Communicating in a crisis

Marketing during a global pandemic can feel a bit of a minefield – but that doesn’t mean you should stop communicating. Making sure your content is interesting and relevant to your audience is now more important than ever, so here are a few tips for keeping your customer relationships alive and strong:

  • Check-in with your customers

If your business is classed as ‘non-essential’ you might think you’re not a priority for your customers right now. The only way to find out for sure is to ask them – Do they still want to hear from you? What would they like to see? How can you help them?

A socially-distanced chat with a hibernating mobile hairdresser demonstrates this point. She has been amazed by clients’ response to her social posts, from requesting advance appointments to asking for help with DIY hair management! If you had this kind of engagement with your customers pre-lockdown, don’t disappear from their lives now.

  • It’s time for Plan B

Pre COVID-19 you probably had a marketing plan ready to go. Chances are some of it’s no longer relevant. Think about how your audience’s priorities have changed and what’s important to them today, and then update your content accordingly.

Your customers only need to know stuff that matters to them – they’re probably not too bothered about your working-from-home arrangements or how you have stepped up your hygiene practices, especially if you’re closed!. It’s way more useful to tell them if you are now delivering or have alternative pick-up points.

  • Get to the point

Despite the world being turned on its head, everyone is having more conversations than they’ve ever had before. So don’t add to the noise – just talk about what people need and want to know, rather than what you want to tell them!

Re-read and sense check everything to make sure your content is succinct yet and reassuring. Avoid overused words and clichés – people understand we are in ‘unprecedented’ and ‘uncertain’ times. And when it comes to formats that hit home, clear headlines, bulleted lists and Q&A layouts always work well.

Our 5 tips for communicating in a crisis

To cut through the overflowing inboxes and newsfeeds, try to keep your audiences with you by following these 5 tips:

  1. Why are you communicating? Decide on your objective and stick to it.
  2. Who are you talking to, what’s your relationship been to date? Get the tone and language right.
  3. Read your message out loud to someone. If you wouldn’t say it, don’t write it.
  4. Make it snappy, don’t let your content be scrolled past.
  5. Stay true to your brand and stick to subjects you know best!

We’re all in this together and we want to do our bit by helping other businesses. If you’d like us to review your messages to help ensure you communicate with professionalism, compassion and personality, please get in touch.

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