For most organizations, branding is not top of mind right now. However, after the storm clears and the clouds part, we will see companies wanting to tell their stories and, in some cases, share what they learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and how they navigated it. With the right approach, we advise you to be part of the conversation too. It all depends on three factors: timing, relevance and, most importantly, respect.
Deciding when to share your stories and how your company is approaching the COVID-19 pandemic starts with your industry. Our clients are both on the front lines and providing healthcare services behind-the-scenes. Some are delivering helpful telehealth tools or working with a group of experts to offer helpful cybersecurity advice. Others are advancing solutions to growing problems through government action and promoting technology platforms more necessary than ever before. Our team is monitoring the news and social media platforms to provide clients counsel on when the time is right to share their stories based on the local or national conversation.
We are also advising clients to hold off on planned campaigns and news announcements unrelated to the current situation to avoid backlash for not reading the room. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a thought leader in your industry. If your organization has an expert who can provide advice to the general public or other industry leaders, these insights are welcome and readily shared. Your product or service doesn’t need to take center stage to share your company’s story amidst the pandemic.
The most critical factor to remember is to be sensitive to your audience’s feelings and adjust messaging accordingly — without straying from your brand voice. During difficult times, people look to trusted leaders for strength. Now is the time to reassure your audience that you are a trusted organization and can help guide them through the current situation. Before sharing content on any channel or hitting “go” on a marketing campaign, make sure you have a team who can all agree the messaging is timely, relevant and empathetic.
We don’t know what the future holds or how industry and the world will change, but we do know you can safely share your brand’s story while making real impact.
This blog is the fourth in a series of six blogs produced by the firm’s healthcare practice. You can read the other blogs in the series here:
“How to Navigate the Media’s New Normal During COVID-19“
“Five Tips for Internal Communications During a Crisis“
“Take Your Event Online with Alternative Event Models“
RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm with a nationwide presence and additional global reach via membership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group. We provide strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, government and healthcare markets.