By Rachel Peck
The disruption of industries across the world, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has made it clear that businesses and organizations need to clearly communicate with audiences and employees, renewing the importance of transparent, authentic communication. Beyond crisis communications and management, a good PR strategy will be more important than ever, as it will assist you in setting the groundwork for your future.
As many businesses are evaluating infrastructure and focusing on survival, it can be difficult to anticipate what your brand’s future might look like. PR is future-focused, which is why now is a good time to reevaluate your brand messaging and how you connect to your audience – keeping your brand’s story relevant. Good public relations doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Setting your business up for wins in the coming months is more important than trying to get visibility right now. While the future is uncertain, there are still plenty of opportunities to gain exposure through thought leadership articles, webinars, podcasts and other educational channels.
Right now, it’s difficult to cut through the content noise. This leaves space for only communicating that which is appropriate for your brand. PR assists in developing the right messaging needed for both internal and external communications, mediating any crisis and connecting to your audience and building trust. One of the misconceptions about PR is that it’s just like marketing. However, public relations has the advantage, in times of crisis, because it emphasizes showing versus telling and consumer-focused marketing. Audiences want to know how their favorite businesses and organizations are handling a crisis, the “wins” of your organization and the struggles. They are searching for brand authenticity and connection.
It’s important to not lose sight of the future and begin planning for the day when the tide shifts and the public begins to look for information other than crisis communications. When that day comes, you’ll want your business to be positioned to navigate the changes and offer insights and guidance.
There aren’t many industries that won’t be directly impacted by this global crisis. Your audience will, if they don’t already, have questions and a well-formulated PR plan can assist in your preparedness. PR will help you keep a finger on the pulse of your public, while planning for the appropriate time and measures to take when your brand is ready to reemerge.