When the financial crisis hit, everyone seemed to batten down the proverbial hatches. Executive management slashed budgets, put projects on hold, and started using phrases like “cash is king”. Although it remains to be seen how long the economic downturn will last, the shock has long settled so if you haven’t woken from your communications slumber, it’s time to wake up!
Slow periods are an opportunity to refresh your communication strategy and ensure your company’s name stays alive and topical with important audiences — particularly when your competition is fast asleep. Many stakeholders are waiting to do business with a company such as yours when the markets recover.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but now is an excellent time to tell your company’s story. What makes your organization unique? What makes it a compelling investment? That means conducting an honest, transparent assessment of your company’s strengths, not a promotional pitch. This should be the cornerstone of your communication efforts over the next several months.
You may be working with reduced budgets but don’t abandon all communication efforts. Research shows companies that maintain marketing activity in down markets, quickly outperform competitors when the economy picks up. Maintaining PR momentum is critical because in the absence of information, people will make things up…and it will usually be bad. Don’t get stuck in a communications void.
Here are some points to consider:
- How can you get your message out to the greatest number of priority stakeholders at the lowest cost?
- Can your employees help multiply your company’s message? How? (Employees can be great ambassadors for your company.)
- Should you take this opportunity to revamp your corporate messaging, start that blog you’ve been debating about, or update your company’s collateral materials?
- Face to face communication is time consuming but effective. Who would you like to build more rapport with now that you have more time?
Public relations and social media often provide the greatest bang for your marketing dollar. If you’d like to revisit your communications strategy or throw me a challenge, feel free to contact me. – Maria Loscerbo