LONDON — A new survey of senior in-house and agency corporate communications leaders has found that 92% believe there will be new opportunities for business as a result of Covid-19, with 75% expecting that organisations will be able to serve society better and use their business as a platform for positive change.

Corporate content specialist Speak Media and the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) spoke to 53 senior UK corporate comms leaders about the challenges and opportunities anticipated in the coming months.

As well as greater opportunities for doing good in society, 79% of respondents said their businesses and clients were seeking to become more relevant by adapting to the shifting needs of their customer base, while 69% believe they will be able to create deeper and more meaningful connections with different stakeholder groups as a result of the societal and business shifts engendered by the pandemic.

Speak Media head of planning and production Paul Williams said: "Corporate comms leaders are preparing for a rocky few months of slashed budgets, cut campaigns and a challenging media environment. As many corporates face concerns about bringing their employees along with them, internal comms will be prioritised. But there is also a sense that many teams see an opportunity to change what their organisation stands for, in light of the huge global issues of Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter.

“Many comms leaders are considering changes to how their organisations are positioned, with an awareness that their stakeholders now give a great deal more kudos to good citizenship and to contributions towards positive change."

The biggest change expected in the new remote working era is that internal comms will become far more important (63%) as businesses focus on keeping colleagues connected and engaged. More than half (54%) said keeping employees engaged was one of the biggest challenges.

Unsurprisingly, communications budgets being cut was the biggest concern for most (64%) of those interviewed, while 58% said changing media consumption habits, particularly due to declining print news sales, would be a challenge in the months ahead.