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PR with Purpose in the face of a Crisis

Did you know there’s a Global pandemic? Before you switch off from “yet another” Covid-19 blog, I would really value your feedback.

In the face of the global crisis, businesses are doing their best to respond and keep the economy turning as best as possible. For some, that means a genuine business pivot from brewing Gin for example, to making hand santizer.

What do these stories mean to you? I find it fascinating to see businesses which have been set up with one specific purpose in mind, find ways to change their outputs to meet a new demand and offer genuine help to the world at an incredibly challenging time. Although, I could tell you there are a number of businesses doing this, like Lincoln Textiles which is now making face masks when they usually make duvets, pillows and mattresses, but before I sat down to write this blog I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the company name.

Should I have been able to? Should I be switching my loyalties to these companies because they were able to help? I’m not a connoisseur of Gin, nor do I recall thinking all that hard about the brand when I last purchased a duvet, so actually the story of business transformation is much more relevant to me.

And perhaps this is, in itself, the point. Every business is adapting to unprecedented change. Undertaking a business pivot may be the right option for a brand in this current, fluid environment. Something that is seen to be done as just for brand building rather than with a purpose, will likely backfire horribly. Take Shell’s attempt to cash in on the narrative of International Women’s day as a real, and frankly facepalmingly horrible, example.

And in order to communicate it effectively, the brand narrative has to support the changes as well. After all we don’t want a nation panicking because of a potential lack of gin, when the real issue is the actual and existing lack of hand sanitizer.

I’d be very interested in your answers to my questions, or your thoughts on the good and the bad of PR right now.

If you’d like to talk to us about adapting your comms strategy to manage the fluid economic business environment then please get in touch.

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