Pivot and Prosper
THE POWER OF PR™ with Danae Jones
Overnight like it or not we have all had to embrace a new world, a virtual world.
Video conferencing and excessive online data use has become the new norm. Digital marketing has been anointed the ‘chosen one’ without even trying and the echoes of experts urging businesses across the world to embrace the digital age for the past decade have become very loud voices in the distance for many business owners who failed to act sooner.
Meeting the challenge head on is what the smart businesses have done. They have acted quickly and decisively. I remember frantically calling all of my clients many weeks before lockdown and isolation became a thing back in February and forewarning them of what lied ahead. For someone who has worked in media and marketing almost my entire life, I was acutely aware of what businesses needed to do to survive in these changing times. They needed to boost their digital presence with a massive shot of steroids and FAST and reallocate resources and products to meet market demands that would dramatically shift as every new announcement was made and response scaled up. As the announcements became more frequent and more intense, the anxiety out in the business community was palpable. Living from press conference to press conference had an entire country on high alert 24/7. The mental toll this entire predicament has and will continue to have on our nation is a whole other topic for a different day, but there is no denying we will have some major ongoing social problems to deal with in the aftermath.
In February and then moving into early March my calls to my clients became daily and sometimes multiple times a day as we navigated the unfolding new economy together. I made it my business to read the fine print of every Government announcement and subsidy/grant/loan available to them. Why? Because I cared. I cared enough to make sure they had the easiest to digest information at a moment’s notice to be able to make the best decisions to pivot at that point in time and ultimately survive. Many of my clients started to pivot on a grand scale back in February. The team at Danae Jones Consulting and I worked around the clock to rebuild online brand assets, enhance social media and digital and broadcast media messages. What this enabled these businesses to do, was respond quickly and ensure their core marketing messages were on time, on point and ready to roll at a moment’s notice. Needless to say, their existing and very well thought out Marketing and Public Relations plans were thrown out the window and, in many cases, we were forced to start from scratch.
I am very proud to say that every single one of my clients listened, worked with me and are still living to fight another day. In fact, some of my client’s sales have climbed substantially during this COVID-19 time which is very rewarding to see.
You’re probably wondering why I’m sharing this with you? … because knowledge is power and sharing what we are doing for businesses that still have solid cashflow through this crisis is information that needs to be shared as you too can pivot and prosper just like these businesses have. The pivoting is not over by any stretch of the imagination, we continue to monitor sales weekly for them, and they and their accountants continue to monitor cashflow and we alter methods to suit wherever needed.
It’s all about acting fast, getting the right advice, trusting the people you are working with to give you the right advice and surrounding yourself with a team of people that have your best interests at heart, and not just their own. The trusted people I’m referring to are your Marketing, Public Relations and Government Relations people, your Accountant, your Business Adviser, your Lawyer and your HR specialist. It is important to be able to have those open and honest conversations to truly deliver results in your business.
We have some extraordinary business professionals in this region that are doing some great work out there, it’s just a matter of finding the best people to fit your needs and sticking with them like you would family – in good times and in bad.
For those of you in business reading this thinking you’ve left your run too late to step up to the challenge, I can hand on heart tell you that you have not. My new catch cry in the COVID-19 era is PIVOT and PROSPER. It’s time to look at your business, what it is you sell and see how best you can meet the market conditions at a time like this. Now that takes a certain level of thinking outside the box and the need to step back from the overwhelm and stress of the situation and ask yourself honestly what will and will not work over the coming 6 months in this current climate.
“The beauty of marketing in a time like this on social media, online, television, print and radio is – you have a captive audience like very few comparable times in history.”
Even if restrictions start lifting, it will not go back to business as usual this side of Christmas, that’s the harsh reality. The economy is deeply wounded and people’s appetite for purchasing has changed. What once was considered a necessity has now become non-essential.
It is true, there are some businesses that simply just cannot operate under the current restrictive conditions, and a perfect example of that would be a tourist attraction that requires visitors both domestic and international. And for those businesses, my heart truly breaks, this health crisis has wiped them out overnight. But one thing those businesses can be doing is getting ready for the resurgence and make sure they have the most creative, enticing and cost effective, high impact marketing strategies ready to roll once this heavy veil lifts. And it will. Those tourist attractions will be marketing to a quite different audience on the other side of this. International travel will not get back to what is was any time soon. They will be focusing on domestic and domestic only and a very large portion of it will be staycations for locals who will become their bread and butter more than ever before. And let’s be honest, the domestic staycation market will BOOM when we’re out of this, people will be racing to the airport and the tourist attractions near and far for an immediate escape to feel like life is normal once again.
Despite all of the heart ache this pandemic has caused, I can’t help but feel encouraged by the signs of mateship, neighbourly comradery, locals supporting locals, a strong Australian Owned push and the desire to manufacture and generate our own self-sustaining economy that is less reliant on the international economic beast we were once party to. Let’s hope some very good lessons are learnt by all of us. I must say, that is a very worthy silver lining.