At this point, you and your business have had to react to the increased concern and recommendations related to maintaining the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Not since the attacks of September 11, 2001, has a crisis has so quickly transformed the economy. Small businesses will be the hardest hit and they comprise 44 percent of the U.S. economy, according to the Washington Post.
You may have already delivered some form of announcement to your constituents. If you have made such an announcement, you’ll need to continue to address the impact of COVID-19 for your customers, supporters, staff, and volunteers. We’ve worked on several announcements and have been devouring others from different sectors including nonprofits, tattoo shops, fitness studios, retail boutiques and restaurants.
Below are a few good examples:
Mod & Soul – a fashion retail boutique has two physical locations and serves customers online. They announced on social media where most of their customers interact with them. They have offered discounts to shop online, free shipping, and returns.
CARITAS: This nonprofit provides services to people experiencing homelessness and substance use disorders. Its service delivery model was impacted in many ways. They delivered a series of responses over email, on its blog, and across social channels. The responses reference local and regional sources. They continue to update on social regularly.
When you click on the links above, you’ll realize that each business had a different set of concerns and messages that they needed to share. We are proud to help them craft those messages. We’ve been reading many more messages from a variety of organizations and businesses.
Below are a few of the characteristics we’ve determined make an effective, positive, and even beneficial COVID-19 announcement.
Now is the time to be vulnerable with your customers and supporters. Let them know exactly what your protocols have been in the past and what they are going forward. Leave no questions. Your announcement is an opportunity to build a even deeper bond of trust. As we’ve written before, trust is the foundation to any good relationship. Marketing is the best way to build that trust with your customers, present and future.
Reference the Experts
It’s not enough to tell your constituents that you are closing or tightening up your cleaning activities. They need to know that you are following the highest, most effective recommendations. Reference organizations including the WHO, CDC and your local health department. This will instill confidence and also demonstrate that you are not a part of a wave of panic, but part of a very sensical system response.
Specific Call to Action
If business cannot operate as usual, which is highly likely, be sure you are sharing clear opportunities to still engage with your brand. That includes offering virtual workouts, providing free delivery or pick up, and buying gift cards. If you are still open for business, make clear suggestions on how to visit, such as limiting the number of people who come with you to your appointments as we noted in the Loose Screw announcement.
A sense of calm
As we’re all aware, a bit of panic has overcome individuals, businesses and the media. The rates of anxiety will increase as the situation progresses. We’re all in need of some relief when it comes to anxiety, especially if we are predisposed. Play your part in reducing fears. Make sure your message is heard and readers want to respond. There are words and phrases to use in those not to use. Your message has the potential to feel almost therapeutic to its readers. The organizations who use calming language will be consumed and remembered more thoroughly.
Let Us Know if We Can Help!
If you’re looking for help crafting your messaging, we’re here to help!
We’re offering free copy writing and strategic planning to new businesses.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org