How to Build Your Communications Plan During the Pandemic

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Now that we are marking a sad one-year anniversary of the pandemic, a lot of businesses are trying to assess the impact of the global disaster and turning a hopeful eye to the future.

Does Your Small Business Have A Back-Up Plan? - Tweak Your Biz

One thing is for sure: When it comes to communications, having a weak plan is similar to having no plan at all. In other words, the past year felt like an ongoing crisis and business professionals should think along those lines going forward.

In my experience, most plans have essentially been “best-case scenarios” where you identify and outline everything you need to do – from launching a new product to introducing a new service or organizing an event. From now on, businesses should be more proactive and ensure that their plans emulate crisis plans. In fact, they should take the time to come up with all kinds of potentially dreadful scenarios and prepare for the worst. In other words, in addition to Plan A, all organizations should develop a backup strategy which will enable them to deal with unexpected circumstances or potential disruption. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry. These are the times we live in.

As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, there are so many unanswered questions about the new normal that it seems a bit silly to start plotting out best-case-scenarios for PR and marketing, as if it’s business as usual. We all know it’s not.

As I stated above, every plan needs Plan B. The goal is to be flexible enough to change your course of action should a need arise…and as quickly as possible. You may even have to develop Plan C or Plan D, just to be on the safe side and cover all your bases. While most things remain in a state of flux, you may have to quickly change venues, recalculate your budget or alter your top-level messaging if it doesn’t resonate with your audience. Anything can happen and you have to be prepared to shift gears.

Final thoughts:

Yes, there is palpable excitement right now and we started seeing some good signs on the pandemic and the economic front. That being said, we have ways to go and we are not going to return to normalcy in the foreseeable future. It will take some time to get back on track and restore normalcy. We have to be patient. Persistent. And do whatever it takes to alleviate unexpected challenges and overcome potential issues. Our communication strategies and planning should reflect that.

Ready to reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

3 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Let’s face it: 2020 caught even the most seasoned and well-established marketing professionals off guard. For obvious reasons…As you can imagine, advertising budgets have been slashed, sales have decreased dramatically, and the fight for brand loyalty has become so much more intense. Without a doubt, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses of all sizes to get creative, revamp their communication strategies and develop a new perspective on things. In addition, there is a need for brands to build a community of loyal fans who will be happy to spread the word and enable companies to forego pricey advertising strategies.

Let’s take a look at the major trends marketing pros should incorporate into their services this year and beyond:

  1. Putting More Emphasis on Brand Building Rather Than Advertising

When it comes to advertising, it still works. If done correctly of course…That being said, things have changed. While digital advertising and performance marketing have dominated marketing strategies worldwide, advertising spend plummeted at the beginning of the lockdown and, as a result, exposed some fundamental flaws in the system. Competition for clicks and impressions has been fierce for the last few years leading to skyrocketing customer acquisition costs. Besides, many brands no longer see the same results for their investment anymore. Don’t forget about millennial and Gen Z consumers…They tend to be so much more skeptical about standard marketing practices including paid advertising or influencer promotions. Today’s consumers are more focused on meaning and purpose from the brands they buy from – something that has only been accelerated by the global economic, social and health crisis inflicted by the global pandemic.

Trust, credibility and authenticity are more important now than ever before; long-term brand and reputation building have certainly become more impactful than expensive advertising. Let me assure you that the aforementioned trend is here to stay.

2. Embracing Brand Advocacy as a Powerful Marketing Tool

With reduced budgets and a strong need to build a loyal network of fans, the pandemic has led to the rise of “brand advocacy”, a popular form of modern marketing where happy customers recommend a brand they love and drive growth. In other words, savvy businesses that fully embrace this concept and cultivate relationships with every advocate, are more likely to get ahead this year. In other words, if your customers believe in your vision, understand your purpose and share stories about your brand with friends, family or colleagues, they will be instrumental in helping you expand your outreach, propel your business forward and achieve greater success.

