As the UK embarks on another spell of lockdown, we are now seeing signs of progress in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. Although the future has never been more uncertain, these unprecedented times have guaranteed that the drastic changes to our daily lives will be ongoing for the foreseeable future.
The strict, but necessary, guidelines implemented by the Government in early March have caused widespread disruption; not just to our personal lives, but also to our professional lives as well. As society has been forced to adjust and adapt in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the country has experienced a seismic economic shift that will be felt for many more months, if not years.
There has never been such a time where critical information has played a pivotal role. Customers, clients, business partners and employees alike must all be made aware of any changes that could have a significant impact on their lives.
Like so many other sectors, the PR industry has been forced to change rapidly to navigate through this ongoing pandemic. With that being said, it is at times of crisis that we realise just how valuable and critical communications can be.
As such, we believe that the implementation of a robust communications strategy can significantly help companies during this unprecedented period. We have listed our three top tips of delivering impactful PR amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
1. Take the opportunity to approach press and media outlets
During the nationwide lockdown, more eyes than ever will be searching for news and updates online. In response to this increase in online traffic, publications will be in need of as much content as possible to keep their readers engaged and interested.
Brands must take advantage of this opportunity by being proactive and calling on press contracts to find out just what sort of content is desired at this time. This will then enable them to tailor copy to the specific requests of each journalist and hopefully increase their chances of securing media coverage.
2. Don’t hide away from Covid-19
The ongoing pandemic has changed the way consumers shop, employees work and how services are delivered. Ignoring these changes could have a detrimental effect on companies and the relationship they have with clients and customers.
Communicating openly and honestly can be an effective way of creating trust and forming stronger relationships with the relevant people. A brand or company seen at the forefront of this crisis, whether its posting daily updates on websites, social media or in the press, can instill a sense of reliability and responsibility within the marketplace.
With that being said, businesses must recognise the difference between selling and informing. Communicating critical information isn’t an excuse to try to sell a product, so don’t fall in the trap of using it as a promotion tool. This will be received negatively and cause further damage to a brand.
3. Customer and client engagement
As life has taken a somewhat slower pace for some over recent months, it has provided these companies with an opportunity to reflect and reevaluate the way they operate. Part of this reflection could be focused on collating data regarding the experience customers and clients have when using a company’s services.
Crucially, this will help organisations to better understand how the current situation is impacting on their target markets whilst also providing them with a further opportunity to engage with their customer base.
An effective way to collate this information could be by using social media tools; whether it’s creating polls for followers to engage with or by posting questions for which the answer could be determined by retweeting or liking.
This will enable companies to communicate consistently on their own platforms, while also helping to garner more followers and potentially new business.
Although we don’t know when normalcy will return, we do know that we must remain resilient and willing to evolve to accommodate the current climate. Despite these challenging times, businesses need to keep an optimistic approach whilst continuing to deliver for their clients and customers.
Recognising the value of positive communications will not only support businesses throughout this pandemic, but organisations in all sectors across the wider economy.