The word unprecedented is used A LOT right now in a negative context, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.

Whilst many organisations are facing temporary closure or a fall in sales due to the coronavirus, taking actions now will allow you to hit the ground running once everything is back to ‘normal’.

Saving time by no longer travelling to meetings or commuting to work allows you to focus in activity such as positioning your brand as an expert or enhancing its reputation.

This period of uncertainty doesn’t mean you can’t progress. Follow the advice below.

Research

This is an important element of your PR and communications. Analyse data from your website, email marketing and social channels using programmes like Google Analytics. Also, what feedback do you receive from clients?

Use your findings to better understand your audience. Is there anything you could change in your marketing plan to build trust with stakeholders and strengthen relationships.

Review or create a strategy

What areas of your company would you like to improve or protect? Maybe your research has highlighted some that are lagging.

For example, you could review and amend key messages or your crisis communications plan.

Social media 

Update those neglected LinkedIn profiles, start to tweet more than once a week and tidy up Instagram.

How about writing articles on LinkedIn as part of your expert communications or connecting and engaging with more people? You never know what it might lead to.

Start to converse with stakeholders on Twitter. There’s a real feeling of ‘all in this together’ right now, and more than ever companies are talking and helping each other out.

Could you introduce a theme to your Instagram profile? Certain colours, order of posts, specific story highlights? For example, if you are a firm of solicitors, one row could relate to employment law and the second row could link to conveyancing.

Targeting social now could attract new audiences, which means when you’re back up and running, you might have a few extra potential customers who were intrigued by your online content. Could you hold a webinars to educate and support?

Even if now is not the right time to share content, there is nothing stopping you from creating it ready to publish when it’s the right time, for example a video featuring tips and advice or Instagram posts that you can schedule with Later. You can find out more about planning and scheduling here.

Campaigns

Plan and action a campaign showcasing your team, expertise, news or clients. Here are some ideas:

  • Podcasts – Each episode could focus on a different topic or it could be a series surrounding a theme. They are growing increasingly popular across all sectors. Around 7.1 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week, that’s one in eight people and is an increase of 24 per cent over the past year.
  • Paid social – Increase the number of views and engagement with your online content. Do you want to focus on all platforms or a particular one, do you want to reach a certain demographic more than others?
  • Newsletters – Created using free platforms such as Mailchimp, they are an effective way of reaching out to stakeholders with recent news and alerts.

Help each other out

Community spirits are high, even in the sometimes-cutthroat business world; people are looking out for each other.

Consider partnerships, who could you join up with to deliver entertainment, training or knowledge through webinars and live video?

Develop or improve skills

Whilst we’re encouraged to learn new languages and pick up an instrument at home, use extra time to research Google Analytics and paid social or watch seminars on a topic of interest. There are lots of free webinars out there at the moment and they provide an opportunity for you to pose questions to the experts.

Look to the future  

Tell the world what’s going to be happening when you’re back in action. One restaurant has already started to take bookings for Christmas and boozy brunches throughout the festive period, for which it has nearly sold out.