Creating Business as Usual in Unusual Times: 5 Communications Tips for Navigating COVID-19 Fallout


Technology marketing is unlike any other. It demands a different way of thinking and rapid adaptability. Tech marketers, like Apple’s famous tagline, ‘think different’.  In the past, tech’s expansive influence on the world granted us the ability to thrive, even in hard times. But we’ve moved from the Wild West to Westworld. While we crave normalcy, nothing may ever be the same.   

How can brands and PR teams create an island of calm for employees, customers, partners and prospects when the environment around them is tumultuous?  How can we help ensure that our relationships continue to work? Nimble PR and communications are a critical element of a company’s HR, marketing, sales and new business strategies and actions. Here are five communication tips to consider in these unprecedented times:



Be transparent

The current climate has affected many companies’ ability to operate at full capacity. If the pandemic has affected your team’s ability to deliver services or products, communicate with your customers and community immediately. Set expectations for delays while confirming your ongoing commitment to the quality of your relationship. Regular updates will likely buy you much needed patience.


Be responsive

With inquiries from the media, customers, and prospects alike, don’t leave anyone hanging. A quick acknowledgement of receipt to confirm that you’re working through requests can go a long way for brand sentiment.


Avoid the urge to overdo communication

Continuing marketing activities is a priority, but keep in mind that everyone is receiving communication from what feels like every vendor they’ve ever had contact with and a host of new ones. Many simply ask if there’s anything they can do to help. Limit your communications to what is necessary and focus on relevancy and targeted solutions over concerned platitudes.


Ensure your PR focus is nimble and reflects understanding

The news cycle will be heavily focused on global health for some time. This is to be expected for a once-in-a-hundred-years event. While different industries, including the media, adjust to what may be the new normal, their priorities and interests have shifted. The major announcement that you’ve been planning for months may not be able to be a top priority for reporters at the moment. Consult with your PR team on messaging — does your product have impact and new relevance for your customers and their customers? If so, recast your messaging for greater impact. If not, assess your timeline. Be realistic about releasing company news right now, and whether revisiting your timeline or new vehicles for these announcements makes more sense and means better results.


Be a resource

While your company news might not make the most sense for media right now, identify other  ways your team can be a resource. For example, do you have insights or data that validate a market trend the media is seeing during these challenging times? Package them in a way that is clear and poignant.


As tech marketers, we’re used to adapting to and creating change.  While we’re not driving this revolution as we have others, we can control the way we respond. We can help make sure our relationships continue to function and grow as we navigate this ‘new normal.’