Likely, the COVID-19 pandemic will still impact services provided by a business through 2021.
We know this news is not what you wanted to hear, but we believe it’s prudent to be ready to live along side of COVID-19 for the remainder of 2021.
So, how is this foreboding forecast overcome if you are a small business owner or self-employed?
First, by being pragmatic. Any business that hasn’t figured out a way to protect employees and customers from the virus, and fence off products, services or supply chains needs to do so immediately.
Second, resilience is key. We need to learn how to conduct business with the virus, respect the mandates to wear masks and integrate social distancing measures for the foreseeable future. If your business isn’t nimble and adaptable to COVID fallout in 2021 you will face a challenging future.
Third, be knowledgeable about some common trends we anticipate will become leading public relations and marketing tactics for the rest of 2021:
- Create a human connection – online. “Ninety percent of people in the U.S. are spending more time on their devices,” according to McKinsey & Company, a marketing and sales firm. So, take steps to Improve your mobile shopping or service experience – make this action a priority!
- Update your messaging to meet challenging times. There’s an opportunity for businesses to get to know their customers on a whole new level and personalize offers, promotions, and experiences like never before. Remaining engaged with customers is a critical trend.
- A strong communications strategy and crisis communications plan are key for not only staying afloat, but also coming out of the pandemic in a stronger position. You never know when you might have a customer or employee test positive for COVID-19. You must be ready to mitigate the situation and demonstrate your business’ ability to overcome bad news.
- Reputation Management. With mounting political division and social media missteps in controlling news and information, your company needs to be ready to detect and to act on potential PR issues. Quickly being able to plan and react to the news cycle will be important to branding and customer confidence.
- B2B. Business-to-Business purchasing and servicing will be even more important than ever. Every Woodland Park and Teller County business is impacted by COVID. So, learn from neighbor businesses and adopt best practices. Set up a series “Customer Engagement” meetings to drive success in 2021. Look, you can avoid the “race to the bottom” if you are willing to partner and work together to expand customers by collaborating.
- Remain Positive. We really believe the “worst” is over! And, we see this development with the increased attention our firm is being given to provide PR and marketing services.
Now into Spring and Summer to quickly follow it is THE time to return to a “new normal”. You need to look past the last 15 months and focus on the future. If your business comes to grips with lessons learned during 2020 then you will be on a strategy for renewed success; able to pivot and weather all types of disruptions.
Michael B Perini, ABC is president of Perini & Associates, a full-service public relations and marketing firm based in Woodland Park, CO. Reach Mike at email@example.com.