Public Relations

What PR can Learn from Covid-19

As I write this blog, Omnicron is making firm inroads across the globe. It’s replaced its predecessor Delta as a variant of concern and is now ready for a round trip ensuring widespread panic and lockdowns. Like all the variants of Covid-19, it gets front page news, brilliant social media and is more famous than anything that happened before it. Just like the virus, if you as a PR professional are taking the New Year- New Me hustle seriously then it’s time to learn a few things from our friend Covid-19. It’s a virus for sure, but it’s still got real time lessons for all of us to learn from for the new year!

A. Think Regional: Instead of picking its initial epicenters in mainstream Western countries, COVID-19 started off in places like China, and South Africa, offering a chance to gain momentum there before picking up a larger growth strategy. It’s an interesting perspective as brands grapple with hyperlocal marketing efforts.

B. Use Influencers Smartly: A good campaign needs the right faces and apt names to get the ball rolling. Using high profile faces from a Donald Trump, to currently our very own Kareena Kapoor Khan and Karishma Kapoor keeps the interest high and relatable. As the power of Influencers grows and grows, keep the narrative going with a fine balance of High profile and micro influencers as well.

C. Constantly Re-invent yourself before people get jaded: Every time we popped the bubbly that Covid has left us, it came back stronger, more virulent with a more layered narrative that created a new plotline for us all. It’s the same story but packaged differently with new nuances. The core of your message should remain the same when you build your PR narrative but the way of telling it should be ever changing before your competition wakes up and starts copying you.

D. Re-iteration works always: Yes, you may think one burst of press coverage is great. You might slack off on the Twitter feeds and take a break from pushing those fab Insta stories out, but silence is death. Keep at it, in new ways each time so that you always have a new inroad into mediums.

E. Keep some mystery: Don’t be an open book on everything. Do not let anyone second guess you, your strategy, or your brand. Keep a few aces up your sleeve. Let people push and poke around your brand narrative before they can come to rightful conclusions. Tickle their imagination, let them guess a bit, and then make sure you tell your story in a staggered manner. It will add to their curiosity.

F. Save Your Ass First: Stay safe has been the buzzword of the past two years and even as you mask up and keep the chin up as well to brace yourself for another round of the virus, stay safe. The trolls are out there and more virulent than the virus itself. Idiot proof your campaigns and press releases to ensure you do not offend sensibilities or grammar nazis. And yes, please stick to a relevant subject that will help your brand story in the long run.

Signing off on this for more exciting work as we all build brands, stay sane, and save the world and tell our stories!

Sonali Sokhal,

Co-Founder, PRPOI

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