Top Strategies to Include in Your Post Covid-19 Reopening Communication Plan

Top Strategies to Include in Your Post Covid-19 Reopening Communication Plan

As a phased approach to reopening businesses continues across the country, it’s undeniable that we are all adjusting to a new normal. Businesses are welcoming back customers as they reopen their doors to the public, and many of us are transitioning from sweatpants and Zoom calls at home, to business attire and real-life face time with our colleagues in the office. 

With social distancing, cleaning protocols, and overall safety messaging remaining top-of-mind for everyone, it is important to have a strategy in place for reopening safely post Covid-19. It is equally important to effectively communicate this plan to your employees, customers, and potential new clients. 

From one-million+ square-foot shopping centers to solo-preneur operations, Image Marketing has assisted our diverse roster of clients (each with their own unique needs and Covid-related obstacles!) in developing strong reopening communication strategies. Along the way, we’ve collected some key takeaways and learnings.

Check out our top strategies to include in your post Covid-19 reopening communication plan below:

Be Proactive

Once you come up with a plan for re-opening, be open to communicating that plan with the public and your clients before you start to open up your doors. This can help ease tension as clients and customers may be questioning whether or not they are comfortable returning to your business, and want to know what that initial first visit back will entail. Make sure your communication is as detailed and specific as possible (Is there a new waiting room process? Are face masks required? Have business hours changed? How are you increasing your cleaning procedures?)  

When it comes to modes of communication, you likely know your customer best. If you have an active social media presence, sharing your communication plan on your social media accounts is an easy and effective way to proactively share your reopening plans, and respond back to any questions. For other businesses, a personalized email campaign or direct mail piece can go a long way in making everyone feel safe and welcomed back. 

For many of Image Marketing’s shopping center clients, it was important to gain greater exposure for their reopening plans, and so a full PR and media strategy was key. Our team proactively reached out and hosted preview events with local media in each market to discuss reopening plans and make the community feel safe and ready to return to the shopping center.

Stay Up To Date & Flexible

This might be a given, but it is incredibly important that you stay up-to-date with the guidance provided by the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO). You can follow each on social media for quick reads, or easy follow along videos. Additionally, tune into what policies your local government has issued for businesses to reopen. Remain flexible, as given the nature of the pandemic. It is entirely possible that as soon as your reopening strategy is in place, your plan (and any corresponding communication plans) may need to pivot. Staying up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news in your area will make it easier to shift your reopening strategy as needed.  

Reach Out Regularly

While we may all be a little tired of hearing phrases like “unprecedented times” and the “new normal,” there truly is no guidebook for navigating this time of uncertainty. Because we’re all experiencing this phased reopening process for the first time together, consistent communication is extremely important. Don’t just share your reopening plans and procedures once; continue providing updates and commit to open, transparent communication with your employees, clients, vendors, customers, etc. about your reopening plans. With so much uncertainty, everyone will appreciate upfront and honest communication. It often takes repetition for customers to remember – and believe in – your messaging. 

Digital marketing tools like social media and email newsletters are resourceful ways to communicate regularly with your audience. Along with utilizing these outlets to communicate pertinent information, you can also layer in your company’s unique tone of voice and branding. Regular communicating will showcase that your business is still operating, and it can also be done in a way that feels authentic to our brand.

Leave it to the Professionals

If your business is still struggling with finding the right words and the right ways to say them, feel free to get in touch with Image Marketing Consultants. Our PR and Crisis Management specialists are here to help navigate through your post Covid-19 reopening communication plans. It’s a challenging time, but with a little creativity your business can be well positioned to thrive!

What You Need to Know About Instagram’s New Algorithm In 2020

What You Need to Know About Instagram’s New Algorithm In 2020

~ And we’re sharing the new feature Instagram just came out with below! ~

You keep posting on your Instagram, in hopes of gaining more followers. 

It’s not working.

You continue to update your stories, change your aesthetic, and you are not getting the engagement you were in hopes of.

That is where Instagram’s algorithm comes in. There are many rumors about Instagram’s methods for determining what posts are shown at the top of the feed, but check the facts below for actionable tips to finally gain the followers you’ve been looking for.

#1 What You See, Is Based On You

Ever wonder why all of the Instagram posts in your feed seem kind of similar? Or why you tend to only see posts from the same small percentage of accounts you follow? This is because Instagram uses AI driven data to feed you what they think you want to see. The images and videos you see on your Instagram feed are based on similar posts that you have previously liked, engaged with, or have searched hashtags for. Instagram is providing each user with a personalized experience based upon these behaviors. This makes it all the more important to post consistent, high quality content your audience actually wants to see.

#2 Engagement On Your Posts Matters

The amount of likes, comments, shares and views your posts are getting will impact your feed’s ranking, and a post ‘reshare’ can be considered as the gold star of all engagement metrics. A post reshare is when another user shares your post on their feed or Instagram story. This will not only increase your post’s overall views, but will also increase your post rankings, and continue to prioritize your posts more often on users’ feeds.

However, while engagement is essential, don’t get caught with Instagram bots, or fake interactions. Instagram’s data can pick up on accounts that do not show transparency, or buy fake followers – affecting your ranking accordingly.

