It’s hard to turn around today without hearing news about the economy, and companies large and small are taking precautions to ensure they weather the storm. We’re no different – tightening our belts a bit more than usual and examining each expense to make sure it’s necessary right now.
When it comes to communication strategy, we practice what we preach at GroundFloor Media. We know we must stay the course and focus on our own communication and marketing initiatives as we continue to hit rough waters. Like companies much larger than us, as business owners we all share the knowledge that cutting all efforts to communicate, both internally and externally, will certainly backfire. The messages may change in challenging times, but the communication channels need to remain open so that customers, shareholders and employees can remain confident in our companies.
Those of us who have survived challenging economic downturns in the past know that the first thing many companies cut is public relations and advertising budgets. While this somehow seems to make sense to some individuals initially, it is not a wise long-term strategy. Of course, it can’t always be “business as usual” during an economic downturn; however, strategic communication agencies can help clients make smart decisions and tweak programs so that companies are using cost-effective measures to reach out to their key audiences. For instance, this may be the right time to institute that blog strategy you’ve been considering for so long. Many social media tactics, like blogs, provide cost-effective ways to engage directly with your key audiences and provide your company with instant feedback from consumers, shareholders and/or employees. It may also be time to open up the internal communication channels so employees know their fears are being addressed and that management is available and open to questions and feedback.
Sure, now is a good time to reevaluate your overall communication strategy and shift priorities and dollars toward programs that are more targeted and cost-effective, but as with all decisions these days, it is not time to panic. Following are some links to insightful articles about communicating during tough economic times for entrepreneurs and agencies alike: