By Rosalind Knight
Being agile used to be an aspiration. Now, for many businesses, it’s essential. See how businesses from three different sectors are making changes to keep up with the pace.
Moving retail online with ecommerce
The lockdown hit the UK retail industry hard. Over half of major non-food UK retailers will reportedly run out of cash within six months.
Many retailers are now completely reliant on e-commerce. UK online retail sales rose by 22% in the first week of April compared to the same time last year.
Fashion retailer Primark, which does not sell clothes online, saw sales fall from £650m a month to zero.
A range of food and drinks retailers have benefitted from the surge in online shopping. Naked Wines, which delivers boxes of booze, has forecast a £200 million rise in revenue for 2020.
Fresh fish wholesaler W. Stevenson & Sons quickly recognised that consumers stuck at home wanted to order fresh fish to their front door. We built them an e-commerce site within a week so they could meet demand. We continue to work with them to increase sales.
Recruiting health, social care and key worker roles
Many sectors face a recruitment freeze. But health and social care and other key-worker professions are clamouring for applicants. By adapting both recruitment processes and messaging, organisations can still reach the right people during the crisis.
The College of Policing is introducing online assessment centres to ensure that recruitment for police officers continues during lockdown and social distancing.
In Shropshire and Oswestry, a home-care operator launched a ‘Become a hero’ campaign to recruit staff. Rather than simply advertising vacancies, the company appealed to people’s emotions, celebrating the role that carers play in society.
We worked with Proud to Care Devon to run a similarly emotive recruitment campaign. As the crisis hit, we rapidly targeted specific audiences across Facebook, Instagram, Google and Snapchat.
Together we generated over 1,100 job applications for health and social care roles in the first seven days alone – and the applications keep coming.
Corporate communications in a crisis
During a crisis, employees and suppliers turn to employers for reassurance and information.
Research by Edelman showed that employer communications is the most credible source of information about coronavirus. Employees trust their employer more than the government, the media or NGOs.
In 8 of the 10 countries surveyed, people believe that their employer is better prepared for the virus than their country is. Sixty-three per cent of employees want daily updates on the crisis from their employer.
All crisis communications must be honest, accurate and consistent. The tone is also vital. Forbes has a useful feature on how to handle your corporate communications.
We created a social media messaging guide with Knauf Insulation’s external affairs team. As well as talking to external audiences worldwide, they have an engaged audience of employees on Linkedin. The guide was designed to help clarify the messages, tone and objectives of posts, shares and likes during the crisis.
Support to introduce changes and plan ahead
The pace of change can seem overwhelming, but these sectors have shown that rapid change is possible.
If you would like to discuss your ideas for change during this crisis, we’d love to help.
Our team of experts can offer advice, ideas and insights about communicating and thriving right now. We can’t promise to have all the answers. However, we will give you our best objective advice and offer a fresh perspective.
To book, simply drop us an email at [email protected] and let us know what you’d like to discuss.