March 16, 2020

Everyone here at Cunning Plan Marketing is rightly concerned about the continuing spread of the Coronavirus and the consideration of the health of our staff and clients remains of course our main priority.

Many of our clients will be affected by the coronavirus outbreak, particularly shopping centres and hotels where visitors and guest footfall will reduce.

The situation is constantly changing, only last week we had a meeting at a shopping centre to discuss this year’s summer events calendar and now, less than seven days later we are talking about ‘social distancing’ and postponing plans that we have been working on since January.

It’s a fluid situation and no-one can predict what will happen next but we do know that everyone is going to feel the effects of this pandemic in some way.

For brands, it’s a case of facing the crisis head on and looking at the best ways to stay healthy (metaphorically speaking!) coming out the other side in good shape.


Whatever plans you need to make or cancel, it’s crucial to be open and honest with your audiences.

If you are helping your staff by encouraging them to work from home for example, let people know. Communicate that your business is being helpful within the crisis, leading by example and doing the right thing.  It will not only put you in a good light but may encourage others to do the same.


 With an escalating atmosphere, what feels right today may be inappropriate next week and so brands must keep up to date with the information available and adjust their communication strategy accordingly.


Without inciting further panic, address the crisis on social media in a tone of voice that is recognised by your following but that is also appropriate to the situation – clever and sarcastic are not the order of the day – being caring, compassionate and knowledgeable is. Don’t forget that good-natured humour can go a long way in times of crisis.

 MORE MONITORING – And Being there when needed

For our shopping centre clients, their customers will be turning to social media to ask questions and find information about store openings, risks and stock levels – so now is the time to make sure you monitor these channels and respond to people as quickly as possible with the relevant information.

 Direct people to an FAQs page on your website if easier but make sure that this is updated regularly.

This is a good opportunity to engage with customers, build a relationship and offer help.


We don’t know how long this is going to last, but we do know from all health authority indications that it will be temporary and so now could be an opportunity to take stock and develop a post crisis strategy.

Projects may be on hold, with less activity happening day-to-day, so you can use this down time to create your pipeline strategy.

Analyse your current marketing activity, what is working, what could be done more, better, different and what about your competitors?

How will you recover and come out fighting?

What will your brand look like when we come out of this, how could you use this time wisely and come out even stronger at the end?

 If you use this time of concerned panic to develop a considered post crisis strategy, you give yourself every chance of being one step ahead of your competitors.

Be safe and be healthy.