Please keep in mind that it’s not only the customers who could serve as brand ambassadors. LinkedIn recently found that the employees of a company tend to have 10 times more followers than the company itself. While only about 2% of employees reshare their company’s social posts, these posts are responsible for 20% of overall engagement.

By the way, you don’t have to limit your brand advocacy initiative to customers or employees. You can also take into account business partners and influencers who could make a difference and help you become more visible to your ideal audiences.

3. Creating Brand Networks

It appears that this year we’ll see more and more brands going beyond building relationships with customers. Savvy business owners form relationships with suppliers, vendors, industry professionals, employees and others and find ways to capitalize on these relationships. They leverage their networks to drive organic word-of-mouth growth, generate new leads and even attract strong job candidates without spending a fortune on advertising. Not only do they focus on rewarding loyal customers, but also benefit tremendously from collaborating with other brands and even competitors. Long story short, the significance of brand networks cannot be overstated and we should definitely see more companies go down that road in 2021.

Ready to reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

Law Firm Marketing & PR in 2021

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

If you came out of 2020 without any lessons, you weren’t paying attention. Like those in many other industries, law firm marketing and PR professionals rolled up their sleeves and quickly reacted to the global pandemic, social unrest and a tumultuous election season. So what lessons can we take from 2020 into 2021. Please take a look at a few suggestions below and see how it is going to effect your business.

Keep your marketing campaign going and maintain your visibility, no matter what

While in-person networking and conferences have long been a staple of legal marketing and business development, the global pandemic has transformed the way legal professionals are doing business and staying visible with clients. Let’s face it: attorneys have to pivot and find new ways to maintain top-of-mind visibility, no matter how bad things are. It may take a while for the pandemic to fade away, therefore, legal pros should invest as much time as possible into thought leadership that involves blogging, by-lined articles, e-books, webinars and podcasting among other things.

Engage in social listening

Keep in mind that those who are actively engaged in social listening (i.e. using digital tools to understand public sentiment) are much better equipped to tweak, shift and adjust their messaging and respond to current events, whether that means pausing planned social media posts or postponing certain public announcements that may appear to be tone deaf. In other words, make sure you regularly keep track of online mentions of your brand, as well as general client sentiment to ensure your messaging is timely, relevant and appropriate (given the circumstances).

Launch your own podcast

I am sure that you are well aware that these days podcasting is a valuable strategy allowing you to build relationships, expand your network and increase visibility while creating compelling content, all from the comfort of your home. Let’s face it, when face-to-face meetings are out of question, asking someone to chat with you for your podcast is a phenomenal way to initiate professional relationships and in-depth conversations. By the way, if you are unwilling to launch your own podcast, you should definitely target them in your PR campaign. Keep in mind that podcasts continue to rise in popularity, with many traditional media outlets adding podcasts to their mix of media platforms. You may appear as a guest on smaller, newer or less well-known podcasts, then work your way up to those with bigger audiences.

Keep in mind that brand activism is her to stay

Law firms must be clear about their values and ensure they are walking their talk. If your firm has already addressed diversity issues, you are way ahead of the game. Let 2020 be a lesson that you can’t ignore this anymore. After all…silence is now considered a statement on its own.

I hope the aforementioned tips and insights will inspire you to adjust your marketing and PR strategies, upgrade your approach and propel your business forward, despite all the setbacks.

Ready to to start the year off on the right foot and reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

A Few Smart Ways to Improve Executive Communications in 2021

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Let’s face it: In addition to encouraging a strong work ethic, team work, and smart problem solving, today’s executives should make an effort to break out of their silos and engage with their teams. In fact, savvy executives should PURPOSEFULLY create opportunities for their employees to voice a candid opinion, make suggestions or express discontent about a particular issue. After all, who do you think may have the answers to some of the most crucial questions in the workplace?

I hope you will take the time to review a few suggestions below briefly explaining how business leaders should connect with their team members on a deeper level, establish impactful communication channels, and create a healthy, highly productive and successful work environment.

