Following the usual slow beginning of the year, luxury brands were so ready to take on the second quarter by storm and set the tone for the year, organizing watch fairs, announcing events, and preparing new product launches.
All of a sudden, due to this forced quarantine, we put on hold these certainties that we took for granted year after year, and replaced them with fear, doubt and skepticism. Brands started cancelling fairs and movie festivals, postponing product launches and events and of course freezing communication budgets.
OUR PR TIPS TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE LOCKDOWN
As a PR professional, I know the importance of preparing for an unforeseen crisis, but more often than not, we are so focused on our day-to-day operations that we don’t make it a priority to work on a crisis management handbook. And even though several movie directors have warned us multiple times about the possibility of a worldwide pandemic, no one really believed them. It all seemed farfetched, a sci-fi plot to entertain us rather than break us. But here we are, unbelievable as it may seem; two months after patient zero, one week in quarantine (at least for me), and the world stands still.
LEARNING TO PAUSE
But where we perceive a threat, we should always try to see opportunity. Through this surreal and unprecedented crisis, we have been given the most precious commodity: TIME. Time to reflect on our life but also our work, our business strategies and communication activities. Now, how we use this gift, it’s entirely up to each one of us, so I’d like to take this pause in time to share with you a few of my PR tips to make the most of your quarantine.
- Acknowledge the COVID-19 crisis. This first tip is actually something that most brands have done fairly quickly. To address the seriousness of this crisis, and take measures to protect their employees, partners and clients. This decision may be a tough one to make at the business level, of course. But in the end, it humanizes the brand while reassuring the public that it is conscious about the dangers of the situation but not afraid to take appropriate actions.
- Create content. If there was ever any doubt about the importance of content creation, well now more than ever, brands need to get this done. Their customers are at home 24/7, craving for a distraction from this crisis. So, a social media focus during this period is key. It’s inexpensive, easy and your creativity can be unleashed! There are so many ways to create relevant and current content; what about creating a video mash-up of your employees working from home? Make it fun, make it sincere and authentic! Your customers will sympathize, and your teams will appreciate the shout out!
- Help any way you can! We’ve seen a few companies stepping up to help their communities. LVMH producing hand sanitizer, or Kering ordering surgical masks, or even FIFA donating 9-million euros to the WHO. Obviously, each business is different but the key here is to do what you can. Donate proceeds from sales, start a food-drive, support a local hospital. Whatever you can do, again will humanize your brand and show the world you care.
- Reconnect with your journalists. We now have all the time in the world so reach out, re-kindle those relationships, share content with them. Journalists are craving content at the moment. So why not partner up with them to organize a live talk around a subject/ a product or organize the classic takeover of your social media accounts. The ideas here are endless, and they’ll be so thankful in the end.
PR may be the last thing on everyone’s mind at the moment, but I hope that these PR tips will be useful during your quarantine. And, since we do have the time and we’re not going anywhere anytime soon, let’s get our PR teams together (virtually of course) and have fun designing creative PR activities in the meantime, to continue reaching out to our employees, partners and clients.