There’s one thing we can all agree on. No one saw this version of 2020 coming.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and up-ended nearly every business on earth. Protests and social movements have demanded long-overdue equality and justice for our Black and LGBTQ communities. Consumer behavior has drastically changed–if not temporarily, perhaps permanently. Those same customers or employees that companies had going into quarantine may look very different on the other side. So will that same communications plan that was developed at the start of the year hold up against our new reality? Probably not.
As companies navigate through even more uncertainty and inevitable change to come, many are taking this time to reflect on their next steps for the second half of the year. Central to this are the communications and marketing leaders who may be facing a business pivot, are re-evaluating their program strategies, or are finally tackling critical initiatives that have long been on the backburner.
Here are just a few ways that we’re helping our B2B tech, healthcare and professional services clients prepare for what’s next, focusing on strategic, short-term initiatives that drive long-term value:
- Messaging – The same messaging companies used going into 2020 may no longer be relevant to or resonate with target audiences in our post-COVID world. In fact, some companies have found that their target markets have drastically shifted or now have different needs all together. Our half- or full-day virtual messaging workshops have been transformative in helping our clients think outside of the box about their businesses, their key messages and how they want their brands to be perceived in the market. Our messaging document, developed and distributed to our clients following the workshop, provides clear guidance needed to roll-out messaging as part of all future marketing or communications initiatives.
- Crisis Readiness & Response – The last several months undoubtedly tested companies on their crisis readiness and response capabilities. Yet with research suggesting that a large percentage of companies do not have proper crisis plans in place or rarely update them, now is the time for communicators to get organized and establish comprehensive crisis programs. Our team is deeply experienced in all areas of crisis communications and is actively advising and supporting our clients in the areas of: crisis plan creation/refinement, crisis scenario planning, crisis simulations, crisis communications execution, messaging, news monitoring and measurement.
- Media Training – Whether a company has hired a new leadership team member or an executive has just been booked on his/her first Zoom-based broadcast segment, our media training workshops are highly effective in preparing spokespeople for success. Completely customizable based on the needs of the organization and the experience of the spokespeople involved, our media training workshops combine classroom-style instruction with mock interviews, giving participants tips throughout the session to navigate common scenarios and real-time feedback needed to improve their interview delivery.
- Social Strategy – In a time when brands are being both celebrated and vilified online for authenticity in communications, social media is a channel that, for some, may require a new approach. This is particularly true for companies that solely use their social channels to broadcast company news or announcements, with little-to-no engagement strategy otherwise. Companies need to evolve how they use social media to build a following, provide value and earn trust, and we are providing our clients with a clear strategy and guidance to do just that.
Regardless of what the future holds, zeroing in on the above areas now can help companies optimize performance in the second half of the year. If any of these projects look like something you may be considering, or other initiatives come to mind, contact me at email@example.com. We’re here to support you.