As we approach the end of the second month of our new coronavirus-driven reality, it’s crucial for companies to review their communication strategy if they haven’t already. During times of uncertainty, the right messaging can have a major impact on how your company is perceived. In order to handle this situation in the best way, it’s a good idea to work with a PR firm.
Public relations firms are a valuable asset during times of crisis. With their strong ties to the media, the ability to quickly adapt to a new situation, and proven experience in brand positioning, there are several ways a PR firm can successfully help your company during the pandemic.
Media coverage for a current initiative
The current reality revolves around coronavirus, and so does the news cycle. Rather than ignore that fact and continue reaching out to the media with unrelated stories that aren’t sensitive to the situation, it’s important to work with a PR firm to determine how your brand can responsibly contribute to the conversation.
If your business has made a major pivot during this time, the media will want to hear about it. For example, several companies have either paused or scaled their regular production in order to use their resources to produce virus-related products like face masks or ventilators. Others have committed to donating all of their profits from a certain product to the community or a coronavirus-related fund. If your business has adapted to the situation in a similar way, or has the ability to, there’s an opportunity to get media coverage around your initiative.
Tweak your messaging
The coronavirus situation is fluid. It’s unlike anything we’ve faced before, and there seems to be something new communicated to us about the virus every day. No one is quite sure what the future holds, so it’s crucial to take things day by day. The way this translates into business is by making sure you’re keeping customers regularly updated on the status of your company and its initiatives. The frequency of your company’s communication with customers and clients depends on the industry, but no matter what line of business you’re in, it’s crucial to tailor your messaging to the new reality. There’s no sense in ignoring the situation; it’s impacting all of us in some way so it’s important that your messaging reflects that.
One of the many things PR professionals are skilled at is crisis communications, so it only makes sense to work with a PR firm during this time. A good PR firm can help develop or tweak your company’s messaging or overall communication strategy to align with the current crisis and keep customers aware of the situation.
Position you as an expert
Another way to approach the media during this time is with valuable information that can inform or educate their readers. This is known as thought leadership. If you have a consulting business or are a healthcare professional, for example, then you could potentially share your expertise with the media and their audience.
There are a couple ways to impart thought leadership to the media, whether it’s through a contributed piece or by being quoted in an article. The first step is to work with a PR firm to determine how your expert advice can best be applied to the situation and what your messaging or story angle will be. Your PR team will then pitch your expertise to the media and can potentially land coverage that not only positions your business as a credible leader in the space, but can be valuable information that people need to hear right now.
Produce marketing content
With the entire world coming to a halt, business has seen a drastic downturn. While every company is facing unique challenges at this time, marketing may or may not be top of mind. But if there’s room in the budget and time to review your current marketing strategy, then now is the time to ramp up marketing efforts, especially as a B2B company.
Despite the long held view that PR firms solely offer media relations services, many have now integrated digital and content marketing strategies into their overall communication offerings. These days, PR and marketing go hand in hand. The best communication strategies include a balanced amount of earned and owned media, so it’s best to work with a PR firm that can help with both. Whether you want to increase digital marketing efforts to strengthen your online presence, or produce informative content that drives people to your business, working with a PR firm will prove to be a valuable partnership.