The importance of strategic communications during a pandemic

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The importance of strategic communications during a pandemic

By Gea Koleva
McOuat Partnership

It’s hard to believe it’s only been a matter of weeks since Canadian and worldwide attention has been zeroed in on the coronavirus pandemic, subverting everyday life with fear, uncertainty and countless challenges so suddenly brought on by the spread of COVID-19.

Like every sector in the country, real estate has been greatly challenged by the disruption to business, as professionals at every level of the industry are finding themselves having to adapt to remote and virtual working environments. In lieu of face-to-face interaction with customers and clients, crafting a focused communications strategy is crucial so that you can continue to nurture the professional relationships you have worked so hard to establish over the years.

The statement “out of sight, out of mind” can become very real for your brand, so it is necessary to maintain regular and consistent communications with your audiences. However, you might be wondering: What should you say, when should you say it, where should you say it and how do you say it during such unprecedented times. Here are three helpful tips for your consideration.

1. Be proactive with your communications while staying true to your brand

It is more essential than ever to take a proactive communications approach amid the current pandemic. This is the perfect opportunity to be present for your customers and clients and provide timely and appropriate information.

However, remember to stay true to your brand. You are a real estate professional, not a healthcare professional. People are already inundated with national COVID-19 news and updates, so ask yourself “Do they really need another lengthy coronavirus email?” Instead, deliver quality content that is relevant to your company’s values, while at the same time focusing on your audience’s current needs and concerns. Also, don’t just focus on existing problems; try to present possible solutions and ways to work around any limitations together.

2. Adjust your communications and marketing messaging to use the appropriate tone

Right now, in every corner of the world, people are grieving. They are scared about their health, they are nervous about global economic uncertainty and many are experiencing anxiety and loneliness over having to practice social distancing.

It is important to demonstrate empathy and use a compassionate tone in all of your messaging. We need human interaction and transparency more than ever right now. Remember to extend these gestures to your customers – be human, be honest, be positive, be supportive and be thoughtful. This is not the right time for aggressive marketing or promotional messaging.

3. Update your website and intensify your social media presence

While people are self-isolating at home, they are perusing online more than ever. They are using social media to communicate and check-in with their family and friends, and are continually browsing the Internet for news updates and information. Therefore, keep in mind that there is a good chance that they will be viewing your website and social media newsfeeds.

It is important to ensure that your website is up-to-date and that your social media accounts are current. Be sure that you are paying close attention to your social media messages and are responding to people in a timely fashion.

Keep in mind that you should use the same compassionate and professional voice throughout all your communications channels in order to establish a cohesive tone and to relate consistent messaging across all platforms.

Now, of all times, a relevant communications strategy is critical to your business. How you communicate with your clients and customers during this pandemic can help you gain their trust and respect in the long term.

Gea Koleva is Marketing & Strategic Communications Specialist at McOuat Partnership.