HOW TO RECESSION PROOF YOUR PR
At raraPR we talk a lot about slow PR, sustainable PR and the infinite game. This is the best form of PR. No to flash in the pan parties that absorb entire PR budgets and fall flat on results about the same time as the stale glass of champagne at the end of the night. Nope.
What we look for always is to create PR strategies that will go the distance. That will support a business as far as their investment can possibly take them and thereafter that. Evergreen PR.
Whether we’re staring a looming recession in the face or not, my recommendation for the best strategy to recession proof your PR will likely come as no surprise; the infinite approach always wins.
Yes, the budget might change. Yes, resourcing of who does what might change. Yes, the messaging will likely change. Yes the target audience might shift slightly. But the most effective approach to PR remains the same. And it’s times like now that make this all the true – consumers as always look for familiar and trusted brands when it comes to buying, especially in a recession.
Realign Your Messaging
There’s nothing worse than a brand that has misaligned messaging. Or right now, pretends that the world for their target audience hasn’t changed by syndicating sales-driven messages lacking in empathy, understanding or acknowledgement.
We’ve seen brands fail to slam on the brakes and continue with pushing out pre-scheduled, social media posts as if not being able to hug a friend, take your kids to school, visit grandparents, leave your house freely, go out for dinner and for many, simply go to work, is completely and utterly normal. It’s important to align your messaging with what’s relevant to the environment around your business and the people you engage and do business with, always.
Invest in Your Brand
Worried consumers shop with brands they know and trust. This is why investing in your PR before times of downturn is a smart business strategy. If your cash flow has flat-lined and you can’t outsource your PR you can still invest in your brand by being active on social media, publishing opinion articles to your blog or LinkedIn, publishing to Instagram’s Grid and Insta Stories on a regular basis, as well as doing ‘Lives’ or video on Facebook, Instgram and Youtube. You can also invest in your brand by taking consumers behind the scenes of your business via TikTok and Snapchat. With the democratising of ‘owned’ communication platforms; there’s no reason you can’t build brand in times of downturn to some capacity. Just choose the outlet that plays best to your available resources and skills and triple down.
Focus on Relationships
This is the time to focus on community management. Your social media community as well as your team and customer community. People generally have more time right now to be online and consuming content; being available and responsive online is a way that you can be there to build relationships and future-proof your business. Now more than ever try to anticipate your customer’s needs and invest in digitally available customer service. This is the time to be close to your community and reassure them with messages that reinforce an emotional connection to your brand. Engage with your community as much as possible and get them involved in ideas that will serve them better now and in the future.
Focus on Value
Forget about sales, and focus on value. The sales will eventually return and by giving by giving value in your messaging, you’ll position yourself better for recovery. The best hack to communicate with value is to remember the problems your business solves and why it exists.
Explore New Audiences
Downturn unearths change and new ways of doing things with new audiences that you didn’t think we’re previously available or relevant to your brand. Consider how your business has the possibility of adding value, solving problems and making life better for your community. This might mean uncharted audiences in overseas markets or it might mean providing a revised version of your product or service to a new corporate partner (i.e. Mate the Label one of my favourite ethical and sustainable fashion apparel brands is now producing face masks for medical teams during this Covid19 pandemic).
Enhance your Innovation Efforts
Now is the time for us all to review our product and service mix and to focus on opportunities not losses. Forget about who you were and focus on who you can be. While this is a time rife with frustration it is also a time for potential transformation. We will all be changed on the other side of this and by this I equally mean the world of business.
Wishing you and your business good health, peace of mind and excellent PR support.
Words by Jade Roberts
raraPR Founder and Creative Director
raraPR is above all the sum of people who together help build brands and share stories. We are present in our determination to make a positive difference to the world by representing individuals and businesses that are doing good. We are an extension of the personal stories within us, those that we exist for and those within you that need to be heard.