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Guide to COVID-19 post lock down digital pr strategies en

W7Worldwide publishes Guide to COVID-19 post lock down digital pr strategies

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Guide to COVID-19 post lock down digital pr strategies en

  1. 1. 01 As much of the world’s population has been under lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a notable surge in people spending time online to stay connected and informed of the latest news and guidelines. According to the Global Web Index, of consumers are on social media more during COVID-19, particularly in countries hardest hit by the virus. The unprecedented number of online conversations and media consumption across all generations are at an all-time high and brands must evolve and respond to this new behaviour. 45% Post Lockdown Digital PR Strategies Guide To COVID-19
  2. 2. 02 Businesses are cautiously navigating the COVID-19 crisis against day-to-day changes and the urgent need to hit the ground running again post lockdown. Many paused their 2020 digital PR campaigns while nobody knew how the crisis would unfold and when the world would return to some kind of normal. However, now that we are easing out of lockdown, it is time to re-evaluate and implement the right digital activities that will set your organization up for future success. Whilst the media is still dominated with news related to COVID-19, the focus of the messaging now is forward looking with the objective of installing confidence to get economies and markets going again. Companies need to plan for the post COVID-19 future, updating their PR and Communications strategies accordingly to connect with customers and the public in new ways. This is the perfect opportunity for businesses to take note of the changing digital landscape to create innovative Digital PR campaigns that drive brand awareness and ultimately win new customers. Shifting Media Scene COVID-19
  3. 3. 03 In the current climate, creativity, relevance, and humanity are critical campaign elements and those who fail to engage effectively with their online publics will be left behind. Planning into an uncertain future is challenging, but it offers many opportunities for those who maximize the growth of digital PR. The pandemic has forever transformed the way we live, socialize, work, and do business. As the world is changing its behaviour and innovates, so too must brands. Many businesses have had to change their business model to make their products and services available through digital channels. Communicators need to seize the opportunity to tell the unique story of their company to create emotional resonance with their target audience and set them apart from their competitors. This ranges from online consultations by healthcare providers Challenges Lead to Change Restaurants Shops offering delivery services To professional services firms operating on a virtual basis. Daily YouTube workout classes for gym members
  4. 4. 04 Focus on short-term goals linked to your immediate business priorities. Take small steps and focus on engagement rather than links for the moment. Instead of scheduling social media content days and weeks in advance, consider your content strategy on a day-today basis. COVID-19 remains a fast moving situation and we do not know what is going to happen from one day to the next. Use social listening tools to monitor online conversation and find ways to help and keep stakeholders informed, educated, and reassured. Adopt a client first approach and analyze what they are looking for online to fill the content gaps and establish yourself as a helper brand. An effective strategy for example involves discounts and special offers. Many people are feeling the financial pressure at the moment and if they see a brand willing to help them out with access to products that can help during lockdown, they will end up feeling greater long-term loyalty towards it. If a campaign fails to gain traction with the media, adjust it to fit social channels instead. If your campaign is productive and appropriate, it will serve to maintain brand interaction until you can return to focusing on links. 1 Develop Short-term Strategies 7 Steps Guiding Your Digital PR The way you conduct your online communications and digital PR during the post lockdown phase of COVID-19 is vitally important for your reputation. We are living through a pandemic that has had a dramatic effect on everyone and everything you did before should be revised now, particularly your communications efforts. Here sets out 7 basic steps to guide your Digital PR strategy through the post lockdown phase of COVID-19.
  5. 5. 05 Before COVID-19, the best time to post B2B content would be during the day while people are at work. However, now employees work from home during earlier or later hours, juggling childcare and domestic responsibilities. Try posting at different times during the day and evaluate results with social media analytics. Post in real time to reach audiences now working irregular schedules, pause messages that are scheduled in advance. Instead, research and analyze social media conversations and trending topics and post in real time to be relevant. Rely on social listening tools and use the insights to inform content. Post natively once you have tailored your message to fit that moment or event. Be prepared to provide content on-the-fly for some weeks to come. Look for the gaps in content others are not filling. 2 Review Social Media Posting Schedules Adjust your tone of voice to public sentiment and the economic climate, which means content must change to maintain relevance and appropriateness. Empathy distinguishes good PR from purely promotional communications. Organizations perceived as empathic gain respect and attract loyal customers. Empathy is critical at a time when people still feel uncertain and concerned about the future. Track trends to intimately understand your audiences. Measure sentiment and consumption trends regularly to be able to adapt messaging accordingly. Monitor conversations across social media platforms and community forums closely to spot opportunities and looming crises quickly. 3 Adjust your Tone of Voice
