There’s not going to be a magic switch that reboots the world’s economy or bolsters commercial confidence. But as the shutters rise and we emerge and adapt to this ‘new world’, it is the actions of individuals and businesses that will be under the spotlight now more than ever.
What we do, even more so than what we say will matter and people won’t sit on the sidelines if they don’t agree. Just look at the reactions to the way Virgin Atlantic and Victoria Beckham treated its staff, let alone Cummins and his Barnard Castle adventures…reputational damage sticks and it takes a long time to shift public opinion.
As with any relationship, trust is the most precious thing you can have and if you lose that with your customers or potential business partners, it’s very difficult to get it back.
If you want to avoid post crisis, crisis PR, here are our best practice points. These haven’t changed since Covid, but they’re more relevant than ever.
1- Prep It - Erratic PR does’t work. You need to work out what is it you do and what you want to be known for? What are you proud of and what do you believe in? Who do we need to care? And why will they care? Turn your sales and marketing messages into jargon-free points!
2- Say It - Once you’ve agreed this, say it! Through news releases, social posts, during speaking opportunities, thought leadership pieces. A message that sticks is simple and consistent (Listen up Bojo). Your audiences need to be hearing your messages loudly, clearly and regularly.
3 - Prove It - You’ve laid out your stall. Now you have to prove it. You can’t use words without backing them up. Your tech is better than your competitors, how? You’re a great employer, why? You’re doing things differently - how? Now you’ve started to talk, you need to substantiate this through your PR and communications activity and start to prove it.
4 - Build It - Consistency is key. You know who you are. You’ve started to prove your reputation. You now need to build on this audience trust. Keep the momentum up, the message simple and consistent and the news and opinions engaging. Ensuring and building on this trust will validate and maintain your voice.
So there you have it, people don’t just want words, they want actions. So figure out the best words for you and make sure you’re saying them but also, follow through on this. Now is not the time for vacuous verbals, people want transparent messages and actions that support this.