To SMEs, business owners and entrepreneurs,
Firstly, let us start by extending a firm, virtual handshake to all of you. Running a business in the current climate is like spinning plates. You’re juggling the future of your business, the livelihoods of you and your employees, the loyalty of your customers and the dilemma of what is safe vs. what is sustainable. We understand the challenges facing businesses right now and we don’t just sympathise – we want to help. However, we need to ask something in return…
Don’t cut your PR budgets!
You would be forgiven for thinking of PR as a middleman between yourself and your stakeholders; it embodies your brand’s character and looks good doing it. You would also be forgiven for thinking that, when push comes to shove, removing this middleman and focussing on direct sales is what’s best for the business. However, by removing this middleman, you are now telling your stakeholders “You are not a valued client, but a resource for our business”. That mutual desire to support and be supported becomes self interest and preservation and what could have been brand loyalty that transcends a crisis amounts to a few pounds made during.
Perhaps one of the few good things to come from this pandemic, it that is has reminded us all that we are, at our core, human. So let’s communicate like humans. PR is not just promotion, it’s sharing values, connecting across borders and creating relationships that will endure. Communication is what will keep us feeling human in this crisis, so use your PR budget not just to survive, but to feel good doing it.
This crisis is going to end. The recession that follows is going to end. And just as we had to adjust to working through screens, we’re going to readjust to working face to face. Make this task easier and ensure your business still has an identity to resume. Talk to your PR practitioner or consult with a new one – believe us, there are lots available right now. Explain your concerns about budget or ethics and how you want to proceed through these times, we can work with this. Above all, just keep communicating until we meet again.