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PR and Marketing Checklist: 6 Things You Need to Do to Weather A Recession

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In between daily updates around COVID-19 and the impending election, the U.S. is still waiting to hear if are in an “official’ recession. According to Investopedia, a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic decline as reflected by GDP).

That said, there is no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic has affected every business in a variety of ways. Some businesses like Zoom, Xfinity, Amazon and others that are making it easier to connect, work and run your household from home, are seeing an upsurge. Many others, not so much.

Economic uncertainty has opened-up a lot of options for businesses and consumers who are looking to make a purchase, whether it’s cloud, IT infrastructure or cybersecurity software, or an IoT device. As a result, businesses are finding it extremely competitive to acquire and keep customers.

It’s certainly not the time to ramp up spending on the “nice to haves.” But it is also dangerous to take your pedal off the PR and marketing accelerator. What can you do from a PR and marketing perspective to position your business for success?

Here are 6 top PR and marketing priorities that can help you weather any recession.

  1. Maximize Your Presence. This includes ensuring that you have leveraged the top trending SEO keywords in your web and blog content, where appropriate. You’ll also want to create a content plan for your blog to ensure that fresh content appears on your site regularly and consistently. This can be weekly or bi-weekly depending on your product or service and the clients that you serve.
  2. Take Advantage of Directories. Don’t let the opportunity slip by to get listed all applicable free as well as value-add paid industry, product and solution directories. Many industries also have non-profit trade and industry associations that not only offer the opportunity to enhance your market presence through listings, but also through online events and task forces that can be an important source for new business development activities as well.
  3. Become a Thought Leader. There is no shortage of opportunities to share your opinion on noteworthy topics via industry focused, business and consumer publications – both online and offline. For many of the publications that accept contributed content, guidelines for submissions are posted online. You can even become a regular monthly contributor to some as well if you have the time and wherewithal to create enough interesting and original commentary on a regular basis.
  4. Build Trust. Reassuring messages that reinforce an emotional connection with the brand and demonstrate empathy are vital, write business experts in Harvard Business Review. For example, during the current pandemic, Facebook developed a short 90 minute film, Never Lost, which ran across national and local broadcast television, as well as digital advertising channels. The 90-second film tells real stories from people around the world, and the voiceover was provided by British poet Kate Tempest.
  5. Make Lemonade Out of Lemons. Even with the challenges that your business might be encountering during to the current downturn, creativity and strategic thinking can help you differentiate and create demand for your products or services. For example, the airline industry took steps to communicate key things they were doing to keep customers safe. This translated into top reviews and ratings for some airlines like Delta and Southwest from media outlets like NerdWallet and TravelPulse.
  6. Be on Top of Your Game. Track the latest news in your market and industry daily. New initiatives, legislation, fundraising or current events can provide a great opportunity to contribute to the larger the conversation. That said, this approach has an extremely short shelf-life. You need to be able to provide commentary on a breaking news item immediately.

At the end of the day, it is important to keep momentum going, even during an economic downturn. Not doing so will leave you behind and in the dust of your competitors when things pick-up. Staying relevant and in front of current and potential customers will give you the edge you need now and in the future.

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