A Guide to Brand Communication During a Crisis
There’s no ignoring the fact that what we are facing right now is unprecedented. As the COVID-19 pandemic expands, we have to acknowledge the current disruption to families, travel, day-to-day routines, and business operations. A few weeks ago, brands were contemplating if they should communicate about COVID-19, and now, brands are tripping over each other to broadcast their coronavirus messages to customers. Communicating with your customers during a time like this is necessary, but it also requires thoughtful navigation.
Consider what customers need and want to hear from you
Pay attention to what has changed for your buyers. You need to be open to the idea that their priorities may have shifted and the way you position your offering might have to shift to stay aligned with them. Tune into what is valuable for your customers right now so that you can help them in the right way, at the right time.
Know what is appropriate for your brand right now
It’s critical to understand the unique role your brand plays in people’s lives, how that has changed, and how your brand can help or be useful during this crisis. Realize what your brand has an authority to speak on and what it doesn’t, especially in a time of crisis. If you have a blog or editorial content with helpful insights, upload this content to add value to the greater conversation.
Have empathy for a range of circumstances
If you can’t provide help, it might be best for you to publish a message to showcase your empathy in this situation. Consider different situations and create content that is inclusive, not alienating. These are tough times for businesses large and small. Be thoughtful about your tone of voice. Right now might not be the best time to be witty or sarcastic, but empathy, understanding, and even certain types of humor may go a long way.
Don’t go dark
Now more than ever, people are expecting information and access to customer service to be readily available online. If your content and marketing are helping people, even just a few of them, even in small ways, you have nothing to feel ashamed about. Understand sentiment and trends related to the crisis and respond accordingly. Remember that even right now, there’s an opportunity to do marketing AND help people.