Many companies will have to go into recovery mode once the lockdown and the restrictive measures that were put in place are officially lifted.
Mkhuseli Vangile, Managing Director of the DCF says with industries already burdened by an unstable economy, many should look to ways that can help market and position businesses.
Now, more than ever, the need for public relations is of utmost importance.
PR is an essential part of making sure that your business can attract new customers, particularly if your current base is affected by the lockdown. It can help you work towards positioning your business to the right market.
The truth is the lockdown has been difficult for every industry but those that are hardest hit are the ones that have experienced a complete shutdown in production, have been restricted and can only work partly.
Post lockdown these industries need to work exceptionally hard to get back on track and should look to PR services to help achieve success.
- Construction sector
With about 30,000 job cuts reported in the previous year, the SA Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors suggests a possible 68,000 to 108,000 job losses could be on the cards in the next 18 months for the construction industry.
This projected massive loss is attributed to the lockdown and other persistent factors.
The construction sector is vital especially with its contributions towards job creation; currently employing about 900,000 people, with temporal/contract and permanent employment opportunities covering a myriad of job seekers.
Construction companies will be looking to position themselves as the one to hire to carry out small and large-scale construction jobs, Public relations assists companies in this sector to do so:
- Tourism sector
This has been one of the hardest-hit industries in the world by Covid-19 with movement and travel immensely restricted internationally and domestically.
On a broader scale, travel and tourism bans might not be lifted anytime soon but once things stabilise, tourism on a local front will be an industry that requires quite a bit of remedying.
In 2018, The Tourism Industry in South Africa contributed R139 billion, which was 2.3% of the total GPD. This industry currently has no businesses on the list of essential businesses that are allowed to operate, which means, the entire sector is on lockdown since the sector itself is known for bringing people together from across the globe.
It is, therefore, advised that businesses within the sector urgently invest in PR and marketing services to generate interest and encourage domestic tourism once people have been granted permission to travel.
- Entertainment industry
According to PwC, this industry grossed a total of R129.2 billion just four years ago. While some entertainers are still able to make money by utilising online platforms during this lockdown, many are out of work as they rely heavily on events and onsite productions.
There are a number of big events that have been either postponed or cancelled due to the outbreak.
Initially, events were limited to only 100 eventgoers weeks before the lockdown and it is highly possible that the government will not allow more than 100 people in one place for the next coming months.
This forces event companies to come up with creative ways to host events.
To be creative and innovative in hosting their events, bringing about the need for PR agencies to conceptualise and execute great ideas thus guaranteeing successful and relevant events.
- Service sector
Businesses in the service sector will need to convince their potential clients that their services are the best in the market. This will need more than meeting potential new clients as it would require positioning of each company. Helping companies strategically develop media campaigns that position them as industry leaders is a key element to the services rendered.
This lockdown offers companies a great opportunity to restructure and rethink their business models but moreover, it gives businesses the platform to bring in innovative PR experts who can help ensure this current rocky patch doesn’t affect the business and communication/interaction with its stakeholders forever.