Public Relations Professionals’ Communication Strategies in Responding the COVID-19 Pandemic Based on Gender

Many studies have examined crisis management in various business sectors. However, COVID-19 has presented unique and interesting challenges. Using an online survey (n = 224 participants) and in-depth interviews, profiling public relations professionals’ communication strategies in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic based on gender was investigated. The findings reveal that male and female public relations practitioners have specific understandings of the COVID-19 pandemic, ways in facing the crisis, and differing public relations activities during the pandemic. They regard this pandemic as a challenge to be adoptive, innovative, and creative, enhance technology competencies, and build relationships with publics by providing up to date information. Female public relations practitioners use social media more than males and give more attention to communication programs dealing with customers, while male counterparts focus on capturing the market by strengthening the organization’s image and reputation through publicity in conventional media.