This year has brought on many unique challenges for business owners and executives. From supply chain issues and inflation to talk of a recession, negative headlines filled with warnings are everywhere. During a time of instability when companies are looking to trim their budgets, marketing and public relations budgets are often cut. When looking at the bottom line, some executives don’t view these efforts as necessities, but I’ve seen how leaders who lean into earned and owned media during times of instability reap positive rewards. During uncertainty, it’s important to reframe the marketing mindset, because companies that invest during difficult times may not just weather instability, they may have a unique opportunity to pull ahead of competitors.
There’s Opportunity in Instability
Instead of it feeling like the sky is falling, look at these times as an opportunity to stand out. While other businesses pull back or hit the brakes, you can keep your foot on the gas to gain market share, increase brand awareness and SEO and leverage the opportunity at a time when people might need your services or products more than ever. As Warren Buffett said, “We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.” Consumers have so many choices these days, so by being the one to stand out in the midst of instability, you are differentiating yourself. Positive PR also helps attract clients and employees and retain current ones. This can lead to growth instead of feeling like you’re struggling to stay afloat.
When difficult decisions need to be made during instability, having a strong marketing and communications plan established is key. This encompasses everything from having a strategy for responding to bad news like layoffs to how you are sharing updates with employees, investors and your customers. Furthermore, by incorporating proactive marketing and PR into your strategy, you are building up positive “goodwill” from the public, helping you weather any turbulent times ahead.
Be Strategic With Marketing Dollars
The type of marketing and PR you put your money behind makes a difference. You have to be specific about your goals and intentional about your focus. In the past, people would go all in on one type of marketing spend like buying ads. This traditional marketing alone won’t work in today’s world. You need a diversified plan that includes earned, owned and paid media with your story at the center. By incorporating the different types of marketing and PR into your plan, you can be intentional about your focus to accomplish your goals. The public reputation of your executives and leaders should be part of this plan. In fact, 93% of consumers look at the social media presence of a company’s CEO to see if that company is effectively communicating its values and to judge the organization’s reputation during a time of crisis.
If you want it done right, spend your time and money in the strategic places and hire people who know how to deliver results. Today’s marketing landscape has changed, so you need experts who know what effective outreach and messaging look like for your company. As trends ebb and flow, we’ve intentionally built a multifaceted team with experts in social media, storytelling, media relations, digital advertising and more. Having a strategic and nimble marketing and PR team is essential at any time but becomes invaluable during a time of uncertainty. Look for firms that can pivot quickly and adjust to shifts in the economy or to take advantage of consumer shifts.
Now is the time to reframe your mindset about PR and marketing and look at the current instability as an opportunity. In fact, Media Minefield was founded during a recession, and we’ve grown in both economic downturns over the last 12 years. Despite stories like this, it’s easy to feel unsure about what comes next, but businesses need to avoid the mistake of pulling back on marketing when a real opportunity lies in leaning in during an uncertain time. Whatever comes next, with the right messaging and support, you can come out on the other side as a company that grew and thrived. Plus, you’ll be well-positioned when stability returns.