PR world.
In the first few weeks of lockdown, I found myself missing the office banter and the endless rounds of tea delivered to my desk. Now, I find myself longing for a team meeting where we can get together in person and discuss our actions without a sound delay or speaking over others.
In PR our working relationships are important and there is nothing like getting together to brainstorm ideas for a campaign. We work best when we can bounce off each other and share our creativity. It also means we can suggest the wildest stunts and feed our imaginations.
We can see the excitement in our colleagues faces and make our intentions are clear. People have to be in a room together to really get the best ideas flowing. This is something that simply can’t be recreated on Microsoft Teams. It’s getting us through lockdown, but I miss the sense of community the weekly office meeting brings.
At Open Comms we have continued to maintain regular contact with our clients and have been very much business as usual throughout the pandemic, but meeting with our clients face to face has been missed.
We believe taking the time to get to know our clients means we understand their values and allows us to develop stronger business relationships and deliver the desired results. It isn’t always about work; it is about chatting and learning more about the personalities behind the brands we work for.
Seeing someone in person allows you to get to know them quicker and better. It is a way to find out about shared interests and to become more than just a third-party supplier. We always say that we are an extension of our clients’ teams and that is very true. It remains the case in the virtual world, but it isn’t the same.
When communicating virtually, the ability to read body language and facial expressions are lost and any emotion is removed. Without these cues we raise the risk of misinterpreting the tone of an email or call.
While other businesses may thrive from a move to virtual communication, I think the value of face to face communication in the PR sector will last for many more years to come.
And as we finally start to see the lockdown restrictions eased, I absolutely can’t wait to reconnect with family, friends, colleagues and clients alike.
If you would like to know more about Open Comms and the services we offer, why not give us a call on 01924 862477 or contact us here.