Communicating through Covid-19

Over the past couple of weeks in particular, we’ve been asked by more and more businesses “How do we best promote ourselves during these unprecedented and sensitive times so we can remain visible but relevant, and supportive of our customers?” So, we thought it might help to put this in a blog.

One thing is certain, being seen and heard in the right way is ever more important during such times as we’re experiencing with Covid-19. It reassures existing customers, reminds new ones that you’re open for business, and it’s a time for businesses to shine – to demonstrate what you believe in, in a way that helps and supports your customers and workforce during these times. 

Understandably many companies have lost brand visibility through their store or office front, with their lead generation routes much narrower as things like physical events, seminars, award ceremonies and exhibitions are currently on hold.  

However, more than ever, stuck in isolation, people are increasingly engaging with their trusted sources of information to keep informed or to help find the answers they seek or the products they need to get through these tricky times –  the TV, radio, online news platforms, their trusted trade magazine, LinkedIn/Twitter/Instagram, etc… 

And transmit your message in various forms – mix it up a bit – the media, social media, podcasts videos, webinars and newsletters, infographics, downloadable whitepapers or guides, research and data findings….so you engage positively with customers the ways they want to. 

The channels and tools available are vast through which businesses can share their strength of knowledge, skills and products– insight that will help empower customers (and employees) with the know-how and tools they need to help survive and succeed through Covid-19.  And people will remember you for it. 

Ensure that any content is relevant and appropriate for these times. The way companies behave during times of crisis can really help positively define their reputation more than ever when managed correctly. For example, we’ve been busy working with clients across a range of sectors from unified communications, cyber-security, accounting, sustainability, HR and law (to name a few), all constantly keeping a flow of expertise and services going out that help their customers through specific current Covid-19 challenges or that give a refreshing new perspective on things. 

That’s not to say you can’t announce or share information that’s non Covid-19 related, like that new product or new member of your team but just ensure the messages are still fitting to the current tone if being shared at the present time. We’re receiving an increasing number of requests from our media contacts for non-coronavirus led stories, thought leadership articles and, in particular, strong positive news stories as respite from coronavirus news or as media plan their pages for later in the year. As hard as it seems, it’s important to think beyond current times – and start planning your communication strategy now for when the tide does turn. 

Also, think about ways to use these different communication routes to market to pivot your business during this period. For example, business networking groups using video conferencing to shift events online. Learning and development organisations projecting classroom learning via webinars or podcasts. And don’t forget to tell people about it – use the power of the media and social media to cast your net wider. 

So, don’t be shy in communicating with your customers during these times. Done properly it’s the perfect time to support existing customers and potential new ones while maintaining strong brand awareness and market leadership positioning, so when the tide does turn and green shoots do appear, your business will be the one customers remember.

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