COVID-19 has captured the attention of people worldwide. What started as virus to be on the lookout for has quickly become much bigger. With all of this news I can’t help but consider how this is affecting advertising, branding, and public relations. People are being asked to participate in social distancing which gives them even more time to look at social media. Consumers everywhere are looking to see how brands handle to Corona Virus outbreak and eagerly await their next steps.
How companies respond to this outbreak matters in more ways than one. With the rise of socially consumers, people hoping the brands protect their employees in this hard time. If a store is closing, people hope to see the employees get paid time off. Consumers care more about the social responsibility of the brand just as much as the product. If brands want to stay afloat after this pandemic, they must be willing to do the right thing now. With all eyes on social media, news spreads quickly. Twitter users have begun sharing lists of companies that are looking out for their employees and lists of those who aren’t. Small businesses are starting crowd funding campaigns to support their workers during the mandatory shutdowns. The power of social media holds companies and brands more responsible now than ever before. A post with over 1,000 shares on Facebook stated “Pay attention to how companies treat their employees during this time. It speaks volumes to their core ethics.”
Companies everywhere are issuing statements pertaining to COVID-19 to keep customers informed. Over time companies have learned that great branding stems from transparency. I am eager to see how brands, big and small, evolve from this crisis.