Coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken the world by storm and cases have by now emerged in our own backyards – from the West Coast to New York, Washington D.C. and across the nation. Closings, cancellations, self-isolation, and remote work have become the “new norm” no matter where you live. Fear and uncertainty abound, not just for our own personal health, but also for the well-being of our loved ones, our homes and our businesses.

We’re all facing immediate, critical decisions including whether to keep our children home from school, to refrain from in-person contact with elderly family members, or to leave our business doors open.

The spread of this virus has also raised certain questions regarding how to approach it in the media and how experts can provide value to folks worldwide who are seeking accurate information and informed opinions to help them navigate the twists and turns and their day-to-day. Separately, businesses who are suffering as a result of a skittish consumer or customer are looking for marketing and PR solutions to help them get back on track.

Here are a few answers to your questions from our seasoned media relations team on how to tactfully become part of the coronavirus conversation, and how to make sure your marketing plans are in place to help your business survive what could be a tumultuous economy ahead.

What industries should speak to the media regarding COVID-19?

When most think of a viral outbreak, they feel that medical personnel would be the best people to hear from – and would not be wrong in thinking so. Doctors and scientists are certainly the foremost experts on this new virus who are equipped with facts in a time when misinformation is spreading fast.

But people also want to hear about other areas of their lives feeling an impact as a result of coronavirus chaos. Experts who can help here include:

  • Financial advisors who can speak on how to maintain financial security amid the outbreak, and how to budget effectively if your business is taking a hit.

  • Small business owners who can explain some of the steps they’ve taken to keep their buildings and offices a clean and safe environment, and how they are keeping their businesses afloat despite the panic.

  • Stockbrokers that can advise on how COVID-19 is affecting stocks and investments, and actions that can be made to minimize losses.

  • Politicians who can address how this virus is affecting their local area and what they are doing to keep their people safe and free from harm.

  • Economists who can talk about gas prices, job losses, consumer and business sentiment, and other barometers of economic health

What marketing actions should business owners take?

The U.S. Small Business Administration has advised that it is imperative to maintain free and open communication with your customers and clients regarding the status of your business operations, as well as what measures you’ve taken towards protecting yourselves, your team and your clients so that they will feel safe and confident in continuing to visit your establishment. This can be done via your website, your social media handles and your Google My Business listing, which has now provided a place for businesses to implement their status regarding COVID-19.

Internally, businesses can make the choice to allow employees to work remotely, if possible. At Pace Public Relations, we’ve already taken extra precautions to enforce social distancing and infection control methods so as to protect both our team and our clients from the spread of COVID-19. Like countless other companies, we’ve utilized digital technology to stay connected and have asked our employees to work from remote locations while video conferencing in for team and client meetings. By proactively implementing this, we not only hopefully keep our employees and network healthy, but also scan maintain a structured and balanced workflow.

How can public relations help your business amid the COVID-19 crisis?

Public relations helps to ensure that your message and mission are accurately portrayed in the media. A publicist will be able to craft a pitch that tells your story and shares your unique perspective on COVID-19, how it has had an impact on your field or industry, and what insights you can share from a professional or entrepreneurial standpoint. Through TV placements, print and digital interviews, radio shows, and more, you can share your expertise, data, and informed opinion with the world while building brand reputation, which can in turn help keep business consistent amidst the surmounting chaos and confusion.

If you feel that you would personally benefit from PR services, please reach out online or by phone at 212-254-4730 to learn more. In the meantime, please stay healthy, be safe and wash your hands…then wash them again!