What is internal communication? – Dora in the Communications World

Put Knowledge, Hard Work and Creativity Over Hierarchy

Smart and savvy executives are well aware that the team member with the “right” answers may not work in the C-suite…or anywhere near it. In most cases, it’s usually those closest to the process or project that have all the critical details at their fingertips. Interestingly, these folks may not be invited to weekly status meetings or feel comfortable speaking up and sharing their thoughts – even if they are in the room. Pretty astonishing, isn’t it? If you think that’s the way it is in your organization, it’s time to change this unhealthy dynamic and put everyone on an equal footing.

Ideally, when executives pose questions to the entire team, the right person should provide her or his perspective, without any inhibitors and without feeling intimidated by a higher up. It means that breaking away from the hierarchy may result in increased transparency, better initiatives, and a deeper commitment from employees. In other words, every team member should be encouraged to speak up, share information and voice their point of view which may boost morale and significantly improve team productivity.

Consider Launching an Executive ‘Ask Me Anything (AMA) Channel

In my professional opinion, every executive should establish some sort of an open forum where she or he could field questions from employees. Recently I have read an article about an executive heading a fast-growing medium size company who implemented the aforementioned suggestion and was very impressed by the employees’ willingness to step out from behind the curtain of anonymity, go for hard-hitting questions and ask something they really wanted to know…not something they thought was politically correct at the moment.

Take the Time to Clearly Articulate Your Expectations

An executive who wants to see results, should invest an adequate amount of time and effort into outlining her or his expectations. Some communication experts maintain that setting expectations is key to effective communication. You certainly don’t have to respond to all messages coming your way. Well…you don’t really have the time, do you? What you can do is ask employees to bring some of the most urgent and critical issues to your attention and tag you in the channel. If and when you are tagged, you can jump in to help. You can also set a deadline for addressing employee questions. More likely than not, you will be pleased to find out that their inquiries may be very well thought-out, so in order to thoroughly answer the questions, you need to let them know that a complete response will arrive in 72 hours or so.

Encourage Transparency

Contrary to popular belief, workplace conflict may not necessarily be a bad thing…if handled the right way of course. Disagreements and debates may be a sign that employees have the confidence to express their point of view and speak up their minds without fear of being penalized. That can be accomplished when executives put a lot of emphasis on building trust among their team members.

When an executive communicates via direct messages or through various channels, it legitimizes the form of communication and signals to employees that they don’t necessarily need to request a formal meeting to ask questions. The more emphasis executives place on open communication, the greater the trust they will build with employees.

Create ‘Employee Personas

Creating personas for employees is common practice in marketing and Public Relations, but should be part of every internal communication toolbox. Here is why. By creating personas, you begin to understand who your employees are. What do they value the most? How do they contribute to the success of the organization? How do they receive information? And what type of content they have access to? Keep in mind that personas should be created for all levels of employees and across different departments.

Results Matter

When you spend a great deal of time and effort learning what your employees want and need from their leaders, you should take the time to measure and evaluate results. It is crucial that you measure the success of your strategy and find out if you are achieving your goals. If your communication channels allow you to evaluate engagement, analyze the data and see if more employees are reacting to your content. In case you can’t see open / watch rates, I suggest you conduct pulse surveys to understand if your team members have really noticed the change in leadership communication and if the messages are truly making an impact. You may also ask frontline managers if they feel the effect of frequent and intentional communication from leaders.

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, the global pandemic has changed the world we are living in, creating a great deal of stress and anxiety for so many people. Therefore, in my opinion, 2020 should be defined by the word “humanity”- it’s power, its fragility, its impact. Leaders, executives and communication professionals should step up their game and explore the behavioral sciences (i.e. psychology, sociology, behavioral economics, etc.) to ensure their actions, strategies, decisions and messages remain as humane as possible in 2021 and beyond.

Ready to to start the year off on the right foot and reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

A Few Old-School Workplace Strengths That Are Now Weaknesses

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

As the pandemic continues wreaking havoc across the nation and around the world, many executives started to question their existing leadership style and come up with new ways of motivating their workforce. In fact, they may have to embrace a whole new way of leading, inspiring and incentivizing employees which is no easy feat, but is worth the effort.

