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  • Writer's pictureRichard Pagett

Six lessons the pandemic has taught construction PR and marketing managers

Navigating the last 15 months has been an exhausting experience for many but it has been a learning experience too, especially in the Construction PR and Marketing sector. Here are five lessons we’ve learned through the pandemic…

1. Communication is always key

When lockdown first hit, many companies threw on an invisibility cloak and disappeared – at least as far as Marketing and PR was concerned. It’s easy to see why; PR and Marketing may have been seen as an easy area to unhitch. But in times of crisis, that is a big mistake. When the market fluctuates it becomes more important than ever to keep the communication tap flowing – making sure your name is out there, being heard, being seen, can be the difference between success and failure.

2. Social Media is flying

Covid-19 has accelerated this digital transformation and according to Sprout Social, 55% of consumers learn about new brands through social media and 78% were willing to buy from a company after a positive experience on social media. It’s easy to see then why social media is so important. It allows you to communicate with your customers like never before and can really help build relationships and loyalty.

3. But wait…Print is alive and well!

Despite the pandemic and years of “print is over” talk, in the construction sector at least, print is very much alive and still a crucial way of reaching your audience. Balanced with online and social, it should remain a key part of your marketing and PR tactics. Print titles still reach those tradespeople who are not on social media. It can be so much more valuable in a technical sector- especially with long form ‘step by step’ and ‘how to’ content.

4. Strategy and planning are king

‘How can you plan for a crisis like that?’ you might say! But I think if we’ve learned anything from the last year it’s that we need to plan for any eventuality. We have lived, worked and guided brands through the biggest crisis in a generation. This experience should make preparation at the top of any To Do list in 2021/22; even if your top line strategy is “Survive” you can then plan your tactics around it.

5. Always be willing to adapt

I think we can all agree that adaptability has been absolutely central in the pandemic. Within weeks of lockdown Build PR had successfully helped a client launch its range of new products via online meetings. The construction press was still operating and their audiences were still working. We learned quickly that as long as we can be flexible on timings (especially where stock availability is concerned) and be ready to go with content, then there was no reason why product launches should not continue to be successful. Read about how to host a virtual press event here.

6. Look past the pandemic

It’s also worth getting up to speed with any legislation or regulations coming your way so you can begin to look past the pandemic and plan where your comms will be in future years. In our industry we are looking at the new Part L, the move to Net Zero Carbon, the Future Homes Standard….it’s clear the construction industry will be changing even more over the next five years. Get ahead of the competition by knowing your stuff.

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