Profile Media has issued a COVID-19 PR Advice statement to all clients, which you can read here. It gives some relevant and timely advice for all businesses to follow over the coming days, weeks and months. One of the most important messages is – don’t be silent. Cutting back on marketing or promotional activities, or going silent on social channels can easily be misconstrued as you shutting up shop or going under as a result of the crisis. This is a very difficult perception to come back from.
Our advice is to communicate even more – with your staff, customers and stakeholders. And to review and update this communication on a daily basis.
I encourage you to read our PR Advice Statement and consider how you can implement these ideas in your business.
We will be transforming this advice into short videos to be shared with those on our database. If you would like to be added to this simply subscribe here, on our website.
We are providing every support for our clients including staging complimentary COVID-19 crisis strategy sessions for all. We are providing an objective view on strategies such as internal communications, issues management, social media messaging, mainstream media stories and more.
Be assured, that with some careful consideration and planning, we can not only help our clients through this challenge, but we can learn lessons and become better prepared for the future.
On the Profile Media Facebook page we have begun sharing verified information about COVID-19 from trusted sources. We will not be involved in scaremongering and alarmist reporting, but rather share necessarily information to help everyone be better educated and go about their daily lives as smoothly as possible.
We are acutely aware that the media and social media are swamped with COVID-19 stories which can drive anxiety and result in activities such as the panic buying we have seen by consumers. We are doing our bit to ease this by sharing positive stories through our Good News Movement channel. Now more than ever we believe people need to feel uplifted and inspired. We have increased posts on the Good News Movement Facebook and Instagram channels to hourly during the day. We encourage you to start your day with positivity and share it on your own social channels – we can all play a part in spreading positivity.
The team at Profile Media is well placed to meet all challenges due to the remote working environment we have crafted over many years. Our team of eight has been carefully selected for their ability to thrive whilst working from home.
We have the necessary technology, apps and mindset to ensure excellent communication and ability to continue deliver all services, and pivot and grow.
This is of course a challenging time. The measures, strategies and plans we put in place now have the potential to help everyone rebound and learn from this extraordinary experience.
It is a time to notice the good deeds, positive actions and help being provided at every level. And in our turn, do our bit to help others.
We are rising to the challenge – and we hope you will too.
IMMEDIATE – ASAP
- It’s important to get ahead of the coronavirus issue in all your messaging NOW. Those companies who are continuing to advertise or social post as if it’s not happening risk damage to their brand.
- What is your message for staff? They will likely be feeling anxious about the future of your business and their job, as well as their own health safety while at work. If they are to work from home what is your message for them – how does that work and what are your expectations? Daily communication regarding this is vital.
- What is your message to consumers? How can you provide value to customers right now? What do they need to know about your products, services and delivery?
- Ensure consumer messaging is publicly available. At the very least you need:
- A statement on your web site
- A post pinned to the top of each of your social platforms
- A FAQ document that helps people understand what’s happening
Review and update daily if required
- Reference the situation without necessarily mentioning coronavirus if it’s not appropriate. Say things like ‘in times like these’, or ‘while things are so stressful right now’ or similar. Review your messaging daily to ensure it’s appropriate.
- Your messaging for both staff and customers should focus on the following: be clear on your policies, employee needs, remote work, supply chain, business tracking and forecasts and how you provide a broader solution to the problem
- Demonstrate being a good corporate citizen but not leverage the situation: Provide value to customers, rather than trying to ‘sell stuff’.
- Regular and consistent communication is important, especially during a crisis.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY – DON’T BE SILENT: Whatever you do, don’t stop:
- Communicating with staff and customers
- Social media posts
- Your blog
- PR media outreach
Companies that go to ground during this time and do not continue with any messaging face a greater risk – and that is the perception that you have shut down altogether. It’s very difficult to come back from that perception.
SHORT TERM – LATER THIS WEEK
- Review what your competitors and other similar businesses in other markets (such as UK, US, Asia) are doing and saying: Can you get ahead of their marketing? What can you learn from them?
- Content will be king: As consumers stay home or look to online portals to be informed, this spike in online content consumption will likely outlast the crisis period. Now is the time to be considering what kind of content you create, how you communicate with your clients on a regular basis, and ramping up your online presence – in relation to the current situation but also in general.
- What can you do to be prepared for the next stage? At some point over the coming days, weeks and months there is the potential for:
- Australia’s borders to be closed
- All public gatherings to be banned
- Everyone to work from home
- A state of enforced isolation
Have you considered how you will handle this as a business?
Do you need to pivot your offering – can it move online?
Is there another or different product or service you could be offering?
What is your plan to communicate these changes to staff and customers?
- Do you need an issues management plan now? Is your business seriously at risk? What do you need to be saying to your customers now to avoid a major downturn. Have you considered the worst case scenario and how you will respond?
- Continue PR – Different Message: Now is not the time to scale back, but to scale up. We believe that as of next week, ‘Coronavirus fatigue’ will begin to set in. Once the vital information is known, consumers will begin to switch off from the coronavirus issue. They may be looking for more positive stories, useful advice or something completely separate from the issue. Don’t break momentum with the media or step back from being the useful resource you have become.
LONGER TERM (NEXT MONTH)
- Get your marketing house in order: Use the slower business period to focus on doing all the things you never get a chance to do.
- Does your web site need updating (have you loaded all those media logos and articles onto your web site?).
- Do you have a mechanism to regularly communicate with customers? Do you need to create one?
- Get organised for remote working – do you have a decent webcam, microphone and lighting for media interviews from home, as well as the rise of video?
- Prepare for a changed world: For example there will likely be increased online shopping, online education, less of a desire to attend large scale events, online gaming
- Prepare to relaunch efforts once the crisis has subsided: It’s important to do this now, rather than wait until the crisis is over or you will be slow to generate new opportunities. Can you be creating:
- Customer loyalty programs
- Joint venture partnerships
- Incentives to draw customers back
- Develop themes that celebrate good health, summer, outdoors
We will be discussing these issues with you over the coming days – it is very important you make time for our coronavirus strategy meeting. It is likely that we can see pitfalls and opportunities that may not be immediately obvious to you because we have a different perspective and greater objectivity.
Ph 1300 123110