Red Sage Administers Covid-19 Crisis and Recovery Communications Roundtable for Government Contractors

In March, April, and May, Red Sage developed and administered multiple roundtable discussions.  These discussions brought together communications and marketing experts from across the region, with a focus on COVID-19 crisis and recovery.  Our goal was to create a robust conversation around the unique challenges COVID-19 has presented in key industries across North Alabama, especially for government contracting communications.

Advice for government contractors and business-to-government marketers in the time of COVID-19

Our Red Sage-moderated government contracting communications roundtable was the first in our series, happening in early April.  This session brought together experienced and mid-career communications professionals from various companies in Huntsville, Alabama including Avion Solutions, Iron Mountain Solutions, Analytical Mechanics Associates, and CANVAS, Inc.  Here are four key “takeways” from our after-action summary for participants.

How to get communications managers on the same page for a COVID-19 recovery strategy

Government contracting communications and marketing managers may be struggling to stay connected to senior executives during “decision making” on approach and messaging, especially as COVID-19 moves into a recovery phase.  One way to combat this is to meet more frequently – shifting to more fluid planning over long-range predictions.

Company leadership should be inclusive: There should be a push to gather as many strategic ideas as possible.  There should also be collaborative discussion and a clear direction determined prior to any public relations or communications activities.

How to promote employee engagement during remote work and COVID-19

Engaging employees through internal communications and promoting culture during COVID-19 has been difficult.

Creative ideas like virtual happy hours, virtual “coffee breaks,” scavenger hunts at home or in the community, and intellectual challenges or competitions related to a field of work (e.g. the first employee to solve this engineering puzzle gets a prize) are all worth considering.

How to protect a brand, and even capture visibility during COVID-19 without getting called out

Businesses need to strike a balance between “business as usual” and the unique environment created by COVID-19.  Brands should be wary of “tone deafness” (especially in the wake of recent protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.)  They should not be afraid to engage in honest, sincere communications with government partners, business partners and other audiences but social media in particular should be handled carefully.

Authenticity is critical.  Companies can, and should, promote community engagement activities (donations to causes, etc.)  The key is to find causes that align with the company’s brand and mission, or larger internal cultural goals.  It’s also important to keep messaging straightforward – avoiding exaggerations or inappropriate emotion.

As a regional specialist in business-to-business and business-to-government communications, public relations and marketing – Red Sage strives to be a resource for companies seeking to improve brand visibility, enhance business development and generate leads.  To learn more about Red Sage‘s support services, contact us at info@redsageonline.com.

B2B, B2G, communications, COVID-19, government contracting, marketing

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