As you know, due to Covid-19 our familiar world crumbles all around us. Furthermore, new technologies snap up some of the tasks humans have always done. What it means is that we all need to reinvent ourselves and try to build a whole new set of skills to survive and thrive in the professional world. It applies to leaders and employees alike.

Let’s face it: The new world we are living in has flipped so many things upside down. Interestingly, the skills and mindsets that were once valued have actually become liabilities.

Now take a look at some of the skills and attitudes that need to be altered or upgraded in a new reality.

Workplace Orientation: What Does it Mean and its Purpose

A hard-driving “Type-A” work style

Back in the day, Type-A personalities used to thrive in leadership roles. The goals and desirable outcomes were clearly defined and articulated. Tough leaders were pressuring everyone (and themselves) to work hard to achieve results. However, in a global economy rife with uncertainty and unpredictability, nothing is clear. Instead of fully focusing on results, leaders should slow down and encourage employee engagement. Now it is more about team work, collaboration and working together to find solutions.

Quick decisions and efficiency

In the past, being able to make decisions and quickly enforce them was considered a strength. Not anymore. Savvy leaders should take the time to engage with team members, build rapport and listen with an open mind. They realize that the kinds of high-level conversations that are needed take time to unfold. In fact, innovation and exploring new ways of doing things is a process where the answers change as you learn, grow and achieve progress.

A winner-takes-all mindset

When most organizations were utilizing a hierarchical structure, many employees were competing for the boss’s favor. Some leaders would encourage internal competition for obvious reasons: it drove individuals to compete against each other and potentially bring out the best in each other. It was a survival-of-the-fittest environment, pitting folks against each other and expecting bigger, better and more impressive results. In the digital age, collaboration is so much more important and usually leads to improved performance. High-functioning teams usually outperform individuals. Therefore, today’s leaders need to create environments that result in caring, trusting and cohesive teams where employees are naturally motivated to work together and support each other.

An all-business mentality

Back in the day, emotions were unnecessary. Employers expected employees to leave their personal issues, troubles or concerns at the door and fully focus on work. Today the opposite is true. Smart leaders should value emotions; they need to show each employee that they see and value them as unique human beings. Positive emotions are at the heart of learning, connecting and creating. Together! They are the building blocks of trusting professional relationships. It shouldn’t always be about business and the bottom-line. Not at all times. Our unique attributes are highly dependent on our emotional capabilities.

Final thoughts:

As I pointed out above, becoming a better learner and embracing new skills, strategies and leadership styles isn’t easy. But it’s doable. It’s all about “unlearning” certain skills and behaviors that no longer serve us and creating workplaces where people can thrive, grow, safely express themselves and become their best selves. As you can see, it is worth the effort!

Ready to to start the year off on the right foot and reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

PR and Communication Trends for 2021

by Angela Kambarian, Founder of Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Let’s face it: 2020 has been a year like no other. Who would argue with that? 🙂 Even the Oxford English Dictionary is at a loss for words to describe it. We all know why… 2020 is the year of COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, civil unrest, climate disasters…not to mention a highly divisive and tumultuous presidential contest.

Some business professionals are wondering if there is a better way to adjust their communication efforts to stay relevant, reinforce relationships with their clients or customers, and move forward with confidence. Despite all the setbacks….

So here are a few critical observations on what we can expect in 2021.

5 new trends that will shake up the PR world in 2021 | PR | Features | MN2S

Keep in mind that communicating a few message points may no longer be enough

Now that we are beset with deep divisions over culture and politics, PR must clearly communicate values, not just message points. Therefore, there is continued pressure on brands to align their marketing and communications with corporate principles. 2020 is a year of “norm-shattering” and the loss of trust in institutions means that businesses should invest more time, thinking and effort into expressing brand and corporate values – now more than ever before.

