Covid 19 PR and marketing

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

Covid 19 has touched all of our lives and it’s new territory for everyone. While businesses continue to adapt (mine included), I’ve put together some thoughts on marketing during this unprecedented time.

For farmers, it’s a busy spring season, but if you are trying to reach out to the agri-industry during this time, your messaging should change from the norm.

Covid 19 is affecting all individuals personally, so the risk of coming across as insensitive or exploitative is high. Think about what you are saying and how you say it.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a complete overhaul, but the current crisis should play into everything you do and be considered carefully in your subject matter and tone of voice.

Is it necessary?

Many businesses will be adjusting sales strategies, with events on hold and plans changing, and adapting your marketing strategy accordingly goes without saying.

Those who think sensitively about what is necessary and what is helpful, are seeing good results in my experience.

One of my clients, Emprocom, is a health and safety specialist, and has scrapped its monthly e-newsletter in favour of timely e-bulletins, with up to date official policy changes and guidance to help businesses make their way through this crisis. The correspondence has been very well received, and they have been complimented on their approach.

Exploitative behaviour

Brands which look like they are using the crisis as an opportunity can look crass, and proactive messaging shouldn’t come too close to being self-promoting during this time. A great article on this subject recently appeared in The Grocer, by Julia Glotz, and while this is targeted at the food and drinks sector, a lot of the points in it can be applied to industries which are currently active, including farming.

That doesn’t mean putting a stop to positive messaging, but your wording, the images you use, and the way you communicate are all up for careful consideration.

Your policy

Communicating your policy can be effective. State how are you adapting your business, how can your team be contacted and what steps are you taking to ensure the safety of your staff and customers.

Producing a blog/news update on this and putting it prominently on your website at the very least, helps your customers to know that A. You’re still available to assist them and B. You are treating this crisis with utmost care and attention.

A good example of this is my client, Terravesta, who outlined their Miscanthus harvest policy at the top of their home page.