Although many of us are now back at the office, these tumultuous times aren’t over yet. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things about the way we work, but perhaps one of the most important changes has been the way we communicate. Adapting your messaging and conveying company values is important during a crisis. An overly sales-driven approach to marketing is more inappropriate than ever. We need to make sure that whether we are communicating through social media, through our website or to our staff, we are showcasing and reinforcing our values.
Let’s talk about how to do that.
Do what it says on the tin.
Look at your company values – are you making a conscious effort to showcase them? Your values shouldn’t be something you pop onto your website to make you look more trustworthy. They should be genuine and reflect why and how you do what you do.
Your values can also be an indicator of how we need to respond and adapt to the pandemic.
To give you an example, let’s look through our company values and see how they have informed our approach during COVID-19:
We encourage every member of our team to be fully themselves. During COVID-19, each member of the team has been affected in different ways. Whether they’ve had loved ones who are at-risk or have been nervous to commute to work, we’ve made sure to fully accommodate everyone’s individual needs.
Here are the things we’ve put in place to make our staff comfortable:
- Remote working
- Flexible hours
- A socially-distanced office
- All client meetings done over Zoom/Google Hangouts
- Open dialogue about concerns
Collaboration over competition
We’ve always been firm believers in collaboration, and now more than ever, businesses need to help each other out. We make sure to share content from our company friends and work with freelancers on certain projects.
Always be learning
We may not be in the office, but we’ve held regular meetings, workshops and PDP (personal development plan) sessions virtually. Each member of our team is putting time aside for further learning every month. I recently did HubSpot Acadmey’s free course on Content Strategy which I recommend to any content creator!
Care about quality
Working from home can come with distractions, but we’ve been committed to not letting the quality of our work slip. It may be difficult for you to work from home, but try to do everything you can to ensure your work is high quality. Here are some quick tips:
- Wake up early
- Get dressed like you would for work
- Have frequent breaks
- Never work from your bed!
Improvement not perfection
With a pandemic going on, things aren’t going to be perfect all the time. We’re conscious of not striving for absolute perfection in a time where it isn’t possible. Whether we need to change our schedule to suit our clients’ needs or deal with the dreaded technical difficulties that come with Zoom calls.
For example, we recently had some technical difficulties with a tool we use for virtual workshops (Miro) where our client could not seem to get the tool to work. We combatted this by having her tell us what she wanted to do in the workshop – we followed her instructions and did the steps for her.
How do you want to be seen?
Your values can be reflected by how you position your brand online. Showcase the positivity in your values by avoiding negative language or sharing anything that would get your followers down. Don’t complain about the situation – adapt to it. Showing people how you’ve adapted to new challenges will allow them to see your brand as resilient. You want to let people know that you’re thriving, not just surviving.
We've got an exciting event coming up in a few weeks and we can't WAIT to share it with you. We're going to be tackling a subject close to our hearts; loneliness during COVID-19. Speakers will be announced very soon – keep your eyes peeled 👀 pic.twitter.com/GkyI9S0ebp— DefProc Engineering (@DefProcEng) May 18, 2020
Disclaimer – DefProc is one of our clients!
It’s more than likely that one of your values centres around caring about your clients or people in general, so your communication needs to be empathetic. People are stressed, businesses are struggling and everything is uncertain. Using sales-driven language isn’t going to appeal to a vast amount of people.
Today marks the halfway point of our solidarity campaign to help Make’s work supporting those in our community most impacted by #Covid19.— Make. (@makeCIC) July 10, 2020
To mark the occasion we've added a new print! "Hand Wash" by Jay Chesterman.
You can get your 'hands' on it here ➡️https://t.co/Uvh8pC95ZN pic.twitter.com/u3Z6QdlO1h
If you want to market your brand with empathy, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Don’t take advantage of people
- Don’t boast or show off about how well things are going for you
- Keep your messaging and visuals in line with safety guidelines from experts/the government, like by encouraging social distancing
- Adapt any planned campaigns/scheduled content that isn’t appropriate anymore
Your empathetic approach shouldn’t only be directed to your audience – you need to take care of your staff. Your values aren’t just outward-facing things, it’s just as important for them to be reflected in your company culture. Listening to your staff’s concerns and adapting ways of working where you can is essential to maintaining their mental health. Avoiding burnout is also one of the most crucial factors in maintaining your businesses productivity during this time.
Some other things you may find valuable
Now that you’re ready to showcase your company values to the world, why not take it a step further and learn how to create a two-week mini campaign? Or, if you’re struggling with your brand’s messaging, find out how we created our tone of voice.
You can follow Matchstick Creative on Twitter and Instagram.