Brands who have succeeded in lockdown and those who failed

The last four months have tested the patience of the saintliest of person and the legacy of lockdown will live with us all for the rest of our lives. To be part of history in the making is a privilege to which we must all learn from, respect, and play forward.

Every industry has felt the pressure in some shape or form with the world of communications high on that list. The role of comms comes into fruition in times of crisis and the world is looking at the brands who grabbed the crisis by its horns and became a force for good and the ones who failed to be human and quite frankly got it wrong.

And it’s not just how brands communicate with their audiences that will be remembered but how they looked after their staff, and communities.

Here is a couple of my favourite campaigns that put a spring in my step, a smile on my face and reminded me that when people come together in times of hardship, amazing things can happen.

My top three Coronavirus brand crushes must be:

  1. Leon and their campaign to #feedbritain
  2. Pizza Express revealing their secret recipes so families could recreate at home – pure PR genius
  3. Air BNB’s CEO Brian Chesky’s letter to his staff showing brands around the world how to be human in a time of crisis

But for every brand that acted bravely, creatively and with a heart, came some examples of how you can get it so very wrong…

My top three Coronavirus hall of shame nominees go to:

  1. Tim Martin, CEO Weatherspoon, threatening not to pay his staff during the pandemic and telling them to go find a job at Tesco instead
  2. Sports Direct’s CEO Mike Ashley insisting his stores remain open whilst the world headed into lockdown didn’t go down too well back in March. Thankfully he had the foresight, and a good PR team behind him to ensure an apology hit the headlines
  3. Virgin Atlantic after it told staff to take eight weeks of unpaid leave amid a drop in demand and unprecedented travel bans.

It’s never easy to navigate comms in a crisis so if you want to talk more about how to ensure your campaigns remain positive and authentic don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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