News | March 31, 2020

Shift Your Message During COVID-19

In a recent statement from the Federal Government, we heard they were building their playbook as they were deploying it. I think that is true for most of us, as COVID-19 has provided a new reality for our business landscape, one that is uncharted and changing daily.

By Josh Cairns

Amidst these changes, CREW wants to continue to share helpful and hopeful messages to ensure our communities can continue to move forward. Here are some best practices to consider as you’re crafting your brand’s message during COVID-19:

Press Pause on Your Current Campaign

I received an email offer last week from a local men’s fashion store announcing a new line of suits available. While it may seem innocent, these types of messages can cause irreparable damage to a brand in the minds of consumers. Be diligent and press pause on any pre-scheduled posts and make sure you revisit your message to ensure it’s appropriate for the current market.

It’s also important to think carefully about the messaging you put out right now. Though everyone has more time to consume content, people’s priorities and quality of life have changed, dramatically shifting the lens through which they are consuming your ads. So, save your planned content for later. When business ramps up again, it will be good to have a database to pull from.

When in Doubt, Stay Silent

It’s easy to get caught in the messaging vortex that’s swirling around us, making you feel like you’re not saying enough. However, we’ve advised many of our clients to stop communicating altogether unless it’s critical to their business operations. Choosing not to communicate can be just as effective or even more so than choosing to communicate. Think about when is a good time to enter the conversation and what does that look like?

Be Collaborative

COVID-19 has significantly impacted the retail and hospitality sectors. Yet out of those industries, we’ve seen some of the best examples of collaboration through brand and communication. For example, a local clothing brand in Kelowna, BC Okanagan Lifestyle, repurposed its e-commerce store to sell gift cards for local restaurants and retailers who were forced to shut down. This type of cause marketing has been taking place across sectors as struggling businesses take a unified approach to make a difference. In times like this, a message of community, unity and support can do more to strengthen your brand than promotion.

Ultimately, when it comes to messaging right now, it’s imperative to communicate that you are aware of the current crisis and you understand the needs of your consumers and the community. Whether you’re bringing light to positive efforts, highlighting an offering of your own that can be repurposed to meet a greater need, or taking this time to be quiet, be sensitive to the challenging realities many people and businesses are facing. And remember, when crafting your message in the time of COVID-19, “business as usual” is not a good approach.

Do’s & Don’ts of Your COVID-19 Response

If you’re looking for tips on how to write your corporate COVID-19 response message, Ad Roll wrote a great article listing some Do’s and Don’ts to consider: https://www.adroll.com/blog/marketing/covid-19-messaging-dos-and-donts

 

We’re all in this together; let’s support each other through to the other side. Stay hopeful and healthy,

Josh