Marketing During a Crisis – What to say, sell and do?

In times of crisis, our true colors show. We can curl up in a fetal position, ignore the trials and tribulations and run scared. Or you can rise to the challenge, think positively and look for ways to keep things not only afloat, but thriving. It CAN be done. But it’s a mindset, and it’s actually a lot harder than ignoring this moment and wringing your hands.

Particularly, now is not the time to stop your marketing efforts. Do your messages need to change? YES! Do you need to think about every single piece of communication that you put out there? DEFINITELY! Do you need to look at cost-effective ways to measure? OF COURSE! But don’t just stop cold turkey. Why? Because once the pandemic is done and we can get back to “normal,” your customers will either be there waiting for you or will have taken this opportunity to move on to a newer/better situation.

Now is the time to focus on those relationships. This is the time to crank out content like you never have before. It’s time to shine and become the support system you need to be for your clients, customers, partners and employees. 

This is particularly important to those businesses who are completely shut down right now. Think dentists, hair stylists, event planners, the list goes on. Use this time to better connect with your clients. Keep them posted on what is happening with your team, provide them a tip of the day, engage them on social media. Do what it takes (content and lots of it, FYI) to keep them in a relationship with you. If you don’t, it becomes way too easy for them to consider a different situation when things are up and running. 

 

Here are 10 ideas (brought to you by really smart biz owners) to continue to build those relationships and ensure you’ll have clients when this is all said and done.

Content Marketing Strategy That Gets Results

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  1. Go virtual now. OK, so your doors are locked and no one is coming inside, but what can you do virtually to keep your clients informed, entertained and curious? Here’s a great example of a Little Rock salon, Red Beauty Lounge, that has posted daily on their social media 10- to 12-minute tutorials on all different topics relevant to their audience (blow dry techniques, up-do tricks, you name it). 
  2. If you have a distinct point-of-view when it comes to anything going on in the world today, get it out there quickly! Blogs are great, and you can always post that same blog as an article on your LinkedIn page. It’s a quick way to start building thought leadership when you have more time on your hands than usual. Mitchell Williams Law is doing an amazing job of posting numerous daily blogs from attorneys who have a wealth of knowledge on timely topics of concern. They are positioning themselves as go-to attorneys during a time when many businesses are looking for quick and smart answers.
  3. Schedule virtual hangouts and answer questions from your customers and interested people. Zoom is a quick and easy platform to use, and you can easily maneuver between who is speaking and answer questions in the chat box. See what Chipotle is doing with their customers – hosting daily get-togethers complete with celebrities and 3,000+ fans.
  4. Use this time to bring back crowd favorites that maybe were seasonal or can be quickly adapted for the situation. Community Bakery in Little Rock did this when they realized customers (many who are parents of young children) were working from home with kids who needed to be entertained. They brought back their popular cookie decorating kits from Christmas time and have adapted them for a fun “quarantine” spring cookie kit. 
  5. Do something for your community. Your customers will take notice if they feel like your focus is in the right place. We absolutely love the work CustomXM is doing for free right now. The printing company has been working overtime to print free banners for local restaurants that tout their curbside pickup and delivery services. It’s an awesome (and needed) freebie for these restaurants right now. And guess what? Who is the first person those business owners are going to call when business is back booming and they have printing needs?
  6. Pivot – and FAST! Get creative on how you can adapt to the situation and still keep things going. Jeannie Guthrie of Zig Zag Studio quickly figured out how to continue bringing in revenue even though all her in-person art classes are canceled. She is opening the studio for individual families to use for two hours at a time. Her customers love her for offering a welcome escape, and she continues to be able to charge for studio use.
  7. Have you been running social media ads? If so, definitely continue, and if you are new to it, now’s the time to jump in. With more people at home in front of their screens, it’s a great opportunity for businesses to use digital marketing to connect with customers. And from what we’re reading and seeing, cost-per-clicks have decreased across all verticals, so you’re getting a good deal too. So when others are pulling back, you can be capitalizing on their lost market share.
  8. Keep doing what you do, but put a social distancing twist to it. Check out what Amy Carper with Carper Creative Photography is doing with her #frontstepproject. Amy’s specialty is fabulous family photos, so she is offering a quick (and safe) shoot from your front porch. She understands her audience enough to know that a) they are all together, which is sometimes difficult to make happen, b) people are anxious for a reason to get out of their PJs, and c) it’s beautiful Spring time weather and people don’t want to miss out on that treasured family photo session.
  9. Scrap your business plan and start over. The entrepreneurs at Trailblazer Roasting Company started their new coffee business just weeks before the pandemic hit. The company’s focus is selling wholesale coffee to clients, such as gyms (closed), large work places (closed) and churches (closed). Not anymore. The startup quickly pivoted to sell individual retail bags of coffee and committed to same-day delivery to accomodate all those workers at home and in need of daily coffee fixes. 
  10. Listen to your audience. Follow the trends. Get in the conversation. My favorite clothing boutiques (national and local) are pushing the goods that are in line with quarantine (comfy jogger sets and blouses that are perfect for Zoom calls – Business on top, party on bottom!). They are heavy on Instagram as their users are spending lots more time there, and the platform is extremely visual. Think through the day-to-day life of your clients right now and speak to them where they are with what they want to hear. E Leigh’s is doing a great job of consistently asking their audiences on Instagram what they are wanting to see as far as clothes, tips and fashion. And the company even launched a new brand ambassador program to capitalize on all those eyes scrolling through Insta. 

