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Digital PR at the crossroads of crisis and opportunity

By 17/04/2020April 23rd, 2020No Comments

A digital press release written on a Friday afternoon, might not be relevant anymore on Monday morning. Corona puts digital PR in crisis mode too. Luckily in PR, when the narrative of the market changes,  we can quickly change the story. And every story has a hero. In this case, it’s the consumer reinventing himself in a whole new world. A consumer that wants to be informed, diverted and feel connected.

Online media is the place to be

Let’s face it. These are weird times. The numero uno question that has been circling around in our mind is: do we need to change our digital PR strategies for this new found and this unstable economic climate?

We are possessively using more online magazines and social media channels to keep ourselves informed on the COVID-19 situation, but also, to find ways to keep busy, to handle working from home with kids, etc. Online media is the place to be and it’s the perfect way of communicating with your audience. As digital public relations professionals, it’s now even more important to keep that network flow with journalists, bloggers and influencers high on your priority list, to keep sending relevant online press releases to gain those much needed high-quality backlinks, social media mentions and to improve online earned media statistics. Even in bizarre times.

The happy medium

We must strive to strike a happy medium between Corona related topics and moving forward publications. At some point, we don’t only want be reminded of this crazy situation but want to try to maintain normalcy. So don’t throw away your seasonal PR plan just yet..

Before rolling out your next press release, it is important to listen to your client. What are their needs in these difficult times, is there any way you can help? Flexibility is the key word here. And that goes for any crisis really.

  • Is the current situation impacting their customers? Do they need help communication on the matter?
  • Will the audiences’ priorities shift as a result of the current climate, and if so, how should my content change to reflect that?
  • Does it change the service, and if so, how can we communicate that to their customers? Eg. Stores are being closed down but there are now online Summer offers etc.

When you have covered all of the above you can now adapt your plan. Does it need new content? You might soon find out that parts of your PR plan are still very relevant. When taking a quicker look at online publications you will see there is a need to cover topics that are not crisis related.

Be present, stay truthful and have a positive impact

Companies who are being creative and doing things that create new business opportunities and have PR value are the game changers nowadays. This could be a good time to pitch non-crisis stories because they will stand out from the crowd as journalists are probably receiving fewer of them.

It can be tempting for your clients to go into money containment mode in pandemic times. It is our role to embrace the unique window we have right now where brands can earn trust by staying present online and showing relevant topics through our press releases. In case you forgot: customers are still buying the experience and not just the product. Journalists also want to develop a more intense kind of consumer relationship as they are now becoming the trusted sources par excellence, looking for accurate information and positive news in our digital press releases.

There’s still room to keep the faith, even in the event of a historic crisis.

Written by Margo Van Raemdonck – PR Manager

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