In times of crisis, look for the opportunities
January 24, 2023
The importance of PR during an economic downturn
We are in the middle of a turbulent time, and the manufacturing sector has been severely affected. Recession is biting, labour shortages continue to be an issue, and supply chain disruptions are an ongoing concern. Many may believe that it is time to batten down the hatches to weather this storm. While this is one of the options, what if we suggested facing the storm head on (at least from a marketing and PR perspective) and looking for the opportunities?
Madness? Let us explain why it makes sense.
Communications are paramount during a crisis
Turbulent times require transparency, honesty and, more often than not, crisis communications. Your customers, more than ever, want to see the steps your company is taking to mitigate risks, remain competitive and meet customer demands. Silence might be interpreted as a bad sign. What prospects and customers seek is confidence – confidence that you, as their supplier, are there to stay through thick and thin, in the good times and the bad. That you can be depended upon to deliver regardless of the situation we find ourselves in.
Effective communications can help to stabilise the ship in these uncertain times by proactively demonstrating that you are doing what it takes to address the challenges we are facing, that you have a handle on the situation and that you are there to ensure that things get done – and done properly. Marketing and PR is often the first thing to be pared down where budgets are being squeezed, but time and time again it is proven that those that invest in such activities when the chips are down emerge the strongest and with greater market share.
Make your voice heard
The opportunity, as others dial down activity, is to take advantage of the reduction in content clutter across the media landscape, and to make sure your voice is the loudest. If there are challenges, and there are many, then your communications must resonate powerfully in terms of how your offering can help to deliver solutions. At every touch point, your messaging should be present, loud and clear – be it an online news outlet, social media platforms, a print article or a white paper placed on your own website.
According to Muck Rack’s 2022 State of Journalism survey, media representatives are busier than ever. As they strive to produce more content with fewer resources available, the importance of relevant, accurate and timely media content has grown. Working with an experienced communications partner can help you contribute to the trending stories, and therefore maintain thought leadership and brand visibility.
Build the foundation for a strong return
Scaling down your content creation and media relations efforts today means that you will have to start from scratch when the economy recovers. It is likely that the needs of your prospects and customers will evolve during the turbulent times. Missing out on such insights will require extra time and resources to build your communications strategy back up.
After all, content is the most effective weapon you have at your disposal, and the more relevant pieces you can accumulate the more it will work for you to generate leads and to grow your business going forward. To be successful in a crowded marketplace, you need to continuously keep track of where your audience obtains information, understand the challenges and pain points that trouble them day in day out, and have an arsenal of materials that helps to educate and support your prospects and customers on the most effective solutions.
Ultimately, staying close to your audiences, fostering trust and connection during the hard times, can help you to come out of this storm stronger and better equipped to deliver than ever before.
As experts in devising and implementing such strategies, FINN Partners is here to help you see the sunshine through the clouds. To find out about FINN Partners’ Manufacturing capabilities and expertise visit https://www.finnpartners.com/uk/sector/manufacturing/