PR with purpose
The wheels are slowly turning around the world as countries and businesses start to open up again. It’s great to see the creativity that hospitality and retail in particular are putting into keeping patrons safe.
PR can be vital in supporting this process. Not just so companies can promote themselves and drive sales but so they can show their personality and reach customers to make them feel safe.
Communicating how you plan to make your business work with the customer in mind, can give you the opportunity to connect with them and offer reassurance that you understand any concerns they might have, which is vital right now I am sure most people will agree.
This is where the creative marketing and comms people in your business – or the agencies that support you – can really come into their own to work with you to find creative solutions to problems no one ever thought we would have and get them out there when it matters most.
One of the biggest challenges restaurants face is maintaining mood when they have to keep tables two metres apart to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The Michelin three star Inn at Little Washington in Virginia has mannequins wearing 1940s clothing occupying tables in its dining area and a restaurant in South Carolina is using blow up dolls to space out diners and make the place feel more full!
A cafe in Germany has given customers hats with pool noodles to wear to remind them to keep their distance and a restaurant in Bangkok is using cartoon dragons at tables to tell diners where to sit!
Restaurants are turning to outside space to add more covers and Mediamatic ETEN in Amsterdam is seating diners in private greenhouses by the water.
All not only sensible solutions but talking points and fun – nothing relieves tension and worry like humour. What’s more these mini stunts have generated news across the world, helping the businesses to signpost their commitment to keeping their customers safe.
I know there’s a lot to think about when bringing customers back into your space and, of course, safety will always be your first consideration but bringing fun and personality into how you deliver it will help to restore the customer experience and show those coming through your door that they are your number one priority.
And I wouldn’t work in PR if i didn’t urge you to think about a photo or video opportunity along the way too would I? Just please god no one put Ian Brown or Liam Gallagher mannequins in your restaurant in Manchester!