Tech Communications roles transformed by the pandemic

Technology comms professionals’ roles expanded on both sides of the Atlantic as pandemic restrictions hit; increasing challenges, mental health pressures, and shifting demands on agencies

London, United Kingdom, 27 April 2021, 78% of technology communications professionals say that their role has expanded, with an increased focus beyond earned media due to the impact of COVID-19. In research, commissioned by Kaizo, which looked back at the past year, and forward to the challenges of 2021, over three quarters (76%) have an increased focus on directly supporting sales, with 73% experiencing greater demand for content creation from their sales and marketing teams.

Board level interaction has risen for 77% of respondents. This is perhaps unsurprising given 45% identified that communicating changes in business strategy had been a key challenge, and 76% had increased their purpose-led communications activity around issues including COVID support, diversity and community.

This shift in work however has not gone unrecognized, with an encouraging 74% saying the value and perception of PR has increased as a result of the changes driven by the pandemic.

Key technology comms challenges

It is not all positive however. Over half, 52%, of respondents in the US are concerned about tech being perceived as a “winner” from COVID (37% in the UK). Rising audience distrust (41%), growing levels of disinformation (39%), shifts in media beats (35%), and declining consumption of traditional media (30%) all feature as concerns about the external environment.

Internally challenges with the pace of change experienced (37%), balancing priorities amongst stakeholders (36%), and providing proof of ROI (47% UK, 34% overall) all add to the struggle.

Feeling the pressure

As technology comms professionals stepped up to fill the gaps left by face-to-face marketing and sales contact being curtailed, 66% said that their mental health suffered, rising to 88% in the USA. Over three quarters, (78%) said their work-life balance deteriorated with this climbing to 86% in the USA where a significant majority, 76% noted feeling increased stress and worry over long term job security.

Looking ahead

Despite 78% in the UK and 72% in the USA having benefited from budget boosts as physical event budgets were reallocated, the majority, 52% expect reduced budgets for 2021.

In response, to help them invest wisely, tech comms leaders want their agency partners to provide more proactive insights and market intelligence (46%), deliver more creative campaign recommendations (43%) and better integrate reporting with marketing systems (42%).

Commenting on the data Steph Macleod, director, Kaizo said; “Many of these factors were already in play pre-pandemic. What we’ve seen over the past year is a more rapid acceleration of communications role expansion and the removal of some of the previously accepted barriers.  Those of us who have been in tech comms for many years know that agility, creativity and adaptability have always been critical skills, as has developing a close alignment to often changing business and product strategies. The ability of tech comms leaders to harness these skills to drive business throughout the past 12 months, has shown what we can do and what we can help deliver. The next step is how retain the positive changes and ensure that teams are happy, driven and enthused as we move forward.”

To review the full report on technology communication challenges in 2021 please click here. For the full research data please contact Kaizo via info@kaizo.co.uk

About the research

The research was carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Kaizo PR. The survey polled 50 UK and 50 USA communications professionals working in technology business with over 10 employees. The research was undertaken in December 2020

About Kaizo

Kaizo is a London based independent PR and content agency, creating opportunities and opinions that convert to attention and sales for B2B and B2C brands.

For a fresh look at a communications challenge, ask Kaizo www.kaizo.co.uk.

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