Ways Companies Can Show Their Corporate Commitment in Challenging Times
The pandemic is a major game-changer for our economy. The flow of finances has ground down to a halt, and the economy is holding its breath. Countries are doing what they can to keep things in order, and businesses continue to adjust to this period of hardship.
Businesses of all sizes are in jeopardy but especially those on the smaller side of the spectrum. Corporations have undoubtedly felt the impact of the economic turmoil throughout this crisis, but they tend to have a bit more financial wiggle-room and flexibility than SMBs.
All that said, let’s take a look at what corporations can do to help us maintain stability during these difficult times.
Improve your company’s reputation
We’re going to take a look at a couple of approaches you can take to build your reputation during the pandemic without coming off as opportunistic. Remember, if you will do anything pandemic-related, make sure you know what you are doing as making mistakes and endangering someone’s health is the biggest reputation killer you can find right now.
Humanitarian approach – Even though corporations are still maintaining their stability (some have grown), this doesn’t mean that they’re out of the danger zone yet or even that this stability is sustainable. Thus we must strengthen our position through this troubling time and ensure that our brands are healthy and ready to return to the “new normal” once the pandemic ends.
The best and least risky way to do this is to work on your corporate brand’s reputation. The fact is, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities these days, many institutions are facing difficult financial situations. One of the most straightforward ways a brand can build up its reputation is by providing some relief for them through either financial means or volunteering workforce.
One word of caution, you should never be too pushy with promoting yourself when joining one of these causes. If you focus on merely pushing your brand to the forefront, you’ll end up coming off as petty, and this is something you want to avoid. Remember, this is a humanitarian effort first and a promotional campaign second.
Setting an example – Not all reputation building needs to be directly involved with your community. Creating a functioning remote or in-office organization during the pandemic gives you boasting rights by itself. Sharing your experiences and best practices with others would be enough to help you build a better reputation.
Naturally, you should only do this if you got management during the pandemic figured out to the fullest. Doing so when you still face issues yourself is counterproductive for your reputation building and, more importantly, very irresponsible behavior.
Depending on your organization, you can join the fight against the pandemic in various ways. Spreading credible information and awareness about COVID-19, practicing adequate precautionary measures, allocating human resources and resources to good causes are only some ways you can do this.
Now, previously we focused on generalized approaches corporations can take to help out with the pandemic situation. We’re now going to discuss using industry experts from your ranks to provide professional expertise in cases related to your primary sphere of influence.
Corporations are large organizations made up of educated experts from many different fields: economy & finance, management, marketing, online communication, etc. On top of that, most have experts that are focused on their particular industry: engineers, architects, brokers, lawyers & legal experts, etc.
The best way to demonstrate support is to innovate and create new ways to operate safely during the pandemic. You could also focus on innovation to resolve specific issues in your community or region by providing expert opinions and planned solutions.
Examples of corporations that are at the forefront
Let’s take a quick look at organizations that already took steps to help out with the pandemic, either through financial aid or by setting great examples.
Wells Fargo – Just a couple of days before Thanksgiving, vice chairman of public affairs at Wells Fargo, Bill Daley, announced their plans to help out with the pandemic on CBS this morning. They are committed to providing $82 million meals for US citizens in need through the Feeding America food banks. They will also offer $1 million to the Red Cross as a relief.
The second stage of the campaign involves providing frontline workers and army personnel with words of encouragement and gratitude. At the same time, the third, most important one, includes relief for small businesses with $50 million committed to the cause.
American Express – Amex made an effort to help marginalized students find their way to college amid a complicated economic and social situation. Around 4,000 received aid through a nonprofit organization called Strive for College. They also organized “Small Business Saturday” to help business businesses combat the pandemic’s adverse effects.
SalesForce – When it comes to examples of well-run organizations during the pandemic, SalesForce comes up as a prime candidate for this role. Not only did they adapt to the current situation, but they also managed to grow. Recently, they acquired Slack, one of the prime messaging and management applications out there, and managed to solidify their place as a force to be reckoned with – even during the pandemic.
Yes, the pandemic is a difficult time for businesses across the board, but it falls to those organizations that have substantial financial and organizational stability to take charge. The fact that corporations have far-reaching financial capabilities means that they are in a prime position to take on the economic issues we’re facing.
Many of them are already making moves, and you should do the same. The default public position on corporations is that they are business giants that don’t care about the little guy. This problematic situation is the opportunity to prove them wrong and establish once and for all that corporations are ready to step up in dire times to help societies in which they operate.