In difficult situations – whether it’s in your personal life or within the corporate world – it can often be hard to find just the right words.
In the most extreme circumstances, it can sometimes seem tempting to keep quiet and avoid the potential pitfalls of saying the ‘wrong’ thing.
And we’ve all seen how the world of social media can turn on organisations who misjudge their messaging and don’t anticipate how their content will be interpreted – however well-intentioned they might have been.
However, just as you wouldn’t ignore a friend’s bereavement or redundancy, it’s important in the current environment for businesses to acknowledge and respond to what is, for so many people, an incredibly difficult time in their lives.
That’s where having a clear vision of your brand personality can be invaluable. Identifying the kind of ‘person’ your brand might be, and the qualities that person might have, can help find the right tone of voice for the most difficult situations.
Think about what makes you different and build your content strategy around your core values. Within the property industry there are elements to a brand personality, such as safety, quality and reliability, which are obviously a given, but beyond that you will know your business’ core strengths – are you family-friendly? Exclusive? Practical? Inspirational? How do you want your brand to be perceived?
It’s also important to remember that behaviour during the crisis will set the tone for perceptions of a company in the future. People will remember the organisations that responded well to this unprecedented challenge – who protected their workforce and customers, who encouraged people to behave safely and who supported key workers and volunteers.
And remember that even while it might seem that the world has come to a halt, there is a real (and perhaps even greater) need for relevant content to inform and entertain people.
Who is your audience and what do they want or need to know? Many of us are spending much more time at home and are really thinking about what works as a household – and what doesn’t. People are making plans for the future when restrictions are lifted and housebuilders, for example, can help them do that with the content they provide.
There’s a real demand for escapism too – as a quick glance at Netflix’s viewing figures shows. Inspirational interiors and entertaining ideas can provide a much-needed diversion from the only-too-real crisis which dominates the rolling news cycle.
So how to avoid the pitfalls? Appearing to be carrying on regardless is one potential minefield, and sales messages should be kept to a minimum, with an emphasis instead on the factual and informative. Being mindful of the struggles that some people are facing at the moment is a good touchstone to have at all times.
This can all form part of a longer-term strategy which can develop as the world around us changes. ‘How does our response to a situation reflect our brand personality?’ is a good question to ask, whatever the wider context.
And, of course, there’s also expert advice available to help you get your messaging right. We’d be happy to help you navigate the path ahead – email firstname.lastname@example.org.