 

Now is the time to focus on utilizing social media to market your business––it’s inexpensive and accessible anywhere, making it the ideal platform for right now. Unsure how to use it to your advantage? Sign up for our Social Media Cram Session for tips and tricks on how to sell, market and connect with your customers.

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Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring for three positions listed below – Account Executive, Account Supervisor and Media Relations Manager.

Account Executive Job Description: 

In the Account Executive position, emphasis is placed on growing independent work within the areas of project management, client relations, media relations, digital/marketing, and/or lead generation among other skills. You are the face to our clients and will play an integral role in daily communication and should be able to demonstrate tactical excellence. 

  • Write client and internal correspondence effectively and with limited supervision.
  • Successfully plan and execute client activities such as media tours, digital and social campaigns, business missions and/or other special events. 
  • Proactively identify blog content story ideas and work with the supervisor to develop. 
  • Develop relevant blogs, e-newsletters and website content effectively and with limited supervision. 
  • Successfully manage independently the execution of all client content calendars, which can include media relations pitch calendars, blogs, social content and paid media campaigns.
  • Exhibit competency and efficiency in drafting copy for client marketing materials and/or campaigns, such as website content, e-newsletters, collateral materials, paid media campaigns, etc. 
  • As it relates to social/digital media, regularly suggest ideas, manage the planning, and comfortably execute campaigns on behalf of clients. Efficiency with Canva, a plus!
  • Assist in the management of interns, when applicable. 
  • Be proficient in WordPress.
  • Easily navigate agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.
  • Depending on the needs of the service area, responsibilities may extend beyond the items above as skill sets, client contracts and other extenuating circumstances dictate.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Account Supervisor Job Description: 
In the Account Supervisor position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or creative/strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives.
  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on at least three clients.
  • Manage the implementation of work plans and ensure client deliverables are successfully met on deadline.
  • Play a leadership role in the sales process by identifying additional services to sell to existing clients and assisting with RFP responses, new business proposals, presentations, etc. with senior leadership or independently.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients.
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.
  • Begin to play a role in the agency’s marketing efforts, guiding aspects of certain campaigns and/or helping to execute in their areas of expertise.

Account Services: 

  • Play a clear leadership role in the planning and execution of integrated marketing campaigns for clients.
  • Develop and write comprehensive strategic marketing plans for clients.
  • Handle vendor contracts and ensure proper billing.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of successfully meeting deadlines and timelines.
  • Handle day-of logistics on behalf of clients, responding quickly and effectively.
  • Assist in providing leadership and professional development on client relations, helping team members improve their skills in managing conflict, presentations, sales, etc.

Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns, marketing collateral, etc.
  • Oversee the development of marketing materials and branding campaigns.
  • Manage creative marketing campaigns on behalf of clients.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms, and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for proposals, new business proposals and current clients’ marketing campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Media Relations Manager Job Description: 

In the Media Relations Manager position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the public relations industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives. 

Main Responsibilities – General: 

  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on media relations client accounts.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients. 
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.

Main Responsibilities – Media Relations: 

  • Develop strategic media relations plans, direct management and outreach for client accounts with the supervision of Senior Leadership.
  • Perform with Senior Leadership to prepare a plan for strategic crisis communications.
  • Manage and facilitate the execution of media relations outreach for special events, programs and major initiatives.
  • Perform as spokesperson and coordinates official responses to media inquiries.
  • Conduct media training with clients in preparation for external media interviews. 
  • Support framing and development of main message points for better positioning prior to media interviews.
  • Prepare speeches, talking points and varied communications materials assisting client spokespersons.
  • Write pitches, backgrounders, press releases, key messages and blog posts.
  • Manage and monitor reporter hotline, client media relations calendar, metrics, media relations processes and press release approvals.
  • Propose ideas proactively for media pitches to stimulate media coverage.
  • Consistently pitch stories and secure strategic media placements assisting client reputation and business goals.
  • Manage and supervise media events along with initiatives defining company stories.
  • Identify proactive stories for trade, business as well as consumer media across multiple client industries.
  • Develop and maintain close media relations to improve press efforts.
  • Identify brands promoting opportunities and improve awareness of services and products.

Main Responsibilities – Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns (webinar/live stream events), etc.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for new business proposals and current clients’ PR campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Summer Fridays

    We get an early jump on the weekend every Friday during the summer.

  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

Apply for one of our open positions or just send us an email letting us know why you should be part of this Rock Star team. Email bethany@ghidotti.com.