Cherry blossoms, perhaps one of the most beautiful signs of spring, bring a sense of renewal. As we move from a pandemic to endemic state across the country, our work and personal lives are also likely going through a similar renewal process. For some they are returning to the office, kids have returned to school, and other socialization-type activities are ramping up. One area worth addressing is the state of communications.

Even before COVID, digital media had become a dominant force in our daily communications. During COVID companies and people reluctant to go digital were seemingly forced to digitally communicate overnight. From video chat platforms like Zoom (which grew 2,900% during the pandemic) and GoToWebinar to digital conference platforms like Cvent and Hopin, and relying more deeply on social media platforms to connect with friends and family, digital media certainly cemented its place in our daily lives.

The rise of online communication has not only allowed for instant connectivity but wider connectivity. Communicators can now pinpoint residents in certain neighborhoods, and tailor messaging for them like never before.  A recent study from Archive Social shows that 74 percent of its users lean on social media for critical response and crisis communications. As we adapt to and rely on digital communications more and more, using online platforms are pivoting from solely a source of enjoyment and passive scrolling to a legitimate source of information and active information-seeking. 

Unfortunately, with the increased access to communication, the ease of creating content, and the immediacy of spreading information, many public entities have had to face issues surrounding misinformation and disinformation. This has led public officials, health organizations, cities, and others to work harder than ever before to dispel myths and set the record straight on a multitude of topics. 

According to a study from Statista, nearly 87 percent of consumers in the United States alone have reported seeing fake news surrounding the pandemic. Fortunately, key players in the social media world, including Facebook and Twitter, have worked to help address the rising issues by implementing official information centers that encourage users to flag incorrect information and provide a home base for correct information.

While there may be obstacles with communicating in an online format, it’s exciting to see how communications continue to adapt in the face of technology and digital content. As we continue to grow with advances in the digital landscape, we’re excited to leverage new opportunities in the world of digital communications. From strengthening a city’s presence in the community, to promoting and hosting online events, and building a stronger brand, digital communications will play a larger role for years to come in the way we continue to interact with each other.