Start paying more attention to new social platforms

It goes without saying that the pace of social influencer growth has accelerated; on YouTube it took up to 14 years for a single channel to reach 100 million subscribers. Yet social media usage rose sharply during the lockdown. I have no doubt in my mind that the trend will continue, and by this time next year, fresh names will hit new milestones. Remember: brands that catch rising stars as new audiences emerge, will benefit significantly.

Find new ways to connect with your audience on a deeper level

As you may already know, today’s brands are expected to do more than put out blatant sales pitches. They are expected to forge and maintain a personal connection with their target markets and keep in mind who the customers are – their likes, dislikes, thoughts, needs and desires, and constantly tweak and adjust their approach based on that. In other words, the content companies put out should be more about the customer, rather than the organization and its leadership.

Innovation rules the world

When it comes to innovation, big ideas that drive media attention, engage clients and customers, motivate employees, and extend marketing budgets will be more impactful than ever in a fractured and fragmented attention economy. So it’s high time to get your creative juices flowing and engage in some serious brainstorming.

Bland generic messaging is a thing of the past

If there is anything the Covid crisis has taught us, it’s that the days of monotonous and generic messaging are gone. Personalization is what impacts brand awareness, brand loyalty and lead generation and is so crucial for marketing and PR .

Invest more time, effort and thought into thought leadership

Now more than ever folks are craving for genuine and trustworthy content that offers value and provides some insights about the future. These thought leadership materials can take the form of brand-relevant eBooks, white papers, well-researched blog posts and educational articles, among other things.

Reveal your intentions and unveil your plans for the future

Your clients or customers are probably wondering what your plans are for the future and how you intend to move forward. Why not draft a letter from your CEO answering these questions and outlining your course of action and explaining how it is going to influence both business and client? This is a straightforward strategy to establish a deeper connection with your audience, bringing your prospects and clients into the business fold and initiating them into your activities. Interestingly, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson wrote an open letter to his employees which is a great example of leadership and understanding to “steer the ship” in a time of uncertainty.

Tweak and adjust upcoming PR campaigns

When it comes to PR in the Covid-19 era, it is essential that you adjust your communication materials to suit the prevailing trends and sentiments. Many experts predict that the virus will stick around for a while, so if you can salvage upcoming marketing or PR campaigns instead of abandoning them, now would be a great time to start adapting the messaging. By the way, Nike’s recent campaign encouraged athletes and fitness enthusiasts to share how they were keeping active at home during the lockdown. Not only did this campaign align with Nicke’s brand identity, it also provided inspiration and hope while urging people to stay at home and stay safe.

Sometimes adaptation can be as simple as changing a few words or tweaking a few sentences while other campaigns are in need of design tweaks or substantial reworks.

Final thoughts

The virus is still out there and sadly, the chaos continues to unfold all across the country and all across the world. We are in uncharted territory and some tried-and-trusted methods of brand communications are no longer relevant. There is a fine line between sensitivity and trying to generate the sales needed to keep a business afloat. We are here to help you navigate through uncertain times with a reframed mindset and come out on top.

If you are ready to start planning your PR for 2021, please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and discuss your needs, goals and aspirations. Looking forward to speaking with you!

A Few Smart Ways to Strengthen Your Reputation During Tough Times

by Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Let’s face it: The way companies and brands are navigating the Covid-19 crisis varies greatly. That said, there are a couple of commonalities emerging among those organizations that are raising the bar higher and setting a good example for others to follow.

At a time when employee activism continues to heat up, the epicenter of response is employees. Some companies are successfully navigating both business and reputation challenges of the pandemic crisis. They are taking all the necessary steps to comfort, support and inspire their people and make sure they remain safe, well and healthy. After all, employees are the lifeblood of every organization.

As the health crisis continues to evolve, engaging and motivating employees should always remain a priority. The coronavirus pandemic has shown employees the power their voice has in transforming the workplace. In addition, due to the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on people of color, the focus on Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace will inevitably become more prevalent than ever before and broaden significantly. Companies that are NOT aware of it, may end up losing ground and falling behind.

