Small Business (SMB) Marketing Advice During COVID-19

By Stephanie Duncan, President, MPW Communications, Inc.

Last week, we shared specific, proactive marketing and public relations recommendations to our clients during the coronavius pandemic.

Everyone around the globe struggling to manage their businesses in these uncharted waters; one of our responsibilities is to help clients take action in ways that will not alienate customers but will bolster the value of their brands.

Other small business owners have asked us to share this information, which we are happy to share below for any small or mid-size business owner struggling to find a new path during this difficult time.

Since the onset of the crisis, MPW has participated in every COVID (CV) crisis management communication available.

Since 2013, MPW Communications has also subscribed to a membership-only PR think tank that leads the world in PR messaging.

After a 2-hour webinar with them today, I would like to (briefly) share brief snippets of their recommendations as this crisis progresses.

While some items may not apply directly to your brand, we hope it offers some insight into the evolving picture right now:

Marketing

* Until new CV cases in the US begin to decrease, there should be no self-promotion of any product/services. (As of today, they are escalating in every market.

When the curve begins to flatten, it is anticipated that the curve will trend upward again before a significant decrease begins.)

* The focus now is helping people for the greater good through the use of your product or service, at no charge, when feasible.

“Stand up now, so you will stand out when the crisis is over.”

* Communicate with helpful content related to CV, when possible or appropriate, on a continuous cycle. If not, share how your organization is contributing to help others directly affected by the crisis.

“Don’t retreat, reach out.”

PR/Media Relations

  • While you assume every journalist is writing about CV, there are many journalists looking for media that is not CV related–people need a break from the crisis.
  • There are stories to be placed.
  • Use caution in taking on thought leadership commentary on CV if this subject matter falls outside the parameters of your field of expertise.
  • Expand your thought leadership in your area of expertise. People are online now more than any time in recent history.
  • Developing online education resources about your expertise is in strong demand and will become ‘the new normal’ after the crisis.

Trends

People will soon tire of N and N (Netflix and newswires). They will hunger for learning about a topic that interests them or even taking steps to change their lives. Therefore, content will be king across all avenues.

“Don’t wait, create.”

Content Creation

Expand your thought leadership–
Reach out via blogs, eblasts, social media. Your outreach will be received at a higher level than at any time since 9/11.
At MPW, we are here to assist you in any way, even if it extends outside the parameters of our client agreement.
In addition, we thank you for your patience during times when we could not respond immediately.
As we move forward to the end of this challenge, we will continue to keep you updated with suggested CV marketing guidance.

“In the face of adversity comes opportunity.”

CBS 2 New York Features MPW Client

One of the strategies we utilize is helping to share good deeds performed by our clients with New York and New Jersey media outlets.

While we are not directly marketing the services or products of our clients, we are telling a story about their values and the caliber of their brand.

Yesterday, CBS 2 in New York featured a community service project sponsored by our client, a senior living retirement community here in New Jersey.

Our client wa thrilled with the 2-minute feature piece–as well as the added commentary at the end of the piece by senior news anchors Maurice Dubois and Kristine Johnson:

Are You Maximizing Your ‘Raving Fan’ Base?

If you’re in business, you have them and you covet them.

Your raving fans are the clients who recognize your outstanding product or service and want to shout from the rooftops about how wonderful you are.

They chose your business, took a leap of faith and reaped the rewards of a successful outcome.

These raving fans are your best marketing tool because they have already experienced your services–and loved the results.

They will be more influential than any snappy ad campaign you might be spending a fortune to produce.

Your optimally satisfied customers will submit testimonials, be photographed or quoted in your marketing materials, post about you on social media and even speak with potential customers about how thrilled they are with your business.

That’s right–Raving Fans will tout the quality of your business to future customers–all for free.

On average, you should have about 10 raving fans who you can turn to for support and positive feedback.

Show your appreciation to these VIP customers by sending a gift now and then that is not directly related to your service or product.

(In most cases, we don’t recommend discounting the cost of the service you are providing.)

By partnering with a small business marketing firm like MPW, you are maximizing every aspect of your business attributes to draw in the right customers.

We’d love to tell you more about specific ways we can grow your business–quickly and cost-effectively.

In the meantime, take a few minutes to call your raving fans, just to let them know how much their business and continued support means to you.

Reach out to us at (732) 763-1866 or complete the eCard below and we’ll reach out to you.

New Jersey Doctors: Can New Patients Find You?

You can be the best doctor in the world, but if no one knows you are out there, how can you help them?

MPW specializes in reaching new patients for your medical specialty, so you can spend your time practicing medicine.

Call us to talk about your New Jersey medical practice needs at 732-617-9296.

News 12 Profiles MPW Senior Living Community Client

When seniors (or their children) are seeking retirement community living, they are not just looking for a roof over their heads, they are looking for an inspired, lively environment where the resident will thrive.

Our retirement community client, located in Freehold, Monmouth County, accomplishes this goal like no other continuing care retirement community (CCRC) that we have ever seen.

We placed the executive director and a resident on News 12 to talk about their brand’s unique selling points (USPs) and why senior viewers should be flocking to their comprehensive lifestyle program at this flourishing senior living community.

It was a five-minute designated segment devoted entirely to their community’s merits. The segment featured the director’s expertise and the resident’s (the customer’s) obvious satisfaction with the product/service she had purchased.

Can we help you promote your business to customers here in New Jersey? Call us at (732) 763-1866 to talk about your brand’s business goals.

We’ll take the lead and make it happen, sooner than you expect.

Promoting our NJ physician clients as doctors–but people too

Surgery imageJanuary 12, 2016

Choosing a new doctor is tricky–you often don’t have much to go on other than what you can find on the Internet.

If patients are going to be under the care of a doctor for a longer period of time, say for a chronic condition or long-term treatment, they’re looking for a healthcare provider who is:

1) highly skilled and qualified

2) enthusiastically recommended by other patients (within the past few months)

2) has a pleasant ‘bedside manner’ for the ongoing hospital and/or office visits ahead

NJ Doctor Public Relations

One of our Freehold, New Jersey – based surgeons has all of these assets–and more. ?He is highly skilled technically, but also has a winning personality–calming, reassuring, smart and dedicated to his patients 24/7/365.

As his marketing and public relations arm, it’s our job to promote these unique attributes by ?helping potential patients in the central New Jersey geographic area discover him and feel like they’ve known him even before their first medical consultation.

app logo_plainAs part of this strategy, we placed an article today by the surgeon in his targeted geographic area, detailing his personal New Year resolutions for 2016.

“A doctor’s personal health resolutions for 2016”


The goal of this article was to serve as an educational piece for readers, but also to present the doctor as someone who personally cares about maintaining his own heath.

MDCould your New Jersey medical practice benefit from custom marketing, social media and public relations support at an affordable price point?

Great! We’d be happy to talk with you. Contact us directly: