Each year our Brands2Life Global partner in Russia, Buman Media, runs an industry study exploring trends in PR and communications. Predictably, this year’s research (in May across 100 top comms specialists) highlighted COVID-19 as the main topic. Many were experiencing a really tough landscape and admitted they were not feeling confident. However, they were also doing their best to adapt to “the new reality.”

It’s therefore encouraging to now see many companies in Russia more or less back on track, renewed with fresh ideas and energy. The businesses that thrived during the worst of the pandemic were active 24/7, providing non-stop digital services for clients. Many success stories can be seen especially in the fields of retail, e-commerce, IT, food and education. Those with the budget for experimenting with communications have pioneered new marketing tactics and tried to do things differently in an effort to reach new and existing audiences too.

But where we have seen success, there has also been failure. The companies hardest hit by the pandemic had either limited or no opportunities to provide their services online, such as those in the travel and hospitality sectors. Their recovery is expected to be much slower for obvious reasons, but the silver lining offered by this most unique of situations is that they’ve been made to think more  flexibly, which will only lead to better change and innovation in these industries, and is something which might not have materialised otherwise.

What we can say with certainty, is that we are now seeing moderate optimism among customers and consumers. But everyone is treading very carefully, especially in light of a potential second wave.

We can see the fight for consumer wallets, with every business wanting a share. IT and technology are in huge demand to support a digital and virtual world and, as a result, performing well as an industry.

We made predictions back in January for the year ahead – given how unpredictable 2020 has been, the most important piece of advice we can offer is to remain optimistic and adaptable. Watch this space for further progress in Russia.