March 2020: Part 2

Mike Dobies, Heidi Pfau, and Audrey Wilcox enjoying a laugh while looking at a smartphone

This edition is focused on response to COVID-19 and includes a few tips for communicating with customers, followed by helpful articles we’ve discovered.

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DKY Digest, a round-up of news from the world of marketing, advertising and PR outside of DKY’s walls. Each week, you’ll find articles, podcasts, blogs, and other content recommended by our team to entertain, help or inspire you.

This week’s edition is focused on response to COVID-19. Here are a few tips for communicating with your customers, followed by helpful articles we’ve discovered.

If you’re the voice of a company during this COVID-19 outbreak, whether it’s communicating with reporters, engaging on social media, or conducting email campaigns, pause and think through a strategy. While we need to acknowledge that life is upended, we shouldn’t throw up our hands and succumb to a sense of chaos. The world is trying its best to carry on, and we can contribute a much-needed sense of stability.  

To strike a balance between over-reacting and being tone-deaf, here are the principles guiding us at DKY:

Seek and wait for leadership.

A company needs to speak with one voice, and that voice should come from corporate decision-makers. No doubt there are involved discussions taking place among human resource officers, senior executives, and corporate public relations leaders on a comprehensive plan of action. It can be tempting to rush out with messages on COVID-19 just to appear relevant, but it’s prudent not to add to the noise. Simply be ready to amplify messages when the directives come.

Don’t halt planned messages entirely.

With more people isolated, there will be a large uptick in digital news and social media consumption. This is an opportunity to earn and maintain trust. Don’t go completely silent, but screen your content to make sure it’s sensitive, empathetic and service-oriented. This crisis will end, and business needs to carry on, so continue offering relevant solutions, but pull back on selling and never attempt to capitalize on adverse conditions. 

Temper expectations of news coverage.

It may not be an opportune time to seek media coverage for your company. Reporters and editors are consumed with covering the latest repercussion of the virus. Even business media are busy analyzing how the pandemic will impact facilities, supply chains, and even entire industries. You may need to park your pitches for a while and put time and funds in sponsored social campaigns, where you have full control of the messages and timing.

Put a priority on internal cohesion.

Now is the time to galvanize as a team. Many of us are working from home and it’s easy to get disconnected or allow gaps in communication. Use Google Hangouts, Zoom, or conference calls to hold scheduled meetings. Don’t let your strategic business plans suffer. Move them forward with a sense of optimism and mutual support. But also, be ready to flex. A daily team-wide check-in might be good to compare notes and pull together on challenges that will almost certainly crop up in this fluid situation.

This is certainly not an all-inclusive roadmap. You’ll be feeling your way along in these unprecedented times. That’s ok. Be genuine. Remember to lead with empathy. You can’t go wrong anchoring all your communications in the Golden Rule: If you were in your customers’ shoes, what would you want to know? Stay calm and continue to offer helpful information—no more and no less.

We’ve gathered a list of recommended articles (below) that we’ll continue to update. If you have questions on how to communicate during COVID-19 or would like assistance, DKY is here to help.

Twitter Tries to Guide Brands on its Platform Through the Coronavirus Crisis

The social network reminds brands that this is not a marketing opportunity, but instead to be a helpful and uplifting resource for Twitter users. 

Shared by: Kendall Bird, Social Media Manager

Working From Home? 7 Smart Tips to Help You Get More Done

If you are working at home, these tips may assist to make the most of each day. 

Shared by: Donnie Potter, Vice President of Digital

10 Tips to Help Your Business Communicate Throughout the Coronavirus Crisis

In any crisis, clear communication is crucial. Many organizations are formulating their policies and need to ensure they’re thoroughly understood. These 10 tips will help.

Shared by: Holly Donato, Vice President of Content and Public Relations

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