A few weeks ago, I compared the global pandemic to a horror movie, and I think that analogy still applies. That’s because of the numbers I’m seeing:
While the economy added another 1.8 million jobs in July, that’s a sharp slowdown from June and a tiny step for an economy that’s still down 12.9 million jobs during the pandemic.2
Also in July the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the unemployment rate fell to 10.2%, the but that’s still above the Great Recession high of 10% that was reached in October 2009.2
Like they say, the numbers don’t lie. COVID-19 put us in a situation that’s in measurable ways deeper than even the Great Recession.
Social distancing has become even more prevalent lately, with various state and local governments mandating masks in public areas and more. Some or all of your employees are likely still working from home and you’re feeling the continuing strain of pivoting your business for them and your clients’ needs and wants. By now, you’ve also gotten much making any business adjustments.
Meanwhile the larger, industry-level struggles continue but there’s signs of recovery happening:
I’m constantly following what’s happening three particular industries and their many verticals: Healthcare, Finance and Information Technology (IT).
These are some trends that I’m seeing:
- Health care offices are already feeling the pinch. Although there is no national data, some primary care practices are reporting reductions in use of health care services of up to 70%. Salaries of clinical staff are being frozen or reduced, and some staff are being furloughed.3
- In finance, merchant payment processing volumes for e-commerce and non-supermarket brick-and-mortar stores declined. Consumers haven’t been going to nonessential stores, and other consumers have been reconsidering discretionary online purchases.3
- In IT, signals of tech resilience can be found in unemployment rates. Tech unemployment dropped to 3.7% in May, down from 4.3% in April (contrasted with 13.3% national unemployment)4
Yes, while there are still some troubling signs right now, the last few months have also seen some signs of recovery in certain industries.
While that should give you and me some hope to add to our mutual confidence, we still need to acknowledge that we have a long way to go and a lot of hard work to do before we get past these worst of days.
You’ve had some time now to assess the damage, make any necessary changes to your day-to-day business structure, and make some serious business decisions, such as coming to me for instance for market research services.
But what you may not realize, is that doing research is one important step, but applying those research results is an entirely different matter.
That’s a bit to take in, I get it. To be succinct, you’ll need is a research-based personalized communications plan that works with your business plan—that answers the following questions (not a complete list):
1. What are your goals, your mission – what are you trying to accomplish?
2. What does your prospective clientele—or current clientele—need NOW?
3. What is the message you’re needing to convey?
4. What branding, rebranding or publicity is needed in your industry or community?
5. What are the types of marketing channels and promotion that your prospects and clients will listen to, rather than ignore or delete?
Of course, you were never going to stop with just market research. The data you’ve gathered is invaluable and you want to put to work for you.
Without that foundation of reliable data, any communications plan is just guesswork – the proverbial throwing of spaghetti against the wall. In other words, no strategy at all.
A business leader like you isn’t about to start tossing around pasta, right? That’s money and time you don’t waste.
At this point, you know very little about creating a Strategic Communication Plan other than the basic explanation I’ve just given you. But like I also just mentioned, if you’ve done the market research already, then you’re already off to an excellent start.
That marketing research revealed the thoughts, opinions and knowledge from all the relevant audiences – users, the media, employees, and other specified audiences – and will now form the building blocks, the very intelligence, of your Strategic Communications Plan.
At JOTO PR Disruptors, we understand that every company has its own unique strengths and challenges that require us to understand what you want to achieve with your PR, namely your desired ROI.
Our strategy team will meet with you, go over your specific goals and future outlook, and fashion an individually tailored plan that adjusts and enhances your PR approach.
In fact, read on and discover an instance where a LACK of a strategic communication plan actually cost lives.
Then on a happier note, find out why a carefully coordinated plan turned into a massive blitz of positive media coverage.