• juliannixon

COVID communication tips

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

In these uncertain times, companies can navigate unchartered territory with the timely delivery of genuine stories that resonate with audiences.

Every company has a unique story to tell and being clear about what differentiates you from others will give customers and clients good reasons to cut through the clutter and choose your products and services.

But as COVID restrictions are lifted in New Zealand, company boards and managers still find themselves not knowing exactly what to do.

For some organisations, the immediate crisis is business redemption. A few businesses have already been forced to close. Others have enjoyed demand for their goods and services during the lockdown and are in a strong financial position.

Whatever the situation, ask yourself:

. Are you providing value to the people you want to impact in the reshaped business landscape?

. Where have you come from and where are you going?

. What are your values and is there a deeper purpose behind what you do?

. Have you considered diversity, social impact and the environment in your business and communications strategies?

The answers to these questions will give you insights into how to create a communications campaign that informs, educates and influences your target audience.

In the new post-COVID reality, doing good is good for business and communications need to be agile and bespoke with clear links to your company’s activities.

The best stories in the news right now are the uplifting ones such as the white man rescued by the Black Lives Matter protestor in the United States and how ethical business practices helped the Chia Sisters of New Zealand become profitable.

News audiences are high with COVID, upcoming elections and the situation in Hong Kong all grabbing attention. Against this backdrop, now is the time for companies to adjust and adapt to an operating environment in which audience priorities and expectations have shifted.

Your value proposition and key messages must resonate with these new priorities and for many companies the most influential communication channels are online rather than traditional media.

The move online has been accelerated by the COVID epidemic as people work from home and practice social distancing.

On the internet, in a competitive market, brands must be connected with businesses and it is important to track the effectiveness of public relations to test audience reaction to what you are saying. You can learn from what works and what doesn’t.

Other initiatives to consider include using influencers to spread the good word on behalf of a company and personalised email communications to increase the chances of building customer loyalty. Videos are becoming increasingly vital for brand messaging.

It is also important for companies to look inward as well as outward by telling real stories that will help to build team morale.

What genuine story can you tell?

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