“The world needs to prepare for pandemics in the same way it prepares for war.” Bill Gates talked about epidemics hosted by the Massachusetts Medical Society and the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2018. And here comes one in December 2019 for which the world was not prepared. No matter how much we boast about medical advancement in society with AI technology no one knows what we will face the next day.
The same goes for the brands. No matter how many crisis manual one makes and has all the experience in handling a brand’s crisis it all goes for a toss in a time like this. This is a time when brands need to show their empathy and not try to drive sales.
World Health Organization has already declared this a pandemic and no doubt in today’s fake news world the social media and internet are filled with more fake news about COVID – 19 than facts. With all the safety measures that are advised by WHO people need to be in isolation and avoid crowds as much as possible. And this has resulted in problems for businesses directly or indirectly. Sectors like food and beverage and tourism and hospitality are directly affected by it and the sales and service sectors, indirectly.
Some brands are already putting up great communication messages like Neiwai, a Chinese brand is posting messages on WeChat and Italy’s #IStayHome social media marketing campaign. But one should know when to stay silent and when to post. If a brand doesn’t have anything positive to contribute towards people’s wellness but execute a plan that they prepared 90 days ago, then it’s better to stay silent.
Some points that I think can help brands communicate to all its stakeholders’ are-
In the end, just do something that all your stakeholders feel good about. With seeing one Instagram post or are proud of being related to a brand that is helping the community.
Kritika Khatwani is an Alumna of the Class of 2020 of PG Programme in PR and Corporate Communications at SCoRe, Mumbai. She completed her winter internship with MSL, Mumbai.
She is from Jhansi. She has done her graduation from Mass Communications and Journalism. Her varied life experiences resonate with her passion for raising awareness about social causes. This is evident from her participation in the short film- Gaokor: A Period House. Her avid inclination towards creativity and writing is what pushed her to pursue a career in public relations. Music and coffee are her meditation.