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Most companies have been forced to toss their 2020 plans out the window. When the first wave of lockdowns hit last March, organizations tended to adopt two different strategies: hibernation or acceleration.
When I say hibernation, I am referring to companies that are taking a more defensive and protective approach. Many of these companies used the strategy of hoarding their money and cutting costs to get through this insane time by allocating enough resources for a quick rebuild.
In contrast, companies that chose to accelerate took more risks and essentially “doubled” themselves in uncertain times. These companies worked harder and faster to turn their business around or grow while their competitors waited to see how things played out before cutting a path forward.
Both strategies are solid and both can backfire. It really is a decision of risk or comfort as you cannot choose half or success. As a public relations expert, I tell hibernating corporate executives not to lower your profile just because you're playing defense. It just means you need to change your strategy.
Instead of highlighting new products or promoting new contracts, focus on building your leadership role as a thought leader and highlighting customer success stories through case studies and testimonials. These public relations efforts are more long-term and become extremely useful and helpful when the company goes out of hibernation and focuses on rebuilding and regrowth.
Accelerating businesses are a whole different PR opportunity. The key is to identify and maximize an opportunity. Here are three examples.
1. How the long-term view of PR can lead to short-term success
Check out a company like the Pennsylvania-based Title Alliance, which has 60 joint venture title insurance agencies nationwide. Initially, the company feared a massive decline in home sales and so focused on expanding into new markets and joint venture partnerships. Leadership also spent time doing long-term media interviews and podcasts to further position the company as a thought leader in the industry. Within a few months, the industry made a full recovery in terms of sales volume and the company was well positioned and ready to take advantage and expand rapidly. This provided the company with an opportunity to promote its success in the industry and mainstream publications, and to grow its brand while several competitors were still in the market and had not yet resumed their PR efforts.
Related: 4 PR Strategies You Should Use Now
2. Recognize today's story and turn to participate
Based in Silicon Valley, SAMI-Aid, a national medical services network that offers an online concierge platform for healthcare, was launched shortly before the start of COVID. Their original plan was to focus on business travelers who need access to doctors during their trip, as well as two cities in the Midwest to expand and expand their platform. Shortly after launch, and when COVID reached America, the company immediately turned to pandemic care and identifying government partners and uninsured consumers who are most likely to want affordable, remote medical appointments. The company also quickly expanded its mental health services and saw a surge in demand as it was one of the few telemedicine offerings to offer such services. The company focused on psychological treatment and the introduction of telemedicine to new audiences. PR focused on Northwest media as well as podcasts that could talk about psychiatric, behavioral and mental health care.
Related: 10 Ways To Get Global PR Exposure
3. Putting your people first can create new lines of business and PR opportunities
Another example of a company that is accelerating is Ambulnz, an on-demand ambulance transportation company based in NYC that employs more than 1,500 people in several US states. At the beginning of the pandemic, hospitals began to postpone elective surgeries and other appointments, volume decreased. Instead of shortening the working hours or the vacation staff, they looked for alternative ways to use their medically trained workforce. As a result, they launched two more business areas, Rapid Reliable Testing (RRT) and TeleHealth +.
As COVID testing options increased, there was a need for trained medical personnel to perform the tests. In addition to working with cities and government agencies to offer COVID testing, RRT also provided testing for senior facilities, schools, camps, businesses, Hollywood studios, and special events. In just the first six months, the company ran more than 500,000 tests in multiple states.
The second chance came from a gap that Ambulnz saw in telemedicine (video remote doctor visits), which has seen significant growth since the beginning of the pandemic. While many requirements can be met remotely, there are still numerous requirements for practical bedside procedures such as: B. Physical exams, blood tests, and giving treatments. Instead of the telemedicine doctor asking the patient to go to emergency care or a doctor's office for help, TeleHealth + from Ambulnz fills the gap, as certified medical staff provide non-critical medical services to the patient in his home under the guidance and direction of the telemedicine doctor.
By looking for ways to keep their employees busy, Ambulnz managed to create two new sources of income. From a public relations perspective, this allowed the company to showcase its culture, put its people first, while also opening the door to numerous media opportunities related to product launches that have grown their brand and helped the company run faster expands into new markets.
Related Topics: Why PR is Fundamental to Scaling Your Business Fast
Everyone wants to know what's next. While no one knows the answer, it can be assumed that an increasing percentage of people will be given vaccines sometime in 2021, and we will begin the transition to life after COVID. Companies that are currently in hibernation should plan for this date by developing their PR plans to reintegrate into the public consciousness and regain and expand their market share. Companies already in acceleration mode need to maximize their time before these previous players get back to full strength, fill existing gaps, and change the map to their advantage in order to keep and maintain their business moves.
In any case, January 2021 should sound like an annoying alarm clock. It doesn't matter if you are currently hibernating or an accelerator. It's time to wake up and go to work.