#CoronavirusSA: Providing effective PR services during lockdown
by Mkhuseli Vangile (@Thedcfirm) For PR and marketing agencies, this lockdown period has meant working overtime when managing and conveying clearly, to the audience, the many changes that companies are undergoing. Here are some guidelines that can help us with these tasks.
PR a useful tool
For companies that have temporarily closed due to the outbreak of covid-19, PR has been a useful tool in reassuring both consumers and other stakeholders that business will resume once there is a way of containing, managing and treating the virus. For the companies that are still operational, PR has been used to restructure organisational conduct in light of limited global travel, social distancing, remote working and having to rethink the coming few months.
It’s important that, during this time, companies make use of ways to still generate revenue, maintain their brand, strengthen their relationship with their clients and still plan ahead, too. It’s difficult for everyone but the pandemic will pass and companies need to be prepared to hit the ground running when things go ‘back to normal’.
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For PR agencies, the outbreak has made it a requisite that we be innovative in terms of effectively managing our clients that are struggling to adjust to the changes and in delivering seamlessly on the services rendered.
- Back up or add extra communication channels that will work when there are power outages and slow networks.
- Invest in having two mobile devices. Have a traditional, no-internet cellphone with long lasting battery for calls — you’re always reachable — and also have your smartphone [smart tip; it’s what I do — ed-at-large].
Harness your relationship with clients
- Constantly ask clients for their current challenges and see if you’re able to help and how, even if the help required is above your monthly deliverables.
- Employ an innovative approach to ensure that their messaging is still conveyed. Your best tool is thinking outside the box. The pandemic has limited our movement but it hasn’t limited our reach.
Understanding and compromising
- Don’t ruin relationships with your clients due to financial pressure by rushing them with invoices. This lockdown will pass and your business will be paid, fully. Don’t lose a client over a delayed invoice.
Be a team with your clients
- You may encounter opportunities that your clients may benefit from. Send those opportunities to them to cement your business relationships. Share all the relevant information you see for the benefit of their growing. Save the day for them.
Ultimately, it’s having an open relationship that’s transparent, credible and reliable that will be the key in making sure that your clients thrive.
Mkhuseli Vangile is the managing director of The DCF (@Thedcfirm), a small yet fast-growing PR agency located in Centurion, Gauteng. He has over nine years of experience in the PR, marketing and advertising space.
This MarkLives #CoronavirusSA special section contains coverage of how the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and its resultant disease, covid-19, is affecting the advertising, marketing and related industries in South Africa and other parts of Africa, and how we are responding. Updates may be sent to us via our contact form or the email address published on our Contact Us page. Opinion pieces/guest columns must be exclusive.