The COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous loss and damage to every industry worldwide. During this challenging period, creating appropriate contents and devising the right communication strategies are vital for PR and marketing practitioners to approach their target audiences. Through the views of Vietnamese journalists, this article emphasizes essential elements that marketers should consider when consulting and implementing their media campaigns.
Business strategy becomes top priority during pandemic
Earlier this month, a survey conducted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) emphasized that nearly 30% of corporates cannot maintain their business for longer than 3 months and other 50% can only survive for half a year. Over 75% of businesses will consider limiting their labor size and nearly 10% of them will have to drop their scale down by 50% comparing with the present situation. Aside from that, only less than 1% of corporates can increase their labor size.
For these reasons, business issues become the top matters of concern toward Vietnamese journalism. “A press release is usually used when one business launches a new product”, said Ms. Bao Lan from Phap luat Vietnam (Vietnamese Legal newspaper) under the Ministry of Justice. “However, what reporters want to know now is how the revenue and the profit are affected, whether businesses will cut staff, narrow the operation scale, reduce employee’s salary and their supporting policies for people living standards, etc. Following that, businesses can propose plans to maintain their next steps of operation”.
Mr. Dang Cong Sang from Dau tu (the Vietnam Investment Review) pays more attention to the signs of economic recovery, the potential forecast in the near future, or any initiatives provided by corporates to overcome the pandemic crisis and to create valuable lessons for today businessmen.
“Vietnamese journalism also got caught up in the COVID-19 event series, so we are looking forward to informative contents of the initiatives developed by corporates to maximize business activities along with their CSR activities to demonstrate their responsibility to the community at such sensitive time”, said Mr. Do Ngoc Hung, a reporter of Saigon Times.
Corporate social responsibility is highly appreciated
When Vietnamese government began the nationwide social distancing program, the idea of “rice ATM” was invented to support the poor affected by the COVID-19. According to Mr. Tam Phat from Voice of Vietnam Radio (VOV), the project is widely spread among the community and made a strong impression on the local journalists.
Located in a suburban district of Ho Chi Minh City, the first “rice ATM” has attracted many philanthropists to donate rice for contribution. After a button press, the machine can automatically dispense about 1.5kg to 2kg of rice that covers enough for a family of four to cook two meals per day. It is built on the 4.0 technology with human monitoring inside the system when needed.
This idea of Mr. Hoang Tuan Anh, the owner of the “rice ATM” project, has received a lot of responses from the community as well as the journalists. In less than a month, this project spread widely to other localities from Hue and Danang to more remote areas in Dong Nai where many poor ethnic minorities live.
“With these free “rice ATMs”, I guarantee that all the newspapers will provide your business with free advertising”, said Phat from VOV.
Indeed, a series of international newspapers and news agencies give unrelenting praises to this idea. This rice ATM project was rated as “a very fresh, ingenious and unique initiative” during this epidemic season by Reuters (UK), US News, New York Post (USA), British Herald (UK), Bangkok Post (Thailand), Gulf News (UAE), Taipei Times (Taiwan), ABC News (Australia), Aljazeera (Qatar), International Business Times (USA), EFE (Spain) and The Asian.
“From what we have witnessed, business can earn the power to be viral across media channels through the timely response of business toward crisis along with its unique idea and practical action for the community during this sensitive period. These activities will help business upgrade its reputation and to be recognized by the journalism and society without spending any advertising cost”, shared Ms. Mai Thi Tuong Vi, Head of Public Relations Department of EloQ Communications.
EloQ Communications is a leading agency in consulting, planning advertising and communication strategies for businesses in Vietnam. From May 2020 onwards, EloQ has officially launched free consultation service to support start-ups and SMEs in identifying their opportunities to grow their business.
These consulting sessions would benefit Vietnam-based companies or international companies wishing to invest in Vietnam market. The pro bono program dedicated by EloQ Communications will last throughout 2020 to help start-ups and SMEs identify and build effective plans to leverage their brands. In the time when COVID-19 pandemic still heavily impact the national economy, troubled businesses could receive practical advices from EloQ to recovery their business as well as to implement the right marketing strategies.