Wednesday 15th Jul 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has hit business hard throughout the world, and while some businesses are tentatively emerging from lockdown, we’re still very much in the midst of it as a society. But even as businesses do recover, the crisis is also the lens through which a great many businesses will be judged in the short to medium term. What you do now will not go to waste - or be forgotten. That means it’s a time to give some thought to your credibility and how important it’s going to me as we move forward.
Cuts and redundancies
One of the most significant issues facing businesses is how they deal with their employees. Redundancies and hours cuts are an unfortunate reality of the COVID-19 world, and how they’re handled is about more than just the bottom line of your business. They’re becoming increasingly public, and on social media in particular, businesses that haven’t gone about things in the right way have seen their reputations damaged. If there are no other options, then redundancies are certainly a necessity, but if you have to make them, ensure everything is by the book - it’s more important than ever. Similarly, the way you treat people as they leave, and once they have left, will reflect on your business. Brands that have tried to support people as much as possible have seen a credibility boost, even amidst redundancies.
Your voice in the market
With many businesses operating at lower capacity than usual, there’s a natural focus on certain marketing activities such as social media. Many businesses are clamouring to make their voices heard, and it’s important that you too are part of the conversation.
However, this is a difficult time to navigate, and it’s important to be mindful of how the crisis has impacted other individuals and businesses. An overly salesy approach will likely be met with disapproval - peers expect quality content that is mindful of the situation. What are you doing differently in the current climate? Can you provide value where others cannot? These are important talking points, and your social media presence can often be a source of value for others in and of itself. Guides and advice are evergreen.
Agile and resilient businesses that have managed to stay in operation safely throughout the pandemic will naturally see their credibility improved by the crisis. Do what you can to modify your operations and you’ll likely find that it’s not just about getting through right now, you’re also giving your future fortunes a boost, because customers and partners will look upon your operations favourably. It is of course essential that this is done while being mindful of health and safety requirements and government guidance. Those brands that kept operating in the early days of the crisis, and disregarded safety considerations, faced significant backlash.