The outbreak of Covid-19 has disturbed the way in which companies do business, with many uncertainties around the future of small and established businesses and ultimately the economies of the world.
The South African government has implemented precautionary measures to try gain some sense of control over the spread and intensity of the virus across the country by imposing a nationwide shutdown. This means companies are putting a pause on their projects or are finding ways to work remotely.
During this period, it is crucial for companies to maintain their brand and to reassure their clients that there are contingency plans in place to ensure that this pandemic doesn’t completely throw them off the rails. It is at this point when your PR will come in handy.
This pandemic is difficult to navigate for companies, institutions and even government, now more than ever companies will be looking into their reserve funds to help them swim in an environment that would otherwise make them sink.
Budget cuts are inevitable at this time and most companies would think to cut out PR and marketing services to try contain costs but in actual fact, PR is pivotal in positioning your business especially during periods of uncertainty, emergency or crisis. It is essential to make use of PR in the most innovative way possible.
While it is necessary for companies and clients to prioritise their health and that of their employees, it is also very necessary to employ creative means to stay afloat. Vangile suggests that PR be approached in a creative way by utilising 5 key elements in digital PR:
- Digital marketing: Using marketing tools like Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation activities such as constant content update on your website and onsite SEO.
- Social media marketing: posting content to social media and boosting specific posts will help you create positive awareness to the targeted audience your business wants to reach.
- Digital media interviews: Ask your PR agency to schedule telephonic and Skype broadcast interviews (TV and radio) to reach more of your targeted market.
- Online media articles: During the 21 Days lockdown, digital media, in the form of online news portals and websites will have more readers, far more than print media, so it is important for companies to produce media releases, opinion pieces and analytics articles that can be published online during the outbreak.
- Social media engagements: In the age of instant messaging and conversations online, live updates and posts are vital for strengthening relations between companies and their potential clients. Video marketing is essential for engagements. CEOs should be encouraged to do Q and A’s with their social media audience, that way you strengthening the relationship between your company and the people who are interested in your company.
Media, as an essential service to the state is working overtime to inform and educate the public on the developments of the Covid-19 virus and this means there is space for breather content, that is to say, news related to other industries and subject matters. Putting your brand out there during this time will be a great move.