We’ve all learned plenty of things from 2020, but we think the most important lesson is that we, as a human race, rely heavily on communication.
From the daily government briefings during the UK’s first lockdown to Zoom calls with family, Teams meetings with your staff to checking your favourite local business’ Facebook page to keep up to date… communication has been key.
Working in the communications industry, we’ve seen plenty of businesses and people change the way they communicate with others thanks to the pandemic.
We’ve collected a few of the key lessons you should have learned this year so that you can make them your PR and social media resolutions for 2021:
Keep customers and clients up to date with your every move
We’ve lived in a year of uncertainty, so minimising that uncertainty for your customers and clients is of paramount importance. Once there has been a major update and you have decided what your business’ plan of action will be, inform your clients and customers.
You can send them an email or share a post to your social media (hint: both is best) to make sure your target audience knows exactly what is happening with your business at the moment.
Pro-tip: pin your ‘update’ post to the top of your social profiles, so prospective customers and clients don’t need to look too far to find out how you’re operating.
...that goes for staff, too!
It may sound obvious, but your staff members need to know what’s happening too! Internal communication is vital for your team. Regular video calls (have a look here for the verdict on the best ones) should take place so that your staff can stay up to date with work, but also have some human interaction while they’re all working remotely.
Following any updates to your business’ day-to-day operations, your staff should be the first people to know. That could mean informing your office workers that they must all work remotely for the foreseeable or letting your hospitality staff know that they must now wear masks at all times when at work.
React and adapt to customers’ experiences and complaints
We’ve all had to learn to adapt a fair bit over the last few months, haven’t we?
Businesses have had to make plenty of changes to allow themselves to run in a safe manner but unfortunately some have experienced hiccups along the way. For example if you are running a sports club which has had to move locations, have you informed attendees of this and how to get there? Have you told customers that they must wear masks inside your premises before they have arrived without one?
It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them and adapt accordingly. People will be much bigger fans of your business if you hold your hands up and take responsibility, rather than trying to brush your mistakes under the rug.
Don’t forget, not everyone is on social!
One thing many of us are guilty of is assuming everyone is active on social media nowadays.
Remember to keep in mind the percentage of your target audience that aren’t on socials; an example of this we’ve seen recently is schools emailing parents with information as well as posting this info on social media and their website. That way they are getting their message across to current parents who are on their email list, parents who may not check their emails as often but are regularly on social media and prospective parents viewing the school’s website - who then know that the school is on top of their communication and PR.
There’s nothing wrong with good old traditional PR, either. If you’ve done something newsworthy have a press release written (you know where to find us!), send your clients some goodies - should your budget permit - and let them know how your business will be running or pop some leaflets around your high street businesses to let customers know where you are if they need your services.
The human effect
We’ve seen time and time again that people buy into and from people. This year particularly has shown us that showing your human side will shine you and your business in a good light.
- If you plan on having staff work remotely in 2021, set yourself the challenge of doing a monthly ‘roundup’ of what they’ve been up to, both within your organisation and outside of their job.
- If you’re a B2C, share some behind-the-scenes snippets of your business’ day-to-day life.
- Doing something for the community? Shout about it!
Your customers and clients don’t just come to you for your fantastic services, they come for your amazing team and culture too!
We hope you get your PR, social media and communications in tip-top shape for 2021 - who knows what the world may throw at us in the New Year!
If you need some tips we currently offer one-to-one two-hour virtual training and mentoring to discover your weak areas and help you get it all just right, or if you’d rather someone take the pressure of managing your social media and PR off your hands then we can do that for you, no problem.
Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and she will check that diary!