Uncertainty has become the norm of the times. The Coronavirus pandemic has turned many businesses upside down, and people are struggling to stay afloat. This is as true for marketing and PR firms in India, as for any other company facing lost revenue in terms of clients, mounting debts owing to stuck payments, halt of potential business opportunities and much more.
Businesses are most likely to feel the impact on their bottom line as it becomes crucial for employees to self-isolate, or put themselves under quarantine. Moreover, multiple cities and districts have already gone under complete lockdown, which means no one can step out of their homes anyway.
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And yet, there is another side to all of this. Because once we’re all done with the storm, we will come out of it much stronger and wiser. It’s true that many sectors are facing volatile times, but there are also businesses that have actually managed to sail through these testing times by virtue of their product offerings. Take for instance edu-tech, which has not only turned out to be the knight in shining armour for students across the world, but also surged ahead like never before. If a business is in the news industry, healthcare, or financial space, they also probably saw a lot of gains over the past few weeks.
Double the efforts
At a time when event the best PR agency of India, and marketing professionals across the country have been forced to work from home, there is a ripe opportunity waiting for us; and that is to utilize this time to adapt to changing realities and prepare for a world post Corona. And no, we are not talking about making a quick buck by exploiting the current situation. Not only is it unethical, but also extremely short-sighted.
Instead, it is time to double down on your efforts and approach it with an innovative bent of mind. How many times have you wanted to test the effects of digital PR on your agency, but couldn’t find enough time to try it out? How much efforts have you previously put in training your staff to be more digitally-adaptable? If you haven’t, well the time is now!
For instance, as a PR agency in Delhi, our employees have been working from home for a few weeks now, but our processes have been streamlined to get the maximum in terms of productivity. Right from quick Google calls in the mornings to jot down tasks, to allocating every resource across business functions, including business development, we are ready to fight this out. Instead of putting a halt on our digital efforts, we are continuing to go full throttle. Instead of de-boarding our current clients, we are working with them at reduced budgets, but are also simultaneously chalking out innovative strategies to get them better ROI during these times.
The importance of having a plan
In addition, during a crisis like this, communications strategies become more important than ever. As a PR agency in Delhi or any other part of the country, you have to maintain your calm, and keep open all channels of communication with stakeholders across the board. Since most of us are now working from home, this is a great time to dust off that plan you had, and sit and review it with your entire team. When a crisis as big as this hit you, you will need all hands-on deck, and have a clear chain of command, along with backup plans, in case your co-workers or other stakeholders fall sick. Keep a note of things like PoC for decision-making related queries, media inquiries, phone numbers of key stakeholders, WFH policies, press releases, etc. Also try and include a plan for how your PR firm is planning to continue with work amidst lockdown. This will help reduce any confusion later. And have all kinds of statements prepared beforehand.
It is also crucial that you build your brand awareness during these times too so that you can get more visibility, which means driving visitors to your website to drive conversions. You have to be found at every stage of the purchase lifecycle in order for clients to choose you over anyone else. Maybe you could also try setting aside a fixed budget to drive this. Just focus on creating high quality content that is going to get shared. This is a long-drawn process, but one that will definitely give you impactful results in the long run.
Content is king
Also remember to keep updating your content. Your business might have a big archive of content, but won’t be read by audiences if it is not relevant to them anymore. Revisit your content, update it, and see how you improve your rankings in the search engine.
Your focus during times like these should solely be on creating low cost, high impact digital marketing campaigns that promise conversion rate optimisation. And small incremental changes to the user journey will turn more of your website visitors into customers. Keep posting positive stories about your business, reviews, recommendations and testimonials. Revisit every touchpoint in your marketing, and see how it can be further optimized. Improve on your customer experience. Invest more time on your website to make it faster and more personalized. Maybe you could also try and leverage AI; get up to speed on the latest developments in these fields and see how you can leverage them to improve your digital marketing game. This can potentially drive down your cost per acquisition of new clients by ensuring you are getting the right message to the right person at the right time.
During a downturn such as this, there is always less competition, which means it is easier and faster to get results if you remain in the game. Remember, the more mindshare PR firms in India, along with digital marketing agencies, occupy now, the more power they will have to come out of this storm unscathed, and in a better shape to fight anything in the future and emerge as the best PR agency.
For inspiration, look no further than China. The worst is over for the country, and the economy is slowly getting back on its feet. We have hope too. We just need to focus on the silver lining, and keep working towards coming out of this pandemic, together. And more importantly, while you’re at it, stay home, and take care.