Interestingly, entire industries are being carefully scrutinized for doing “a little too late” to ensure the well-being of their workers. The price to pay is stiff; and so many reputations have been damaged dramatically. As you can imagine, damaged reputation may eventually result in a loss of customer loyalty and decreased revenues. In other words, we are living at a time when the way businesses are treating employees is the single most crucial driver of reputation.

Some studies suggest that when consumers were urged to rank actions affecting their decision to purchase products from a particular company, at least 90% maintained that taking care of their employees and treating them well, even in challenging times, was very important.

Furthermore, businesses are uncovering the true power of social responsibility and address the needs of the most vulnerable including healthcare workers, those who are ill and their families, small business owners and the unemployed. According to studies, up to 72% of consumers report that it is incumbent on organizations to provide aid during the COVID-19 pandemic. It goes without saying that acting out of haste, just to impress the public, may not help at all. The best way to go is to develop a thoughtful, strategic approach that ensures their actions are aligned with their culture, purpose and values. That approach should include a clear definition of the problem at hand (i.e. loneliness, anxiety, despair, personal safety, job security, etc.) and enthusiasm that comes from helping others (as opposed to seeking recognition or positive media coverage). It is also important to plan ahead for potential risks that may arise at some point in the future.

Some businesses are showing their humanity by going beyond their economic interest and forming partnerships. Like Google and Apple hiring each other’s employees. Like Aldi and McDonald’s repurposing their plants. Like Walmart assisting with drive-through testing. Like BMS providing free medicine to those who have lost their jobs. In fact, there are three key pillars that brands need to incorporate into their marketing campaigns in this new environment – culture, purpose and risk. These should be the lens through which all marketing initiatives and campaigns should be viewed, evaluated and judged.

If you are ready to take your business to the next level and need Public Relations, social media or copywriting services to boost your earnings, please call (516) 724-4372 or visit http://www.kambarian.com today. Looking forward to connecting and contributing to your success!

How to Manage Employee Relations During Covid-19

by Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

It’s hard to believe that the fourth quarter is upon us, and we are still in the grip of the global pandemic that, sadly, shows no signs of slowing down. In these uncertain and unprecedented times, every company (no matter the size) has a challenging task of figuring out the best and most effective way to function and grow. Moreover, promoting employee safety and health is no easy feat. That’s why it’s important you place more value on employee communications and put it high on your priority list.

Keep in mind that failure to communicate, educate, engage and inspire your team could come at a high cost and may eventually result in a loss of trust in leadership, potential rumors, or a decline in productivity. No business owner or corporate executive wants to see this happen and should do everything in her/his power to prevent the aforementioned undesirable outcome.

Here are a few simple yet crucial tips on how to communicate with your employees during the pandemic and come out on top despite all the setbacks and challenges facing most businesses.

Employee Relations - Human Resources - Baruch College - The City University  of New York (CUNY)

Make sure your communications are prompt, timely and frequent. As you can imagine, silence usually breeds anxiety. Even if you don’t have anything major to say and no substantial news to report, be sure to regularly stay in touch with your employees. Your job is to ensure that each and every individual on your team feels valued, connected and informed. This way, you can prevent any misinformation or misunderstanding from spreading through the company.

Create a COVID-19 resource page. During the pandemic, all communication should be centralized. Therefore, it is important that you share much needed resources with your employees on the company intranet. If possible, try to assemble a COVID-19 team to field questions and provide information. I suggest you publish bulletins and list and explain all the measures and initiatives you are taking to protect your team. In addition, every employees should have instant access to the COVID-19 team and their contact details, and should be able to obtain counseling at any time (if necessary).

Keep abreast of all the local, state and federal laws and current events. As you already know, education is an ongoing process. Especially during the global pandemic. You should regularly educate yourself on pandemic-related news and crucial government initiatives and accurately communicate your insights to your employees. Knowledge is your most potent weapon during uncertain times. Everyone on your team should be fully aware of what is going on and how things are unfolding in the pandemic-stricken world.

