PIVOTTT! 4 Ways to Pivot PR Strategies to Stay Relevant During the COVID-19 Crisis
At Double Forte, we’re in our fourth week of working remotely – which has been a major pivot for us (most of us work from home one or two days a week; wfh all the time is a totally different ball game). The majority of our team is under shelter-in-place orders in different parts of the country. Client media events big and small have been canceled, as the world shifts in response to the coronavirus. It’s our role as public relations professionals to pivot quickly on behalf of our clients and use our expertise to help with every aspect of client communications to all types of audiences.
4 Ways To Pivot Now To Stay Relevant Now
- Re-evaluate your messaging
Was your brand tag line “Play Outside” or “Closer Together”? Was your April social media content calendar focused on spring travel and music festivals? Now is the time to review your brand messaging and ensure your brand voice and tone aligns with the new reality of the world around us. How to make this pivot? Re-read all email marketing messages, all social media content and blog posts to ensure your brand messages stay relevant. Shift messaging away from in-person events to encouraging virtual meetings. Try including mentions of staying indoors and washing hands in marketing copy. Edit brand copy away from an encouraging spring travel to sharing ideas of wanderlust and aspirational travel for after COVID-19. It’s important for brand messaging to speak to the current world your customers are living in.
- Content is King: Bring on more social post and more video
Now more than ever, customers are looking for content. The entire country is stuck inside staring at their phones and computers. This is an opportunity to have more eyes on your content than ever before. With more people seeking out content, we recommend increasing the frequency of your posting for added exposure. Furthermore, consumers unable to travel, they are looking to the internet for opportunities to travel virtually. Begin posting videos to give customers who can no longer visit, an insight into your world. Viewers are craving more content and video to provide an escape.
- Personal Media Outreach
You cannot ignore that we are in the middle of a global pandemic. The majority of the news cycle is dedicated entirely to COVID-19 related topics. Pitches to media cannot continue as though nothing has changed, even to contact focused on lifestyle topics. We recommend checking in with your media contacts individually to see what they are covering. Are they focusing exclusively on virus-related content? Are they still moving forward with evergreen stories? With this feedback, you can tailor your pitch to fit exactly what journalists need for their stories. Casual check-ins with media not only show you are thinking about the major events going on in the world, they also help you build relationships with media.
- Events are Virtual
Events large and small were canceled all over the world, and event companies are working furiously to pivot their business models and offerings to provide virtual equivalents. Don’t wait for event producers to figure something out. You can connect with your consumers and fans with your own virtual events. Were you planning to speak on a panel at a large conference? Take your panel digital. Host the discussion on zoom or another virtual meeting platform. Share the discussion with your fans on social media and email newsletter subscribers. The virtual discussion can be just as valuable as the canceled event. Afterward, leverage the quotes, video clips, and photos from the panel into your content (see point #2). The same is true for dinner or tastings. Try a virtual tasting on Instagram Live. This not only gives additional content it keeps you engaged with your fans and followers. With technology today, all events can be virtual in some capacity.
Public relations professionals need to be nimble on behalf of their clients in order to stay relevant as the world around us changes. In uncertain times, communications is more important than ever. Don’t lose touch with your customers and fans. This is the time to get creative, problem solve and in the immortal words of Ross Geller, PIVOTTT!