PRWeek: How Brands Respond to Three Major Challenges



One Year, Three Major Challenges. How Brands are Changing in Response

Social justice, the need for purposeful leadership and the coronavirus pandemic have all forced companies to rethink how they operate, say comms execs at PRDecoded.

Diana Bradley, PRWeek, 15 October 2020

(Photo Courtesy of PRWeek)

Brands have had to respond to three unprecedented forces coming together this year: COVID-19, racial and social injustice and the need for purposeful leadership. 

Rebecca Wilson, WE Communications’ EVP for Singapore and Australia, led a masterclass at PRWeek’s virtual PRDecoded Conference on Wednesday, discussing how brands can best articulate their authentic purpose in the current climate.

There is an “unmatched urgency” demanding purposeful leadership, she noted.

Although, the biggest factor changing the way brands operate this year is COVID-19, which has resulted in brands putting more emphasis on internal communications. 

Brands are also contending with social and racial justice in a new way, following the deaths this year of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

“Brands must speak, and silence is deemed as complicity,” said Wilson. “Internally, this means thoughtful engagement with employees of color. Externally, this may look like reassessing problematic partnerships or brands with racist legacies.”