How PR has played part in Kenya during the Corona Pandemic

Public Relation during Corona

How PR has played part in Kenya during the Corona Pandemic

One of the key topics that the Chartered Institute of Public Relations covers is the media and engagement.  Managing coronavirus responses from employees and customers has been a sensitive area for business owners. Ensuring that everyone remains calm and positive while handling business during the pandemic could be quite a task. But if you are PR Savvy or your organization has an internal PR department this might have been somewhat easier for you.

How has PR played part in your place of work during the coronavirus pandemic period?
Has your brand survived due to internal or external PR intervention?
Are you still struggling to adapt your PR strategy for the outbreak?

Ministry of Health

In Kenya, PR has played a big part, especially during the pandemic as the Ministry of Health took the initiative to be updating the nation daily on any new developments with the coronavirus cases. From the day the first case of coronavirus was reported in Kenya, they have continually addressed the public on events as they happen.
The president has also occasionally held media engagements to advise the citizens on the best practices during the pandemic. Giving a way forward for the country by encouraging more people to get tested for the virus and go into a 14day quarantine.

Media Consumption

In the first phase of this pandemic, as the government made efforts to keep the nation updated, every Kenyan was too curious to know how the government is planning to manage this crisis with these PR activities.
According to a Geopoll report released in early April the average television viewership moved from 6.76 million to 7.09 million, just a few days after the Government of Kenya issued country-wide COVID-19 preventative measures. In this report, Citizen was cited as the highly watched TV station, especially during primetime news. The following is a breakdown of the Kenyan television viewership as registered in the last survey by geopoll.  (Insert image)

Internet Consumption

As daily reports on new cases were broadcasted, a surge of internet consumptions was recorded as Kenyans wanted to remain in the loop. While other businesses experiencing the threat of closure due to the coronavirus spread, Kenya’s internet service providers seem to be doing so well. With curfews and lockdown being extended, this industry’s business continues to boom. CNBC Africa reported a 70% increase in data usage by Safaricom subscribers in April.

The main agenda of these PR activities or briefings was to ensure that Kenyans remain indoors and safe from the outbreak. In relation to this, some Kenyan celebrities joined in by partnering with brands like Showmax to encourage Kenyans to remain proactive and enjoy hobbies like watching movies.
Netflix is one of the applications that has capitalized on the situation as more people are making it their top entertainment channel during isolation. The Los Angeles Times referred to Netflix as the king of all streaming after gaining 15.8 million global subscribers in the first month of coronavirus isolation.

Share with us other ways in which coronavirus has affected your business or daily activities in the comment section.

Tess Ndinda
tess@simonpage.ac.ke
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