A flash poll of 50 investor relations (IR) managers working for listed real estate companies in Germany revealed that almost 30 had not yet addressed Covid-19 in any of their IR publications. The survey was conducted by a Hamburg agency in early March 2020. “Early March 2020?” we hear you ask, “Surely, coronavirus was not a “relevant” topic in the first days of spring?” Well, here’s a second figure from the study – 80 percent of surveyed companies admitted that numerous stakeholders had already contacted them with questions relating to the implications of the emerging pandemic. Having taken these figures on board, I am left to pose the following question: How could it possibly be that so many companies had not given any thought to developing a (communication) strategy to address a topic that has shaken the world more than any other over the last couple of decades and that was already the subject of enquiries from such large numbers of investors and business partners?
New dimensions, internal paradigm shift
I like to look challenges in the eye. So, no matter how you personally deal with the virus, if you are a business decision maker, one thing should be clear: there is a pre-corona world and a post-corona world. What we have all experienced in recent months has changed the world and the set of values we live by. Key parameters have shifted. Anyone burying their head in the sand right now will have to live with the consequences. At the same time, anyone who remains composed and takes responsibility right now, anyone who stands tall for their employees and customers, will build trust and set themselves apart from their competitors.
To me, there’s one thing in particular that seems particularly important and new: While companies have so far “contented” themselves with primarily reflecting their strengths in their brands, this will no longer be enough in the crisis and beyond. Now is the time to go further, to recognize and seize opportunities in an environment defined by a new set of values. This is a completely different dimension – comparable to the internal paradigm shifts that people go through in times of crisis before emerging, strengthened, to reinvent themselves.
A new spin on eternal themes
Without a shadow of a doubt, the coronavirus crisis harbors the disruptive and constructive potential to create sustainable change. It also creates the perfect opportunity for me to launch my new, biweekly blog, MARKE STEINER. So join me every second Thursday as I delve into our institute’s scientifically validated market data to help you reorient your organization, strengthen your position as a real estate company and develop the strategies you need to turn this crisis into an opportunity. I can’t wait to share my fresh and valuable insights on perennial core topics, such as innovative strength, sustainability, brand management and, in my very first blog, employer branding.
With branded regards
Your Harald Steiner