Before I get into this… It’s important that we understand 1 thing: Our lives, our health, and the future of Small Businesses in America is far more important than the events that have been impacted by COVID-19.
I will leave the issues of health, social separation, and economic relief to the experts in those fields. Things I can offer some insight into are event-planning and communications.
We do a lot of event planning. So we figure it’s helpful to offer some insight into how to handle your events in these uncertain times.
COVID-19 has led to some drastic measures, and many events have been either canceled or postponed. Some of these events are critical for raising funds for operating budgets.
For these events, it’s important that you take the right steps during and after the decision to cancel/postpone. Here are a few things to consider:
The decision-making process
For social events, the decision is easy – cancel or postpone. Buy for events that make up a large portion of operating funds, it’s much harder. Your consideration needs to weigh who will be impacted, and to what extent. Can you still operate without these funds? Will your supporters attend if the event is at a different time? What other events will you compete with if you postpone to a different date? Can you even consider holding the event (government forced closures are growing every day)?
Remember to put yourself in your patron’s mindset. What will they think if you hold the event? Will your cause still be relevant after the crisis is over?
Something else you may want to consider is a modified event where social distancing and use of web/digital solutions replace the normal “gathering” type of event.
Either way – put your supporters first, and the decision will become clear.
Communicate with Stake Holders
Who are the main players for your event? Sponsors, venue, caterers, entertainers, etc… all play a key role. Communicate with them early and often. Get their feedback and ideas. If you are moving your event – find a new date ASAP and make sure all the players can make that happen. You want to postpone the event, not plan it all over again.
Also, make sure to negotiate down or try to eliminate cancellation fees. Most people are willing to work with you given the current situation.
Take the time to reconfirm your sponsors and ensure they are comfortable with your decision. They will appreciate the honesty. Maybe even consider adding additional value to their sponsorship. Without them, the event isn’t possible, no matter when you hold it.
Communicate with your guests & supporters
Don’t assume they know. They have a lot of things on their mind so it’s important that you are clear and concise. If you communicate early and often, you stay top of mind, assuring that your postponed event will have the same support later in the year.
You need to use several communication methods. Email is good, but consider adding social media and direct phone calls as well. You can never over-communicate, but the moment you realize that you didn’t communicate enough, it’s too late.
Update all of your event details on your website, social media, and ticketing services. This is critical – because if you forget, then people will be reading contradictory information, and that’s a bad look.
Create a responsible refund policy
None of this is ideal. You will have guests that simply can’t attend your event. You will need to have a refund policy, and you need to communicate it clearly. Outline the details of how refunds will be handled. Don’t specifically offer a refund, but make it clear how someone can request and receive one.
Be ready for feedback
Some people may not like your decision, and some will love it. Be ready for a back and forth with all of these people. Social media is a great platform for open communication. Use it to your benefit. By giving people the ability to speak with you, it creates an atmosphere of inclusion, and that breeds long-term loyalty.
So – in short, consider your partners and your patrons, and communicate clearly and often. It sounds simple, but needs some serious attention. If you need help, RyCOM is offering FREE PR Consulting while the COVID-19 Crisis remains an issue. Hit us up.
Lying on job applications has been a big problem in the hiring process for what seems like forever. Statistics show that lying on job applications is very commonplace. At the same time, very few employers take extra time out of their day to fact-check job applications. Hiring managers must take the hiring process seriously and verify the information that is given to them by candidates. Here are a few ways to check if a potential employee is being honest.
Contact Previous Employers
Contacting previous employers is a great way to check whether an applicant is being truthful. Not only does this show if the employee was in good standing, but it also reveals whether they worked there in the first place. Any responsible job applicant should have the contact information of their recent jobs on their application. If no contact info is posted or if any discrepancies are found after contacting, then that should be a red flag.
Many job applicants litter their resumes with skills and certifications that they may or may not have. To assess their skills beforehand, have all applicants take a test to verify their skills. For example, if your job requires coding skills, then you should give a test that requires job applicants to code something.
A skill test can prevent hiring mistakes. If a job applicant has the skills they claim, then they should have no problem completing the test. Use the results from the test to determine whether the potential employee is right for the job.
