Three important ways to adapt and manage your media and advertising during COVID-19 or any crises
If you are a small or medium sized business owner, adapting your media and marketing plans due to a crisis is better in the long run over abandoning your campaigns and communication all together. Of course, you don’t want to be seen “profiting” by a crisis. But while tragedies happen, lives are still going to be lived and there are needs to be met.
Here is my best advice to effectively adapt and manage your media and marketing plans during a crisis.
Change your message to what’s important to your audience.
Create brand specific public service announcements (PSA) as “tips for managing” through the crisis. This changes the tone and message from product or service promotion to a conversational campaign of “we are here to help and support you.”
Your brand message needs to reflect your core values, human kindness, community outreach, help when needed, positivity and comfort. Make people feel better and even laugh a little. Your message can break up the endless political and COVID-19 updates.
Remind your customers and others of how you can help them now and in next few weeks (or months). Let people know how you’re preparing your staff to deliver services and products without compromising anyone’s safety.
People still need help urgent plumbing issues as well as emergency HVAC or other home repairs. While PSA campaign results are not as easily tracked as direct campaigns, this type of public relations approach does keep people aware of your business and what you have to offer them.
Adapt your media channels
If you’re not already advertising on Facebook (and other social media), now is a great time to boost your posts and updates. People are online and connecting on social channels with others as a part of their routines, but more so during a crisis. Use videos, Facetime, Facebook watch parties or Instagram live videos to highlight a customer story, share a customer testimonial or get people involved in a community cause your business supports.
People’s experience with television viewing is emotional. They can hear and see your ads on local programing and streaming which makes them highly effective. Viewing audiences are INSIDE more during a crisis so your reach is higher, too.
People are listening to radio and podcasts for new information to evaluate options.1 I can help you find ways to advertise on the radio to maintain and foster a human connection. As a crisis extends over a longer period, people’s need to know businesses care about their customers, employees and communities increases.
If you’ve already invested in media and advertising, adapt your creative and message to be purpose driven. Show that you still have a heart – no faking it either. This investment will come back to you when people remember your business name in better times.
Manage internal communications
Be sure to keep your customer service and support staff informed of your new messages and campaigns. If you have had to furlough or lay off employees, internal communication and team engagement become mission critical. Your remaining employees need to know what to say to customers and have positive attitudes with customers. Employees need to know your company is doing the best possible given the worst circumstances – much of which is beyond your control. Encourage your employees and help them understand why continued media promotion and advertising is important in the long run.
Call me at 404-232-0794 to talk about your specific concerns or questions. I’m here to help you adapt and manage your media and marketing plan.