Stay in touch with your base as the pandemic continues

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By Mark G. Auerbach

When the pandemic began, smart businesses were reaching out to connect with their audiences, customers, and clients. Sometimes, it was to let folks know about changes in hours or services. Sometimes, it was to reassure your base that you were thinking about them. Sometimes, it was an effort to keep your business name in front of your base. And then, the pandemic continued on for much longer than anyone had initially anticipated, raising the issue of long-term strategies for keeping a loyal business base.

Whether you’re operating at full-tilt, limited capacity, or not at all, the key to maintaining a good relationship with your base is basic…keep in touch.

My business has always published a monthly newsletter to let our base know what our clients are up to. We’re continuing to do that, but we also have developed an online campaign to do likewise. We share audience events, accolades, and archives to keep their names, and ours, in the public eye.

For my company’s social media on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and now Instagram, I post archival content two to three times a week (articles from Succeeding in Small Business, ArtsBeat TV/Radio programs, etc.), thank a client or post a client activity once or twice a week. I try to be non-repetitive. I’ve also complimented my team, Ben Jacek and Jason Martins, who have been working remotely.

For one client on hiatus, The Capitol Steps, the musical political satire group (who had been booked solid this election year, but whose performance schedule evaporated in March), we post once daily to social media with a mix of old hits from YouTube, TV interviews from the archives, and reminders to the audience that “we miss you.”

Every little effort helps

Reach out to your base. A short email asking “How are you doing?”, or better yet, a phone call, can be appreciated. I try to call two or three people a week, either media contacts or clients on hiatus, just to see how they are doing. If I have something of interest to share with a group (for example an article on best practices that my clients and base can use), I forward it along with a note. I remember to check Facebook and LinkedIn for announcements of birthdays, promotions, and job changes, and let the people know that I’ve noticed.

Should you advertise? Well, it’s a way to keep your name in lights, as the old show business adage says. If you would generally be marketing a product or service, continue. Otherwise, consider a campaign that promotes your overall products and services. Maybe you need to scale back the volume, but know that all media sources have lost advertising revenues during this pandemic, and they’re willing to work with you on a deal that benefits both.

Or, sponsor a community event, such as a food drive, a virtual job resource fair, an after-school program with the understanding that the organization or event you’re sponsoring will promote your participation to their market. (Stay away from political campaigns because they provoke controversy amongst your market, but do consider events that promote registering for voting.)

And, if you have goods and services of value to first responders, find an organization to distribute them who will simultaneously promote that your providing the equipment.

Business as usual continues to evolve, and tomorrow’s business as usual may not be the same as it is today. But regardless of the changes, keeping your name in front of your audience is essential. Somehow, people tend to forget you when you’re absent from their sphere.


Mark G. Auerbach is principal at Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations, a Springfield, MA, based marketing, public relations, development and events consultancy. You can find more information about Mark at Facebook and LinkedIn. Mark also produces ArtsBeat in print in The Westfield News, on radio for Pioneer Valley Radio and on radio/TV on WCPC15 and 89.5fm/WSKB.

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