27th March 2020

PR strategies to navigate the new normal

The end of another week – but not one that we would have envisaged even just a few weeks ago. So how are we getting in on in this new normal? The CubanEight team, like so many other businesses, has been working its way through this, working out how to adapt as team, and most importantly working in partnership with clients to continue to deliver work that supports what they need now and in the weeks ahead.

What has been helpful through this time is the advice and insight that clients, partners and peers have shared. So, in that spirit, I wanted to share some of what we are experiencing here at CubanEight and the PR strategies and advice we are giving as the Coronavirus crisis continues:

  • We can adapt with you: Things are changing daily, and we know that clients are putting plans in place for the short term. Clients are realigning business goals to get through this. Our role throughout this crisis is to know what these changes are and adapt output to support that – for instance a client’s event was cancelled, so we are diverting resources to building out content that can be used across their social, media and wider marketing to keep their customer comms moving.
  • What is the media looking for? Common questions have been: Can we still put out news? Should we be doing thought leadership? What should our position be? We know that clients want to convey their compassion and act appropriately with their customers and audiences – and comms is a big part of that. So yes, the right tone of voice and language are critical, as is being relevant. Daily, we are sharing across the team what journalists are looking for, which topics should and shouldn’t be commented on and how to adapt our approaches. Media outlets need our support more than ever before and with internet and social media up, radio listening figures up as well there are real opportunities for clients to fill those gaps.
  • Getting on with business: Right now, there is so much uncertainty and that is impacting on customers’ decision-making. They are likely to be operating in an environment where they are not able to commit to new spend or campaigns. In the meantime, customers are looking for empathy, reassurance and flexibility from the brands that they want to do business with when the time comes. So, there is still opportunity to keep your brand front-of-mind, with advice-led content that businesses are looking for right now. Being the brand that is here for its customers when it matters runs way deeper than its PR, but it can be manifested effectively via your comms. And it will stand your business in good stead for when we all come out the other side of this.
  • Use your data: Many of our clients are tech platforms and we have been encouraging them to mine their data to share the insights it can reveal. With all the uncertainty, data is extremely valuable. We know that media and customers are looking for it – now, more than ever, numbers make good stories. The other thing to say about data is that if clients are looking at it to understand what matters to their customers right now, we want to know what those pain points are, so that we are building campaigns that resonate with that.
  • We are a partner for our clients. This is how we work anyway but it is even more relevant today. Being there for clients – helping to support their business and bringing adaptability to programmes to ensure that they are relevant and what they need right now, and over the coming weeks.

Just a final thing to leave you with; one of the new podcasts that have popped up as a result of the situation we all find ourselves in is from Tribe & Facebook, Marketers in Pyjamas – it is billed as a light-hearted lunch & learn during lockdown. In one of the episodes, Jules Lund interviews Keith Weed, former CMO of Unilever. One of the things that stayed with me from this conversation is when Keith spoke about the opportunity to engage audiences right now is there, obviously being respectful of the challenges that are going on, but also respectful of the economy we are all in, and the need to continue to support that.

Thanks for reading and take care during this time.