The past few months have thrown companies many a curveball as the effects of COVID-19 reverberate with operational, economic and psychological impacts. While seemingly chaotic at first, the next phase required putting a new order into sustainably maintaining business operations. Fortunately many companies were able to quickly shift into work-from-home scenarios and – while far from perfect – enable their workforces to continue delivering work effectively.
From a PR perspective, it has been a universal crisis requiring careful next steps. During times like these, maintaining a proactive voice in the market can play a critical and stabilizing role in the company’s ability to maintain market leadership with relevant, evolving messages. Following are some best practices that have helped companies sustain positive PR momentum during crises like COVID-19, whether for the short or long haul.
- Stay Connected – While it can feel like a game of “Whack-a-Mole” during the early stages of a crisis, it is important to maintain regular connection among the PR team’s members. Whether establishing a weekly check-in Zoom meeting or a Google doc that tracks key program activities and outputs, having tangible, predictable ways to track progress can go a long way in helping maintain a productive direction during times of uncertainty.
- Offer Thought Leadership – Keep a pulse on shifting client perspectives and news coverage related to your company’s industry. This will help identify new angles for thought leadership content that can be leveraged for media interview and byline opportunities. This proactive approach enables companies to stay relevant and show that they continue to understand the needs of their particular market.
- Promote New Use Cases or Product Updates – If your product or solution has timely value during the crisis, e.g., helps drive cost savings or other major benefits, use this time to update messaging and pivot into new go-to-market opportunities. With the right PR support, announcing updated offerings that address customers’ quickly-shifting needs can be an effective strategy for strengthening market traction.