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PANDEMIC NUDGES 96% OF COMPANIES TO SHIFT COMMUNICATION APPROACH

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

PANDEMIC NUDGES 96% OF COMPANIES TO SHIFT COMMUNICATION APPROACH, CENTRIQ PR MALAYSIAN COMMS PULSE FINDS

Survey Indicates Employees And Customers Are Top Two Priorities In Communication Efforts By Companies In Malaysia



The Covid-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves globally and the ripple effect continues to be felt nine months on by companies in Malaysia and around the world. To study the impact of the pandemic and Movement Control Order (MCO) on the communication behaviour of companies in Malaysia, Centriq PR, an award-winning independent public relations consultancy, recently conducted a survey, its inaugural, Centriq PR Communications Pulse, industry survey.


“The findings from our inaugural Centriq PR Malaysian Communications Pulse industry survey provides insights into how Malaysian companies are reacting in times of crisis. While bottomlines and profit are important factors in keeping organisations afloat, constant communication is vital to demonstrate transparency that the company is in control of the situation and concerned about the wellbeing of its stakeholders. From the findings we can see that more can be done to help companies improve this aspect,” said Centriq PR Managing Director, Jacqueline Arnold.


The survey comprised of 140 respondents from diverse industries including manufacturing, property, banking and finance as well as education. They ranged from CEOs and business owners, to heads of marketing, communications and PR.

Nudged by the urgency to adapt, the survey found 96% of respondents changed the way they communicated with stakeholders since Covid-19 hit Malaysian shores and the implementation of a Movement Control Order (MCO) in March 2020. 86% of respondents revealed they had a communication plan in place to mitigate such situations, while 14% did not have a plan.


When asked about the audience groups prioritised while stepping-up communication efforts since the MCO, 68% of respondents stated they communicated more with employees (67%), followed by customers (65%), while business partners and the community were tied at 51%. Government (42%) and the media (35%) were ranked lowest in terms of communication engagement among companies in Malaysia since the MCO.


The Centriq PR Pulse survey also found that respondents believed sales and marketing (49%), operations (44%), finance (39.3%) and technology (38%) functions in the company were far more important since the MCO. By contrast, public relations (32%), human resource (32%) and efforts to facilitate Industry 4.0 advancements (21%) were the least prioritised.


Similarly, communication to stakeholders since the MCO were centered on sales and marketing (46%), technology (44%), operations (41%) and human resource (39%). Meanwhile, low levels of communication were indicated among stakeholders in PR and communications (38%), finance (32%), and Industry 4.0 (25%).


English remained the language of business for 89% of respondents when communicating with stakeholders, while 8% of respondents preferred Bahasa Malaysia as a main medium of communication.


“Communication is vital in these uncertain times. Proper communication with stakeholders, be they employees, customers, vendors, and other business partners, will help maintain confidence and goodwill, and ultimately support the organisation’s long term business objectives and profitability. It’s clear the virus is not going away any time soon, so for businesses to thrive, we’ll have to find new norms for the way we conduct business and communicate with stakeholders,” Arnold advised.

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