Biggest PR Mistakes We’ve Seen During the Pandemic (And What to Learn From Them)

The COVID-19 pandemic has put every industry under pressure as they struggle to find ways to adapt to the changing landscape.

While many businesses have managed to successfully pivot their operations without negatively impacting their customer relationships, there are plenty of businesses that have not fared as well.

Here are a few of the biggest PR mistakes of the pandemic, and what you can learn from them.

Sharing Tone-Deaf Ads

There has been no lack of tone-deaf advertisements during this pandemic. Most of them have occurred at the beginning of the quarantine period when many companies still hadn’t realized the severity of the situation.

One of the biggest examples of this is Norwegian Cruise Lines, which continued to promote its latest ads well into March. By this time, many countries had already taken significant steps to try and protect against COVID-19, with some places already in lockdown mode. The fact that Norwegian Cruise Lines continued to advertise like nothing was wrong made the brand seem out of touch with their audience.

That’s why you need to make sure that your company has a local PR agency that can track the latest trends or current events to ensure you don’t commit any marketing blunders that can be perceived as tone-deaf.

Failing to Provide Proper Employee Safety Measures

A lot of businesses have managed to step up during this pandemic and provide resources to help make sure their employees are being protected and fairly compensated. This is especially important for essential workers who are experiencing the greatest risk of infection. Unfortunately, one company that has largely failed to do their part is the grocery delivery service Instacart.

By failing to provide their employees with proper sanitary gear, Instacart caused quite the public uproar, even leading to a nationwide strike by its employees. Although it has since added 300,000 more employees as a way to keep up with increased demand during this pandemic, the damage has already been done and many people’s perception of the brand has been tainted.

When the health of your employees is at risk, it is always going to be the better option to spend more money to ensure their safety. Otherwise, the public could become aware of these shortcomings and start switching to other brands in protest. And, it goes without mentioning (but we will anyway), your employees’ safety should always come first.

Going Completely Dark

After seeing the backlash some brands received from their coronavirus responses, there are some companies that simply chose not to have a response at all. They essentially went dark and did not communicate with the public.

This is almost just as bad as saying the wrong thing. And it is not what consumers want. In fact, only 8 percent of consumers prefer that brands stop advertising during this pandemic. They want communication, it just needs to be good communication that is reflective of how this pandemic is affecting us all.

With the help of a skilled PR agency in Las Vegas, you can be better equipped for proper crisis management. So make sure you are emerging from the pandemic in the best way possible by hiring our team of professionals at GYC Vegas.

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