PR Isn’t Dead Either
Ask yourself, realistically how many times have you said the phrase ‘in these uncertain times’ recently?
PR practitioners across the nation have had to rapidly adopt this particular phrase into the majority of their comms amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with many brands and establishments now having to rethink their PR strategy, and quickly.
With the doors closed to restaurants, bars, clubs and public attractions, the PR industry faces unchartered waters, with the question on everyone’s lips of where does this leave PR? Will businesses still realise the value of it?
The answer is and should always be a resounding yes. A strong PR strategy will always triumph and businesses can use this time to build a reputable profile by providing expert commentary and generating positive news stories that shine in and amongst the chaos.
You need only look at the #journorequests on Twitter to see that the media can’t create an entire publication centred around Covid-19, they are still in need of good news and that is where PR can be used in a productive and intelligent way.
The brands now getting the best coverage are those helping the community, or helping to keep the spirits up of those in self-isolation.
A great example of this is the work we have done recently with our client, MasterChef champion, Simon Wood. Simon has been busy at home creating a series of recipes that people can recreate in their own kitchens. The recipes are simple and involve cupboard essential ingredients.
With fast food giants McDonalds and KFC now closed indefinitely, Simon created his own take on Big Mac Sauce and KFC Gravy, which placed with our national and regional media contacts. The recipes generated an impressive wealth of national coverage, being featured on the Daily Mail, Daily Express, OK! Magazine and Daily Star.
Shining a light on the good things happening in the world, when Nico Simeone gifted his first restaurant 111 by Nico to head chef Modou Diagne, renaming it 111 by Modou, we were keen to share the news, just as the terrible news of the coronavirus was taking over all media agendas.
Modou Diagne arrived in the UK with just £200 in his pocket and spent 10 days sleeping on the streets, finding employment with Nico as a kitchen porter and rising through the ranks to eventually become head chef. His tremendous story captured hearts and was covered on the Daily Mail and iNews.
Businesses can also look to adapt their strategy based on consumer needs. With the majority of the country now in isolation, home deliveries are now peaking. Deliveroo has recorded an 86% increase in restaurants signing up to the service and Nielsen reports alcohol sales have also increased.
We looked to harness these trends, working with Diablesse Rum to create a series of easy cocktail recipes that can be created at home. Managing Director of Diablesse Rum, Cleo Farman, has also created a series of Instagram tutorials for rum lovers to enjoy and has been featured across the media .
Press are always looking for expert commentary at a time like this, with Simon Wood appearing on Granada Reports and Angus Pride, Managing Director of Peru Perdu appearing on BBC North West, both speaking about the impact on Covid-19 on the restaurant industry.
DATS international client More Mountain also provided comment on Covid-19 and its effect on the ski industry, being featured on The Guardian.
If there was ever any doubt that PR was a necessity, the United Nations have announced a call to arms for creators, influencers and media owners to tackle health and awareness during the coronavirus pandemic.
“You have the power to change the world,” the brief states. “We need help translating critical public-health messages – not just into different languages – but into different cultures, communities and platforms – reaching everyone, everywhere.”
Now more than ever, PR must continue to help spread the message via a number of different platforms, be it traditional, broadcast and social media. We must work closely with the media to generate well-informed and relevant new stories that reflect the times we live in. As Pippa mentioned in her blog post last week, “it is the job of the PR to make sure the messaging and the content fits the current landscape”.
So yes, these are uncertain times, however we must continue on and adapt, be quick thinkers, be reactive and well-informed. We all have our part to play right now establishing some form of normality, and PR will continue because we will always need to communicate with one another in some form or another.