Changes in the Communication Strategy of Barcelona’s Digital Economy in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

Patricia Coll-Rubio


This article presents the results of a study carried out using data provided by professionals responsible for plan­ning and executing communication strategies for 30 leading companies involved in the digital economy of Barcelona, site of the Mobile World Congress technological trade show, which was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 health crisis.

The results of the study, carried out electronically from 1–15 April 2020, show that 77% of the technology com­panies that participated in the study changed their strategic communica­tion planning during the first month of the state of alarm declared by the Spanish government on 14 March 2020. In 73% of cases, the strategy was proactive, although with a new orientation. The resulting mix of ac­tions included preparing and dissem­inating digital content, sending press releases, organising digital events, generating internal communication and, to a lesser extent, advertising, following a strategy that combined 60% of owned media, 27% of earned media, and 13% of paid media. Dur­ing the first month of the state of alarm in response to COVID-19, social media was the main communication channel for the digital companies that participated in the study, compared to print media, television, and radio. 30% of these communication actions used newsjacking techniques, tying their messages to the current situation of the pandemic.

Keywords: digital communication, so­cial media, crisis communication, pub­lic relations, content marketing, event organisation, newsjacking.

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ISSN paper: 1138-3305. ISSN electronic: 2340-5007

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