With Coronavirus on the top of everyone’s mind (for good reason) many are wondering how their campaign, cause, or brand can not only survive but continue to thrive. In the last few days, we’ve been flooded with questions about staying at top of mind during this crisis, so we’ve put together some quick tips to think about while communicating with your audience. After all, fighting a good fight and crisis communications is what fuels us here at Push Digital.
DON’T Spread Fake News. Get Your Facts Straight.
During a crisis, concise and accurate information is king. Frantic, concerned people are seeking information on a subject matter they have little experience or knowledge on, meaning the information you put out must be fact. Do not spread news that will make the problems worse. Make sure the information you’re putting online is from a recognized government authority to ensure you are spreading accurate information that will be beneficial to your followers and targeted users. This will be beneficial for your own campaign or brand in the long run as well.
People Are Searching for News. Be Where They Are.
A crisis, like the one we are currently experiencing, means people are reading news articles online at an exponentially higher rate. All-day long people around the country are clicking on notifications from news sources on their phone, googling for articles with relevant information or even opening articles their friends are sending them. This is an opportunity to get your message in front of more people than ever before. Try shifting your advertising efforts to Pre-Roll, Banner Display, Native Display, and Contextual Display, the ads that users see when reading news articles. This will allow you to be smart and efficient with your budget, putting your ads where your target audience is.
Keep Your Distance But Stay In Touch. Try Live-Streaming.
Live events are key for all campaigns, but not when it can compromise the safety of event-goers whose well-being should be put first and foremost. But how do you recreate this same effect when trying to run a campaign during the time of a crisis that forbids events of this nature? Live events give an in-person opportunity for candidates, advocates and even brands to interact with their target audience and create a connection that sometimes digital cannot replicate. That is until the rise of live-streaming. Live-streaming on outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allows campaigns to hold live events with users online. While nothing beats a live, in-person event, keeping your voters and advocates safe is far more important and live-streaming events lets you at least keep in contact and adds an extra personal touch to your digital campaign.
Shift Your Offline Media Budget to Digital.
People will simply not be out and about as often as they usually are — the good news is your advertising budget is never set in stone and should be malleable throughout the campaign with the funds following where your targeted users are online. Due to the crisis, people will be at home and on their digital devices even more than they already are. Those ad dollars that your campaign or brand was going to spend on billboards, magazines, bus advertising, and brochures simply won’t be seen as often as you intended. A more effective strategy would be moving those offline media funds to digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Display, and Connected TV where impressions come at a much cheaper cost and where target users will more likely be able to see the ads. Think of all the streaming people will be doing during their self-isolation (hello Connected TV ads).
Focus on Safety Not Politics.
While it may seem like it in the moment, it is never best practice or a successful formula in the long-term to use a crisis for personal gain — no matter the situation. The COVID-19 outbreak is no different. If you’re in a tight political race looking to unseat an incumbent, use your campaign to show how your administration would respond during a time of crisis. If you’re an incumbent, your response is even more consequential. Try shifting all COVID-19 response items to your official accounts and keep the public informed. If you’re running an issue-based campaign, show you understand that your issue isn’t the only one that matters and the greater good of the public is at stake.
Still overwhelming and confusing to you? Give us a shout – it’s what we do and it’s what we’re good at.