Community platform for communicators and marketers who have had to rapidly adapt to a changing market in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These have been drastic times. As we stayed apart in 2020 in order to band together, our global efforts of social distancing have had significant impacts on the way we do business. We’ve had to be careful, smart, strategic and creative, to keep businesses operating and mitigate anxiety for employees, members, clients and suppliers.
We believe in the creative power of the human mind and by putting our heads together, we can come up with creative and innovative solutions to help many brands come out the other side of this.
To do our bit, we launched OTM Outreach 2020. It is a free virtual helpline and shared platform for marketing, communications, and creative advice and insights. Whether you have questions about digital marketing, content creation, public relations, client or employee communications or change management, we’re here to help our community communicate and respond as best they can in this changing climate.
The helpline to submit questions is available via the form below. We also hosted a live weekly Q&A sessions in the first half of the year. Recordings are available on our blog and the OTM Outreach 2020 Half Yearly Report is now available for download.
Recorded Live Q&A Webinars | Related articles
Submit your question to our Free Virtual Helpline using the form below:
Your questions answered
WORK IN PROGRESS – FAQ will be filled in as questions are submitted. Please note that our team members are providing their support to you free of charge. We’ll set aside 1-hour each day to review questions and send responses.
The most important thing is to keep your brand promise.
Focus on the purpose that you’re delivering on and why your customers and users should keep coming back to you.
Personal human experience is emphasised and easily recognised through video – messaging comes across more genuine and authentic from a champion and believer of your brand.
With the overload of COVID-19 communications, how do we cut through this? Do you have insights into what consumers really want to know?
Regarding the cut through part of your question:
It is difficult to cut-through right now, although we are starting to see a shift in the news with more space opening up to non-COVID-19 related stories. We are also seeing what appears to be a decrease in the intensity of concern about COVID-19 among the general population (cite: The Lab Insights); it is however still top of mind for the majority of people so you need to be mindful of how useful or helpful your message is to people right now. If your news stories or other content is of use and relevance to your audience right now then sharing your message is worth doing. If not, then just wait a little longer. To cut through you’ll need things like:
- really compelling headlines and calls to action;
- bite-size attention grabbers such as great photos, video clips or written copy
- useful information such as research, templates, how-to guides or other items that are relevant to your industry
Regarding the insights part of your question, here are some key takeaways from two recent Edelman studies (1. Edelman Trust Barometer special report, Trust and the Coronavirus, and 2. Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic, a 12-market study on what is expected of brands during the pandemic. Source: https://www.edelman.com.au/insights/How-brands-can-do-the-right-thing-in-the-age-of-COVID-19)
- “stop selling and start solving, offering tangible and fast-moving solutions that help everyone through this difficult time. Brands that do so will come through the crisis with their integrity intact, while those that do not may face a backlash.”
- “89 per cent of respondents say brands should shift production to goods that meet the challenges of COVID-19”
- “54 per cent of respondents to our research say they’re not paying attention to new products right now, unless designed to help with pandemic-related life challenges”
- “We’ve seen 89 per cent of our respondents tell us brands should keep the public fully informed on how they’re supporting and protecting their employees and customers, while 88 per cent want to be kept updated regarding changes to brand operations and how to access products and services. Transparency is always valuable, but it’s particularly key during these moments of crisis.”
- “LinkedIn is working to raise awareness around an offering of free job listings until June 30 for businesses in healthcare, warehousing, supermarket, and freight delivery, as well as the serving of urgent jobs listings, like those in healthcare services, to members with relevant skills.”
- “a clear desire amongst 90 per cent of respondents that brands partner with government to better deal with the crisis”
- “86 per cent of people hope brands will provide a safety net where government is unable to act or perhaps unable to act quickly enough”
- “Sixty-five per cent of respondents say that how a brand responds will likely have a huge impact on their likelihood of buying that brand in future”
- “71 per cent of people claim that if they perceived a brand to be putting profit over people, they would lose trust in that brand forever”
Another useful information source for brands at this time is : https://www.covid19brandnavigator.com/
It is important to consider your messaging and distribution strategy carefully at this time as the digital and print media is very full of Coronavirus news. Consider how your organisation can be of assistance and if your good news demonstrates how you are well placed to help. The link between your news and Coronavirus needs to be genuine and compelling to ensure you do not appear opportunistic nor indifferent.
If you do decide that your news is genuinely appropriate at the moment our suggestions would include:
- Write a media release and share it with relevant media in the industries you are targeting
- Self publish an article on your own website/blog and also make sure there is a feature on your home page
- Self publish an article on LinkedIn
- Create a post on social media
- Consider setting up a paid digital campaign, advertising on social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram (platform depends on who you are trying to reach)
- Use testimonials from existing clients or users
- Send an announcement via email to your existing database encouraging them to share the news with their networks
- Depending on who you are trying to reach it is important that in any of the communications or advertising activities you have a clear call to action so that you can capture people’s interest quickly. This could be a landing page on your website with a form to convert; it could be a form or other call to action within the digital advertisement itself (i.e. a Facebook form, Facebook callback button)
We are working on a PR announcement that is not related to COVID-19. Should we continue with issuing the press release or hold off?
This was at first a tricky question, however after discussing with our team and consulting with some trusted journalists our advice is to hold off if it is not truly breaking news and/or it doesn’t have a genuine link to the current situation.
- Don’t be opportunistic: Avoid making tenuous Coronavirus related announcements that do not have a clear connection as it will look opportunistic
- Monitor the headlines over the next few weeks and determine if you think there is appetite for your story
Consult with trusted journalists in your sector to gauge their interest.
How do I submit a question to the virtual helpline?
- Fill in the form above, or Email your question directly to our shared Helpline mailbox.