In these tough economic times strategic public relations efforts will help you perservere as well as position you to be first in line for the anxiously awaited upturn! Here are some ideas for communicating your business’s messages during these economic lulls.
Focus on your unique value, not price. People are looking for quality services and products that provide real benefits. Effective communication of the unique and worthwhile qualities that you are offering, along with cost benefits (cost benefit can be anything from increased business effectiveness to sanity-restoring recreational splurging) will help keep your business on the “necessity” list during budget reviews.
Find more effective communications venues and utilize them. Most companies can’t afford expansion into communications channels that have worked for them in the past. Social media, used effectively, provides excellent benefits for both business and consumers. Done wrong, it’s a waste of time and may even damage a company’s brand story.
Be front and center. Focus on keeping your company in the public eye and establishing your expertise. Continuing promotion is a critical part of getting through a downturn, it’s important to keep an eye on long term goals and develop your messaging accordingly. Don’t hide from the public view in an attempt to ride out this storm! Stay in the storm and show your endurance!
Refocus your messaging. Focus on promoting product features and quality. Brand-building and awareness efforts are wonderful, but ensure that you are driving business goals in every form of communication. Most importantly, make sure to strengthen your online presence. The web is the first place businesses and people now turn to ensure they are getting the best return for their investments. Your website should instantly communicate your value. It is also smart to display signs of an active engaged company such as blogs, podcasts, and videos.
Nurture your relationships with your existing customers. Retaining your critically important regular customers is of great benefit through good times and bad. Now is also an excellent time to communicate and be honest with customers, most likely through social media outreach. You want to find out what features and services they value so that you know where you can cut if you need to and what is working that needs to be retained. You can also use this knowledge when the economy recovers to drive increased success!
Most importantly, be TRUE! Be true to your customers and take care of them. Even if a person or business can't afford your product or service at this time, if you are true, they will return as soon as things turn around!