In Crisis? Don’t Panic, Follow This Comms Plan

Two Hands: Blog content & tips from the studio
Eva Frye

Eva Frye

Founder of Two Hands

We all had hoped this Covid-19 madness would fizzle out quickly, however this week showed that’s not the case. Stock markets turn, borders shut down, offices close.

Many industries will be hit hard throughout this crisis, especially events, IRL experiences, tourism, and any business that depends on open borders. However, crisis can be an incredible time for innovation. Any creative constraint can be a forcing function to level up where you’ve historically been weaker. Turing never would have decrypted Enigma if saving hundreds of thousands of lives (and the pressure of the British Government) hadn’t compelled him to do it.

So, take a long, hard look at those projects on your business to-do list and prioritize, because now is the time to innovate and stay relevant, not come to a grinding halt.

The exact tactics will depend on industry, but everyone has an opportunity for a branding play. In the face of economic hardship, your brand will have to be far sharper than it’s been in the past to earn the cash of customers as they tighten their pocketbooks.

  1. Reassure. Show them how you’re dealing with the Coronavirus crisis, keeping your employees and users safe.
  2. Connect. Strengthen your story. Now’s the time your brand will be tested; get ahead of the problem. It’s not the time for big sales campaigns— but brand awareness. What’s your main business? How can it help people during this crisis (even if subtly)? How can you use your brand pillars to share stories of strength and resilience, and be seen as more competent than your competitors?

For one of the events-based nonprofits we advise, a community mainstay who hosts civic discussions, we’re launching a branded content play that shows how they’ve helped the community through panics in the past, which 1) amplifies their rich 120-year legacy of social dialogue in the community, and 2) subtly digs at competitors who are new on the scene.

Image source: SF Chronicle Archives

They’d seen the 1906 San Francisco Earthquakes and Fires, the Spanish Flu, the start and end of WWI and WWII, the brink of nuclear disaster in the Cold War, SARS, 9/11, and even Y2K. We’ve seen many scares throughout modern human history, and this is an opportunity for this nonprofit to show that humankind is resilient, as are they, providing a beacon of hope in an otherwise panicked time.

So while businesses work from home and universities move online, while hiring may pause, do not halt the forward motion of all departments. Now is the time to sharpen your brand and remind your users why you matter. A sharpened identity is good for everyone— it makes it easier to connect with stressed-out customers, and it requires less marketing spend to convert.

Be safe and smart out there, and if you think you could benefit from a brand play or a strengthened identity, contact us— we’re here to help.

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