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Communicating in a crisis


Well, that was a strange week. We’ve all been working from home for the past two weeks as thankfully we were already set up to work remotely, but this week has been the first under lockdown, with all our partners and clients “WFH”.

On the face of it, nothing has changed – many campaigns are still running, reporting and optimising continues; new content is being created – but in reality, everything has changed. Campaigns have been pulled; campaigns have been tweaked in record time to adjust to the new “new” – tactical content has been created in a flash. Here’s my thoughts on how to communicate in these difficult times:

Don’t run what doesn’t need to be run. There are umpteen articles on the danger of brands turning silent at the moment, but frankly if you’re not selling hamburgers right now, why would you advertise? Use the time and save the budget to plan something spectacular for your return. “Did you miss us?” Expect plenty of that narrative from big brands in hopefully the not too near distant future.

Do run if you are still open for business but adapt. We’ve re-versioned several live campaigns this week to switch CTA’s to different ecommerce partners or send traffic to virtual tours. Some budgets have understandably shifted to digital in the past week as fewer people see OOH or are unable to buy / be given print.

Be tactical. Whilst this is a tough time for everyone there are opportunities / needs for certain sectors. Sales of frozen food and gym equipment are booming. Banks and the government need to communicate often complicated messaging. People have more time to consume content, so perhaps use this time wisely to feed the top of the funnel with longer form brand content for awareness and activate DR once restrictions lift?

Be purposeful. Chances are, if you are serving your customers right now, you’re performing some kind of service. Perhaps now is a good time to communicate how you are adapting your products or services for the benefit of consumers.

Tell your story. In times of crisis there’s often uplifting stories too. Is there some positive news you could tell? From the couple who got engaged in an Iceland Supermarket to breweries producing hand sanitiser, there’s some wonderful stories that have come out of this as we all pull together.

Above all, stay at home, stay safe and prepare for making up for lost time. If you’d like help with something tactical, we can help turn campaigns around in a matter of hours – please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.