Four ways to keep communication strong during the pandemic

With numerous local lockdowns and the UK government enforcing a six-person maximum rule for social gatherings, it’s clear that COVID-19 restrictions are tightening once again and businesses are bracing for what’s to come.

We’re all sick of hearing ‘new normal’ and ‘in these uncertain times’, so whilst including ‘COVID-19-esque’ content in a communications strategy is both timely and relevant at present (this blog included), it’s nice to be reminded of life pre-COVID, so we should ensure that comms don’t solely focus on this.

Whilst many business owners may feel cutting communications is one way in an unpredictable climate to bring down costs in the short-term – having a presence on social media and in the press, and ensuring company news, services, team culture, ethos and brand values are still communicated, will keep consumers informed and instil confidence that a brand is still active and healthy, otherwise you run the risk that both existing and potential customers will think your brand is suffering or worse, no longer in business.

As PR professionals, we have worked with clients across a variety of sectors to refocus communications during the pandemic, ensuring brands are as strong as possible when tackling the many issues that came with an economic crisis. Reflecting on the last year since March and looking to the future, we have compiled four ways to keep communication strong at this time.

Four ways to keep communication strong during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Take media opportunities as they come

As well as proactive media relations that will increase the online visibility of your brand – an invaluable part of public relations in this increasingly digital world, it’s important to jump on and take advantage of ad-hoc opportunities as they arise. Whether a journo request is looking to speak to industry experts or a particularly relevant news story has landed in the press and a proactive comment can be drafted and issued to key media – journalists will often put feelers out there on social channels, looking for comment and insight into particular issues (both COVID and non-COVID), so if a topic is relevant to your brand, then it’s beneficial to capitalise on these opportunities, at a time when communication is so important to maintain and strengthen the reputation of your firm.

  1. Keep social active and engaging

Social channels are essential for marketing your business, and keeping channels populated helps to demonstrate what you do to wide audiences, bolstering overall brand awareness, shaping tone of voice, connecting with existing and potential customers and ultimately driving leads and sales. Social platforms often have regular business-friendly updates, a recent one being Instagram’s shop tab, currently in its testing phase, which will allow platform users the option to browse and buy from top brands and creators without leaving the app. A good PR will always keep abreast of social updates that can be beneficial for clients, and will advise on how to utilise functions wherever possible.

  1. Be proactive with contact

Being open with communication is so important when it comes to keeping existing clients reassured, and of course contacting potential new clients. Updating social channels, websites, sending emails and picking up the phone for a few minutes is incredibly valuable and shows an element of care. Personal contact is not to be underestimated, especially at a time when everyone is monitoring an economic crisis in which many well known businesses are suffering – customers deserve to know what’s going on and it’s important to let them know.

  1. Go above and beyond

Buying attitudes are changing constantly and now more than ever consumers are looking for more than just single products and services. They want to trust what you are offering as a company is both high value and quality, so demonstrating authenticity, provenance and corporate social responsibility in terms of charitable and environmental efforts adds credibility to brands and will do wonders for reputation and consumer interest.

Businesses need to be thinking about the ‘C’ word

As one would soak and baste a turkey before the big day to ensure it’s as its best, businesses that want to showcase products and services in the run up to the festive period also need to prep – starting Christmas PR and marketing campaigns as early as possible.

Christmas gift wrapped on table with festive wrapping


With journalists eager for Christmas content, starting your efforts straight after summer will only serve you well; putting your products and services to the front of the media queue – which gets longer and longer with time – as every business tries to claw for attention in an over-saturated Christmas media storm.

At Jennie Holland PR, we know a thing or two about getting your products and services noticed and when it comes to Christmas, we’re plotting plans whilst the summer sun is still hot.

We’ve put together five tips to consider if you want to ‘sleigh’ PR this Christmas:

1.       Get in first

Journalists looking to plan festive features or fill Christmas gift guides will be working way ahead of December to secure relevant products for pages, so looking into planned media features and jumping on journo requests on social media is so important. If you’re looking to secure quality media coverage for products, be sure to send information/content and images in a clear format to journalists so it’s as easy as possible for them to use in the lead up to the big day.

2.       Be proactive with Christmas PR 

As well as reacting to media requests, it’s just as vital that you contact journalists proactively to see what opportunities are out there and make your products or services known. Proactive and regular sending of product information is also crucial for getting the key messages of your business and its offering in front of the right audiences. Whilst journalists can indicate what they want, they are just as happy when you send relevant ideas and information to them.

3.       Be as informative and visual as possible

When contacting journalists, keep content short, simple and clear in the form of a press release or product pitch. If possible, include as many images of the product or service as you can so journalists can get an overall visual representation of your offering. For retail items – it goes without saying, always include product prices and list stockists details.

