High-Lights: Our Tech PR POV

Navigating the Digital Landscape during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every business, forcing a halt to most avenues of revenue. One avenue, however, remains a lifeline for organizations: digital platforms. From Zoom conferences to AMAs, we’re entering into a new reality on how to best connect with consumers. 

To best take advantage of this, organizations need to understand how to navigate this current climate. Below you’ll find a list of best practices to consider when diving into your new strategy: 

 

  • Update your communications social media crisis plan: Create a COVID-19 specific response bank and escalation path that includes all key stakeholders for the situation. If you don’t have an existing social media crisis plan, consider creating one that includes the following:  

 

      • What counts as a crisis and guidelines for how to identify 
      • Roles and responsibilities for every department.
      • A communication plan for internal updates.
      • Up-to-date contact information for critical employees.
      • Approval processes for messaging posted on social media.
      • Any pre-approved external messages, images, or information.
      • A link to your social media policy.

 

  • Create social media guidelines for employees: Guide employees on how they should talk about the business on social media during the COVID-19 crisis. Your policy is dependent on factors like size and independence of the company. It should also include information around:

 

      • Privacy guidelines
      • Copyright reminders
      • Brand voice guidelines

 

  • Secure your accounts: Hackers and bad actors can take advantage of a crisis, and we’re seeing an increase in attacks due to COVID-19 (ie: spreading malware, stealing personal information, etc.). Update your passwords and have dedicated managers who have access to social channels. Don’t keep your passwords in a document or email, or anywhere where it is at risk of being stolen/hacked. 
  • Use a social media management platform: Now is the time to set up your listening dashboard to monitor conversations and concerns in real time. Monitor social sentiment to see how consumers are reacting to your brand and address questions as they come in – setting up a response plan with dedicated community managers can also help. 
  • Engage and respond when needed: Have canned statements ready for conversations, but remember these are people you’re talking to. Approach with empathy, but keep it short. 
  • Stop all scheduled content: Remember, content today may not work tomorrow. Stop all scheduled content and switch to a daily scheduling plan. 
  • Save your “lessons learned:” This will be a learning experience for marketers/communications teams everywhere. Keep a log of what worked, what didn’t go as planned, and make notes for future crisis planning. 

 

Then, organizations can move forward and enact their digital strategy. Here are some things to consider when you begin sharing content across digital platforms:

  • Consistency: From employee communications to customer letters, it’s important for your audiences to have a clear understanding of your perspective on the topic. For example, Lululemon has repeatedly emphasized the importance of community on their social channels, and have upheld that by continuing to pay employees and livestreaming workout classes. 
  • Authenticity: Brands that have a credible reason to be providing information and updates should; it should not be self-serving.  
  • Highly transparent: Deliver clear communication about what decisions are being made and why  
  • Respectful and aware: ensure your content topics, tone and frequency are appropriate and relevant in today’s environment. For example, avoid events promotion or self-serving updates that could be deemed insensitive.
  • Helpful: Offer content and information that is relevant, beneficial and actionable

If you’re looking for more insight on how to optimize your digital strategy during COVID-19, please reach out to digital@highwirepr.com