As we all have, you’ve had to totally rethink media strategy and spend as well for your business.  Your budget for advertising may have gone to zero.  If it didn’t, you may have had to rethink your strategy because of the sensitivity of advertising your products or services when so many have lost their jobs. So how do you financially plan for media now?

Let’s talk about re-engagement and creating an action plan.

For us, our spending action plan “before Covid” is now different than “during and after Covid”. Everyone is being cautious for good reason. Saving, moving slow and steady, as well as balancing when/how marketing and advertising. Consumers are not going to rush back to pre-Covid spending. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Measure everything. Correlate tactics with their impact on your business.
  2. Focus on month-over-month instead of year-over-year when looking at your business data.
  3. Follow the lead of your customer by reaching out. This is not a sales call. It is a ‘how are you doing” call.
  4. Brainstorm ‘outside the box’ tactics that don’t require a lot of spend.
  5. Start creating relationships with local media. Getting to know them, their history of content and providing them relevant content.
  6. Make sure you are creating stories and not blunt ‘buy from me’ scenarios.

Here are two local stories that can be expanded based on each tactic, that provide great content for the media.


Heartland is a nationwide technology company located in Edmond.  They are expanding into a new building in Uptown and hiring around 400, which is amazing during the pandemic. Their social media platforms offered clients a free online ordering app for their business for 90 days.  They stated that small business is the backbone of their own business and created ways to help by providing video series, employee payroll help for free and waving monthly fees.  .

‘Heartland’s core values of Care, Focus and Quality have helped us support our customers and each other throughout this crisis. Living these values every day has enabled us to make the quick shift to working remotely and adapt our services for businesses that needed to move to online services in a hurry. We’re so proud that Care is such a big part of our culture.’ ~ Vince Lombardo, CEO


Polished Nails OKC

Samantha Hanby owns Polished Nails, a 10+ year nail salon in Oklahoma City that has won multiple awards for customer service over the years. Samantha started day 1 of the shelter in place thinking of her customers needs.  She knew their nails would look bad soon and made “Soak-Off Kits”, created online purchasing and she and her daughter delivered them all to customer’s front porches. Samantha made video’s on how to remove several types of nail products and put them on social media. Once a date was set for re-opening, she posted a video of her salon being disinfected by Koodie Killers as well as her new normal: shields at every station, each tech wearing a shield and disinfecting nightly and weekly too. Samantha is always looking out for her customers needs, while making sure they would come back as soon as re-opening occurred. Re-opening has been a success and Samantha has continued her excellent customer service reputation and created a great story for local media.


Have you strategized your messaging and exactly what media is best communicated?

  • Don’t be afraid to communicate. Research shows rather than rejecting brands who advertise during this time, consumers can actually get a sense of normalcy from it.
  • Be careful of tone and tact. Don’t make light of COVID or depict situations unrealistic in our new reality, but feel free to entertain. People will welcome it.
  • Save your COVID response for your website. Don’t send an email.  Mention it in an email and if they are interested, they can check it out at your website.
  • Radio and outdoor have lost their audience for now. As routines go back to normal, so will these platforms.  If your audience typically is from radio and outdoor, contact those providers now to discuss the interim and future. You may be able to get a better rate schedule and participate in their campaigns to support local business.
  • Maintain digital media tactics but be flexible. Digital allows pivoting more than any other platform.
  • Expand TV to Youtube, Hulu, Amazon Prime and lesser known platforms such as Roku and Pluto.tv.

{information curated from Firehouse Agency}

Let’s talk about ‘giving back’ to the community as a tactic.

If your business is giving back to the community, make sure you don’t sound like those who announce on social media that they paid it forward at Starbucks. Be authentic by stating your why, post images on social platforms that tell a story, not make an announcement. There is a difference.

I heard a car radio commercial the other day that said “XXX Dealership would like to thank our first responders! We took pizza to ‘so and so’ hospital. Thank you first responders.”  This is terrible. Truly. This is something that is nice, but it’s not media ad worthy. A news organization reporting the XXX Dealership along with XXX Businesses gave all the first responders at ‘so and so hospital” a gas card to say thank you for their sacrifice … along with pictures and video for social media, interviewing a few first responders.  You take the audio from the video and use it in an ad to show how the dealership along with other businesses together want to thank our first responders. Not only is the gift something they really can use, but the dealership joined other local businesses in support. If you have established a relationship with a media journalist/reporter, sending them the story, opposed to a general press release to everyone, is better. Posting on social media will also give others the opportunity to share it.

Hopefully the above information helped in some way.  Basically the message is slow, steady and balanced. Take a deep breath and know that our country has been put on hold before, only to bounce back stronger. You can do this!

~ Margaret Croom, The Media Insider