Pulling the Plug on Programmatic During Crisis

One of the most important tactics in crisis communication strategy is reading your audience. And right now, in light of coronavirus, that audience is looking for facts and up-to-date information.

Hopping on Facebook or Instagram and being served an ad for a cruise or an airline does not offer users the information they may be seeking. As of this morning, brands like Qatar Airways and Amtrak still were posting travel ads on social, even though the travel industry landscape has changed drastically in the past week.

Here are a few steps to review and quickly turn around your current messaging strategy.

  1. Immediately take stock. Audit all messages, paid AND organic, and the channels they are broadcast through.
  2. Contact your programmatic agency or in-house team or staff who handle paid advertising. Review and edit current programmatic, as well as stop current campaigns (if necessary).
  3. If you are a solo practitioner go into your native social platform advertising tools and review all  campaigns. Make edits where necessary.
  4. If you lack one, create a social media kill switch that can be deployed during a crisis. Coronavirus is not the first, nor will it be the last. Work with your social media manager or team on what designates a pause in posting.
  5. Ideate and deliver new content that could be helpful to your audience. Be careful not to pander or stretch messaging. Instead, provide vital information or tips that consumers may find useful. Consult keyword search tools like Google or Parse.ly to see what users are searching for on your site.
  6. Make sure that content is not paid advertising. Your audience may consider it in poor taste. Place important information where users can see it —a website, blog, Twitter — not just in programmatic advertising.

This article is part of PRNEWS' daily COVID-19 coverage, click here to see the latest updates.