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Brand responsibility in this context

Brand responsibility in this context

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That a communication agency or a publication like ours defends the value of communication in a context like the present one, can be suspected of self-defense, of union reaction. But we bring you here the opinion of an entity that does not live from communication, but from BPI France, the Public Investment Bank, whose mission is to stimulate economic activity in France. Its executive director and communication director, Patrice Bégay, decided to address the world of French communication in an hour-long webinar. He makes a plea for communication in moments of crisis that is pure inspiration. We bring you some of his ideas, which we see as fundamental in the current context. By Eric Mottard

“Let’s communicate from now on”: Patrice Bégay thus begins his intervention that aims to shake the world of communication. “Communicating is sharing, transmitting, living.” And he sees that it is a mission of companies, especially important in the current context: “It is more necessary to communicate because the world has stopped two months ago. There is a health crisis but also an economic crisis. ” And in this context, according to this driver of economic activity, a problem is that many companies have slowed down or stopped their investments in communication. It is very clear in his recommendation, even virulent: “I can’t stand the communication director who hides behind the financial director to save his position.” It is time to be brave and not to hide.

Why is it such an important topic? As he recalls, communication is a stimulator of primary economic activity: more than 500,000 people in France are engaged in the world of communication. Communication is an important lever of the economy, of stimulating activity and consumption. “Several studies have shown the contribution of investment in communication for economic growth. One euro invested in communication generates 7.85 euros in contribution to GDP ”. Communication stimulates consumption, informs about products, encourages you to try innovations… Many things that we need today to get the country (Gallic in this case) back on track.

It is also in the interest of brands to communicate: “Brands that invest in communication during the crisis will be strengthened after the crisis. It rages to see that investment in communication is reduced when there are difficulties, when it is just at times like this when you have to go forward, reach new potential customers, transmit, communicate and be future-oriented. Withdrawing at a time like this is not the solution. ” Remember also another opportunity: that the reduction in advertising occupation allows greater visibility.

The economic-social function of communication is also a concept on which it insists: “Citizens need their brands; brands need citizens. And the brands have a responsibility in the economic recovery, they have to send a message of confidence, serenity, proximity, optimism ”.

It also supports another actor in the recovery: “the media play a key role in our democracy and in times of crisis, we must support the media, which are an actor with a key social function”, in fact the weakness of the media will promote fake news and populism. Note that in this context, many advertisers are now redirecting their investments towards the press, after seeing that they had put too much into GAFA-type companies; local and national media and events are factors of trust and connection with readers and consumers. ” It also praises and defends agencies, a key partner for brands at the moment.

It closes with an appeal: “be it physical or digital, we have never needed the connection so much”. Let this message be heard, in the exceptional context that we are experiencing.

All this consolidates in my mind a key idea. That if CSR consisted of saving the planet and helping those most in need, we are now entering a stage in which a key responsibility of brands will be to be actors in the economic recovery, to give confidence, to move forward – and to communicate. Obviously, behind this simple idea there are complicated arbitrations, a difficult economic equation. But at least, let us ensure that all economic and social actors understand this responsibility: we are all part of the revival. Brands have to communicate, consumers have to consume. A trench warfare would be devastating.

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