This summer, many students did not get the opportunity to fulfill their internship. I am grateful to have my current role as a marketing intern at Working Partners, a company offering drug-free workplace services for other businesses. I have taken advantage of this opportunity to learn valuable information about social media, especially in the midst of a global pandemic.
When starting this position, I had the mindset that I would be creating content to promote the company. My goal was to increase impressions and website purchases. Attending marketing meetings in the first few weeks taught me that I had it all wrong. I learned I needed to be more sensitive to the current audience. Instead of promoting the company, I should be sharing articles to keep consumers updated on current events. I needed to keep people informed about changes the company was making due to the virus. I also learned not to focus on the pandemic in every post. People need a break from constantly seeing it in their feed.
Even though all businesses are struggling, the ethical thing to do is show compassion toward audiences. Companies need to be sensitive to their consumers during this difficult time. People are not interested in buying things, they are worried about handling their own personal problems. It is crucial to communicate with audiences that someone is there to help. In the PR field we learn to build connections and that is more important now than ever. Be personable with consumers and do what is best for them.
It would have been easy to continue posting normal content and try to increase purchases for the company. It is important that everyone learns to be more sensitive during this time, even if their own business is struggling. To my PR people, use your voice to help others. People all over the world are struggling right now. Even if we don’t realize it, the way we communicate makes a huge difference in the lives of others.
Macy Cantrell is a strategic communication major and the V.P. of External Affairs for Scripps PRSSA. Find her on Twitter @macy_cantrell22