What (Not) to Say: Content and Comms During a Pandemic


Look for a silver lining

Ensure that your messaging reflects what’s going on in the world right now. Create a new message that’s honest and caring. One that directly addresses your customers’ questions and concerns regarding this pandemic.

Avoid humor

While it’s a good idea to look for positivity, it can be taken too far. For example, you should avoid humor in your marketing materials as it can come across as insensitive. It’s far better to be too serious than be sorry, even if it deviates from your normal fun loving, excitable, brand voice.

Avoid Insensitive Words

It seems obvious when you’re reading it in a post like this, but it’s all too easy to forget the potential issues with some commonly used marketing words in the age of COVID-19. Things like “Killer deals” or “It’s gone viral” for example should be avoided for the foreseeable future. Words that are as seemingly innocuous as “Gather” and “Event” can also have some unintended connotations and should be avoided where possible too.

Assess marketing campaigns

Go over your current marketing campaigns and make sure all of the copy relevant and updated to match the current COVID landscape. Ensure that there are no inappropriate posts that were scheduled before the pandemic started that might be seen as insensitive in the context of the “new normal”.

Double check the content of your scheduled emails

One of the oldest methods of digital marketing (that is still very relevant today is email marketing). It’s stood the test of time due to its incredible efficiency, scalability, and perhaps most notably, its ability to be scheduled.

Keep your blog content Informative

Your blog should continue to be as active as it was before the pandemic. It’s important for people to see that you’re still operating at a time when so many brands are shutting their doors, and a regularly updated blog is a great way to show this. But it’s important to remember to keep an eye on the tone of your posts.

Cite your sources

If you do put information regarding COVID-19 on your website, you should do so responsibly — which means not providing any kind advice of your own. Instead you should just point people to the CDC or WHO (or similar national organization).

Avoid time pressure language

You should avoid using time pressure promotions and you should moderate the language you’re using. Things like “Limited Time Only!” or “While Stocks Last!” might be seen as insensitive at a time when normal purchasing patterns are turned upside down and panic buying has been front page news.

Create community instead of being combative

Marketing traditionally is filled with words that can be considered confrontational, demanding, and combative. Things like “Take advantage”, “Don’t miss out!”, “Final offer!” “Fire sale!”, and the seemingly universal “EVERYTHING MUST GO!” are high pressure, semi aggressive phrases — and they should be avoided.

In Conclusion

Take a step, re-evaluate, and then make adjustments that will get people responding positively to your marketing channels. A successful business is often about relationships and there’s no time that’s more apparent than during this current uncertainty.



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Raul Tiru

Raul Tiru

Co-founder https://StoryLab.ai, Founder https://GlobalOwls.com. Let’s create memorable content. #ContentCreation, #ContentMarketing, #Nonprofit