Responding to a Crisis — An Opportunity to Define Your Company’s Values

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Responding to a Crisis — An Opportunity to Define Your Company’s Values

When the COVID-19 wave hit Omaha’s shores, I braced myself. There was a lot going through my mind as a business owner. First and foremost, I thought about our clients. The whole goal of Strictly Business is to promote local businesses to help them succeed, so it’s not fun to watch that success be threatened by something so wildly out of my control. Ultimately, our clients’ success is our success.

There is no denying that social distancing has put a complete halt on many areas of our lives. While there are silver linings to every cloud, such as gaining perspective on what is really important in life like I talked about in last month’s Letter from the President, this particular cloud is casting a pretty dark shadow on our economy. On a local level, I’ve seen the impact it’s having on small businesses. Many have had to reinvent themselves, say goodbye to amazing employees, and even close their doors completely for the time being. However, I’ve also witnessed many companies rise to the occasion, regardless of how uncomfortable the transition has been, and consumers are making even more of a conscious effort to buy and spend local. It makes me so proud to conduct business in Omaha.

Hard decisions are going to have to be made one way or another during this crisis, but several industry experts have pointed out that pressing pause on marketing efforts may not be the best approach to take. According to a brief conducted by MarketingDive, 43% of consumers find it reassuring to hear from brands they know and trust during a crisis. I want to encourage businesses not to sever communication with their audience but, instead, change their message. An article by Ogilvy says it best, “This is not a time to try to market or sell, but rather it is a time to reinforce the values that define leading organizations.”

The article goes on to say, “A lot of what brands do in the coming months may feel like temporary strategies, but what if this represents an opportunity for brands to define who they truly are and who they will continue to be for the next decade or beyond?”

This is really interesting, and it’s a call to action for us business owners. The decisions we make for our business during the COVID-19 pandemic will be a part of our genetic makeup as an organization going forward. These decisions are being seen and felt by our staff, partners, customers, neighbors, etc. On that same note, businesses need to be prepared for the floodgates to open back up. I believe that the businesses that are going to come out of this successfully are the ones that never lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel.

When the severity of this crisis knocked at Strictly Business’s door, Shayne and I brought the team together to come up with a strategy. In addition to letting half of the production team work from home, our biggest initiative was to connect with each of our clients to ask them how we could be doing even more to help them share their message. We made some changes to our editorial calendar to focus on how businesses are responding to the coronavirus, and we took an even stronger approach to online sharing than normal to make sure our clients’ content is still being seen.

I also want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our clients who are sticking with Strictly Business during this time, and all of our readers for their support as well. Everything we do is for you.

Let Strictly Business help you lock in your status as The Expert in your industry, utilizing print, the internet, and social media. Find out how by contacting Paige at (402) 466-3330.

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