Use PR to weather COVID-19 storm - and come out on top for 2021

Team members summer 2020

In the last six months, we have won seven new clients – all of which are savvy businesses looking for ways to come out of this situation stronger than their competitors.


They include leading contractor and property developer Anderson Group, boutique hotel booking system Room Raccoon and the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT) which delivers high quality education through schools across East Cambridgeshire.

The team is also supporting the development of a brand, website and marketing strategy for Eastern Community Homes which assists people with the development of community-led housing in the East of England, and has been working for Cosy Aromas, one of the UK's fastest growing home fragrance brands which has experienced impressive growth during the pandemic.

Finally, Prominent is working with Funeral Safe, a funeral finance company, and KBL Accounts, a very successful accountancy firm run by multi-award winning businesswoman Kelly-Anne Byres.

All these businesses come from different sectors – construction, education, retail, hospitality, public sector. But they share one thing in common – they know that PR and marketing is key to coming out of this situation stronger than their competitors.

What you often find in times of crisis is that businesses will either contract heavily and stop all expenditure they deem “unnecessary” or invest in services that will help protect them and pave the way for growth once the crisis is over.

Cutting PR and marketing during a crisis is always bad decision - it leads to long-term loss in market share. Fortunately, most of our clients understand that.

And, although cash flow is a problem for us all right now, they should be confident in this course of action. After all, this is a vision shared with global companies with multi-million pound turnovers.

In fact, almost two-thirds of global companies are prepared to invest in their brand despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and the Financial Times.

The study, which is based on the views of 600 executives worldwide, found that more than 60% were prepared to invest in their brand and half of respondents said that emotional messaging was the key to acquiring new customers with 79% claiming long-term marketing investment is key to sustainable growth during COVID-19.

History shows that companies investing in marketing during times of upheaval came out on top. Kellogg’s for example, doubled its profit after the Great Depression after taking chances in brand marketing. And more recently Netflix rode the wave of the 2008 recession by using PR to broadcast new products, partnerships and collaborations.

It is only a matter of time that big and small companies will start to flourish again, but the landscape will have changed.

Therefore, any dynamic business needs to continue to invest in marketing so it’s ready to hit the ground running in 2021 with a whole “new normal” strategy.

If you are still apprehensive, here are several reasons why you think again:

  • Your customers are online

Just because everyone has been locked up at home, does not mean their wants and needs have diminished. It is just a matter of availability.

Online marketing puts your company in the “available” radar and, as long as you stay relevant, customers will still search for you. In fact, your customers are spending longer than usual online so your shop window is bigger than ever.

  • Long-term benefits

It can take up to three to six months for a PR and marketing push to start gaining steady benefits so it makes sense to concentrate on marketing now in order to reap the fruits when the economy opens again.

  • Grow your audience

PR that produces regular, relevant content is going to grow your available audience. Now is the time to concentrate on boosting your presence and reputation through your website, your blog, your social media channels and appropriate media.

  • Get some customer insight

Our marketing team can help you analyse your social media channels and the traffic generated to your website to help you filter out which strategies work for you and which don’t. This way you can develop products and services that will grow customers and boost brand awareness and value rather than waste time.

  • Link to local markets

In recent studies, most Google queries that include “near me” have grown by 150%, and more people are searching for things in their local area. PR and marketing can be used to push your business to the top of the search list to help you capitalise on this.

  • There is an appetite for news

Smart PR piggy-backs on the news agenda. We can help you adapt your announcements and news to be more in tune with the issues and needs created by the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Focus on thought leadership

One of the best and most effective ways you can stay in the public eye right now is by focusing on thought leadership.

Regardless of whether this is on your own blog or as a guest on a news website, well-researched and well-written thought leadership pieces serve to get your brand out there, even when you may not actually have anything new at that moment to sell.

  • Your staff matter too

Internal messaging is as important as external messaging and communication with staff is a key part of brand management. Your PR efforts can be focused on your employees through newsletters, sharing and celebrating success and keeping on top of change communication.


Ultimately, it’s the post-COVID future you should keep in mind when it comes to your PR and marketing. Sooner or later, the coronavirus pandemic will end so before it does, revise your objectives and strategies and outline what you want to achieve once the crisis is over.

Like our new clients, you should be investing in a PR and marketing strategy that can help you make the most of opportunity. Opportunity to connect with your clients and the public in new ways. Opportunity to show off your brand’s personality. Opportunity to shine while your competitors have temporarily put the breaks on.

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