Tip: Don’t forget to check your insights. Find out times when your audience is on Instagram to know when to post to get the most reach. This will put your content at the top of their screen.

#3 What Gets More Reach – Images or Videos?

Remember the times when Instagram posts were purely images? This was back before Instagram added video posts in the year 2013. Now as content creators, how do you decide if you should stick to images, or start getting more creative and post videos as well? While Instagram has commented that photos and videos are treated equally, the Instagram Explore page says differently. Videos get way more attraction on everyone’s Explore page. Part of this is just human nature; video is inherently more eye-catching than picture-based posts. This is incredibly important if you are looking to gain more followers. Since videos have more viewing time too, mix up your content with video-based posts and allow the Instagram AI formula to work its magic to start posting more of your content to other people’s Explore pages.

The Newest Instagram Feature

This is probably what you wanted to read about all along: the new feature that Instagram just came out with: Instagram Messenger Rooms are here! You can now video chat with up to 50 people through the Instagram Direct page in the app.

Photo from Techcrunch

With every like, comment, and interaction you have over Instagram, you are part of the population that determines how Instagram sets up its algorithm. This is to create the best personalized experience for each user.

With this in mind, now is the time for you to start creating the best personalized experience for your followers. Still feeling overwhelmed? Get in touch with us at info@imagemarketingconsultants.com. It’s time to put your Image at the top of the feed.

Source: Later

Celebrate Galentine’s Day!

So we all have heard the term – Gal Pal – but did you know there’s now a full-fledged holiday in honor of our besties? It might have started as TV fodder when Leslie Knopes of Parks and Rec proclaimed that the best day of the year was February 13th, but now, Galentine’s Day is a national movement, full of brunch and bubbly in honor of our girlfriends.

History of the “Holiday”

  • Galentine’s Day actually came to be from a 2010 episode of fan-favorite Parks and Rec. It was meant as a spoof but still lives on 10 years later. To quote the great Leslie Knope on the TV show “Parks and Recreation” from which the day gets its origins, “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year…Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus Frittatas”.

Why do we celebrate Galentine’s?

  • It’s just a great way to celebrate the ladies in your life – whether it’s your BFF, a co-worker, a teacher, or a childhood friend. Many people also consider it the “anti-Valentine’s Day” Day. 

So what are some great ways to celebrate?

  • A night in with your best gal pals – with wine and cheese of course. Put together an awesome tray featuring cottage cheese dips from Cortney’s Dips and Sauces – all craft made in New  Britain. https://cortneysdipsandsauces.com/. Pair it with some chocolate dipped strawberries and you’ll  be ready to entertain in no time!
  • Or how about for your bi-coastal babe? Send an eco-friendly, update to the traditional flower bouquet from Lucky You Flowers. For only $29.99, they ship anywhere in the country and you can personalize your message in a custom fortune cookie. www.luckyyouflowers.com
  • Spa Day with your whole Girl Gang – check out our favorite spa Viso Bello with two locations – one in Middlebury and one in Guilford. They can accommodate up to 10 guests at a time! www.visobello.com
  • Or brunch at home with some adorable party favors and paper goods from Target and Hallmark! 

Whatever your Galenetine’s celebration will entail, make it fun and fabulous, just like your gals. 

Resolution vs Goal Setting: How to Set Yourself Up for Success in 2020

2020 Already? It feels like we were just trying to figure out what to call 2010. With the start of a new decade comes an extra emphasis on resolution-ing… right? We all start off the same, January 1, in the gym ready to lose 60lbs, pulling a muscle trying that pretzel-pose you saw that Instagram yogi doing, or learning Mandarin in an attempt to make yourself a little more *worldly*; but the motivation quickly fades and by week five the sight of your sneakers makes you sort of nauseous, your yoga mat is collecting dust behind your couch, and your hopes of conversing in a new language have dwindled to simply being happy with a hello and goodbye.
So what can you do to combat what feels like the inevitable drop off? We’re giving you some tips and tricks to stick with it (whatever it may be) all year long.

 

 

Goals and Resolutions: What the heck is the Difference?
Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something. Goal: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. Goals involve intention setting, planning, preparing, and taking REALISTIC action giving them more structure and a better chance at success. Simply put, ditch the word resolution and let’s talk goal setting.

 

So what can you do to beat the February funk and stick to your goal? For Starters, break it down into smaller mini-goals. For example, let’s say one of your ‘resolutions’ was to get more organized. You buy a fancy new planner that rivals the width of a Harry Potter book, and commit to writing in it every day — but less than a month in it’s collecting dust under the passenger seat of your car. Instead, try committing to a full 10 days, then 20, then a month. Before you know it you’re 3 months in and don’t have to think twice about writing in next Wednesday’s lunchtime meeting.

Another way to ensure you stick with it is to be specific, like really really specific. When it comes to setting resolutions, it’s easy to set bad goals that could lead to poor follow-through. Fortunately, SMART goal setting framework can help you craft better goals.

SMART goals are:
Specific – Articulate the resolution as clearly as possible. For example, quitting smoking is better than being healthy. While “being healthy” is great, the wording can be interpreted in many ways.
Measurable – Quantify your resolution if possible, I will lose 10lbs by March 15.
Attainable – Choose a goal within the realm of possibility, but yet challenging. No electronics before bed this year would be amazing, but probably pretty hard to do. On the other hand, no phones in bed might be more realistic.
Relevant – Keep it relevant to your priorities and goals. See the motivation section above!
Time-sensitive – Give yourself a time-frame in which to achieve a goal. A deadline will instill some urgency and provide a time when you can celebrate your success.

Finally, Rome wasn’t built in a day, if you fall off track, just get back on! Building new habits take time and a lot of effort at first. If you hit a snag, do not beat yourself up. Instead, ask yourself why. If your mission is to go to the gym after work, and instead you sit down to play video games and never get back up, maybe you need to go right to the gym from the office. Recognizing what obstacles are standing in your way is key to setting yourself up for long term success. Now that you’re equipped to succeed in your 2020 goal-reaching spend some time reflecting and addressing what you really want to accomplish this year!

 2020 Marketing Resolutions

Our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide!

With such a short December, the mad dash to Christmas 2019 feels like more of a sprint than ever. But how are you supposed to find the perfect gift for all of the different people in your life? We’ve compiled a no-fail gift guide for every recipient– So close your laptop, grab a shopping buddy, and spend a day amongst the nostalgic hustle and bustle of the mall at Christmas time.

TECH

If you’re not up to date on “what’s new” in the tech world, it can be really hard to shop for a techy. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure out which drone is the best on the market. Try one of our picks…

  1. Blue Light Glasses protect the eyes from the harmful blue light that’s emitted from screens. Whether your recipient works at a computer all day,  or they just like to watch TV in bed, these are a must-have for everyone. 
  2. Self Warming Mug a go-to for your coffee addict. These mugs charge the same way your phone does, so you never have to hear them complain about a lukewarm cup of joe ever again. 
  3. iPhone Flash Drive this iPhone to PC flash drive instantly transfers storage between devices and is compact enough to throw right in your pocket.
  4. Tile uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone to ‘ping’ when you’ve lost something. This of it as ‘find my iPhone’ for your keys, wallet, etc.
  5. Charging Phone Case these hold up to three full phone charges so you’re never without power on the go.
  6. Nest Wifi Router is the perfect solution if you have a ‘dead spot’ in your home. These cover up to 2200 square feet with fast, reliable wifi, and can be combined to cast a ‘net’ across larger spaces.

HOMEBODY

Don’t give your homebody another nameless bottle of wine, get them something they’ll really use and LOVE. 

  1. Nespresso the gift that needs no introduction. If you’re looking to splurge this is a no brainer. 
  2. Decorative Candle is sure to wow. With so many options for scent and hardware combinations, these can be personal and beautiful all in one. 
  3. Electric Tea Kettle perfect for your college student, or tea lover. This heats water up in just 90 seconds and is silent.
  4. Fluffy Slipper are memory foam, and oh so cozy! They come in so many different colors for the perfect stocking stuffer or grab bag gift!
  5. Spotify Subscription gives the gift of music by treating someone to a year’s worth of Spotify commercial-free music.
  6. Sherpa Set is the hottest gift of the season! People cannot get enough of this fluffy fabric, and this look is best-served head to toe.

GRAB BAG

You know you’re bound to attend at least one dreaded grab bag/ Yankee swap/ white elephant. Nobody wants to be that person to show up to with a last-resort gift card and a stinky candle. Try one of these under $25 grab bag gifts that truly need no explanation.

  1. Mini Waffle Maker
  2. Beard Grooming Kit
  3. Multi-Device Charging Station
  4. Ice Cube Spheres and Mini Whiskey
  5. Hot Sauce Selection
  6. Light up Vanity Mirror

GO-TO’S

If you’re still stumped after all of these there’s always those go-to last-minute gifts that are always sure to spark joy…

  1. Yeti is the Rolls Royce of insulated travel mugs. Need I say more?
  2. Experience is always a good idea. Whether it be tickets to a game or concert, the memories you can make are the gift that keeps on giving.
  3. Diffusers and essential oils are such a good gift especially during the winter months when the heat really dries you out. This one even has a changing light feature for ultimate relaxation. 
  4. Sherpa is so nice we included it twice! 
  5. Uggs are the perfect addition to any New Englander’s winter wardrobe. Ultra-soft and snuggly and they come in so many cool and different colors now!
  6. Men’s Ugg Moccasins– see above!
  7. Sunglasses whether you splurge on Ray-Bans or get a couple of less expensive pairs, they are the perfect stocking stuffer.
  8. Silk Pillowcases are so good for hair and skin, every hairdresser recommends you ditch the cotton and switch over to these!
  9. Luggage is a longlasting and thoughtful gift for any frequent traveler. Plus everyone needs one even when they think they don’t. 
  10. Tiles – another repeat because we think it’s just that good!
  11. Filtering Water Bottle what’s people’s biggest opposition to going plastic-free? The lack of filtered water available. This is the perfect solution and oh so eco-friendly.