There is no doubt it is a challenging time for business at the moment and that inevitably spins off into the PR industry.
Although the bricks and mortar of many businesses are empty (or manned by a skeleton staff in some cases) for hopefully not too long, the online ‘shop windows’ of many remain.
With millions of people having extra time on their hands, hours more virtual browsing is inevitably going on. Facebook is reporting a rise in usage of 50 per cent and other platforms like Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp are also seeing an increase in the number of people using them.
News and information agency Reuters is reporting people across Europe embracing technology for things like consultations with doctors and work meetings. Food delivery app use is ballooning as everyone who has tried to book their home shop direct to their door can testify, and even the online will-writer Farewill is processing five times more customers than normal which is maybe a sign of the times.
With everyone spending more time on their PC’s, laptops and smart devices, what are the sort of messages that should be going out?
As ever, judging the mood and tone is key. Amanda Milligan, the marketing director at Fractl, came up with a three-point checklist when it comes to deciding what and when to post in an article she wrote for the Financial Times. Her questions to ask were:
- Is coronavirus impacting my audience, and if so, can I help them?
- Will my audience’s priorities shift as a result of the current climate, and if so, how should my content change to reflect that?
- Does coronavirus impact our product/service offering, and if so, how can we communicate that to our audience?
So, it is definitely not a case of keep quiet and hope it goes away as online audiences need reassurance and are searching for content to engage with. It just seems that the usual rules apply around social media but with some added questions to ask yourself as you think before you post.