Protect Yourself from Zoom Bombing

If you haven’t heard of the term “Zoom Bombing,” consider yourself lucky. If you’ve experienced it yourself, I’m sorry. Either way, consider yourself warned. It’s happening and will likely continue to plague our new virtual meeting world.

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Connecting Local Nonprofits with Vital Financial Support

Blog Series #2: Media Relations Key Role In Fighting Coronavirus Pandemic

Last week’s blog regarding the central role media relations is playing during the coronavirus pandemic generated a lot of interest, so I’m going to continue sharing my timely client experiences in a blog series. I’ve been in the thick of things – meaning real-time issues making major impacts on lives, business and community safety – every day since Ohioans were instructed to shelter in place by Governor DeWine. On a daily basis I’m facilitating clear, instrumental communications to people and organizations in northwest Ohio as they seek timely financial support … healthcare support … or just old-fashioned support in solidarity. We’re all navigating these uncertain times together – sharing resources, talking to each other, and connecting is of paramount importance.

This week, I had the pleasure of supporting my friends at the Greater Toledo Community Foundation (GTCF), and the important work they are spearheading alongside local philanthropists, businesses, and corporations. GTCF’s newly created COVID-19 Response Fund has granted $330,000 in funding support to over 50 local organizations in need.

Keith Burwell, GTCF’s President explained, “We are pleased to help immediately fill the gap in funding for basic human needs of some of the most vulnerable individuals in our community, but we can do more. Every day, we’re working to connect more local organizations with the vital funding they need to continue supporting our community and those facing the most hardships.”

Media Relations in Action

Helping spread the word about this important COVID-19 Relief Response Fund, AND ultimately connecting local nonprofits with crucial funding support, is where I come in.

This week, I worked with the media to generate two widely consumed news stories featured in the Blade and on Channel 13 ABC. Powerful stories like these clearly showcase the impact of grant funds, which are assisting dozens of key nonprofits such as the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Ohio, Center of Hope Family Services, Inc., and Connecting Kids to Meals. But, there’s room for more help … more donations … more connections.

GTCF’s program department and Board of Trustees are reviewing applications and approving grants at record pace. One hundred percent of the generous donations to the Fund are made to local nonprofits that are vital community resources on the front lines during this pandemic.

Organizations in need of financial support can apply here, and those looking for ways to contribute can visit the Greater Toledo Community Foundation website.

For media relations support and help spreading the word about information the public NEEDS to be aware of, please feel free to connect with me.

Connect with Whitney

 

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Media Relations Plays Key Role In Fighting COVID-19

Sharing client insights on timely topics – such as consumer fraud due to Coronavirus outbreak – is a public service.

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10 Core Principles of Crisis Management

Having a Plan is Crucial

It is important to have a developed plan in place before a crisis appears. When in the middle of a crisis event it is easy to be overwhelmed with stress, which may cause tunnel-vision for some and emotional, not strategic thinking. Having a plan in place in advance will allow your team to focus on strategy and rapid execution of crisis management procedures.

These 10 principles will remain consistent through any crisis and will act as your road map as you handle the situation:

  1. Be available and act swiftly.
  2. Be honest and proactive with all key audiences.
  3. Make sure your staff hear any news from you directly (before the media).
  4. Be responsive when working with the media.
  5. Be of the mindset that “perception is reality.” It does not matter who is right or wrong.
  6. Disclose all bad news upfront.
  7. Put a quick end to the crisis and eliminate controversy. (This may take the form of a press conference, public apology, etc.)
  8. Have empathy for those affected by the crisis.
  9. Emphasize what you’re doing to correct the situation, as well as what preventative measures will be used in the future.
  10. Never have or say, “no comment.” If you need to refrain from commenting, use language such as: “We are still investigating at this time and have not reached a conclusion.”

We know that many of our clients and friends are dealing with or anticipating potential crises. We've also developed a Thread Marketing Group Orange Paper on the ABC's of Crisis Communications with additional information for handling a crisis. This helpful document is available for download via the link below.

Crisis Communications Download CTA

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Staying Relevant – It Starts With Your Content

As I have watched this crisis unfold, I have been keeping a keen eye on the messaging that has been being pushed out though ads, social posts, and marketing emails (occupational hazard). Watching to see what brands have been quick to respond and which have not.

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Knowing the Difference between Price & Value

How to evaluate your marketing plan during a downturn.

The difference between Price and Value is something all marketers need to know and use during our daily lives. With the current situation, its importance will only increase. As marketing professionals we are going to be doing daily battle with attacks on our budgets during these uncertain times. Now more than ever, we need to prove the value of what we do. Our co-executives may look at marketing tactics and only see price. We must show them the value.

You may have already had the “Cut Back” not “Cut Off” conversation regarding marketing. Assuming it went well and your company has not decided to go completely dark during this unprecedented downturn, you may be considering “What next?” How do I best determine what to cut back on, what to completely stop, and where to pivot budget into? Let Value be your guide.

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Now is the Time to Exceed Customer Expectations

Customer support, service, and success are all critical to your business's prosperity and growth. Often these areas are confused and referred to interchangeably. The results of each of these potential interactions play a huge role in how customers feel about your business and your brand. It’s important to recognize the difference of each one and treat them all as a major factor on your business’s reputation, customer retention and bottom line.

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Social Media Soul Searching During the Pandemic

What’s your new pandemic-era social media routine?
We’ve-always-done-it-that-way might have worked fairly well up to this point. But we're now working in unprecedented times.

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Current Customers are More Valuable than Ever

Right Now, Customer Retention Strategies Should be a Top Priority

Chances are sales are important to your success as a business. Management generally expects to see a steady stream of new business flowing in the front door. But that’s not as important to your growth as you might think.

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The Marketing Upside

Finding the Good During an Economic Slowdown

We have all seen it before. The first thing to be cut in a down economy is marketing. It's the easiest thing to do and generally doesn’t require l

aying off employees or reducing production. It hearkens back to the days of when marketing couldn't show return on investment (ROI). And even now in the days of data overload, it still tends to be the fallback position. However, research shows that companies that continue to spend on marketing and even increase their spends, fare better during recessions than those that do not.

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