Every business is faced with a crisis at one time or another. Either internal or external, as we have seen recently. Deciding not to react, to remain silent, to continue as before: bad idea. On the contrary, you need to position yourself and communicate with and around this crisis. Which is not always easy, I grant you. This article should help you avoid getting stuck in the rut …
Why should you continue to communicate in times of crisis?
You know the principle: if you don’t speak, others will speak for you. If you don’t occupy the land, others will take your place.
And this is also the case for your editorial strategy.
Please note: there is no question of making money on the misfortune of others. An advertisement for an umbrella brand while a flood ravages a country, and surfing on this event, would be very unwelcome.
But if you do not talk about subjects that contaminate all social networks, your silence can quickly become suspect. In the minds of your customers, it won’t always be about your moderation or your respect … but rather the fact that you have not positioned yourself and that, who knows, you might not care what is going on. . However, this is not the message you want to get across.
Choose your tone carefully
As we said above, it would be very bad taste to directly capitalize on a crisis. Unless your hallmark is humor, even black humor, and then that’s what your followers will prefer.
In most other positions, audiences will expect you to be empathetic and poised. It is not worth it either to try to make cry in the cottages, or to claim that a subject is important for you if it is not the case: it will be seen and this opportunism will be reproached to you (brands who offered free masks for largely dispensable orders during lockdown have been shouted at by their customers (the same when a drama is used to promote a book).
The most important thing is to respect your usual editorial line, both in terms of tone and subjects. You can express your compassion or your support for an event or a disaster, even your commitment if the situation brings you there… But not more when it is about something which is external to you.
Use the crisis for your business
Let’s talk about this capitalization problem again. Because we’re not here to lie to each other: if you have a content strategy, it’s good because, in the end, you want to sell. Except that the important term, in times of crisis, is “in the end”.
The communication you adopt in times of crisis will not always have an immediate impact on your turnover. But it will always serve you afterwards. Because your customers, like your prospects, will have seen what you have written or posted. And that they will remember later, when the time comes to buy. In your opinion, between a brand that says nothing and one that expresses itself correctly on a subject, which will have their preference?
There are crises every day, of various kinds and magnitudes. It can be a public transport strike like an ecological disaster… So you will often have subjects on which to express yourself.
If you often talk about the dramatic plastic levels in the oceans, everyone will expect you to share when new facts come in on this topic (because yes, the climate crisis shouldn’t be forgotten either).
Being proactive therefore means talking about certain themes that are dear to you before a crisis occurs.
But it is also being able to adapt to the unexpected. No one could anticipate a two-month confinement. On the other hand, once it is confirmed, offering other ways of existing, as a brand, for customers is always welcome. You should never wait for a seizure to end because you cannot have any idea how long it will last.
An editorial line adapts all the time. In times of crisis like when everything is going well. It is not fixed, it gives a general direction, a tone, a type of content. But we have to accept having content that corresponds to a given moment, and which may not be recyclable indefinitely. Knowing how to be in the immediacy, as in the long term, is the strength of a living editorial line (and of a company).