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Close up of young attractive light-haired european student girl with short hair in striped shirt sitting in university library preparing for exams, talking with friend.

So, it’s back to work…

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like we’re restarting again from next week (albeit cautiously and safely of course)? With Ramadan concluding in the Eid public holiday this week, and the Government announcement about business resuming and most of the restrictions being lifted by the end of the week, it certainly feels like we are able to get things moving again, and start this ‘new normal’ that keeps being bandied about.

For my part, I’ve been really grateful to the couple of retainer clients that I have continued to work closely with throughout this period – it’s been incredibly motivating to have been able to take more time to explore different angles, connect with more people within the company, and as a result, get some great exposure for them – allowing them to contribute effectively, responsibly and sensitively to the conversations across the region.

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Post Crisis Communications: How to rebuild your brand

With restrictions lifting, and lots more people around the world heading back to work, it seems that many people are now looking ahead and trying to evaluate the most effective way to start (or continue) rebuilding their businesses.

Typically a lot of crisis communications work focusses on dealing with the issue at hand – responding to, and managing, the threat to a brand’s reputation and business levels. Crisis communications training normally focuses on the best ways to communicate effectively during this period, as well as the planning and preparations that can be carried out in advance of issues breaking, to ensure that a brand is in the best position to deal with just such a situation.

Often, there is much less attention placed on the communications strategy post-crisis. Yet this essential transition period will help to determine whether all of the work managing and responding during a crisis has been successful. One wrong step at this stage and you easily undo all of the hard work during the most pressured times.

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Businessman or student working from home while being isolated or keep quarantine of coronavirus covid-19

Social media & PR in lockdown: What should you be doing RIGHT NOW!

So the majority of us have been staying home for nearly eight weeks now and keeping ourselves occupied with whatever passes the time, whether that’s baking bread, starting a new hobby, learning yoga, trying to home school, working out, hosting Zoom quizzes and Houseparties, completing Netflix and Tiktok, or just trying to keep children entertained.

There has been very little activity outside of these areas, which gives us much less to talk about as brands. Social media channels and PR platforms have previously been predominantly used to broadcast what brands are doing, and without these events going on and business slowing for a lot of people, many brands have found themselves struggling to know what to do from a PR and social media perspective – with a lot of people cutting their marketing budgets during this turbulent, uncertain time. However, this is the time to be putting more into your marketing! Yes, it’s going to involve more thought and time, but a lot of us have more time on our hands at the moment – why not use it productively to get yourself into a strong position for when things start to normalise?

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Being in the present: Benefits of lockdown

To ‘be in the present’ has always been a goal of mine, much more than just a buzzword well-touted by the wellbeing industry, it evokes such an image of cool, calm collectedness that I genuinely aspire to. However, I am an overthinker, always have been. I worry about every scenario and every possible outcome, evaluating every option and opinion before making any decisions, and still worrying about the outcomes. It’s exhausting – and, you might think, not a great condition to be in at times like these, where there is so much uncertainty and so much to worry about.

Perversely, it seems that as the stakes have increased and there is more to worry about in the world, my anxiety and overthinking has decreased. Once the will-it/won’t-it status of our wedding had passed and we had postponed and rescheduled everything, my overthinking has calmed down, and as the situation became more serious here, and lockdown was enforced, I bizarrely seem to have had less anxiety.

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Gratitude in Quarantine: The 3 lifesavers of lockdown

As restrictions ease a little here in the UAE this week, enabling us to go out for daily exercise, and with malls, shops, cafes and restaurants gradually reopening, we’ve been reflecting on the things that we have been most grateful for during the strict lockdown period, in the the hope that by committing them to print (or screen!) we will immortalise them, as a reminder in the future to remember the simple things that hold such importance in times of crisis.

There are many things I could have listed here, but focusing on the things that have been of most importance day-t0-day during lockdown, I can limit them to three basics:

 

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Communicating during COVID: Showing you care

During these unprecedented, uncertain times, our most important currency is kindness. As we confine ourselves to our homes, the line between business and personal blurs, and external distractions/pressures decrease, which should give us greater capacity, time and space for kindness at home and at work.

The greatest kindness you can offer, is showing that you care and are available, and you need go bear this in mind for your communications with clients and community, as well as family and friends – the same rules apply.

 

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5 steps to improve your business from home during lockdown

Getting bored at home? Think you’ve got nothing to do? There are lots of things you could be using this time to do that will benefit your business tremendously, and ensure you’re in great shape to hit the ground running when the global situation improves…

If you’re anything like us, then there are probably a number of things you would like to improve about your business and the way you operate – if only you had the time… Well, now you do! Investing time in these things now will not only put you in a stronger position once business picks up again, but will also ensure you are using your time productively. Achieving goals and completing projects you’ve had for a long time, will contribute to your happiness in such difficult times, through a sense of accomplishment and control over your time.

We’ve listed five areas of business that it might be worth casting your eye over…

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#StayHome routines to keep you sane

We’ve been working with our university clients over the last couple of weeks to share ideas and tips for parents now trying to juggle their new role as teachers – in a confined environment where their children cannot leave the house.

It occured to me that a lot of the advice shared relates to us all (those of us who are being responsible and following the rules by staying at home anyway!!) It’s an uncertain time, our daily life is all over the place and most of us are experiencing a huge range of emotions from fear,  frustration and anger, to disappointment and anxiety, and we’re venting those frustrations on the other members of our household because we (and they) cannot escape anywhere else to vent.

So what can we do to stay sane, and to preserve the health (mentally and physically) of those in our households?

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Three ways to build public confidence and trust

As the sterilisation programme unrolls in the UAE, there have been many mixed messages on what the current guidelines, advice and indeed, the law, now are regarding public movement and social distancing. From what I’ve seen on social media (and in person from my own garden), most people understand that we are supposed to be at home day and night, except for essential visits to the supermarket or pharmacy, and for essential workers. However there are a huge number of people who still believe it is ok to be exercising – running, cycling, walking their dogs, or taking the children out for a stroll, contrary to the messages shared by Dubai Police. I myself posted on our community Facebook group to ascertain public opinion, and it really is divided. At the same time, newspapers and online outlets have been sharing contradictory stories and visual graphics which have been shortened and therefore do not contain the full information. This demonstrates a fundamental flaw with current messaging across the country, because the public remain divided, uncertain, and not sure who or what to trust. Social media is awash with different opinions and beliefs, and in the current pandemic situation, this has serious implications for the health and wellbeing of all of us in the UAE.

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Communicating in times of crisis: Four top tips

It’s been a crazy few weeks, speaking as someone who literally only 48 hours ago had to postpone her wedding (which was due to take place in only two weeks), I know all too well how disruptive, stressful and worrying these uncertain times are. This week’s blog post is not going to be a pity party however, not when there are so many people suffering a lot worse. Instead, as I try to be positive and set myself to trying to reschedule and make arrangements anew, I thought I would look to ways I could add value to others.

With this in mind, this week, I wanted to share a few tips for communications during these difficult times, and moving forward, every week, I will share a different PR and social media template to help you manage your communications.

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