In these challenging and historic times when so many organisations are operating with minimal staff and unable to be proactive, both consumer PR and B2B PR are more important than ever. Here are five reasons why
- Keep calm and carry on?
‘Keep calm and carry on’ may have been the wartime-inspired messaging from Boris Johnson at the beginning of this pandemic, but those who ‘carry on’ marketing as though nothing is going on risk a PR communications crisis. Suddenly a well-crafted consumer PR or B2B PR campaign can appear tone-deaf, insensitive and irrelevant. Key messages need to be on brand and consistent but carefully checked for sensitivity and adapted to make a positive impact. Digital PR strategies, in particular, need a speedy overhaul.
2. Silence isn’t always golden
Now is not the time to go quiet. This can leave a company subject to speculation – is the business in trouble? Stakeholders and consumers alike need to feel reassured in the longevity of an organisation. It is also essential to maintain that brand profile you’ve worked so hard to build and to remain front of mind for when things return to normal. Until then, a steady regular flow of positive consumer PR or B2B PR activity will keep the company visible to its audiences.
3. Timing is king
Equally, the timing must be right and expertly judged. Those brands sitting on the sidelines short term should be honing strategic PR plans ready for a post COVID-19 world. If a v-shaped recession is on the cards, they will need to be prepared for a sudden recovery and a rush of highly competitive marketing. This is when preparation for the ‘recovery’ phase will prove invaluable.
4. What’s the story?
Brands will live and die by their response to COVID-19. What will be the story of your business during this crisis? Consumers will want to know how the company is supporting those in need at this time, and they will repay the company with their custom and – hopefully – loyalty once this situation is over. The PR art of storytelling is crucial.
5. Record demand
The media is desperate for stories as there is huge demand for content and connection. In fact, the National Union of Journalists has said members are ‘experiencing record demand for news’, which is a very good reason to step up your consumer PR and B2B PR activity now. Many media outlets are working longer hours to deliver extended broadcasts, specialist reports, mailers, webinars and podcasts. For those working outside of the mainstream media for niche publications, the demand for news is high, too. Journalists in the meetings and events industry, for example, are all working, albeit WFH, and must continue to keep their audiences informed. Traditional sources of news can dry up as companies become more inward-looking, yet news bulletins still need to be filled.
In uncertain times, it is vital for businesses to prepare, plan and adapt to keep pace with market disruption. It may be tempting to stand still, do nothing, or simply repeat what you’ve always done, but now, more than ever before, is the time to act. If you require expert advice on how to navigate your business communications during the coronavirus crisis and beyond, or would simply like an objective view of your current PR strategy, please contact us at Clareville Communications by emailing [email protected] or calling +44 (0)207 736 4022