In one fell swoop, the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly grabbed a hold of the earth, strung it up by the ankles, and shook it up and down. For the past several months, the world has been at a loss – the economy is crashing, businesses are closing, and millions of people are shut in behind closed doors. Now that some time has passed and a “new normal” has ensued – complete with face masks, antibacterial stations and social distancing restrictions – the shock may be wearing off for many, but most PR professionals had to get their bearings from day one of the pandemic.
Crisis situations are nothing new to the PR world, and savvy PR professionals have been able to successfully navigate the unprecedented situation and turn the many negatives into some wonderful positives for their clients.
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Consider some of the top pros to having a PR team backing you during a major pandemic.
1. Let Your PR Team Lead the Way
Your PR agency is a team of skilled professionals who have been trained on how to handle the unexpected. Chances are that your PR team has a background in crisis management and have excellent communication strategies to execute during a disaster. They are an invaluable resource during a global pandemic. Use them! Let them lead you and your brand during this time. For example, ask them for their opinion on what they should be communicating to both the public and their own employees during this difficult time.
2. Share Some Good News
The world is starved for good news right now, but I’ll bet you can think of a few great stories or recent happenings at your company that have left you smiling. The public would love to hear those feel-good stories, and a publicist can help you share your good news in a way that both brings joy to the world and promotes your brand. Not only does PR help your news get shared in the media, but your PR team knows how pitch your stories to the right journalists.
3. Adjust Your Branding Message
Have you adjusted your tone and branding message to fit in with the current state of the world? During a pandemic, it’s imperative that you keep your message both empathetic and on point. Are you making social media posts or advertisements about in-person events without any regard for social distancing? Is your messaging coming across insensitive or even oblivious to world conditions? Having the wrong messaging during a pandemic can be harmful to your brand and reputation, but a PR professional can help you to look at things from a new angle and find ways to adjust your messaging and advertisements. They can help review and even create external messaging from a new perspective that isn’t insensitive to the current state of the world.
4. They Know How and When to Pitch
Let’s face it, pitching a new story during a pandemic is a tricky road to navigate. Businesses are slowly starting to reopen, while others have closed their doors indefinitely. Many are scared or are dealing with the loss of a loved one, their livelihood or even their own health. This is a time where sensitivity is key, and it’s imperative that your message is both timely and appropriate. A publicist knows how and when to pitch your brand. Indeed, your PR firm would know what your audience wants to hear right now, what questions are being asked regarding your industry, and what media outlets are most in line with your brand and message.
Amid all the chaos and uncertainty during COVID-19, it’s become abundantly clear that the brands and companies who have fared best are ones that are trusted, honest, forward-thinking and well-established. Which is why having a strong, proficient PR team behind your business during this time is crucial.
Annie Scranton and her team of PR gurus have several years of experience in public relations, media relations, project management and business communications. Right now, Pace Public Relations is offering free PR consulting advice to any small business owner, company or brand that may be struggling to navigate these uncharted waters.
If you’re interested in scheduling a consult, or you would like to discuss receiving PR services for your brand, reach out to us online or give us a call at 212-254-4730. We look forward to speaking with you!