April 30, 2020
In place of our usual SEO Monthly Roundup, the PR team have taken the reins this month to discuss how they’ve pivoted to take on Covid-19, their successes, and advice for implementing a strong PR strategy during these unprecedented times.
Any PR round-up in these uncertain times would be remiss if it didn’t mention our current Covid-19 crisis. However, just like we all have had to pivot and find new routines and ways of life, businesses should also be versatile with their PR approach. Now is the perfect time to rethink tactics and messaging.
Here at Blueclaw it’s taken some time to get to know what journalists want during these testing times, and we’ve had our own trials and errors since the start of the crisis jumping on more reactive opportunities whilst also rethinking campaigns in the pipeline.
In this month’s round-up we’ll share some insights in how to make those pivots.
This is a tricky question with no right answer. To be certain, brands and businesses won’t want to be seen trying to capitalise on the current situation for their own ends. However, it can’t be ignored that Covid-19 is dominating all areas of the news cycle and the focus of watercooler talk (or “Zoom” talk in light of the circumstances). So how can brands tread this fine line and still manage to get coverage during these hard times?
First and foremost, the key is to be empathetic. This extends not only to your customer base but also to the media outlets you’re reaching out to. Like any other industry, the media has suffered setbacks during this time. So think about how you can help them with their stories. And as for your customer base, they want to know you’re still there, even if they’re not acting in their usual ways.
The other thing to keep in mind is what information or insight are you providing that no one else has or can? This is a question that should come up for any PR activity you do, but it is an especially essential tactic during this time. Data should be your friend and will be especially useful to challenge perceptions as well as provide new insights into behavioural changes.
What the world was like when those campaigns were booked in probably doesn’t exist so much anymore. What you thought was going to take off, may not do so in the current climate or may seem out of step (for example, a travel campaign when there’s nowhere to go). However, that doesn’t mean you should just dump it.
See if there’s any way to spin it for a smaller bit of outreach, but don’t force it. Consumers and, more importantly, journalists will see right through it. We also want to caveat that the spin doesn’t have to be COVID-19 related, but do have a look at whether there is an opportunity for a timely tie-in. If there is no viable option for another angle, then don’t be afraid to park the idea for a later day. It could still be relevant later on for better outreach success.
So what do you do now?
As we mentioned earlier, during this time, brands and PRs have an opportunity for a clean slate and to be more dynamic. This is an approach the Blueclaw PR team has taken across different brands for different levels of success. It has involved a bit of a learning curve as we navigate new ways of finding journalists as some are on furloughs or are focusing on different beats.
While we work on bigger campaigns in the background, we have jumped on more reactive opportunities in line with the zeitgeist with particularly positive results in the business, gaming, and tech sectors.
Here are some of this month’s highlights:
These may be unconventional times, but we just have to be more nimble and flexible with work whilst still gaining valuable coverage for brands. Yes, certain sectors have been hit particularly hard so far in this pandemic, and perhaps our editorial plans for the year have to be rewritten. But why not forget about them for the time being, and try something new?
And while you’re at it, redefine success during this time. Smaller projects and quickly generated research and press releases are a fine way to still build brand awareness and leads until we can go back to business as usual.
To discuss developing or implementing a reactive approach to PR, get in touch with our team today.