How to overcome communication challenges with COVID-19
COVID-19 changes every day, so how and what do businesses communicate? Our consultants, advisors and client service professionals have been working around the clock to stay ahead of the news and information being produced each day to determine how it impacts our clients. We wanted to share a few thoughts for those small businesses who may have limited professional resources to utilize during this crisis.
We do want to stress that now is not the time to quit your marketing plan (if at all possible), it’s just the time to alter it. We’ve found that businesses are not able to bounce back as quickly after crises if they do not stay top-of-mind with their audiences.
COVID-19 tips for B2B, B2C and nonprofit organizations
As COVID-19 presents new challenges for businesses every day, we continue to monitor the situation and evaluate the impacts to each industry. Here are a few helpful tips for B2B, B2C and nonprofit organizations to communicate during these uncertain times:
- Narrow down your message to the one or two services that can help businesses during this time. For example, does your company offer a service for retailers or restaurants that they may need once they can reopen and the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided? If so, use that as a way to be helpful to your audience, while also showing you’re aware of the current situation.
- Switch from traditional advertising and tradeshows to more public relations, social media and search advertising. These are ways to reach your current or a potential new audience about your featured services.
- Keep your social media focused on that message or featured service. It’s critical to be sensitive to these times and not appear tone deaf on social media. Another way to keep your audience engaged is by sharing positive messages or sharing creative ways that your employees are coping.
- If you’re able to, offer an online special to keep customers engaged. Think of how your business can fill a need for people during these times, even if your brick and mortar location is temporarily closed. Perhaps you could begin to offer delivery specials or a temporary new service. We’ve seen companies designing face masks, boosting food delivery options or offering new online activities for kids.
- Take advantage of social media’s large audience. Boosted posts or social media ads can be a valuable tool to reach a new audience, especially at a time like this. A creative and engaging social media campaign can also be a great way to keep positivity going.
- Be flexible with your communications and reevaluate every day. This situation is so fluid, it takes constant attention to stay informed. Be sure to communicate with your audience on the state of your business and how you’re doing – believe it or not, they want to hear from you, especially your loyal customers.
- If you’re a critical nonprofit during this time (and most are), get aggressive with your donation efforts. Show the need you fill in the community and give people multiple ways to help, such as with monetary donations or items.
- Host virtual board meetings to keep the business on track and continue to report on the status. This will keep your board engaged and give them what they need to communicate your status and continue to be an ambassador for you in the community.
- Use social media and eblasts to keep in constant communication with your past donors and potential donors. Keep telling your story over and over again.
Employees are the backbone of the company
For any business, it’s critical to pay attention to your employees. They are the backbone of the company and will keep the business moving forward.
If your business needs help navigating through this crisis, please click here to reach HCP Associates. A professional will be available to help you navigate through how best to communicate and provide guidance regarding where to source the most current information from the official organizations at the local, state and federal levels.
We’re thinking of our friends, neighbors and business partners during this time. We hope you’re staying healthy and staying at home (if possible), and we look forward to coming out of this stronger together!