03.20.2020

Is It OK to Market Through Coronavirus?

If done right…the answer is yes. Here’s how to navigate PR and marketing when times – and markets – are tough.

As I write this, I’m working from home in one room as my husband works in another, and my kids connect with their teachers via Google Classroom. Sound familiar? Welcome to the new normal. In times like these – with markets down, production cycles backed up, events cancelled, and no toilet paper to be found for miles – many clients ask us: is it a mistake to market my business right now? Actually, now might be one of the most important times to have a strong communications strategy in place, whether it’s to reassure that your business is stable, or to quickly find new opportunities to stabilize and grow. But it’s also one of the easiest times to get marketing wrong…which could have the opposite effect. Here’s how to get it right.

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DO: Make sure your media pitches are relevant. We are seeing requests from the media shift to resources that will help audiences settle into a new, socially-distanced reality. Board games, educational toys, and apps are in high demand as families face school closures. So are experts and products that promote self care, mental health, and personal wellness. Industry commentary is also in high demand right now. Many of our corporate clients also have terrific insights to share around the financial markets, remote work, distance learning, telemedicine, insurance, and more. Watch the news and think carefully about providing a well-crafted, timely story.

DON’T: Leverage social media without a clear strategy. There’s no question that most marketing is moving online for the foreseeable future. Influencers are clamoring for great content right now – so as long as we can ship boxes, we’re getting products to them! That said, with everyone doubling down on digital, it’s more critical than ever to consider the relevance, timing, and delivery of your content. In addition to engaging influencer content, that means thoughtful organic posts that offer hope, resources, even comic relief. It’s also a good time to consider a paid strategy to make sure your content gets seen.

DO: Announce funding and growth news. We’ll let our friends at TechCrunch explain in more (and refreshingly direct) detail how important it is to get this type of news out, to show that business is strong and moving forward despite the crisis. And they’re putting their money where their mouth is (no pun intended), recently covering client Mya Systems’ funding round.

DON’T: Flood your customers or employees with irrelevant emails. Keeping your team and your customers informed is definitely a priority right now. At the same time, as work goes remote and hundreds of businesses reach out, our inboxes are more crowded than ever. Make sure you’ve developed clear messaging for both internal and external audiences, and refer back to it frequently. Above all, keep your communications relevant, concise, and well-timed.

DO: Find news ways to connect and engage. With widespread social distancing practices going into effect, the ability for brands to put new ideas in front of buyers, consumers, and other audiences in person has become a growing concern. It’s time to get creative. We’re seeing media broadcasting from home, speed pitching via Zoom and Facebook Live, virtual look books and retail meetings, and more.

We’re extremely hopeful that this pandemic will get under control quickly. Keep calm, work from home, wash your hands…and let’s find ways to help your business weather the storm. Feel free to contact me directly at ilana@resoundmarketing.com, or book our virtual office hours today.