How Your Brand Can React to Tragic Times

There’s been a lot going on in the world, and here at home in the USA, the last few weeks.

From numerous mass shootings and protests to military and political unrest in the USA and internationally, every corner of the world is dealing with change, fear, and uncertainty.
The media and social platforms are playing a major role in sharing information that shapes the narrative of events, often times to their benefit, for ratings and sales. If you manage any type of online media, you’re in that loop of brands or businesses that impact social change.

When world and political events occur that weigh heavy on our hearts, it can be challenging to find the best way to connect our brand message with our personal thoughts and feelings.

To this day, I’m a firm believer in building business relationships based on meaningful life experiences and shared values. I believe that Relationships Raise Money and relationships make money.
As you create content to get ready to get your first sponsor or continue to get sponsored, I wanted to share a few tips with you.
Here are three ways that brands can connect to and continually build relationships with their ideal client by crafting messages in tune with thoughtful and authentic ideas.

  1. Give your audience a chance to connect with the heart of your business.I fully realize most people will tell you NOT to do this. I’m not most people. I built my business by showing people we cared about them and also letting them see the “why” behind what we do. My guess is that you created your business for a reason and that the reason, whatever it may be, is something bigger than you. A belief about the world that supports the effort you made to build your product or service.The hardship we face when encountering tragic events gives us a chance to revisit those beliefs. Whether it be the transformative power of art, the importance of self-care, being able to provide and take care of your family or the way food and travel connect people to communities: there’s a mission behind your business that could be a comfort to others in troubling times. I invite you to find a way to connect others with your “why” and invite them to revisit theirs.
  2. The fastest response is not always the best response.This one is still hard for me. Yes, social media is about real-time interaction. Yes, people love to see us “live” on Facebook Live and Periscope.But, in times of high sensitivity, I invite you to avoid racing to join the discussion. Let your audience be the guide for your brand. Listen to them to find the most sensible way to address the event. Are they asking you questions relevant to your expertise? Are they looking for guidance, or reassurance?

    After the first day or week, tempers will have cooled and emotions will be more level. This is the chance to share a more cohesive message that connects better with facts and sentiments. A chance to share a message that continues to build relationships with your prospects and customers.

  3. Don’t be afraid of a “call-to-action”.A quick note: Authenticity is key, and I encourage you to use your best judgement to engage with your specific audience and communicate this type of message.Most tragedies call for support one way or another. Brands can be and have been agents of relief and change in the face of tragedies.

    In times of concern, you can explore ways to take a step forward and also suggest that your community join you. A quick list of organizations gathering aid, volunteer activities, raising funds for a specific charity, or even simple awareness can foster compassion. Use a heartfelt and authentic call-to-action to help your brand connect around a crisis.

In every respect, just as individuals, brands are also challenged by troubled times. You can use this time to reflect on the role your business plays in the world, and also build relationships through understanding. As brands, and people, I believe that we should not place judgement, but be an authentic voice and provide compassion.

If your brand has used social media outreach to impact change during an emotional time or time of crisis, I’d love to hear your story.

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