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Don't Underestimate the Power of Public Relations Amid COVID-19 Exploring the importance of PR during Coronavirus Pandemic.

By Akshat Thapa Edited by Michael Dolan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Marc Piasecki | Getty Images

No business or industry has been left untouched by COVID-19. Some have benefitted from the increased reliance on the internet and managed to flourish; others have found it impossible to operate amid social distancing measures and strict health regulations.

Whichever camp you find yourself in, improving your communications strategy and digital presence is the perfect way to make the best of a bad situation.

Here's why public relations can help you to thrive under the uncertainty we face.

1. Engage with your customers

Many people are now unable or unwilling to travel, attend in-person events, or even walk into physical stores. But your customers and audience are still there, sitting at home — you just need to find new ways to reach them.

The method you choose depends on your business or offering, but there are plenty of options. Why not run free online webinars to teach people how to use your software? Write useful guest articles on websites that your audience frequents? Or start a podcast to provide relevant industry insights?

Although this kind of digital content might not have an immediate impact on your bottom line, it's an investment that could pay dividends for years to come.

2. Build your credibility

Now more than ever, people have plenty of time on their hands to research their options and understand the market. If you've never found the time to seek out press features or improve your website, now is your chance to seize the opportunity.

Trust us — your customers will notice.

Public figures are also under scrutiny. Many of them are held to account — from trivial examples like Kim Kardashian's "out-of-touch" 40th birthday island bash to more serious cases like the Chief Medical Officer of Scotland flouting her own health and safety regulations to stay in her second home.

Social media and digital content can help you to get into the headlines for the right reasons. Alternatively, use a press release distribution service to take the matter into your own hands.

3. Get creative

When business is going well, it's easy to get complacent about the way you operate. Why fix what isn't broken, right? But now, it seems like everything is broken.

Brands that are able to embrace creative solutions and try new things stand the best chance of reaching a fresh audience and keeping their existing audience interested.

Have you thought about trying influencer marketing? What about using TikTok to spread the word about what you do? Social media use is through the roof right now.

Talking to a PR professional is a great way to come up with innovative ideas that are directly relevant to your industry and brand.

Final words

With a potential recession looming and the future of many sectors uncertain, it's tempting for businesses to deal with the pandemic by cutting costs as much as possible — including their communications budgets.

Yet this is a dire mistake. The companies that will thrive through the "new normal" and beyond are those that grasp the opportunity to accelerate their digital presence and connect with their audience in new ways.

Instead of letting fear take the reigns, have faith in your brand's potential and work on your public relations strategy.

Akshat Thapa

Founder and CEO at NewswireNEXT

Akshat Thapa is an internet Entrepreneur and PR Expert. He is the founder and owner of multiple online businesses including NewswireNEXT and PR India Wire, and has engaged partnerships with global PR distribution partners, newspapers and media brands.

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