Cision has been hosting webinars amidst Covid-19, and the topic of brand communications, especially during these uncertain times, could be helpful for you and your business.
Instead of re-watching the webinar, we made it simple by highlighting the top suggestions and comments from three public relations professionals from “Stop Marketing and Start Communicating.”
Scott Peacock, Director of Public Relations and International Tourism for VisitRaleigh, comments on the implications Covid-19 has had on PR and International Tourism. The $809-billion of economic loss, including $4.6-million total employment loss, which is six times more than 9/11, has the Travel and Tourism Industry down to a 40% employment level. He recommends that the industry advocate for government relief funds to assist the economic downfall.
Currently, businesses are now promoting gift-cards for customers to use when they are reopened to get some profit for the time being; delivery services are being used exponentially and are also used for media exposure.
In regards to content, Peacock suggests posting “nice happy” messages of support, including photos of nature; and while still staying genuine and true to your brand. “Yet,” he suggests, “do not take advantage of the situation. Listen to your community for what they want and see what you’re good at.”
When planning for the future, post Covid-19, he says that now is the time to work on data mining, which includes research, relationship building and more.
“Get ready to hit the ground running. Don’t plan for if, plan for when.” He says.
Jennifer Donahue, Account Director for Planit Advertising, also recommends (for public relations and social media practices) to take it day by day. “Don’t schedule future contact, share serious care and concern and be authentic,” she says, also noting that it is important to plan for closure, “including when and how you’re going to communicate.”
Jim Prosser, Managing Director at Edelman PR, says “it comes down to communicating openly, honestly, and frequently.” He suggests to include more positive employee engagement in your content, communicate employee efforts, and increase empathy.
Prosser also shared helpful information regarding Corporate Advisory Services. He says, “the most relied-on and trusted source for information are major news media organizations, more so than the government.”
He explains that research shows “my employer” is among the highly trusted (62%) and they are most informed when it comes to company information.
Therefore, when disseminating information during this time, there is no such thing as too much communication. This is as long as it’s done to the right employees, at the right time, with the right message. Just be sure to break through the clutter.
When it comes to planning for the future and upholding your business and brand, Prosser says “there is still an opportunity to inspire future travel.” Companies must stick to their principles and core values and be context-specific when doing outreach (ie. within your industry, target customers, location, etc.). He also recommends continuing to do media outreach, being in touch with your B-writers, be relevant, and see what interests are populating.
Here are Cision’s Top Nine Tips for Brand Communications during times of uncertainty:
- Knowing exactly what you need to communicate and be transparent
- Be concise and know what resources to follow up on
- Speak to what you know- valid, informative and expert information
- Target your pitches to the right influencers
- Be empathetic
- Be available, responsive and have comprehensive social listening and media monitoring
- Lead by example- communicate transparently and directly
- Share positivity- Give your audience hope and reassurance (appropriately)
- Stay informed
For the full guide, and more content, go to Cision’s website or click here.