Communicating in the Time of COVID-19

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Marketing is all about communicating a message to the right audience at the right time. However, in this time of COVID-19, what is the right message or right time? Where does marketing fit? We’ve found ourselves on an unmarked path, and next steps are not clear for many of us.

COVID-19 represents a form of crisis for every business, as we strive to maintain operations while also protecting the health of employees and customers. Restaurants are switching to take-out or heat-and-eat meals. Auto repair shops are limiting hours; lawyers are holding more meetings by phone; and dentists are treating only urgent cases. Consumers are scouring the internet for the latest information in this new normal.

Website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and email are significant elements of a company’s communications strategy, and these tools are especially critical today. What story do you need to tell and to whom? While that varies by business, it’s most important to avoid being tone deaf or ignoring the situation. It’s hard to go about daily business without first acknowledging the impact of our country’s public health crisis on you and your customers.

Your team:

  • How are your employees and staffing levels affected? (recruitment vs. layoffs)

  • Who needs to be notified about changes? (board of directors, managers, employees, customers)

Your business:

  • Is your product or service in more demand or less during this crisis? (grocery store vs. cleaning service)

  • How about changes to delivery or venue? Do you need on-line purchasing capabilities? (meetings via technology vs. face to face, or curbside pick-up vs. home delivery)

  • For a not-for-profit organization, how does this affect your programs and fundraisers? (event cancellations, reduced services, or greater financial need)

Your messaging:

  • What do your customers or clients need to know to conduct business with you? (changes in hours or new services available)

  • Is your information relevant, clear, and transparent? (infection control practices to protect customers and staff)

  • What communications channels effectively reach each audience you need to address? (specific social media and/or email campaign, with messages tailored for each)

Digital media communicates messages with immediacy and the ability to change with circumstances. Sometimes another set of eyes can help you see more clearly. As your company’s messaging evolves during the COVID-19 crisis, Metta Digital Marketing will work alongside you in defining those messages and reaching your audience. (If business is slow, consider if this might be a good time to refresh your website.)

We are personally and professionally practicing social distancing as we help our clients tell their stories. We are available by phone, email, or zoom meetings.