H+K Strategies launches consultancy to tackle COVID-19 challenges

New intelligence and advisory offerings as businesses and markets enter recovery mode.

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has launched I-ACT in Asia, an intelligence and advisory team designed to mitigate risk, build reputation and accelerate growth during COVID-19.

While advising clients during COVID-19, H+K consultants observed and identified a series of business operating environment typologies including: fallen or absent markets, restarted markets, accelerated markets, evolved markets, and new markets. 

H+K’s behavioural insights and strategies team will help clients to apply the science of human behaviour to understand, engage and generate actions among their key audiences and will provide counsel on research, message testing, and behavioural change programmes.

“We need to understand that our communications will also be driven by this new normal,” HS Chung, Asia president at H+K told PRWeek Asia.

“It is certain that brands will not go back to the same way of operating after this pandemic. Behavioural scientists are able to identify the conscious and unconscious drivers behind how people think, behave and make decisions. As we are now forced to quickly move into new business operating environments, brands will need to gather more insights on how to create communications campaigns that will truly impact, influence and resonate with their target audience.”

Chung added that behavioural science is key during periods of uncertainty, and it can be used to identify the best way for brands’ messages to be interpreted the way they are intended to. 

“Human behaviour is complex and difficult to change. While awareness-raising campaigns are part of the solution, awareness on its own will not achieve the scale of behaviour change required. Behavioural science identifies effective strategies to enforce a behavioural change,” said Chung.

“Businesses and organisations will need to adjust and adapt to a reality post COVID-19 and find ways to contribute to rebuilding society, whilst still ensuring profitability. We are already seeing signs of how really doing good is good for business, with brands re-inventing themselves to support those in need and innovating products and solutions for future consumption.”

Through H+K’s Better Impact performance strategy programme, part of the offer in Asia is an online platform designed to connect brands and businesses easily and effectively with NGOs and help facilitate impactful collaborations for a better future. Focused on local initiatives, communities, and challenges, the platform will bring together businesses and NGO’s to create value and sustainability for all. 

On which sectors will be targeted by I-ACT, Chung said: “We are looking at helping brands across different sectors mapped across our five business operating environments such as hospitality, food & beverage, and Entertainment under Fallen Markets; travel and tourism under Re-started Markets; retail, sports and entertainment under Evolved Markets; online retail communications + Technology, online communications, home entertainment and delivery services under Accelerated Markets; communications + technology under New Markets.” 


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