COVID-19 Advice and Counsel – March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020

Thoughts and Counsel from The Atkins Group

As we grapple daily with the far-reaching impacts of COVID 19 our team is working with every client to consider and manage the next steps. Across the country, lockdowns are increasing for small and large businesses, while they are struggling to cope with this aptly named Black Swan event.

Here at The Atkins Group, we are involved in study, analysis, and conversations with marketers and communicators across the country. We are leading training activities across the state and the country. We are developing strategic and detailed plans, as we digest hundreds of resources to identify the most useful information for our clients and all our colleagues. We’ll be sharing these resources in a regular post starting today. 

We agree with the observations of Bruce Turkel – there are strategies every business should be considering right now. His post echoes the advice of the Harvard Business Review: brands should be taking a scalpel, not a meat cleaver, to their marketing. It is right on target with our own advice.

Last Sunday our Crisis Communications expert, Winter Prosapio, shared this guidance on what brands needed to do immediately in terms of their marketing and communications. Basically our counsel has been to immediately stop all bottom and mid-funnel spending, but do not go dark. Keep the Brand alive while planning for the long term. There are incredibly innovative ways to use organic social channels to not only stay top of mind but proactive. Our team has also built a best practices document featuring travel brands’ messaging to share with clients. Reach out to winter@theatkinsgroup.com for a copy.

Skift published this piece reminding the travel industry to remember who they serve: the traveling public. Marketing messages must be carefully crafted and examined. Looking like we are urging people to travel into situations where they could be endangering others is wrong-headed and worse – potentially damaging to travel brands for the long term.

Remember, F-E-A-R has two meanings: Forget Everything And Run…or, Face Everything And Rise…the choice is ours to make!

the atkins group

That said, we get it. The struggle for small businesses is real in every sector. The good news is resources are beginning to appear. Lift Fund based in San Antonio is hosting a live webinar designed for small businesses, including new ideas and methods for financing. The Texas Travel Alliance is advocating for tourism-related businesses and is collecting stories now (scroll to the bottom of this page for info). The US economy can’t afford to let small businesses and travel sector businesses fail, any more than they could let the banks fail.

Destination Development Association hosted a strong webinar yesterday that had advice which was relevant not only for travel, but for every sector. We walked away with two strong calls to action: create ways to support local businesses and take advantage of this time to consider renovations, upgrades, and long-range improvements that we know will make a difference for our companies, but we seldom take the time to do them. They have said they will be posting the webinar slides online soon, but if you’d like a more thorough overview, let us know.

There are a lot of things in a crisis like this that we cannot control. What we must do is manage any potential knee jerk reactions, but rather do all we can to help, focus, and maintain our resolve. We are not going to allow our country or key sectors to fail; we have the resources and acumen to recover. Now we just have to use them.

Remember, F-E-A-R has two meanings:

Forget Everything And Run…or, Face Everything And Rise…the choice is ours to make!

We’ll continue to share the best information, counsel, and guidance. After all, that’s why we’re here.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay