19 January 2021 0 Comments

Media and communications: social distancing or overload?

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

How to avert communications and media disttancing during the pandemic, Hw to maintain balance media and communications process in an organizationMedia-and-communications-overload-how-to-avoid-organizations-media-and-communications-overload-How-to-avoid-stress-during-pandemic-How-to-maintian-communications-balanceWith Covid-19 still ravaging our world, many things had entered a paused mode. Organization’s operations and culture are changing and everyone is looking for the best way for them and their stakeholders.

When it comes to media, its use and communications and its application to organizational relevance, there has been two noted approaches or outlooks that seem predominant. Many who are at their wits end embrace what the situation demands. This set of organization or brand wittingly or unwittingly follow the demands of COVID-19 protocols in their media or communications use.

They see wisdom in media and communications social distancing just because of the pressure on the resources and absence of physical meeting, which used to be the flagship of their media and communications weapons.

With regards to media and communications social distancing, the ideal of social distancing or physical distancing takes the front role in their media and communications process. As we know, social distancing, when viewed from the field of Pharmacy is a set of ‘intervention, measurements aimed at averting the spread of contagious diseases by keeping physical distance between people(stakeholders in this instance) as well as reducing time they come into physical contact. The only exception to this is close family members.

Some of the associated weapons of physical or social distancing are face covering, lockdown, isolation, and quarantine among others. In relation to media and communications social distancing applied by this organization, there has been a complete or ‘near-complete’ lockdown of communications and media tools use. In doing this, they feel their actions are justifiable as there is pressure on resources. Couple with this is the fact that many of their products that are non-essential to living are no longer in high demand as they used to be

In addition to this, for the few which even try, the media and communication approach can be that of isolation. A closer outlook to this is average or total silence while some had been in quarantine. As they will realise, some of them already did. This strategy of media and communications social distancing had not paid off. But they are just confused about trying out a new approach.

The other school of thought which is opposite to this is that of media and communications overload to every of their stakeholders and audience. We mean both internal and external.

The pandemic promoted a lot of media and communications opportunities, which are virtual in nature. Zoom, Microsoft team, Emails, Webinar etc some of these opportunities are audio only while others have audio-visual capabilities.

For many of the organizations that had laid off half of their staff strength, there is a demand on the few that are left to multitask despite. This is despite the fact that they work from home. So often, there is one mail, one enquiry, one virtual meetings or the others to attend.

In all of these, many of the workers do not have a conducive atmosphere to work with from their homes as there are constant interference from other family members.

Like Adam Gazzaley had stated ‘‘So many technological innovations have enhanced our lives in countless ways, but they also threaten to overwhelm our brain’s goal-directed functioning with interference’’.

At the end of the day, Adam Gazzaley claimed instead of these media and communications tools to work into organizations’ advantage, they usually end up being detrimental. This is because the interference or overload often create fatigue as well as negatively impact human emotional, communications and decision making process.

As it is very obvious, neither of these approaches can help. In fact this piece while advising the second school of thought, did echo a need to schedule times for regular tasks and a need to limit unnecessary communications to every stakeholders. This is especially so for work at home staff.

Taking either of the extremes will be counter-productive for any brand or organization. A hybrid or confluence must be found.

Where are you in the scheme of thing? Media and communications social distancing or overload? Do you have lessons to share? Please use the comment section.

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