Our Insights

Not Quite Business as Usual: Messaging Tips for a Successful Reopening

June 9, 2020

The most frequently asked question we are getting from our clients these days is, “What should I be doing with or saying in my media channels as we enter Phase I of the re-opening?”

Our response to them, whether they are brick-and-mortar brand, a virtual storefront, or both, is there is a lot that needs to be done. On a normal day, the modern media landscape is complex, but in the current media environment, you really need experts who can help guide you through and out of this Pandemic with solid media recommendations.  Let us break it down for you piecemeal so that is easier to digest our insights and show you where we see plenty of opportunity.

What do users want to hear from businesses/companies during this time?

Consumers want authentic and meaningful connection with brands and companies.  The best ways to make that connection are:

  • Leading with your company values
  • Sharing important, relevant messages
  • Keeping the conversations going through active social engagement
  • Making it very easy for customers to reach you directly and make it easy for you to respond in kind
  • Using this as a time to create and share long-form content to educate and/or entertain appropriately

Where do you start? Begin by clearly sharing any appropriate COVID restrictions, changes, or guidance on your website, key landing pages, and social media.  It is on the top of everyone’s mind as to how companies are taking precautions to ensure safety.  Do not make them guess at how you are approaching this very important issue by clearly outlining:

  • Internal policies related to wearing masks/gloves, limited amount of in-store traffic, or if staff is working remotely and how/if that impacts accessibility during regular hours
  • Shopping capabilities and shipping or delivery options and expectations (Offering free shipping when possible)

What are the best media tactics to use when reopening a business?

Just because businesses open, doesn’t mean that all consumers are ready to return.  A three-step approach might be necessary.

Every business will vary on needed tactics when reopening, but we want to share some of the top general tactics that we recommend:

  • Send a press release to announce your re-opening and the safety measures you have in place
  • Post all ongoing updates on all social channels
  • Engage with your influencers/supporters/partners and ask them to share your updates via social
  • Send an email update to your customer database
  • Host a FB Live event to engage your audience and give them the opportunity to ask questions
  • Update paid search terms and ad copy to ensure accuracy and relevancy
  • Update other media channels on an ongoing basis

What are the opportunities to better communicate your direct efforts in the Pandemic?

Now is a good time to share what your business has done to help the community during this time.  Surveys have shown that businesses who have helped those in need or those on the front lines are looked upon more favorably by consumers.  But instead of pushing out a ubiquitous message, be sure to differentiate your messaging from others.  This can be a blog on your website or a social media post.

How should creative images and messaging be handled at this time?

Images and ads should be sensitive to the current climate, including appropriate social distance and masks.  A few tips from LMP are:

  • Remember that people are hyper-sensitive to seeing people close to one another in creative, holding hands, etc. (Some instances are less obvious than other; for example, you should even avoid certain emojis right now, including 🙌 and 👊.)
  • Be ready to revise creative for relevancy, if need be, rather than just reusing what was running pre-COVID
  • Be wary of falling into the COVID-19 clichés now rampant in messaging, from “in these uncertain times” voiceovers to light piano music playing in the background.
  • Monitor comments on both organic and paid social campaigns and be sure to address public concerns

Are there industry statistics that can help guide businesses to a more successful reopening plan?

A survey asked more than 6,000 consumers what the best actions businesses could take were to receive positive marks:

source: https://martechseries.com/content/consumers-say-brand-actions-covid-19-impact-perception/

Kevin O’Leary, entrepreneur and co-star of Shark Tank said this, “The key is to keep the DNA of the business intact so that when we come back out of this incredible, unique situation, we have all the building blocks we started with before to spring right back into business.”

Good business means having strong, timely and relevant communication, having a solid marketing and media plan in place, and partnering with experts to go on the journey with you. LMP is ready to go!

Beth Saunders