A new business season in time of war. What companies should pay attention to in communications

The main points to consider in communication for companies during the new business season are in the article by our agency’s specialist Maryna Redko for MMR

September is usually the start of a new business season. It accompanies active communications between companies, intensive market work, rebranding, fresh ideas, networking, and business events. With the war on, the main task for most Ukrainian businesses is not development but survival, preservation, and adaptation to the war.

The public communications agency Perfect PR has gathered the main points to pay attention to in communications in the new business season and after six months of the war: A few points that will be useful for those who wage information warfare:

  1. Talk about help. It’s not boring, it’s motivating

Since the beginning of the war, aid has become not just a part of the content but a part of the lives of conscious Ukrainians. Therefore, companies that have decided to communicate less about it or have not done so so far should reconsider their decision.

According to the Brand Activism study by Gradus, 44% of respondents prefer brands that help the Armed Forces, and another 34% prefer those that volunteer and help children. The rule of «if you don’t show, you don’t do» applies to charity in the public sphere to the fullest extent. It’s not about losing a chance to show your support but about setting trends, setting an example and encouraging others to support those in need.

Volunteering, donating part of your earnings to charity, and helping the Armed Forces is a norm and a duty.

  1. The best time to start communicating in Ukrainian is now and always

As of today, not all brands have switched to Ukrainian. Therefore, the following recommendation is for those who still need to do so. It is not only about legislation (as a reminder, fines for violating the language law were introduced in Ukraine on 16 July), but also about the conscious position of a business.

The situation in the country has become a catalyst for a massive transition to the Ukrainian language. Market research shows that the language of brand communications is important to consumers. Moving away from communications in russian –  is a firm and conscious decision. You should not wait for the right moment to make it, but simply do it, because language –  is an integral part of the identity of Ukrainians and Ukrainian business.

After switching to communications in the state language, the conscious audience will love you even more. The main thing is that the brand’s message ideas remain the same and are formed with love.

  1. People are important — emphasis on internal communications.

For more than half a year of the war, most companies have already built a comfortable working model for their employees. Some work from home, office, or abroad. Whichever model your company chooses, don’t forget to maintain and adjust internal communications to it.

It is important to take care of your employees no less than you did in the first months of the war. Keep in constant contact with them and ask about their situation. Try to maintain a trusting and open relationship with your staff, which will have a qualitative impact on work results and your understanding of each other.

Take care of corporate first aid courses, and if resources allow, hire an in-house psychologist or join an employee psychological support program. Remember that the safety and psychological well-being of your employees comes first.

  1. Is it worth investing in an advertising campaign today?

Many brands are now cautious about launching advertising campaigns in order to avoid negative feedback from the audience. They say that you are investing money in advertising rather than helping those who are protecting you today. However, it is normal and even right to promote your own product. The main thing is how you do it. Companies that are too flamboyant or large-scale can really look out of place. Therefore, spend more time developing the concept and involve focus groups.

In this case, some brands find a way out in a patriotic advertising campaign or focus on helping the army. Why shouldn’t you do this? Everyone understands perfectly well that financial goals are the main ones in any business. Therefore, trying to convince your customer that you are working only to support the army or the country can look hypocritical. The opportunity to help and support is certainly one of the good reasons to do business, but you must admit that it is not the main one.

Patriotism means continuing to operate in the Ukrainian market, paying salaries, paying taxes, developing the industry, and supporting the Ukrainian economy. In any communication, be sincere to the end. You may mention the aid in an advertising campaign, but the idea, concept, and product or service should still be at the center.

  1. Braveness – to launch something new

When someone says that now is not the time for innovations, we answer: when, if not now. To work, to develop, to move the industry and the country forward, to contribute to the development of the economy, and, of course, to donate to the Armed Forces.

Ukrainian business demonstrates not only the superpower to survive but also to develop in challenging conditions. The development and communication of a new product, service, development, and idea deserve respect and again proves Ukrainian business’s courage.

Author: Maryna Redko

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