5 PR and marketing actions to do during lockdown to get set for success

I know some people have found themselves busier than ever during lockdown; for NHS and other frontline workers, COVID-19 has meant unrelenting hard work and long days. Some occupations remain largely unchanged, with farmers still busy in the fields producing food, livestock needing care and lorries still on the roads.

But for many rural businesses, life has become very quiet indeed. If you’re not home schooling, making banana bread or joining in with the latest social media challenges, then you might just have a bit more time on your hands. Here are my top 5 PR and marketing challenges to crack on with during lockdown so that once we’re set free (whenever that might be…) you will be set for success!

  1. Show up online. Lots of us are spending more time at home (not through choice but necessity) and boy are we scrolling. That means you need to show up online and shout about what you do! Even if you can’t take bookings or orders right now you can still work hard to build up an engaged and interested audience for when you can transact. Post on social media, get blogging, share insight and tell people what you are all about. Join online networking events and get stuck in. Anything to get seen and attract the attention of people sitting at home.
  2. Capture people’s contact details. If you do see an uptick in engagement, then why not have a go at building an email list for future marketing efforts? You could run a competition or dangle an offer in front of your followers to encourage them to sign up to your email marketing list (more on that later). That means you can share your news, product info and offers once life returns to normal!
  3. Revisit your messaging. You know your business inside out, but how does your website or social presence look to a first-time visitor? Or has what you offer actually changed a bit since you wrote those words? This is an ideal time to cast your eye back over those ‘About Me’ pages and see if it still rings true. If you struggle to see things from your customers’ point of view, why not ask friends and family to take a look with you?
  4. Perfect your marketing and PR plan. Once the world begins to open up for business life will (hopefully) go back to being busy very quickly. If you’ve spent lockdown putting together a kick-ass marketing plan, researching publications and websites to reach out to for PR and planning content for the months ahead you’ll be flying. If you’ve got no idea where to start with a marketing plan then this should help!
  5. Nail your marketing admin. This might sound like a rather dull job when the sun is shining outside but please bear with me! If you remember that engaged audience who have hopefully entered your competition and given you their email address? Add them all to an Excel spreadsheet and add them to your email marketing tool of choice – Mailchimp is my favourite. If you’ve got an existing mailing list then add them too, but make sure you include a way of filtering existing customers, lapsed customers and new contacts. You might not need that info now, but it could come in handy one day!

I’ve heard before that you have to do something 8 times before it becomes habit. It’s really easy to put off something challenging or new when you’ve got a million and one other jobs on your list. But if you’ve got the gift of time, why not crack on with these PR and marketing jobs while you can? You never know, you might do some tasks enough that is less than two weeks you’ve developed a whole new set of helpful habits. Let me know how you get on!

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