This is one story in our series about COVID-19. Read 8 ways your PR agency can assist you during COVID-19 and Don't think you need a PR agency right now? Think again for more.
It’s difficult to determine the best course of action for communications during this unusual time. You want to be as sensitive as possible to people’s distress and anguish, and you want to stay engaged, operating from a place of care and concern for your employees, your customers, and your community. Here are some things to consider to maintain a proper level of internal and external communications while waiting for this crisis to pass.
1. Serve your internal audiences.
Internal communications are critical right now. Be sure your employees are well-informed and equipped with the resources they need to work from home as they weather this crisis. Stay connected and be mindful of people’s time; respect boundaries and be flexible.
2. Don’t disappear.
Many companies seem to think the best (safest) communication during a crisis is no communication. One of the worst things to do right now is shut down. You don’t want to lose momentum by going dark. Your customers want to hear from you. They want information, reassurance, and inspiration. Here are eight ways your PR agency can assist you during COVID-19.
3. Listen carefully.
On the other hand, don’t do anything that people will perceive as tone-deaf or, worse, opportunistic. Now is the time to build trust – not sales. Be sure all communication from your company – PR materials, ad copy, social media posts, internal communications, etc. – is tactful and relevant. For example, global fast food titan KFC has halted its “finger lickin’ good” ads. No one wants to see people licking their fingers during a pandemic.
4. Plan for the future.
How will you know when the time is right to resume “regular programming”? When should a brand kick off a new campaign? At Axia Public Relations, we’re enacting integrated corporate social responsibility programs for major brands as well as planning programs to bring clients out of isolation in a meaningful way when the time comes.
This is a time for companies to build a strong foundation for long-lasting customer relationships. An experienced PR agency can help you stay visible to your target audience as well as provide coaching, management advice, and strategic guidelines for crisis communications. If your company is struggling with managing its crisis communications, download Axia’s “Managing Public Relations in a Crisis” e-book for expert advice.
Clients love Jason’s passion, candor and commitment as well as the team he has formed at Axia Public Relations. He’s advised some of America’s most admired brands, including American Airlines, Dave & Buster’s, Hilton, HP, Pizza Hut and Verizon. He is an Emmy Award-winning, accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author and entrepreneur and earned his certification in inbound marketing. He founded the PR firm in July 2002. Learn more about Jason.