by Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, we might be potentially facing a grim economic outlook. With unemployment rising, travel at a standstill and stock markets in freefall, there has been plenty of discouraging news for reporters to cover.
As business owners are struggling to pivot in the face of coronavirus pandemic, there are a few smart ways to upgrade your communications and get the message across to your audience. The right way!
1. Be judicious in how you tell your story
These are challenging and uncertain times, therefore, it is imperative that you figure out how to adapt and tell your story – and evaluate whether this is the right time to be telling it all.
Interestingly, there is no shortage of cringeworthy pitches forwarded to reporters from some PR professionals. Please be sure that before you hit “send” on any marketing emails or media pitches that reference Covid-19, think about whether you come across as someone who is trying to profit from this unprecedented tragedy. In other words, it is better to err on the side of caution. If you are not sure whether you are capitalizing on someone’s misfortune, you probably are.
2. Familiarize yourself with the news cycle
As our daily lives are uprooted and upended, media coverage has changed from writing about the outbreak itself to what this means for every aspect of life. The news cycle tends to adhere to a pattern of covering the breaking news on day one, with following days exploring the issue and its consequences. When it comes to Covid-19, there have been a lot of follow-up stories about the consequences of Facebook blocking links with crucial coronavirus information, the rise of online shopping and online delivery and a wide variety of mental health issues arising among people who quarantine at home.
Simply put, if your news doesn’t fit in the first wave of coverage, you might be able to provide your solution or insights with a follow-up piece.
3. Keep in mind that resources are scarce
As you can imagine, news outlets worldwide have been swamped with stories focusing on coronavirus. This has meant that in some cases, reporter beats have shifted. For example, sports journalists are now being moved to general news desks to cover Covid-19 now that no major sporting events are taking place. Your job is to figure out whether your story has an intriguing angle to it. Industry publications are still prioritizing the pandemic angle, but are still very much covering their beats more than general news sites and dailies.
It’s also important to remember that media relations is not synonymous with Public Relations. Media coverage is just one tactic from a wide array of initiatives that a seasoned PR firm can offer. With many brands becoming publishers in their own right, businesses can start to amass a solid and engaged following by developing compelling content across owned and social channels.
4. Focus on the basics
If you are cutting down on announcing or organizing any major initiative or event, there is no need to become entirely dormant.
Despite all the challenges, make sure your messages still stack up. If not, take as much time as you need to revise, enhance and revamp your marketing materials and brand positioning. Have you always had to scramble for content to post on your blog or social media channels? Now might be a great time to create the content that can be posted on a regular basis.
5. Think long-term
Always keep in mind that companies, including businesses like yours, are here for the long-haul. Therefore, it comes as no surprise, that building a brand’s visibility, thought leadership, market competitiveness and reputation requires dedication and perseverance.
Some VC firms maintain that startup valuations may come down, fundraising could drop and burn rates will be carefully scrutinized. While many businesses have been impacted, history has shown that some of the most prominent and successful brands have started during tough times. Think Airbnb, Dropbox, Square and many others. In fact, I have no doubt in my mind that we will some amazing innovations emerge this year, from automation to cyber security, to digital health, etc.
Long story short, now might be as good of a time as any to build and enhance your brand’s story. So don’t waste your time and get down to work. Good luck with your endeavors!
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.