Kevin foley
Kevin Foley

Coronavirus is disrupting much of what we do in public relations. For brands, however, communications are crucial in a time of crisis. Consumers are understandably worried, but brands shouldn’t be.

Most brands should be aggressively communicating that they are here, they are viable, and they are ready to deliver.

Back when the recession of 2008-2009 hit – and it was undoubtedly catastrophic – we saw an uptick in brand communications because that’s what smart marketers do when things go sideways.

If you think about it, it’s counterintuitive to slow or stop marketing communications when the financial markets and public confidence take the kind of hits they’re taking today. In fact, it’s a self-fulfilling prophesy…things are bad, shut down marketing communications.

This crisis will pass, just as the recession did, but do you want your target consumers to believe your brand is crippled or, worse, no longer exists? The long term fallout makes the short term set back look tiny by comparison.

The Chinese word for crisis is often interpreted as “danger” and “opportunity.” This is why we’re counseling clients to step up brand communications.


Kevin Foley owns KEF Media in Atlanta.