Check Social Media
Scanning a job applicant’s social media can be useful in the hiring process. Many times, what candidates post on social media can verify some lingering questions you have about them. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are some of the most important websites to check.
When checking professional social media sites such as LinkedIn, make sure to look at the applicant’s profile and match up what you have on their job application. While other social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter are more personal, their online behavior can still be reviewed. Social media posts can often show the character of a candidate. If they’re known to argue and be abusive online, the same behavior may leak into the workplace and affect your current employees.
While doing the above does make the hiring process more time-consuming, it must be done if you plan on hiring the most qualified candidates. Make sure to take the time to thoroughly check over job applications. It just might make a difference.
Improve your business with better web design!
Throughout the online space and even in the brick and mortar business world, the current trend in marketing is Facebook ads. Articles after articles state that Facebook ads are the only way to communicate effectively with your customers, but what if we told you that there is also another way. The often-overlooked Facebook Messenger app can be a really effective tool to incorporate into your business. Whether you need an additional hand with your customer service or simply looking for a new medium for all your customer support needs, the Facebook Messenger may be the tool you need. The following list details just exactly how you can accomplish this by incorporating Facebook Messenger into your marketing arsenal.
What is Facebook Messenger?
Before we delve too deep into the benefits of Facebook Messenger, we first need to understand what it is. Throughout the years, Facebook Messenger has grown from simply being a medium for you to instantly communicate with your friends or family to an all-out state of the art marketing hub. Messenger has recently provided business users with the ability to exchange funds, share private messages with customers and distributors alike. Although the platform is rather easy to work with, it is only as effective as your intentions and execution.
A Familiar Platform for Customers
We spoke earlier about the ease of communicating with your customers through Facebook Messenger. This benefit is rooted in the understanding and familiarity the customer has with the app before they had even considered purchasing from your company. This is why many companies are now seeking to make this their primary form of communication. Over 126 million Americans use Facebook Messenger, so communicating with your customers through a familiar platform can help you better connect with them. All this makes issues such as customer support that much easier as you can quickly look up who sent you what and what your previous messages were like.
Is it Right for Your Business?
Most companies, before even dabbling on Facebook Messenger, you may already have an established form of communication with their customers. However, what often makes business leaders seek new forms of communication in the presence of a recurring issue within their current communication medium. Understandably, business leaders may have some reservations about moving their communication to Facebook Messenger. One of the things you want to keep in mind is the work that it takes to maintain a positive line of communication with your customers. Questions such as can you keep up with the workload, are all your company devices set for the messenger app and so on. Facebook Messenger is a great tool for any business, but the right plan for executing right must be performed prior to the addition of the app.
How Do You Manage All the Alerts?
It’s understandable to be a little unsure about your ability to handle every single message that comes into your business mobile phone or computers. After all, your goal is to provide your customers with the absolute best customer service, and rushing things may not be the best of ideas. Therefore, we highly recommend incorporating bot technology into your business Facebook Messenger. What exactly are bots? Bots are essentially a virtual assistant. They answer common questions such as contact information or return policies. This is extremely helpful as it only then sends you a notification regarding the most serious of cases.
How Can You Market with Facebook Messenger?
According to Facebook statistics, there are currently over 1.3 billion people using Facebook Messenger all over the world. This, of course, is a dream number for any company seeking to market their business through Facebook Messenger. However, it’s not as easy as simply sending out a bunch of ads to people. One of the best approaches to marketing through Facebook Messenger for any business is to deliver your email content through Facebook Messenger rather than through an email. Email can be an effective manner of marketing, but it has a lower open rate than Facebook Messenger. Your content through Facebook Messenger can have a higher rate of being opened as it is seen through a platform that customers are already using. As long as you don’t take them too far from Facebook, you can expect to see great results from your marketing.
Incorporating Facebook Messenger to your business may sound like a total overhaul of your communication line, but by taking the right approach and executing it properly, you can make it a very beneficial part of your company. Like any business decision, any and all concerns must be taken into consideration before applying this into your day to day business. Simply adhere to the list above in order to formulate the right plan of attack, implementation, and deliverance of this helpful communication medium.
If you need help incorporating social media tools into your business, RyCOM Creative Corp. can help! Contact us to learn more.