Keep your messages short and to the point. When it comes to communicating in a stressful environment, it’s the simple and “easily repeatable” mantras that can help you reinforce your messages, such as “Stay home, if sick”, “Always wear a mask”, “Wash your hands” or “Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze”. Don’t get carried away and don’t get too eloquent with your team members. Just make sure your communications are concise, helpful and easily actionable.

Be available and show genuine compassion. If your company can offer any employee assistance plans, such as mental health hotlines or counseling resources, make sure all these resources are known and available to your employees. I think you should also be aware that some employees may have special circumstances and may be in need of extra assistance, resources or support. During tough times, everyone should be taken care of and no one should be left out.

Show appreciation. As you know, employees (especially good, hard working and dedicated employees) should never be taken for granted. After all, your business is as good as the people working for it. What it means is that you should consistently acknowledge that your team members are experiencing stress, anxiety or emotional turmoil. No matter how busy you are…Always find the time to express your gratitude for their input and their efforts to help the company continue operations. That’s one of the best ways to improve employee productivity and satisfaction and grow your business.

Unlock the value of employee feedback. With the rise of employee anxiety over Coronavirus, many labor and employment attorneys are anticipating drastic increase in whistleblower litigation. Companies should be aware that employees may potentially express discontent about alleged safety and health violations. This is another reason to create and implement a channel of employee communication that allows team members to report alleged violations. This can be done through an online portal, a hotline. or a separate email address fully focused on these types of complaints. What’s important is that in addition to mitigating potential litigation risks, it’s a great way to pinpoint and remedy the existing flaws in your approach to taking care of your people. Again, the significance of promoting the well-being, health and safety of employees cannot be emphasized enough and should always remain high on your list of priorities. .

If you are ready to take your business to the next level and need Public Relations, social media or copywriting services to boost your earnings, please call (516) 724-4372 or visit http://www.kambarian.com today. Looking forward to connecting and contributing to your success!

5 Ways Covid-19 is Changing Media Relations

by Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Let’s face it: Due to Covid-19, things have changed dramatically over the last few months. While remote work and social distancing are on the rise, many business professionals are wondering how the “new normal” is going to influence media relations.

Successfully navigating the rapidly-changing media landscape is no easy feat. What’s more, in the pandemic era, PR professionals are not only facing the challenge of telling their clients’ stories in a compelling way, but also conveying their messages at a time when most media outlets are furloughing, laying off or shutting down for good.

In the midst of all this, the media landscape continues to evolve. So here are some of the biggest trends and changes every marketing-savvy business professional should be aware of, in order to adjust their approach and move forward.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Social Media Marketing | Socialbakers |  Socialbakers

1.Long articles may be “dead”. At least for now…

As you know, these days the news is changing at breakneck speed; journalists are no longer investing a great deal of time on long articles. If they don’t publish the story fast enough, more likely than not the news will be totally different the following day. With hot topics, PR professionals should connect with clients at the beginning of the week to understand how flexible their days are and the best way to reach them.

2. Newsletters are on the rise

Covid-19 may be impacting ad sales, however, subscription newsletters are a whole different story. Interestingly, many reporters are leaving newsrooms for newsletters creating their own “mini-media empires”. In fact, there is a growing number of writers gravitating to Substack and other newsletter platforms – a trend that has rapidly accelerated as the coronavirus recession continues to wreak havoc on the news industry. So, in the grand scheme of things, does this affect the media? Yes, it does! Newsletters allow for either reaching a more targeted audience or amplification. Either way, it’s a win-win formula for media relations professionals.

3.Nationwide coverage has become a reality for many businesses

Prior to the pandemic, chances of regular national TV appearances were slim to none (unless you are headquartered in a major media market). Producers and hosts wanted guests in-studio, as much as possible. That was the fact of life not long ago. Now, most interviews are remote allowing for companies from all over the U.S. to have an equal chance at being on shows.

