For the millions of companies operating in a post-pandemic reality, the term “open for business” has never sparked a greater sense of uncertainty. The seismic shifts in how people live, work and interact have led to permanent changes in how brands communicate and engage. We are operating in a new communications paradigm where old rules are continuously challenged.
Rebuilding means reprioritizing. Dollars are shifting to strategies that are most effective in creating value, helping brands own the conversation and deepen relationships to engage with stakeholders and consumers where they are—which isn’t where they were just days before the pandemic.
The power of public relations has naturally emerged at the top of the priority list. From crisis planning to CSR, ancillary practices once deemed “nice to have” investments have quickly become business imperatives. How do companies follow a new PR playbook that continues to change almost daily? MWWPR outlines the seven foundations that need to be at the center of every brand’s programming
84% OF CONSUMERS AGREE THAT COMPANIES PRIORITIZING THE WELFARE OF ITS EMPLOYEES WILL BE MORE IMPORTANT FACTOR ON WHAT THEY BUY
POLICY HAS BECOME PR. Internal and external corporate policies are no longer just a function of HR; they can and will make their way into the hands of media and other influencers. Information coming from employers is seen as more credible than elsewhere, giving companies the ultimate platform to prove they have their people’s best interests in mind. From sick leave to customer returns, how corporations treat and protect their employees and other stakeholders is open season, and brands will be judged by their transparency, fairness and consistency.
83% OF CONSUMERS AGREE THAT HOW A COMPANY’S LEADERSHIP ACTS DURING COVID-19 WILL AFFECT HOW LIKELY THEY ARE GOING TO BUY A PRODUCT OR SERVICE
PEOPLE WANT EXECUTIVES TO LEAD. People are putting their faith in the private sector more than anywhere else to find solutions. Executive leaders have a unique opportunity and responsibility to serve as a trusted voice for employees, customers and industry. With the rise of the “Social CEO”, thought leadership opportunities and expectations have completely changed, and well-executed executive eminence programs are the key to building brand trust and loyalty.
73% OF CONSUMERS HAVE SEEN OR HEARD A POSITIVE STORY ABOUT A BRAND ACTIONS DURING COVID-19
THE BEST CRISIS TEAMS PLAY OFFENSE AND DEFENSE. Today it is not enough to have a crisis plan; the plans, protocols and people involved must be battle tested and ready. Planning and preparedness must be supported by predictive analytics to anticipate, not just react to emerging issues.
81% OF CONSUMER AGREE THAT COMPANIES HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO HELP SOLVE SOCIAL OR POLICY ISSUES, EVEN IF IT IS OUTSIDE THE REALM OF THEIR PRODUCT CATEGORY OR INDUSTRY
POWER IN PURPOSE. Even in the midst of economic turmoil, good corporate citizens that take an “all-in” approach to purpose as part of their platform are rewarded. Consumers see through a “check the box” approach to cause-related “campaigns” and expect purpose to be authentic and ongoing.
57% OF CONSUMERS HAVE STARTED USING NEW COMMUNICATION CHANNELS FOR WORK OR FOR SOCIAL REASONS; OF THOSE USING NEW COMMUNICATION CHANNEL, 93% SAY THEY WILL CONTINUE TO USE THESE CHANNELS POST QUARANTINE
CREATIVE ON DEMAND. Speed, adaptability and nimbleness are the new pre-requisites of any brand creative going forward. The companies that win are prepared to pivot marketing campaigns on a dime, many times over, to meet consumers where they are now and well into the future – emotionally, physically and virtually. There is a new opportunity for businesses to harness new channels and more frequent communication that will create deeper emotional ties to the brand.
ONLINE SURVEY OF 1,000 AMERICANS FIELDED BETWEEN MAY 1ST AND MAY 3RD 20,20. THE SURVEY WAS CONDUCTED ON BEHALF OF MWWPR BY LEADING SURVEY RESEARCH FIRM LUCID. THE MARGIN OF ERROR ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SURVEY IS +/- 3.1%
MEASURE MORE TO MATTER MORE. Historic views of measurement are no longer relevant for gauging performance in this environment. Brands need insights that can keep pace in order to be truly prescriptive. Deep insights and analytics have never been more critical to being able to pivot around emerging trends and issues, understanding consumer and stakeholder motivations and keeping a pulse on performance of channels, tactics and outcomes.
Crisis Response + Management
Like any crisis, COVID-19 has turned our world upside-down, but the rules of protecting and preserving corporate reputation still apply. Uncertainty about what will come next is not a reason to stay silent. Frequent, consistent and transparent communications with all stakeholders is imperative. Now is not the time to hypothesize; decisions based on real-time information and analytics must inform communications strategy. Actions taken now will have long-term reverberations on business and reputation.
Employee + Stakeholder Communications
Understanding the entire stakeholder ecosystem in this environment has never been more crucial. All audiences – from employees, clients and the public, to shareholders and surrounding communities – are looking for guidance, and companies cannot segment audiences with separate messaging. Our Total Stakeholder Approach™ is helping organizations of all sizes and industries stay connected to their audiences with creative content solutions that communicate important information while being mindful of the challenges of social distancing.
Right now, executive leaders have a unique responsibility and privilege to lead. Information about COVID-19 coming from employers is seen as more credible than information being provided by governments and mainstream media. From conferences and town hall meetings to what gets covered on the world stage, thought leadership opportunities have completely changed. In the “all Coronavirus, all the time” news environment, we are helping bring leaders’ voices andplatforms to reach stakeholders where they are today … online.
Legislative + Regulatory Tracking
MWWPR is leveraging connections at the state and national government level to monitor regulatory and rule-making that will impact business of all sizes and industries. New administrative orders and legislation are guiding what employers can and cannot do – from termination timeframes to compensation and benefits packages, these differ from standing protocols since they guide action during “times of state emergencies”.