4.       Have plenty of samples prepared

Often journalists will want to sample products in order to feature them and they will ask for samples to be sent to them. It’s advisable to ensure that stock is available specifically for the Christmas period.

5.       Be ready

If you’re generating some great PR around your products or services, then it’s important to ensure that stock is available to buy and there is capacity in the team for a spike in demand of your services. There’s nothing worse than not being able to deliver when you have interested customers.

If you need help with your Christmas PR, you know where we are…

What are brand archetypes and why do they matter?

For business leaders, there has never before been so many resources available when it comes to shouting about your brand, products and services.

But in this competitive digital multiverse of content, social media platforms, celebrities and influencers, it is easy for your brand to become lost in all of the noise without a clear personality that shapes all of your online presence.

All brands have an identity – defining it depends on how you want to interact with your target audience, the products and services that your company offers and where your specialisms lie.

Do you sell advice, technology or something you’ve created?

Do you use specialist skills, rely on your industry contacts, or invest heavily in research and development to stay ahead of the competition?

How should consumers feel when they see or buy your product or service?

The answers to these questions are a good place to start when defining your brand’s personality – in the early 20th century, Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung developed a list of universal brand archetypes that can be identified in all aspects of life, from our dreams and religions to our art and fairy tales.

Now, these brand archetypes have been adopted by advertising professionals all over the world as a way of visualising and summarising a brand’s identity, helping it to connect more effectively with the consumer.

Brands can fit broadly into one, sometimes two, of the following 12 Brand Archetypes:

  • The Innocent – pure, simple, trustworthy and safe

Example: Coca Cola

  • The Sage – wise, understanding and truth-seeking

Example: Trip Advisor

  • The Explorer – adventurous, free, ambitious and spiritual

Example: North Face

  • The Outlaw or Rebel – free-spirited, brave, agent of change and unconventional

Example: Virgin

  • The Magician – making dreams come true

Example: Disney

  • The Hero – determined, skilful and ruthless

Example: Nike

  • The Everyman – relatable, reliable, empathetic and connects with others

Example: PG Tips

  • The Jester – playful, joyful and carefree

Example: Paddy Power

  • The Lover – passionate, romantic and committed

Example: Chanel

  • The Caregiver or Nurturer – compassionate, generous and strong

Example: Johnson & Johnson

  • The Ruler – in control, confident, firm but fair

Example: Mercedes

  • The Creator – innovative, imaginative and expressive

Example: Lego

Which archetype best aligns with your company’s products, industry reputation and specialities?

Once you’ve decided, have a look at globally renowned brands and see what they are talking about on social media, on their website and in their adverts. You’ll begin to notice the consistencies and patterns in the language they use and the images they portray – and you can do the same with your brand’s online presence and marketing materials, to build an identity that your customers will come to recognise and trust.

Interested in learning more about our social media services? We can help. Get in touch with Jennie Holland PR for all things social on 0115 998 3048 or

Social media – it’s time to stand up to photo editing

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is body image, which can affect all of us at any age. ‘Body image’ is a term that can be used to describe how we think and feel about our bodies. Our thoughts and feelings about our bodies can impact us throughout our lives, affecting, more generally, the way we feel about ourselves and our mental health and wellbeing.*

The most popular social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat allow users to share edited photos of themselves in order to earn approval for their appearance, which can easily become detrimental to people’s perceptions of themselves and leads to comparison with others. Many celebrity photos and even personal images on social media are altered and leave many people believing that these flawless and often unrealistic posts are real. However, a new trend called body honesty is emerging to combat these unrealistic standards that are portrayed on social media.

From global campaigns and popular hashtags promoting body image advocacy to online groups that encourage self-love at any shape or size, social media can create a sense of community that tackles body image issues. Women and men are sharing their photos with hashtags like #LoveYourLines and #TakeBackPostpartum. The most popular body image hashtag is #effyourbeautystandards, the phrase is used in about a third of all body-positive posts as well as #bodypositive which is used a little more than a quarter of the time.

Women looking through Instagram photos on her phone

These trends in body honesty display the body in a natural way. Aiming to promote positive body image through these trends could help women around the world appreciate their bodies more. Being able to value, respect, love, and accept your body is linked to greater confidence and happiness.

Social media is giving everyone the ideal platform to stand up and be seen as well as spread positive and beneficial messages. Body honesty is focusing on positive body images to help people appreciate their body as it is. The human body is amazing and should be valued for so much more than just its appearance.

Accepting that bodies come in all shapes and sizes is a great first step for body positivity, but there is still a long way to go to be an inclusive movement. There are many reasons people dislike aspects of their body that have nothing to do with their weight. Furthermore, not all people with body issues are women. The body positivity movement needs to create a safe space for men as well as women to talk and be supportive of one another.