Special Considerations Local Brands Should Make During Any Crisis
Given all of the disruptions to society, healthcare and the economy in 2020, many businesses and brands have had to adapt to changing times. From handling employee concerns to juggling store hours, local brands in particular have had much to respond to in the wake of economic uncertainty and global health crises arriving on their doorsteps.
As such, this makes now as good of a time as any to reflect on potential changes or disruptions that may appear in the future. Many local businesses and brands were caught off-guard with the arrival of COVID-19, but being prepared for future struggles and disruptions is perfectly doable.
As such, let’s look at a few considerations local brands will want to make during a potential crisis – both online and offline.
Updating Hours of Operation/Vital Online Info
This year, many stores reduced their hours or implemented a variety of temporary policies affecting when – and to whom – they were available. Many frustrated patrons found themselves showing up at local brands, only to find that hours of operation or other important details had been put in place.
During any crisis, it is important for local brands to remember to update vital information online. Most notably, updating hours of operation through platforms such as Facebook and Google My Business are crucial tasks, but so is supplying any additional relevant information via your website, social media or other platforms. Google even recently unveiled a feature that allows local brands to declare themselves temporarily closed in the event of a disaster (or use temporarily reduced hours), so there’s no excuse for you not to be pinging search engines and audiences with up-to-date hours of operation and other crucial information.
Using Proactive Measures for Safety
In the midst of a crisis, it can be difficult for communities to cope. For a local brand in particular, considerations should be made for visitors, customers and/or employees as well. Because of this, keeping your workers and those they interact with safe should be prepared for in advance.
Like many keep first aid kits on-hand, consider stocking up on essential supplies necessary to operate safely as a local brand. This can include healthcare-related items such as gloves and masks, but other areas should be considered, too. In the event of a major natural disaster, taking proactive steps to ensure valuables are secured and vital documents aren’t lost to mother nature is recommended.
Being Helpful in the Community
Local brands should also consider whether they can lend a helping hand in one or more types of crises. Putting together a game plan for volunteer action in the event of a tornado, flood, pandemic or other local disaster isn’t just charitable, but can also provide good PR for your brand. Between pinging search engines with positive earned media coverage and generating content through social media posts, a spirit of generosity can actually be very positive for your local brand’s image long-term.
When disaster strikes, being prepared is crucial. From individuals to businesses, having an idea of what needs to be consider in the aftermath of a crisis can make a huge difference. Local brands in particular can ensure customer loyalty, positive PR and improved safety and security by being prepared for such events.