When a global crisis strikes, communities experience extreme emotions like grief, chaos, and confusion, which can last days, weeks, months, or even years. Even though rationally most people know businesses can’t simply stop and pause until everyone feels better, actually seeing advertising amidst international chaos can affect people differently. So how can a professional services company like a law firm continue to operate and generate revenue so it can support its employees and clients while remaining openly empathetic and sensitive during the Coronavirus pandemic? The answer is complicated, as there is no one blueprint for remaining respectful and authentic during trying times.
Not every business should be marketing during a crisis; but many companies are able to help during these times of transition – and they should be actively communicating via marketing efforts. A timely example is grocery stores during the current Coronavirus pandemic adjusting hours, updating internal safety precautions, and ensuring ongoing restocking – and that information needs to reach the public to keep us informed and hopefully calmer.
Coronavirus has already brought and will continue to bring dramatic changes in our economic, social, political, technological, and personal lives. However, if China’s economy is a model of what’s to come, we can expect a resumption of normalcy sometime in the coming months. The current life-altering situation and the coming liberation from it are both situations in which marketing must be adjusted.
Tips For Marketing Communications In The Uncertain Times of Coronavirus
- Protect your team: Acknowledge the crisis but don’t opine like an expert if you’re not. Remind your audience you care about their safety and business solvency while still acknowledging your law firm’s communications will be moving more and more digital as you adopt prevailing guidelines for social isolation.
- Be authentic: Think about what information your audience might want from you specifically and why, so you can relay it in a helpful manner. During a pandemic, if your firm has a labor and employment section, it might make sense to put out thought leadership content regarding what employers can and cannot ask of their employees, or even create a white paper that includes forms companies can download and use to build their own internal policies and procedures.
- Be generous (always): If employees and clients are used to seeing your company giving back on a regular basis, you will be more capable of responding appropriately during disasters, and your law firm will be less likely to appear inauthentic.
- Be mindful of triggers: Stigmatizing certain groups associated with a disaster is an issue. With Coronavirus, Asians have been the victims of social stigma and xenophobia both online and in personal interactions. While racial bias is a trigger most marketers would hopefully know to avoid, the concept of mistrust – whether it be mistrusting the medical profession and pharmaceutical industries or the government as a whole – is something to avoid as well.
- Plan for the new normal: Even as most of us find ourselves working remotely with distractions that can include children without school, animals looking for attention, and panicked friends or extended family members, we can plan for when things return to normal, which may very well be a “new normal.” Having a transition plan in place will help you feel more organized and prepared for when “work as we knew it” resumes. Review your firm’s online marketing strategy and redefine your marketing messages as needed in the aftermath.
How To Respectfully Promote Your Law Firm During a Tragedy
Having a well-defined communications plan is a start; however, in times of a crisis, things are volatile and your business will face sudden fluctuations. Therefore, take the time to evaluate the current market, predict potential future behavior, and plan your marketing accordingly. Our team of legal marketing experts can help you craft content that is appropriate for current world circumstances while planning for a return to business as usual. Don’t just cut your marketing budget and assume all marketing is a mistake. To learn more about law firm website content, social media marketing, and email marketing you can use to reach out to your contacts during the Coronavirus pandemic, contact us today.