The novel coronavirus is upending just about every aspect of life now, including your company and the pro AV industry. If you have a good marketing team and strategy in place for how to deal with a crisis like COVID-19, you’re better off than some.
If you don’t, then now is the time to develop a crisis communication strategy and reevaluate your public relations strategy as the world waits out this pandemic from their homes and tunes in to learn more about the rapidly changing situation.
InkHouse, a public relations firm based in Massachusetts, held a webinar last week on communication strategies during this crisis. Here are some key points.
Decision makers within and organization should communicate regularly regardless of whether they’re in or out of the office. Make sure everyone can be reached quickly so you can stay ahead of the news. Government officials are briefing the U.S. public every day and that is usually making headlines. This situation is extremely fluid so your strategy should be adjusted accordingly and you should develop a strategy news releases.
Prepare public statements on COVID-19-related company news now. If your company anticipates having to make any changes or important announcements, prepare them in advance so you aren’t rushing to respond to media requests.
Remember that we’re all human and many of us are being affected in some way. Make yourself available to your team and customers and retain some semblance of normalcy as everyone grapples with a rapidly changing situation.
Not just COVID-19 news
Obviously, the coronavirus is front page news and will be for a while and it’s our job as trade publication journalists to help integrators navigate this pandemic. It’s our duty to bring our readers the most up-to-date and relevant information about the pandemic and how it’s impacting the pro AV industry. We want to bring our readers content that can help them through this.
If your company has positive news to share that can make a different, please share it. If you’re helping the healthcare industry like Almo Pro A/V or making some products and services free to your clients to help them through this, we want to know.
Yes, COVID-19 is getting most of the headlines, but we also want to know about that acquisition, product launch, innovation, new hires and other company news that we would normally write about. As I wrote before, a semblance of normalcy goes a long way to staying focused.
Read the (digital) room
The digital audience has never been bigger than it is right now with many of out of work or working form their home. Page views are skyrocketing and social media is full of COVID-19 news as people tune in to learn about the virus and the next steps.
If you’re uncertain about a particular pitch or strategy, do your research. If your targeted audience is focused solely on coronavirus news, tread carefully and learn toward pitching content that provides a benefit. If you have non-coronavirus news, see if your audience would be open to shifting gears to get their minds off the negative.
In addition to researching what content is being published, research what people are talking about. The best way to do that right now is on social media, specifically Twitter. The pro AV community is very active on Twitter and tapping into those conversations is a good way to learn about what people are talking about and what they want to hear.