The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every Country, Region and City in the world as we are living in unprecedented times. The main focus must be on public health. But, Nation and Place Brands need to tackle the situation as soon as possible. They need to mitigate the damage in economies worldwide.
So, here’s five quick recommendations to be adopted by Nation and Place Brands’ organizations during and after the COVID-19 pandemic:
A Place Brand Strategy is not a decorative item you sometimes use or remember when it’s convenient. Nation and Place Brands must always follow its strategy, especially in times like these. Look for answers on your strategy, the solutions for your Country, Region and City are there. And behave accordingly.
2 – Suspend (for now) all the promotion campaigns and initiatives
If public organizations keep running the same marketing campaigns, it can be misunderstood. Not adapting to the new reality will be probably hinder more than help. So, stop all the promotion initiatives for now. Your message won’t be delivered now, and people may feel that is inappropriate. Prepare for the future and invest later in a more suitable time.
3 – Create a Crisis Committee
Identify the key stakeholders and create a Crisis Committee. Everyone must be aligned with the same strategy. The last thing you want for your Nation and Place Brand’s perception is inconsistency. Manage the situation as a united front.
4 – Think about the future
You should start developing a strategy for the post-pandemic period… now! The minute this new reality ends, it’ll be all about the recovery. And we’re hoping it will be sooner than later. However, you should not just return to “business as usual”. Take positive lessons from this pandemic experience and adapt to the “new normal”. Think and strategize about the future. Create an action place with your stakeholders to mitigate potential crises. Work on a better way of developing and managing your brand strategies. Things will get better in the end. And don’t forget to use measurement tools to predict when will this happen.
5 – Raise the importance of Place Branding with your stakeholders
It’s in moments like these that key stakeholders suddenly realize they “need” a Nation and Place Brand strategy. This “momentum” is key to position your national organization as the go-to institution.
These recommendations were also given in this City Nation Place’s article by Jose Filipe Torres, Bloom Consulting’s CEO.