We have been inspired and motivated after talking to some of our clients over the last few weeks. This new physical distancing, virtual world will not discourage us from staying connected. In fact, we believe, it has prompted even more conversations. At the forefront of these conversations for businesses right now are, of course, communicating the direct impacts of COVID-19 on their customers, vendors and teams, but perhaps also how to market and grow your business during this time. But this can be a sensitive topic to broach. Marketing agencies, such as our client William Joseph, are having conversations like this every day and we asked them for some insight into the shifts and adjustments they have made to adapt to the ever-changing market we are in. Read more from our discussion with William Joseph below.
What area of your business has been most impacted by COVID-19 thus far?
William Joseph: “We have mostly been impacted by clients needing immediate help with crisis communications. Developing messaging on how their organization is dealing with and responding to COVID–19, both internally and externally can be a sensitive topic. You want to ensure you come across as authentic, transparent, sensitive, yet also clear and supportive. It is important to look at the areas of your business that may be able to provide help or services during this time. However, you may want to consider your approach, we do not want to come across as opportunistic. Alternatively, it can be a misstep to opt out of all communication entirely. This is a worldwide pandemic and even if there is no direct impact on your organization, you do not want to appear as insensitive.
While we are on board with supporting our clients during this transition, we are also trying to encourage that clients keep to the development and execution of their marketing plan as ongoing as possible. The necessity to drop everything and respond with COVID-19 communications can be overwhelming for some organizations, however, maintaining a regular marketing cadence can be simpler and perhaps even critical to the success of your business when the economy stabilizes. For us, this has required adjustments and shifts in payment terms, putting in-progress projects on hold to pivot our attention and consistent communication with our clients to support them however we can.”
What shifts or transitions have you made in response to COVID-19?
William Joseph: “We had not been outwardly offering crisis communications, strategies or plans simply because our core offering has always been dedicated to the development and implementation of long-term marketing plans with specific tactics tailored to an organization's goals and objectives. Typically, this does not include a plan for crisis as this would require specific types of responses. However, as COVID-19 is effecting every single person and organization, it is an organization’s responsibility to communicate with their audience. But, there is no explicitly stated way of doing this and smaller operations may not have the resources to invest in the necessary communications.
Keeping this in mind, we have developed a wide range of scaled back services to help organizations on tight budgets, as well we have developed some free tools and content for anyone to access. Our team will be doing Instagram lives, weekly, where we will be offering advice and answering your questions. We are also currently working on a webinar to help organizations with crisis communication and messaging.”
We at Fully Managed have been humbled by both our client’s and our community’s ability to acknowledge our social responsibility to support one another. When we start each conversation with a better understanding of one another and a higher level of empathy, we are more equipped to combat uncertainty, financial worries and the daily struggles we are all facing. What is interesting to note is that these are uncertainties that every organization faces, every day. So what is different now? Well, we are, truly, all in this together. Instead, more of us are approaching these situations with a new level of understanding. Maybe something we can take with us to our new world when this is all over?