Covid PR: What companies are telling me about their public relations during a crisis

  1. Wrong and right way! For the past 2+ weeks, many companies have tried to message this on their own, and from what I can see, have not succeeded. They aren’t coming across as genuine, and in fact, some are coming across as either dishonest or just totally tone deaf. Message aside, they tried to come up with their own PR ideas, which fell flat. This will be the week where companies realize they can’t do this on their own and this isn’t a temporary problem.
  2. The Future of Work and the Future of Education just got real! Edtech companies moved quickly, which makes sense. We were re-hired by Labster — which provides virtual labs for teachers and professors. They announced $5 million in relief funds to help colleges and high school teachers maintain lab learning. Last I checked, over 5,000 teachers have signed up. For our other edtech companies — mainly online learning platforms — this is a huge moment from truly helping those in need to driving thought leadership around what will happen to education and colleges.
  3. Companies are finally shifting from “opportunistic” to “realistic,” meaning they have to continue to market their product to customers — just differently. This is the new real world — people sitting at home.
  4. Money matters! Fintech brands have a real opportunity. From budgeting apps to start-ups that help consumers save money, people are worried about their financial future.
  5. More customers than ever before! No one is going to a bank or a gym or school! Customers that were accustomed to making purchasing and lifestyle decisions IRL are now looking online for solutions.
  6. Big content opportunities! We are already seeing brands begin to create online videos for people at home, which is great! Given conferences are over for 2020, expect more tailored virtual speaker series that are more informal. I’d expect media companies to do this too.

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