Businesses need a new strategy.
If your business doesn’t continue to create new strategies to improve your niche during the pandemic, you won’t succeed.
As the global pandemic recedes in Connecticut, companies large and small must reevaluate and adapt their internal and external communications plans. The business climate changes and is in constant flux —as dictated by our COVID numbers, state and national directives and the overall economy.
Successful businesses, those that have survived and flourished during the challenge, know that a strong brand identity and image help existing and potential customers. A unique and positive public image now includes instilling trust and valuing loyalty in your target markets. Reinventing your image and brand to set you apart can recharge your bottom line.
All the messages you convey to the public and your employees must be carefully crafted and part of an overall strategic course of action to jump-start business in pandemic times.
Safety is absolutely the primary concern for employees and customers. As such, this must become a primary concern and message. Develop policies, protocols and responses for various scenarios that may occur. Communicate widely, specifically and honestly. Communicate frequently as the landscape changes.
This is a real opportunity to push the reset button and bring attention to your business. Remind existing and potential customers of your services, product lines and any new discounts while announcing your innovative stance on safety measurements. Solicit feedback. Internal and external.
Creativity counts. Broaden the level of input you receive. Utilize social media wisely. Advertise on radio or television. With the COVID slowdown, there also are good, new deals to be had for companies to advertise in print or online. These can target the specific geographic and demographic consumer you wish to attract.
Internally, become your workers’ primary source of information. Avert rumor and quickly dispel any false information you perceive. A bulletin board just isn’t enough anymore. Email your employees and explain the company’s safety policies and procedures. Solicit feedback. Virtual or in-person group meetings can reinforce your genuine concern for employee welfare — both physical and emotional. Serve food. Offer counseling resources. And, if your employees interface with the public, it is crucial that they deliver the consistent messages you wish to convey, and see themselves as an emissary for your company’s stand on COVID practices.
Externally, the public needs to hear more about and from you than the fact that you are open. How are you contributing to the needy? Taking care of your own? Offering innovative solutions for individuals?
Privately, you face noncompliance on safety by both workers and customers. Get ahead of it with a firm position on procedure and consequence. Will an unmasked worker be suspended? Will a customer be asked to leave the store?
The bottom line: prepare and share. Your carefully crafted, fully transparent and well communicated plan of action will lead to smoother operation, better morale, and clarity. You are ensuring all concerned that you value folks’ welfare as much as the bottom line.
Michael J. London has run the strategic communications firm, Michael J. London & Associates, for more than 30 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-261-1549.