Coronavirus: Three ways PR can help navigate this issue right NOW...

By Dawn Manning

Let's​​​​​​ be honest with ourselves. Just about the only clear thing at the moment is that ​it's going to get worse before it gets better, and we're all in it for the foreseeable future. For businesses with less dough to wave around, risk management and reducing company impact of the world-wide pandemic could be the difference between make or break for lots of businesses.

So how do we, as a small agency and business owners, protect our assets and staff during this unprecedented event in time? 

Think ahead

The M&S strapline; 'There is no Plan B' resonates again, it never really gets old does it? But it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. It's likely that you can assume that any new campaign or product launches for the spring probably won't happen this time round, but that doesn't mean that you have to completely cut it. Keep in mind that the media still has a need to write stories ahead of competitors to stay on top trends and in this digital day and age, we can reach out even further to our audiences with the help of communication via social media and platforms; after all the increase in social media usage over the last few weeks is no coincidence. 

Be flexible

It's inevitable that cash flow will certainly take a hit, whilst consumers cut back on spending and businesses evaluate their own cost savings to get through, it's not a bad idea to consider how you can persuade your target market to stay loyal. Discounts, offers, vouchers, credit tabs and of course honouring cancellations and refunds can all keep you high in your customers minds of good business practise for the future. 

Prepare yourself

While it should be open for business as usual, in addition to supporting clients, retaining customers and protecting future ventures it's also essential to make staff feel at ease with the situation too. As none of us can really predict the course of nature of the Coronavirus and the quick decisions made in Government this week, it's important to get your alternative affairs in order and up workplace hygiene so that if the prospect of a nation-wide lockdown really does happen, your business is prepared and is operating as normal. 

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