Across the country, Americans are feeling the overwhelm and confusion of living a new normal. During the time of COVID-19 quarantine, brands have struggled to determine how they should operate. With determination to move forward with "business as usual", many are missing the mark. They're crafting messages that read as "sales-y" and therefore insensitive to the current climate. But if brands cater to the top four needs that customers have right now, then maybe they can get their messaging right.
We've created an acronym to help you remember the main "desires" businesses should be catering to during quarantine: R.I.C.E. It stands for Reassurance, Information, Connection, and Entertainment.
For many, anxiety is high, and every hour brings more unsettling news about the numbers. During a time of uncertainty, there is a desperate need for reassurance.
Try sharing (or creating) content that offers encouragement and optimism. This could come in the form of:
Employees’ stories of how they’re connecting during this time
Pictures of how your business is helping first responders and/ or teachers
A video of you highlighting something that has improved since your time in quarantine
Motivational content that inspires
Think of how you can bring people content that helps them to associate good feelings with your brand in a time when they’re in need of encouragement.
Many of those staying home are looking to invest time in both their personal and professional development. With fewer distractions and more time to build toward goals they’d previously put on the back burner, people are searching for virtual classes to help them improve their businesses and personal skills.
Try sharing content that teaches your audience something new. This could come in the form of:
How-to tutorials that are edited in quick shots
Starting a podcast where you interview various guests in your industry, inviting them to teach listeners something new
It's simple: People enjoy learning. Help them in their search to acquire knowledge during this time.
While there are several apps to help us chat with friends, quarantine is still proving rather lonely for many. If you can create an opportunity for people to meaningfully engage with each other, you’ll be appreciated for your commitment to their social and emotional well-being.
Find ways to encourage people to interact with each other. Facilitate this connection by:
Hosting a bi-weekly virtual happy hour with varying topics and themes
Find an exciting new social platform to introduce people to. (We recommend Lunchpool!)
Host a monthly book club (like this one by Self Made Sisterhood) for people to read and have meaningful discussion about the parts of the book that resonated with them most
Restaurants are closed and event venues are empty. This leaves us with few options for entertainment. Find a way to amuse people while they’re indoors. If you do this well, then you’ll expand your audience long after quarantine is over.
Some suggestions for bringing fun entertainment to your audience during this time include:
Hosting a weekly trivia night on a topic that’s related to your industry
Sponsoring a DJ who can play a live set as people tune in and dance along to the music
Creating fun challenges (there are tons on TikTok right now—you may even go viral!)
Find a way to bring amusement in homes across the country and you’ll be remembered for warming the hearts of those who were looking for a fun distraction during a time of chaos.
If your business is creating messaging, make sure it caters to one (or all!) of these needs. If you find a way to authentically serve your community, not only will they benefit from what you have to offer, they’ll remember it for years to come. For more tips on how to carefully "PR your business" successfully during this tricky time, schedule a Shine Session.