The importance of this statement stands true during the ongoing pandemic. With the global economy crashing, startups and well-established businesses are finding it hard to stay afloat. The change in business strategy has led to the marketing and PR goals becoming well-defined, creative, and often personal. The need of the hour is to adapt to the 'new normal' and strategize with devising practical PR tools to communicate effectively. With a shift of focus from experiential to virtual communication, a good crisis management plan could be a good start point.

Here's how PR can help businesses in these trying times:

Communicate Compassion:
Unlock the power of showing compassion to your customers by sending out communication that you care about them. Achieve this by designing a PR strategy using the experience and knowledge of the organization's key people, placing their expertise for the welfare of society, and helping clients. Use various media platforms, thought leadership articles, interviews, blogs, podcasts, and even social media posts. Make sure the key message delivery is on point. This will help to retain customer trust and stay on top of the brand recall. If you can, try making personal communication via emails, SMS, or phone calls to clients and customers. This can create magic and build a special bond between the organization and its public.

Ditch traditional PR tools and activate online presence:
With publishing houses struggling with advertisements, the print space is becoming restricted. Many people are ditching the physical copies of newspapers and magazines to consume the news online. In this situation, brands must make their voice heard in the online space. Distribution of company news must entail a detailed Social media and digital content marketing plan to help brands get into the headlines for the right reasons.

Adapt with agility:
Re-evaluate content generation. Tests and turns to existing communications must be exercised to fit in newer forms of content consumptions. Think reels, IGTV, Live sessions, and podcasts to stay relevant to capture a newer audience while retaining the existing ones. The reach of social media is through the roof at the moment. Influencer marketing is one such creative solution that can give better results than traditional advertisements.

Use PR for internal communications:
One of the most critical assets of any company is its human resource. In times of such uncertainty, undoubtedly, employees are also one of the most critical public. This is the time to communicate effectively with them to show empathy and keep them informed of the company's financial health. By devising an effective PR strategy for internal communications, you are fueling the advocates of your brand with the correct information and trust.

'Newsjack' with utmost caution:
With every brand communicating their offers on taking the jab or joining hands with NGOs to help covid-stricken families, there is a fragile line between being sensitive and newsjacking for the sake of it. This must be exercised with utmost caution to uphold the brand ethos in the eyes of the audience. One must not misuse this situation to tick off yearly CSR marketing goals.

It is understandable to cut down the organizational budget with the grave economic situation, especially for communications. However, it is a dire mistake. Brands need PR support more than ever to survive through the trying times. This is the opportunity to harp on your digital presence and connect with your audience in newer ways. Uphold the faith in your brand and refresh your PR strategy to bounce back stronger.