When a crisis occurs, who you gonna call? Ghost… no, you call your communication pros!
OK, Elephant in the room – Covid-19 (The Coronavirus) is by far testing us all, not just as individuals who can no longer walk the streets as freely as we would like, but as businesses too. We don’t know much about the Coronavirus; granted, we’re not Scientists, but what we do know is that it is forcing employers across the Country to look carefully at their budgets, resulting in difficult decisions being made about whether and where to cut spending.
Ordinarily if I said to my Boss that for the next few weeks, I’m not spending any money he’d be whizzpopping around the office faster than the BFG. But my message is simple, now is not the time to stop spending! Your Comms team are more important than ever as this crisis intensifies.
Don’t stop me now
Marketers, PRs, Comms, we’re all in the same boat - we build the brand. Why would you stop this communication? We need to keep building our brand, keep talking, promote, push sales and keep pushing content. It makes no sense to me when I hear that these assets are the first to get the axe in companies when a crisis occurs. Marketers alike, are always working months in advance; this is how we operate. We’re already planning the Christmas office party, so planning for now and when ‘this is all over’ is no exception. We don’t know the end date of this pandemic but for me, I’m treating it like August and December combined (our quieter months).
In the short term, the onus was to explain how the disruption affects customers, clients, staff and other stakeholders. Our first action was to communicate to everyone that it is ‘business as usual’. After all, we are all entering the unknown, so until told otherwise we keep moving forward. We used this time to refocus our marketing activities, inject budget where it’s needed and keep communications wide open. I remember the days when the first thing I would check each morning was my Facebook newsfeed. Now, more than ever I’m checking in on LinkedIn to see what everyone is doing and it’s comforting to see other marketers have the same viewpoint!
“Sorry for the late reply”, “I will get back to you later”, “Get in touch next week”, “I’m just heading into a meeting” are just a few of the lines we say on the phone and email when we’re in the office, I know I do. So, another thing I am taking advantage of whilst I don’t have the usual office distractions is reconnecting with contacts; this week I even bagged us an editorial piece for mid-year *high fives myself*. The Sales guys are all over our customers and our Operations Manager is constantly in touch with our supply chain. If there’s anything we can take from the dark unknown situation, it’s that staying connected is vital.
The show must go on
If you’ve got to this point, I’ve done something right, so I’ve saved the best till last. We know our audience likes to be wowed, because they’ve told us. So, whilst sitting here, twiddling my thumbs on what we can do as our next campaign, I look up at my ceiling and ponder. And then it hits me (not literally obviously)…
Introducing #LookUpAndBeInspired – let the countdown begin, watch this space!