Positive Sentiment Heightened Risk

Communications during turbulent times

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5 tips to creating positive sentiment during times of heightened risk and sensitivity

Brands face numerous dilemmas during times of uncertainty and market instability. In today’s volatile socio-political environment like in Myanmar, marketing and communications campaigns could fall flat, or worse, trigger backlash. Is it possible to continue brand-building and engage with stakeholders at this time? 

In December 2021, RICE supported MATRADE Myanmar in raising awareness of Malaysian and Malaysian-Myanmar brands – helping them to boost their sales.  We planned and managed an integrated campaign called MY Ayatha (meaning “Flavours of Malaysia”). Every aspect of the campaign was carefully managed to mitigate reputational and security risks.

The 3-week campaign delivered positive business outcomes for all of the 110 participating brands. Activities included:

  • Three online live streams
  • Four on-the-ground bazaars in Yangon’s top shopping malls
  • A social impact community outreach
  • Press and influencer engagement

How did we do it? Here are our 5 tips:

1. Always keep an eye on social media.

Social listening is key to staying up-to-date on public sentiment. Monitor social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to get a pulse check, and think critically about how current events may relate to you.

2. Don’t post everything on social media.

While social media is a good place to gather consumer sentiment, it is not the place to post everything. Be selective and strategic about what, when and how you post. Always check in with your communications team or agency, and trusted stakeholders, before publishing anything. This helps brands avoid coming across as tone deaf or insensitive. 

3. Take safety seriously.  

The safety of all stakeholders involved should always be a top priority. Conduct safety briefings at all venues, have an emergency plan in place, and make sure emergency contacts and procedures are shared with all parties involved. 

4. Do your homework. 

Conduct a thorough due diligence before engaging with any brand, organisation, key opinion leader and even media. Work with credible and ethical partners. Be strategic in choosing who to engage with, making sure they represent the values you stand for.

5. Prepare a crisis communications plan.

The situation could change at any given moment, so it’s important to stay flexible and prepared. Think of all the worst case scenarios and prepare a crisis communications plan for every situation. Make sure everyone is on the same page, and be ready to change gears when needed. 

Need help preparing a crisis communication plan? Considering implementing a campaign or activity but worried about risks? Email us at connect@ricecomms.com.

Aung Swam Htet 16.3.2022
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