Our internal risk vs. opportunities communications calculators have been doing overtime this year at Redwood.

As various towns and cities head up and down the tiering system like yoyos, we continue to assess the pros and cons of promoting the safe passage for guests and staff at our numerous mixed-use destinations, shopping centres, and town and city centres that we work across.

Do we shout from the rooftops to come along for a safe, socially distanced shop to keep what little business you have alive? Or, is that painfully inconsiderate to those who continue to lose their loved ones? To the many who just want us all to stay indoors and play it safe while it passes?

With lockdown 2.0 ‘over’ but 3.0 potentially on the horizon, the debate begins again, as will the media frenzy to either take you down for being inconsiderate and greedy, shine a light on the happy local businesses that are doing what they can to keep afloat, or maybe some balanced, considered pieces for those lucky few. Time will tell. As will the headlines.

Having now seen hundreds of assets through two lockdowns, and, for our sins, navigated our way through many a crises, in the spirit of sharing we have pulled together some guiding principles to tackle the ever-changing media maze.

Find below some Virginia Woolf style streams of consciousness that we hope will help you take a step in the right direction to lead us to the other side. Whenever that may be.

  • What do I want my brand’s Coronavirus legacy to be? How do I want my customers, staff or investors to remember my brand when we talk about this in 2040 (hopefully it ends before then)…
  • What is the community saying? The sentiment of your city/town/country you are operating in will be a strong guiding force. As the ‘love local’ mantra has grown legs in recent months, we’ve found the local audiences open and the papers more willing to take a considered approach to the reopening of centres. The big cities? That’s another story. I will remain tight lipped about my thoughts on the punchy, panic-inducing headlines during this pandemic
  • How do my short-term Covid-comms messages reflect my overarching, long-term comms strategy? Is there flexibility in your approach? Can you demonstrate forward –thinking and flexibility in times of crisis?
  • What do I really want to achieve? Have you given your comms the due diligence it deserves before shouting from the rooftops about how great you are right now? Never one to suggest hiding at times of crises (as we know going quiet can take the same toll as ‘going large.’) But always have the end goal in mind.

Not sure? Think I’m talking nonsense? Let’s step back and have a socially distanced coffee and debate it. Because, although post 1.0 and 2.0 I can no longer say I haven’t done this before, every day is a school day when navigating the media landscape throughout a pandemic.