WHEN SILENCE ISN’T GOLDEN
No News Means Bad News During Uncertain Times
Uncertain times brought by the global COVID-19 pandemic has changed investor engagement as we know it. As we continue on in this era of social distancing, people are consuming vast amounts of news and information to stay informed whilst staying safe indoors. This has created a huge opportunity for companies to engage a captive audience using the tools and channels that are still conveniently accessible such as online media and news channels.
So although the Covid-19 pandemic has hit most businesses negatively, making the knee jerk reaction to stay quiet and lay low may be detrimental to your business. People are wary to buy from companies they no longer see or hear from. If your company has not been consistently engaged with your clients, investors or stakeholders recently, this is the best time to engage and connect, to prove that your company is post-Covid future ready.
- Keeping your presence in the marketplace: Your company needs to stay relevant to your stakeholders. This means maintaining trust and letting them know how the company is doing. An absence of communications will leave your audiences with questions and perhaps lead to incorrect conclusions.
- Less noise in the marketplace means more attention space: A lull in the marketplace signals a good opportunity to reach out and gain more mindshare from your stakeholders and the investment community.
- Own your narrative or someone else will: Uncommunicative companies often give ground for competitors to take control of their narratives freely without checks.
- Set a platform for future success: Communicating well, frequently, transparently and thoughtfully with stakeholders sets your company apart during uncertain times. Meaning more stakeholder confidence and higher chance that your company will still be in the standing when the crisis ends.
So when the time comes for your company to announce how the company is doing in its quarterly earnings, a press release may prove to be the critical differentiator for your company.
Bearing in mind that the earnings press release is for all investors, not just the media, your company will need to ensure it gets the most value to make your press release count.
- Think critically about how to tell your story: The earnings press release is the first glimpse investors will get of your company’s performance. Use it as a platform for your company to build your brand story that matches your brand identity and values.
- Present your company performance in the best light: Even though business performance is affected by the Covid-19 economic downturn, leveraging on the earnings releases to provide honest representations of your company’s position and key messages in the most accurate and beneficial manner possible will bring reassurance to your stakeholders.
- Give guidance for the future: Use the earning press release to engage clients, and to influence your investors and the public about the vision of your company and its plans in the upcoming year or quarter. This guidance is important because it lets your stakeholders know what they can expect from the company in the near future.
- Seek expert advice to carefully craft your press releases: Working with an effective public relations agency is also (of course) a good idea. They can bring a more objective view of your story angles and key messages.
Sooner or later, the Covid-19 pandemic will end. Ultimately, your communication strategies should align to what your company wants to achieve in the post-COVID future.