By Gaurav Patra, Founder Director, Value 360 Communications Pvt Ltd
The coronavirus pandemic has affected the growth of companies globally. As the world continues to fight and overcome the spread of Covid-19, every organisation, including automotive brands, is doing its best to grapple the unprecedented crisis. Firms are taking swift measures and coming up with coping mechanisms to deal with the current scenario. While doing so, we often see the role of a communication professional or team is misunderstood during tough times.
However, keeping aside the gloomy picture of the industry, automobile manufacturers need to communicate in order to keep their stakeholders' trust intact. Brands must focus on fact-based communications with the stakeholders, customers, and employees to avoid panic and chaos. There needs to be clear communication from the organisation about how Covid-19 has reshaped your way of doing business.
Here are a few best practices advised by Mr Gaurav Patra, Founder Director at Value 360 Communications Pvt Ltd, that can help in laying an effective communication strategy for your brand:
The coronavirus pandemic has led to heightened fears. During this time, while brands need to communicate with their employees and customers, it is also vital for them to understand the tough times that everyone is going through. Companies should emphasise on how customer safety is important and also how they care about their employees, highlighting, “We’re here for you and we’ll cope with everything together”.
Think ‘Out of the Box’
Innovation is a vital component of any crisis management. Be creative to find new ways to reach out to your customers. Even if you have limited offerings right now, articulate a strategy that could create strong positioning of the brand amongst its audience and in turn, can help in creating loyal customers for the future.
Plan Communication Objectives
In the current scenario, brands and communication professionals need to plan their communication objectives while staying relevant to their audience. While the automotive sector is hit by the pandemic, companies should focus on creating opportunities which are relevant in these times. Businesses need to understand what news will be best suited at this point. The type of announcements you deliver as a brand needs to be sympathetic and sensitive. Firms also need to be seen as a socially responsible organisation by helping individuals, government, hospitals during the crisis.
Exploring New Methods
With people avoiding visits to physical stores, digitisation has emerged as the key to survival. Various brands have started implementing contactless delivery system including virtual tours, home test drives, etc. Though the online model will not completely replace the traditional model, brands need to reposition themselves with the digital connect.
Given the scale and urgency of the situation, companies should co-create their solutions as an effective response to the Covid-19 outbreak. There is no doubt that the current pandemic creates unique challenges for all the brands but through the right strategies and initiatives, firms can ensure they survive and even come out stronger.
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