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Should I cut my PR budget?

Accountant reviewing PR budgets

Some say that PR and communications are our most valuable assets in times of crisis, so why then is it always the first line of budget that gets the axe? It makes no sense.

1. Don’t hide

2. Don’t lie

3. Get shit done

He concluded that those qualities are also great when you’re not in a crisis. I wholeheartedly agree.

These leadership qualities don’t just apply to people. They also relate to brands, and in turn products and services.

It’s all very well wanting to be a thought leader and set yourself out from the crowd while the sun shines, but if the first thing you do when the times get tough is silence yourself and stop communicating then how is that going to look to your customers, clients and business network?

Answer: fearful, far from reassuring and massively uninspiring.

So, in light of recent events how can communications help you during the [coronavirus] crisis?

Keep talking

Keep creating content for your audiences and customers that is relevant and interesting to their situation and yours. It’s important to continue providing updates on products and services during times of crisis to reassure and assist. Listen to your audiences too. Reply to comments on your social channels and show your audiences that you’re right there with them and understand what is going on and how it affects them.

Go digital

If this international epidemic has proved one thing it’s that a lot of business can work digitally and can do it pretty bloody well. With screen time for mobile and laptops increasing by the day due to the new way of working the opportunity on digital and social is huge. My own screen time shot up by a pretty horrifying 23% last week alone.

Switch spend from print and out of home and focus on digital campaigns. If you have online or digital CPDs now is prime time to promote them to your audience and drive sign ups. If not then how about live webinars to your customers? People have a lot of time on their hands, give them something valuable to spend it on.

Listen up

Now is the time to listen and look at your competitors, they might be quietening down and communicating less. If you want to be seen as the go to brand in your market/industry then be the loudest and the proudest during the toughest times. By creating authority and reassurance during the tough times, people are much more likely to convert to you when we come out of the other side. Set up social listening tools and speak to your PR team about how to capitalise on your competitors lack of communication.

Stick to what you know

Don’t pretend to be someone you are not. Trying to assist in areas in which you have no expertise is a recipe for disaster. Likewise, don’t try and relate to audiences on topics that you have no experience in, it’ll look strange to them and come across patronising and potentially damaging. You have a lot to say and opinions to express about your new world, share that instead.

Get a great PR team

It’s during times of crisis when PR agencies show their real worth, optimising content and moving your messages to find your audience wherever they may be. Put your communications in the hands of a trusted team of experts and challenge them to keep you communicating in a crisis. Give us a (skype/zoom/teams) call?

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