Jennifer Risi 02 Apr 2020 // 8:41AM GMT
In these unprecedented times, strong communications must be top priority for all brands, as, seemingly overnight, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken over the global news media and has captured the world’s attention with a laser focus unlike any of us have ever seen.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to consume the world, brands that have taken swift action, pivoted, and have communicated with a clear purpose and simple message are already seeing a positive response.
But while many brands have stepped up, others are struggling with what to do and, dare I say, some are even acting like its “business as usual”.
History has proven that through times of crisis, people come together and unite. People often look to the brands they are most loyal to for support and comfort — and often watch to see how they will act during challenging times.
As the world reacts to the Covid-19 pandemic, the power of partnership has never been more important. And, as our everyday understanding of this new normal continues to evolve, we must continue to come together on behalf of our clients — breaking down barriers and collaborating in their best interest to solve some of the biggest challenges they have ever faced.
Our team has been collaborating and doing all that we can to support our clients over the recent weeks. Whether we are working with multiple agency partners to share the impact of Covid-19 on the future of travel and tourism or partnering to share new Covid-19 applications and technologies to increase testing capacity or even sharing fun programming that will enable people to escape the current madness for just a few hours, we are working to do our part.
As we continue to navigate these uncertain times, here are some important tips for brands to remember:
1. Double Down On Your Communications Efforts: Brands should not take a pause right now but rather should use their reach to create substantive programs that will make an impact and help the greater good. This is a moment to show the world who you really are.
2. Remember Who You Are: Everything a brand does today should reflect their core values. Every action. Every message. Now is the time for brands to reconnect with their “purpose” and strengthen relationships with consumers and stakeholders while also establishing new ones.
3. Be Focused: Brands must be disciplined in their communications. At times like these, you cannot be all things to all people. Focus on substance and do fewer things better. Always be authentic. Don’t over communicate. And, keep an eye on the long term.
4. Speed Matters: The world is moving at lightning speed with new developments unfolding by the minute. Don’t overthink things (or over plan) but rather, take the first step and the rest will follow. Also, speed is critical when communicating with stakeholders.
5. Collaboration at All Costs: Brands need their communications partners now more than ever. It is important to work across agency lines and serve as extensions of your clients’ internal teams in order to meet their challenges. Over the past couple of weeks, I have seen unprecedented collaborations and innovation emerging from brands who are acting swiftly.
As we rise to meet the demand of our current reality, I call upon all of us in the industry to do whatever is needed to support to our clients. That might mean partnering with another agency or adding outside expertise to your existing client teams.
We have never experienced anything like the times we are living in right now — as an industry and as a society. During times like this, brands will remember what you did and people will remember how you made them feel. And, as the world comes together to build a more resilient community, our work must also resemble what people want to see: memorable, relevant moments of collaboration, support and humanity.