  6. 6. 06 4 Act Local Every country and region will open and relax restrictions at different rates. For communicators, this means thinking and acting hyper local when it comes to digital PR and marketing. For national or regional brands, carefully consider messaging and audience targeting. People’s day-to-day situations will differ dramatically depending on where they live—what people can do, when they will return to work, the services and businesses they can access, will not be the same everywhere. Brands must therefore localize and regionalize their approach and messaging. 5 Rebut Fake News and Misinformation Monitor online mentions of your brand and products associated with COVID-19 and immediately expose fake news and misinformation. Media monitoring dedicated to the coronavirus crisis should be essential to an organization’s digital PR and COVID-19 crisis management programme. Even if fake news is unrelated to their brands or products, communicators must still debunk any misinformation by posting the facts on their organization’s accounts. The principle for communications teams remains the same during this health crisis: deliver coordinated and effective messaging to external and internal audiences. There are still serious challenges for businesses to navigate while working in unusual circumstances. Publicly address any ongoing issues you may be facing as a brand because of the pandemic. Whether you had to lay off staff, cut salaries or no matter what it may be, address such news honestly and with empathy. Customers will trust and respect you for it and be more willing to engage with content or information you want to share with them in the future. Fake News
  7. 7. 07 Without the ability to reach out with press releases or announcements, one of the most effective ways to stay in the public eye is by focusing on thought leadership. Journalists and the public want to know how businesses are dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 and how they are managing their way out of lockdown. Whether on your company blog or as a guest on a news website, well-researched and written thought leadership pieces serve to get your brand out there. The media is always interested in a unique point of view, with compelling evidence to back that viewpoint up. You want to make your opinion worthy of being news and your experience of managing the COVID-19 crisis will be much sought after, establishing a position as industry leader. One of the strategies that you need continue to use in digital PR is proactively pitching your content to the relevant audience. This is an essential strategy when it comes to traffic referrals, building brand awareness, and link building. To make your thought leadership content topical and relevant, analyze data on which industries are thriving now and tailor your information towards them. 6 Focus on Thought Leadership Digital PR is integral to maintaining brand reputation and SEO health. Without links, coverage and mentions, your Digital PR programme will lose traction. Your long-term strategy should therefore be readiness; this is the best time to do research and plan ahead. Brainstorm campaign ideas with your team to cover a range of different outcomes, key dates, sentiment, and external news cycles. Create strategies that maintain your brand presence, ready for when you can engage with the media and customers more normally again. Audit industry competitors for share of voice and online coverage. Monitor what they are talking about to understand how you can differentiate yourself from them. Consider the number and quality of links, topics and spokespeople in your research and match it with keyword rankings and other SEO metrics. The landscape for most businesses has changed and it is important to adapt where possible to offer new and innovative products/services to consumers. Focusing on positive news stories and the people behind these new business models will be topical and relevant as we progress out of lockdown. 7 Prepare your Recovery Strategy
  8. 8. 08 Reshaping Consumer Behaviour A key factor in resilience is to understand how much COVID-19 will reshape consumer behaviours in the future. In the coming months, there will be a lot less face-to-face interaction when doing business and companies need to maximise their digital PR efforts to introduce their brand and foster new relationships. Businesses need to approach the shift to digital PR strategically to promote their organization and bolster their brand’s reputation. Whatever your industry, staying creative and relevant, ensuring brand agility will help keep your business at the front of people’s minds. While you can and should plan for what will happen, the reality is that things will continue to change and evolve for the foreseeable future. Currently stories about businesses doing well or helping their employees and customers cope with the effects of the crisis are well received by the media and public. Even if you cannot reach out right now, make sure you are ready to promote digital campaigns once there is a return to business.
  9. 9. 09 Moving Forward Trying to continue with digital PR campaigns during this time can be almost impossible for those in negatively affected sectors. However, that does not mean just downing tools. If anything, you should double down on effort, as during an economic downturn, you also have less competition, so it is easier and faster to get results. Every day the digital PR and media landscape is evolving. Companies need to re-evaluate their objectives and strategies, outlining what they want to achieve once the crisis is over.
  10. 10. 10 About is an independent communications consultancy based in Saudi Arabia. Our understanding of the local market converged with our global reach and knowledge enables us to bridge our clients with their audiences effectively. We are aligned by the objective of filling the gap in communication that exists in the local market. Therefore, our specialty lies in building bridges that sustain relationships and create brand reputation and value through innovative approaches. Our array of services includes, but is not limited to: •Corporate Communications Strategy •Stakeholder Mapping •Crisis Management •Corporate Social Responsibility •Internal Communications •Reputation Management •Media Relations •Public Relations •Public Affairs •Social Media •Marketing & Brand Solutions
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