The 75 marketing and communications directors we spoke to as part of our recent Lockdown and beyond sprint survey are in different sectors and facing very different situations. There’s no magic bullet for comms in this crisis and much is still up in the air. But it’s just as clear that we need a plan for after Covid-19 – now.
Covid-19 has radically altered priorities and created immense new challenges. Senior marketers with responsibility for their firm’s thought leadership are consumed with crisis comms and struggling with budget freezes and home working. Their thoughts vary about how long the budget freeze will last, but most agree that when the gates do open again, they will be underprepared.
This paints a gloomy picture, but our research also provides some good news, or at least the first signs of it. Marketers don’t expect the freeze to last more than six months and are currently working with their boards on strategy. Clearly, companies that have a signed-off plan tailored to the current situation, even if they have to change it in the months to come, will be better placed than those struggling to do this.
We’ve provided a number of steps to help: our ‘six degrees of preparation’.
- Create a task force for post-Covid-19 comms. Include the board, but add key clients and other business thinkers too, so your vision isn’t narrowed by other priorities in your business.
- Focus thought leadership on the areas where you can make a difference, not just in what you say but in what you do. Focus on your clients more than you ever and provide genuine value to them.
- Things might change, so plan for multiple scenarios and be flexible. Take the opportunity to start afresh and budget completely from the ground up: starting with zero.
- Focus on communications that genuinely work: that are different, engaging, valuable and timely.
- Communicate your strategy widely internally. Get the firm’s buy in but keep your project team lean to get the job done.
- Launch, listen and learn by tracking and measuring externally. Respond accordingly.
We wish you good luck. Let us know if we can help.
Download the survey findings Lockdown and beyond sprint survey.