In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, news is changing faster than we can move from one set of “work at home” pajamas to the next. As marketers, many of us are tasked with coming up with a strategy to keep our clients informed, and positioning our firms as resources for these changes. We asked fellow marketers what their roles are in external communication, and here’s what we heard:
Jaimi Koechel, Director of Marketing, Henry + Home
“I am overseeing all communications and working with the partner group to get it out. My communications coordinator is writing/editing all content. We are posting to our blog, COVID-19 resource page and social media. Our partners are personally forwarding the blog content and COVID-19 resources page to their clients so they don’t miss it. We have sent out a market outlook video and podcast for our wealth management niche. For the government niche we are sending out a 10 minute video to our clients letting them know how it affects them with a link to a white paper/collateral piece.”
Jessica Hekmatjah, Director of Marketing and Corporate Development, BPM
“BPM has launched an external COVID-19 Resource Center to provide clients, colleagues and friends of the community with up to date information and guidance. We are continuously developing relevant content through specialty leaders (white papers, FAQs, videos, etc.). We have also created a webinar series for clients and friends of the Firm. We recently hosted one with over 500 registrations. We are scheduled to host two more soon. Another part of our plan is to provide support by 1:1 outreach to clients. Our partners are reaching out to clients directly to check in on them and ask how they can provide support.”
Rachael McGrew, Business Development Director, Landmark CPAs
“At Landmark, our external communications regarding COVID-19 and the tax payment extensions have been fast and furious. I have written and handled all e-blasts, blog posts, and social media posts for both our CPA firm and our wealth management firm, including encouraging clients to use our online portal, Coronavirus market commentary from our broker-dealer, tax payment extension deadlines and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. I’ve relied on feedback from colleagues through AAM and the Open Forum to help draft our communications, so I’m so thankful for other AAM members willing to share!”
Jenna Ward, Marketing Manager, Mengel, Metzer, Barr & Co., LLP
“We have been sending out communications to all of our clients via our email system, keeping them up to date with all of the changes as they unfold, encourage them to reach out to us with any questions and that our website now has a dedicated page with IRS links and resources they can view for more details. We also sent our regular newsletter out this week with some articles specific to the virus, as well as the various news interviews we have been conducting via Skype about the deadline/impacts. We have been featured in the news multiple times as a constant resource, still getting our name out there given the current state of the country.”
Kimberly Crevelling, Marketing Manager, EFPR Group LLP
“Client communication is always number one. It’s important to let our clients know we are still active and responsive. However, with the various PR from Governor Cuomo (NY) and the White House plus executive orders by local government, getting accurate and timely information is tough. Our firm has several offices in different states, which is making it quite difficult to send out information in a timely fashion. I put up a landing page relating to COVID-19 Updates. I’m currently in the process of reorganizing the page so information is laid out better but feel free to take a look here. We issued a letter from the Managing Partner to our client base letting them know to go to that page for updates. We have the link to the landing page on our Client Portal as well as on the home page of our website (under featured news).
I think the role of the marketer is to communicate a universal message in all areas (client, strategic partners, employees) and share in many places. This will help everyone understand what’s going on and will allow them to receive the same message which can be difficult given the circumstances.”
Rachelle Ogun, Marketing Director, Maher Duessel
“I am working on some blogs relating to COVID-19 to assist our clients. We are trying not to pound them with too many emails, as they are likely being inundated with them on this topic. I would rather us be pragmatic and thoughtful in our communications than send them an email every time something changes.”
In addition to the communications we are all creating within our firms, many associations are offering their own resource pages to assist members, like BDO Alliance and Allinial Global. Other businesses are offering toolkits and other assistance to help make getting the message out far more simple. Inovautus is offering a Families First Coronavirus Toolkit to aid in client communication, and Checkpoint Marketing offers resources as well.
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About Emily Taibl
Emily manages Sweeney Conrad’s marketing department and is the lead on all brand strategy both internally and externally. She handles all marketing activities for the firm including planning, client outreach, content management, website, recruiting, and social media. Prior to Sweeney Conrad, Emily ran her own boutique PR/Marketing firm specializing in the restaurants and non-profits. She serves as the Chair of the Association of Accounting Marketing’s monthly newsletter, the AAM Minute, and is on the Marketing/Business Development Team for Allinial Global.