As the world slowly resumes normalcy, it is time to evaluate your company’s reopening strategy. This strategy communicates your new “normal” to your customer base and will be largely dependent on the context and time in which your business decides to reopen. With no way to predict the future, there is no “One Size Fits All” template for reopening your business or adapting to the changes in state regulations. What you can do is research your state’s reopening policies and work with your marketing team to develop a comprehensive marketing plan. The following blog outlines six key steps to bear in mind while preparing your reopening strategy.
The Coronavirus Impact on Local Businesses
Businesses across the nation were forced to activate their PR Crisis Management Strategies to communicate with their customers and prepare for the sudden wide-spread emergence of state-mandated closures. Some were able to refashion their current business model to accommodate the new state directives. Others were forced to close their doors. In every case, a business’s ability to function during the pandemic boiled down to its preparedness and adaptability. As businesses reopen, owners will require that same adaptability to stay ahead of potential reopening hurdles.
Set Yourself Up for a Smooth Workforce Re-Entry
- Do Your Research. Familiarize yourself with your state’s reopening policies. These guidelines will help you set up the outline for new safety regulations and protocols.
- Post-Pandemic Game Plan. Every business should work closely with their marketing team to develop a plan that complies with their state’s directives. Your plan must be easy for employees and customers to understand. The following components should be included in your reopening strategy:
- Hygiene Protocols. These new protocols cover the rules you implement to keep your employees and customers safe. For reference, the CDC’s official recommendation suggests the consistent use of cloth face-coverings. If your state requires employees to abide by specific safety guidelines, make sure to make your expectations clear and regularly check to ensure the guidelines are being followed.
- Social Distancing. Businesses are coming up with creative ways to implement social distancing rules. Whether it be simple tape floor-marks or colorful artwork indicating 6ft markings, your number one priority should be finding the space and resources to enforce social distancing.
- Wellness Check. What are your protocols for when a customer or employee feels unwell? Some businesses are regularly taking temperatures. Most are pre-screening using a series of questions and implementing revised sanitation and training routines. Make sure that you are up to date on the latest information provided by your state.
- Communicate with Your Customers. The words “empathy” and “compassion” should be in the back of your mind while addressing the public. Your customer base may not be ready to re-enter the world at the same pace as your company. Addressing every possible concern will help you establish your company as a trustworthy entity that is taking every reasonable precaution to keep your staff and customers safe. Even if your customer isn’t ready to return just yet, you will be ready when they are. Keep an open line of communication going with your customers identifying safety precautions and other methods of product and service delivery. This can be done using tools such as your website, social media, email, and paid ads. Even snail mail!
- Connect with the Business Community. It’s okay to ask questions and to be open with your community and fellow local businesses. The fastest way to learn which methods work best is to share good information with your peers. It may even be beneficial to set up a support group with non-competing companies to learn from one another’s experiences.
- Have You made All Your Updates? If you are like most businesses, you have had to enact a few rapid-fire changes over the past few months. Have you had the ability to communicate these changes consistently across all of your platforms? For example, during the pandemic, the team at JB Communications kept client information up to date on search engines, websites, social media, and “Open for Business” listings.
- Strengthen Your Digital Channels. When the pandemic peaked, businesses were forced to resort to digital channels. Many were not ready for all of the opportunities digital marketing has to offer! An online presence goes beyond creating posts (although that’s a big part of it). It also includes navigating your Owned Media, Paid Media, and Earned Media to get the most information out to the public. Your digital marketing experts will be able to develop a cost-effective plan that will drive customers to your website, solidify your brand, and increase your sales.
- Find a Comfortable Production Schedule. During the pandemic peak, flexibility was the most valuable asset for your social media and content strategies. You had to shift, rearrange, and postpone marketing content that was not a good fit in the context of the pandemic climate. Now that the country is beginning to stir from its quarantine-induced slumber, the most visible way to return to normalcy is to ease back into producing regular content for your social media platforms, advertisements, press releases, blogs, and website.
What should I write? Improving your digital presence requires a focus on both quality and quantity. In order to make an impact, you must first create meaningful content that matches the tone of the current climate. Your correlating images must match your tone as well as abide by your social platform’s content regulations.
Contact JBC to Develop Your Reopening Strategy
Do you need help developing a reopening strategy? Are you considering making a social media debut, or strengthening your digital strategy? Our team will work with you on a cost-effective plan to improve your digital visibility and engagement so that you can get back to work. Start with a free consultation and contact JBC!