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A Round-up of Observations from the Van Eperen Team – Part II

July 6, 2020
byVan Eperen Marketing Team inCOVID-19, Marketing Communications
What’s Trending in COVID-19 Communications

We recently shared the inaugural post of our series about how we at Van Eperen are seeing communications evolving during this coronavirus environment.  Three team members share observations here:

Communicate It (Well) and They Will Come

As companies and organizations develop post-COVID-19 operating procedures and protocols, they must effectively communicate this information so that once doors open, people will come. These safety measures and investments, aimed at keeping patrons and employees healthy and safe, will help create the necessary level of comfort and trust. Leaders must then actively inform the public of these changes, and not simply post them on their websites.

CEOs are engaging more as the company spokesperson via emails to their employees and customer base, participating in video interviews with media, posting personal messages and videos on their website, contributing their thoughts and announcements via social media, and more. Company leaders are crafting new strategic partnerships with top medical and hygiene technology organizations, ensuring close adherence to guidelines issued by the WHO and CDC. In a recent interview, Hilton’s CEO highlighted their work with Mayo Clinic and Lysol to guarantee hospital-grade cleanliness of guest rooms. This new business practice is essential from a safety standpoint. Effectively communicating this innovation to stakeholders is critical for balance sheet success.

Public outreach has never been more important to create the necessary customer comfort level. Companies are busy redesigning structural and operational elements of their businesses. Those that not only do this well, but also share the blueprints in a transparent and compelling way, will see the biggest rewards.

–  Patty Baltazar

Business and People Morphing:

Silver Linings? We’ve Got Those.

We know that great entrepreneurs know how to adjust and adapt to the market, but recent events have challenged a number of them. It’s been exciting to see the number of unique ways in which businesses have transformed themselves practically overnight to serve their customers best, keep people safe, and keep their business alive. From breweries making deliveries by carrier dogs to well-known restaurants selling cookbooks and DIY food kits, it’s required some off the wall thinking to adapt. Who thought they’d be able to attend a VR fashion show that in the past was too exclusive even to consider attending?

Even more impressive are the individuals with no prior business experience taking the plunge into self-employment. These are people seeing a need and filling it. From security services to mobile pet groomers, people are stepping up to the challenge, perhaps transforming the rest of their lives. Others are grabbing up online courses to change careers, emerging post-virus with a whole new set of skills. While some choose to stay put, others are grabbing life with both hands, making something great out of a terrible situation.

–   Michael Davidson

What’s in a Number?

We’re in week 17 of the COVID-19 lockdown and the media keeps hitting us with the numbers. At one point it was a 9/11 every few days , as officials provided updates on new cases, hospitalizations and deaths while pleading with us to flatten the curve. But take a closer look and you’ll see we lost someone’s mother. A neighbor. A coach. The grocery store cashier.

Stats are important to track. But what’s trending in coronavirus communications are the stories about the people who are dying and the ways their stories are told.

A recent front page of The New York Times, designed to reflect the edition reporting on Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, contained no articles and no photographs. Just names and a glimpse behind those numbers:

Ruthie Jacqueline Stephens Turner, 86, Alabama, sympathetic ear. Davis Begaye, 48, Cudei, N.M., worked at the Home Depot. Robert M. Shaw, 69, Beverly, Mass., loved being Grandpa to his “little man” and sweet pea.” Helen Kafkis, 91, Chicago, known for her Greek chicken and stuffed peppers.

Page one jumped to pages 12 and 13 so we could read 1,000 mini obits reminding us that it wasn’t just death number 1,977 or 31,117 or 82,253. It was the second-grade teacher. The nursing home assistant who worked three jobs.

It was Grace Lee Hargrave Cradeur, 83, of Crowley, La., “who always had room at the table to feed anyone who showed up.”

– Jeffrey A. Davis, APR

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