4.Provide your own photos or videos

It’s important to keep in mind that high quality images or b-rolls are crucial for reporters and producers. It used to be easy for them to acquire their own photos, but now many media outlets are reluctant to put their employees at risk. Therefore, journalists are more likely to accept images directly from their interview sources, as long as they are high quality and strike tone during Covid-19. Of course some outlets might still send out a photographer, but you need to be a partner on keeping everyone involved safe.

5. Follow-up phone calls matter. Still…

Some media relations folks maintain that phone pitching to reporters is dead. Really?? While some journalists prefer an email, many others appreciate a follow up call. That being said, most journalists are working from home right now and will continue to work remotely for the indefinite future. It means there is no office line. Of course some of them may have that line forwarded, but that can’t be counted on. In any event, you increase your chances of success by using a phone as a potent tool to connect, follow up and build solid relationships with reporters.

By the way, how have YOU seen the media landscape shifting since the beginning of COVID-19? Feel free to share your thoughts with me.

If you are ready to boost your Public Relations, marketing and social media efforts, please visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today! Looking forward to helping you grow.

Your New Crisis Playbook in the Era of Covid-19

by Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Let’s face it: Given the circumstances, the old crisis communications playbook is dead. Simple as that…

As Covid-19 continues to ravage the world, many well-established and proven practices are no longer sufficient to manage communications. Without a doubt, transparency, empathy and honesty are still highly important and lie at the core of every crisis communications campaign. That being said, coronavirus has changed dramatically the way we do things. Therefore, it is essential that we embrace new benchmarks, standards and guidelines and adjust to the “new normal” ( excuse the cliche).

These are just some of the considerations to keep in mind during the global pandemic:

Addressing Mental Health

Every business leader should realize that the mental health of employees and clients should come first. It goes without saying that so many people are terrified at the prospect of losing their jobs, contracting the disease or enduring financial problems as a result of the coronavirus spread. Of course there are so many other stressors severely impacting the public’s mental health during challenging times.

It means that being a savvy business professional is no longer enough. Not anymore…You have to become an effective communicator and place mental well-being at the center of your communication efforts. Otherwise, as you may already know, your message may fall on deaf ears or make matters worse for people who are already scared.

Public Relations, for example, may have to engage psychologists and other trained mental health professionals to develop strategies that fully focus on anxiety and stress among various target audiences. It’s important to ensure that as a business leader, you take all the necessary steps to make a difference and provide comfort and direction during this unfathomable crisis. In fact, this should become one of your priorities.

If Cash is King, Information is Gold

Keep in mind that immediate access to timely and accurate information is crucial during these challenging times. Sadly, it’s hard to find. Many businesses are drowning in data but lack the most essential tools or platforms to obtain information or act on it.

Of course there is another problem in our politically-charged and divisive media environment. All the mixed messages, disinformation on social media and lack of clear direction from our government have proven to be detrimental at a time of crisis.

Never before have organizations needed a reliable source of truth to make real-time decisions about how to respond to a crisis of this magnitude. This includes having access to infectious disease doctors, business-continuity experts and economists to help track, evaluate and predict the evolution of Covid-19 and its impact.

Leaders Must Lead

The time to demonstrate your leadership is now.  I know, I know….Another cliche 🙂 But it’s very pertinent to the topic at hand. Now, more than ever, we need strong business leaders to manage through the crisis, the economic downturn, and the path to recovery. By the way, there is one very important point to keep in mind: Leadership is no longer reserved for the C-suite. It must also come from managers, rank-and-file employees, and, communicators. All these people have an impact on how your company interacts with employees and customers who may be stressed, discouraged or anxious or perhaps looking for something/someone to comfort them. You need to take the time to understand how people are feeling, what they are going through and what they are thinking.

While there are no established experts in communicating during Covid-19, we are learning daily. But one thing is for sure, the role of crisis communications and the playbook we follow HAS to be rewritten. There is no way around it.

If you are ready to boost your Public Relations, marketing and social media efforts, please visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today! Looking forward to helping you grow.