While nearly every industry was abruptly dropped into uncharted waters this year, COVID-19 has had a profound effect on the hospitality and tourism industry. While there are still unknowns ahead, and consumers – especially those who, before, found themselves traveling and eating out frequently – are looking for brands they can trust. It’s imperative that brands communicate messages effectively, at the right time and in a way that supports the big picture.

Public relations has always been about crafting the right messages and sending them to the right audiences, ultimately creating a stronger brand reputation. PR agencies, working alongside their clients, can help to transform the awareness of, and as a result, the profitability of a business. Below, we’ve outlined four reasons why PR is an essential part of a successful business, especially now.

Reputation Management

While consumers’ sensitivity is at its peak, brands must be able to provide timely, reliable and – most importantly – necessary information at a moment’s notice. By working with journalists to consistently share stories about the brands they represent, as well as sharing an impactful narrative via social channels, PR professionals help to continually build trust and credibility with the consumers who will be ready to walk through the door as soon as they’re able, remembering the reputation that was built or maintained through unprecedented challenges.

Thoughtful Storytelling

Right now, it’s important to be especially judicious about how a brand tells its story, and whether it’s the appropriate time to be sharing the story at all. Intentions matter, and there’s a fine line between hopeful, forward-looking content and seeming tone-deaf or as if there’s a profit to be made from this crisis. PR professionals are experts in finding creative ways to share stories about brands – with the media or via social and digital channels – that ultimately drives toward the end goal of heads in beds and butts in barstools.

An Ever-Changing Media Landscape

Long before this global pandemic, the media landscape was constantly in flux. Today, publications have significantly cut-back their workforces, and media coverage has shifted in a major way, meaning many reporters’ beats have also shifted. Stories swiftly changed from coverage about the outbreak itself to, now, what the outbreak will mean for every facet of life in the future. The current news cycle has affirmed, and accelerated, the need for a nimble, discerning PR team who can assist brands to adapt quickly to sudden changes.

Long-Term Success

As brands have quickly halted their 2020 promotional plans, an opportunity has also presented itself: Planning for the future to ensure the business is in a position for when demand returns (and it will!). PR, right now, provides the chance to hone in on messaging and long-term strategy to create distinct, out-of-the-box solutions, whether that’s through leveraging announcements that may have been put on hold for a future date when they’ll be more impactful and meaningful to the consumer, accruing an engaged social media following by creating compelling content across social media channels, coordinating partnerships to better position a brand in the community and more.

If your business is ready for PR – even (especially!) in the midst of the global pandemic – let’s chat!