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  • Dani Michaela Alberto

3 Rules for Marketing During a Crisis

Updated: Apr 2

We are here for you. You can count on us. We will make it through this together. These are the kind of messages everyone wants to hear during a pandemic like the Covid-19 outbreak. Online membership engagement during a crisis can be tricky to navigate, considering that a headline like “Big changes ahead, this affects you!” - as attractive as it might be under normal circumstances - can prove very controversial if you open the email and you are greeted with the latest revision to a privacy policy. This is why we collected a list of rules to guide you through the process and ensure that you can continue communicating with your members through these hard times without sounding inconsiderate and insincere.

Communication is Key The biggest priority during a pandemic - and more specifically on quarantine - is to stay focused on fulfilling our needs which includes relationships. Thanks to the wonders of technology, we are able to stay home and still have regular communication with the people we love around the globe. So why not leverage this opportunity to stay close with your connections and network? We would encourage you to keep all communications open, with both other organisations and members, but instead of trying to sell, we should strive to connect through sincere, compassionate and interesting stories and messages. In addition, all the spare time that staying at home has created is directing people online, which could be used as a way to expand your reach. Of course, attracting new engagement without trying to sell them something requires a change in tactic. We suggest you start giving more value instead of asking from them. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures.

Your Visuals and Messaging Matter Your visuals can play a huge role on how connected or isolated your audience feels through your posts and ads. At a time of isolation seeing images with large groups of people and professional grade videos can only make them feel more lonely. Try and reflect your audience's reality by deliberately lowering the quality of your visual content and ensuring that it doesn’t feature scenes and stories which feel out of reach from where they currently are. Home videos and other stripped down content are definitely going to be appreciated. They will give reassurance to your members and remind them that we are all in the same boat, which will make them feel included and connected. - This is why Instagram and Snapchat "stories" are very popular with our members. Similarly your messaging needs to be filtered in order to avoid this conflict. Ensure that you communicate with empathy, sincerity and compassion.

Deploy Humor, not Satire In hard times like this, a bit of good humour or a healthy destruction can go a long way to brighten up someone's day. Share stories about your brand, your employees and behind the scenes from your makeshift offices at home. This is your chance to re-establish with your members your values, goals and visions, which will make them feel closer to you and create a deeper connection which will last way longer than their quarantine. But you need to be careful not to make fun of the situation. There's nothing funny about this pandemic and joking about it is very likely to aggravate your audience, so deploy empathy and stay sensitive to the reality of what is happening. In conclusion, this is not a good time to be approaching people with the intent to sell. Your focus should be on making them feel included, supported and give them opportunities to feel connected to the world outside their home. Communities are built on trust and empathy, not on Coronavirus special offers; and as Unions we are built on bringing people together, United in adversity and solidarity.




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This blog post is a collaboration between Michaelangelo Philippides and Dani Alberto.

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SMOOVEmedia Ltd

We're a membership engagement consultancy built for the now. SMOOVEmedia came from our directors pronunciation of the word "movement" during his campaigns as a union officer. We've been serving and enabling the sector since 2011.

Our mission: 

To enable the growth of charities, social enterprises, & membership organisations. 

We want to build the best social movement in the history of time.

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