Working remotely even from the beach.
Working remotely even from the beach.

Advice for PR professionals working remotely

Adapting to our new normal has been challenging in unique ways for every profession since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. PR professionals have had to approach it a unique way because of some of the challenges that come with working public relations remotely.

Josh Houston is currently a senior lecturer at the University of Southern Illinois and has a diverse working history in public relations. Houston talked a lot about the difficulty of the absence of in person contact and detailed some tips to try and bridge those gaps for PR professionals. Among his top pieces of advice was, “Use whatever you have available to stay in touch with professional peers and to stay informed about what going on online.” Houston was persistent that constant communication and transparency was key for PR professionals working remotely because of COVID-19.

It can be difficult in a time when large gatherings are illegal and having an event can be considered a health risk. Public relations specialists have had to navigate the ever-changing rules and regulations with some creative solutions. Houston on what he is trying to do to bridge the gap, “I’m trying to use video to the degree I can to capture some of what we have lost by not being in the classroom.” Houston is currently just teaching, but the advice can be applied to PR professionals all over. Adding supplemental video can add an element of personalization and a feeling of personal connection.

However, during a time when normal isn’t so normal anymore, PR professionals are the ones who are well positioned. Companies are having to be more transparent and keep a steady communication channel with the public now more than ever. Houston went on to talk about how he thinks a lot of the changes could be permanent. “A lot of people are finding this coinvent and cost effective with more PR people working from home,” Houston said. Which could be a win-win with PR professionals getting the luxury of working from home. While the public is more informed than ever due to the high levels of communication from PR professionals.

Overall, PR has been moderately affected by the pandemic. But PR professionals are the people called upon when times aren’t so good, and they keep the public informed and up to date. While it has been a challenge, staying creative, staying positive, and using video are critical during such a challenging work environment.

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