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Due to digitalization globalization and the Covid-19 Pandemic, new ways of communication, such as virtual formats, have become the new normal. This opens up several opportunities for communication departments. Despite these chances, virtual communication is challenging as well. In particular, topics such as remote leadership, digital collaboration and employee motivation show the importance of proper virtual formats.
Virtualization as such is complex because routines are altered, logics are different, and typical advantages of established formats no longer apply. These changes need to be compensated for by other features of virtualization. This is also evident in corporate communications. Many formats for stakeholder communications are now offered online.
Communication departments already use digital solutions for internal and external stakeholder communication. There are various advantages virtual formats can offer:
» I believe the quality of communication suffers, as no real dialogue can take place and questions are dealt with one after the other. The reaction of participants to the answers remains hidden. Interjections or applause that make a debate lively are not possible. The only indication of the mood among the staff is the language used in the chat. Here, the tone is often harsher than it would be in a real event. «
Stefanie Hansen, Head of Communications Austria, Germany, Switzerland, BP Europa
Although, many virtual formats already run very smoothly, there are still challenges ahead:
Finding the right balance
The Communications Trend Radar 2021 project was conducted by a research team of the Leipzig and the University of Duisburg-Essen.
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