When crisis hits, put communications at the centre of your response

As an agency, we’ve always understood the power of connecting people through content.

Whether it’s press, social media, content marketing, crisis communications, speech writing or email newsletters, our focus always remains the same – and that is the audience it has to connect with or inspire action from.

The world is currently in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, with ever-increasing uncertainty and challenges facing many companies and brands.

And communications is right at the centre of this challenge.

Proving PR isn’t the ‘fluffy stuff’

Every company right now has a need to let their world know – whether that’s employees, customers, partners or suppliers – that they have things under control.

Just check your inbox over the last week and count how many messages you received from the people you bank with, buy from, use and trust?

Frustratingly, PR services can often be seen as the “fluffy stuff”, but times like this are when its true value becomes apparent to those who are serious about handling a crisis, managing its impacts and seeing it through.

It’s also a time when those companies and brands who have invested in PR for the long term are reaping the benefits of that investment, because they’ve already spent time and effort building trust with their team and their respective audiences. You can’t buy this, you have to earn it over the long-term.

I guess you’d expect me to say all that, but so often the PR industry is perceived as a ‘luxury’ and the first to face cuts when budgets are under review.

That’s not the case for the clients we’re proud to work alongside however, and we’ve worked more closely than ever with them over the past couple of weeks to manage and mitigate the risks that this pandemic brings.

And there’s no doubt this will continue to be the case in the weeks to come and beyond, so they’re ready to capitalise on the boom when this crisis has died down. And it will.

Don’t forget to keep connected

This is time to communicate more than ever. Over-communicate if you have to. The alternative is that you leave people unsure, unloved or unaware, and that can leave a lasting mark on you and your company.

The reality is now, more than ever, people need to feel connected whilst in their homes – and smart content, delivered through integrated communications can help.

It’s important to remember, a vast amount of the world’s population is looking for content to consume, to make them feel connected again, to feel reassured.

Isolation can be a lonely place, but the Internet is a wonderful platform for bringing people together, so use it as a chance to connect – or reconnect – to the audiences that most matter to you.

Comms professionals know that a crisis isn’t the time for hard sell on products or services. It’s about educating and entertaining or offering some much-needed advice and support to those who need it.

The world is crying out for useful content that not only helps them, but that takes away the negativity of the current climate too.

Right now, we’re helping our clients to mitigate the immediate need to tell their audiences what is happening following the pandemic and ongoing advice from the government and medical experts.

But we’re also finding ways to help them connect through content – to inspire, educate and entertain them. And that’s key in all this too.

By keeping conversation alive consistently you’ll better be able to maintain the trust and respect of your audiences through difficult times and the brighter days that are beyond – and that where opportunity and rewards will follow.

Gary Jenkins

Gary Jenkins

I’ve been a journalist and PR leader, working with high growth start-ups to complex multi-million-pound businesses for more than 20 years. My heart lies in landing brilliant international and national coverage for clients and helping take strategy through to delivery and seeing the results!

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