Lately, I’ve been discussing the COVID-19 global pandemic quite a bit in my blog posts. But can you blame me? This is a new territory for all of us, an unprecedented situation (at least when it comes to how we, with our current technology, can address such a thing). There are several areas of our lives in which we are trying to feel out what to do, how to do it, and what hurdles we will face. A huge one for business owners right now is how – and if – we should advertise. Many business owners are struggling to decide if now is the right time to be advertising at all. But it seems that the majority do agree on one thing: now is the time to remind consumers that we are still in business and how we can provide our products and services in a safe way.
Earlier this week, I read an article from MarketingDive.com about how consumers are reacting to current advertising, specifically ads that mention the coronavirus. It seems as though many people are having a positive response to companies whose ads discuss how they are working through this crisis. Personally, I see this as beneficial to businesses as when they advertise their involvement in social issues or nonprofit organizations. Show people the good and they will come in herds.
When a company can show that it is taking care of its employees, consumers will see that as a sign that they, too, will be taken care of. The company cares. Vox Media, for example, is allowing employees to work remotely. It also hosts a daily virtual story time for parents with their kids, with even CEO Jeff Bankoff joining in on the Zoom calls. In Stuart Butterfield’s efforts to take care of the employees of Slack, the CEO messaged the workers (via Slack, of course) and said, “Don’t stress about work.” Through this message, he told his employees that it’s okay to work fewer hours and take off of work when needed. “Take care of yourselves, take care of your families, be a good partner.”
Other companies, like CVS Pharmacy, are letting consumers know that there are easier, safer ways to do business during these unsure times. CVS is offering free prescription delivery, so that people don’t even have to leave their homes to pick up their medications. Of course, companies like ZocDoc are also making sure that their tele-doc capabilities are easily found on websites.
You don’t have to be afraid of mentioning COVID-19 in your messaging; just do so with caution. Bringing positivity to light during a seemingly dark time can help others think more positively about your brand. Be sensible, sensitive, and understanding.