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How do you market your business after a local disaster?

Solution Provider

It does depend on the type of business that you run as to how you are going to market during a time of natural disaster. My own marketing business was not top of mind for people who lost their homes. Here are some of my observations after our recent disaster. 

 

People did not have access to phones - People have access to Facebook

 

Facebook was the communication tool people turned to during and immediately after the storms and flooding.  One of the major phone carriers had a station go out and most people were without access to phone calls.  Social media and email are how people learned what had happened, who had flooded and how badly. 

 

Here are my top three tips for marketing after a local disaster (I hope you never have to use them.)

 

  1. Let people know you care.  Ask how your clients and staff are on social media and request a comment or reply. Sending out an email to let your list know how you are and,more importantly, asking them to let you know how they are, shows that you care about them on a personal level. 
  2. Let people know your business status!  Are you affected?  Are you open? What are your hours? Are you stocked with supplies people are needing?  (Many businesses here could open but did not have the staff to open regular hours.  The Sheriff instituted a curfew so restaurants had to close early enough that their employees would not break the curfew.) 
  3. Share good information/links to resources you are seeing on social media or get in your own inbox.  I shared information on applying to SBA and FEMA that I got from social media and in emails.  Not every person sees every post, so don't assume that it is old news. The more you can share the links to good resources, the better the chance it will be seen.  It also puts you in your community's mind as a good resource of information.  

 

In the midst of the disaster and in the first days of cleanup, it is hard to see that there will be an end in sight.  If you regularly post and can't, then tell people your situation and let them know when you think you will be able to "re-open" and start back to your regular routine.  

 

As with any marketing, it is about communicating your message.  Keep people informed as best you can.  

 

As a side note: We found if we looked for the unexpected joys, it helped us to take a step to recovery.  You might get to spend time with your family that you are not able to otherwise. People found lost items like wedding rings. Seeing pictures of the "Cajun Navy" reminded us that we are kind to each other no matter skin color or religion.  

 

I hope you NEVER have to use any of these tips, but Weather Happens!  

EllenM-YSB

Ellen McDowell works in South Louisiana assisting small businesses understand and better utilize social media tools like Constant Contact, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ to name a few. She loves to help people find the best methods to spread their passion about their business.

3 Comments
Emelia Kate
N/A

Disaster response is the second period of the debacle administration cycle. It comprises of various components, for instance; cautioning/departure, pursuit and safeguard, giving prompt help, surveying harm, proceeding with help and the quick reclamation of infrastructure. The point of crisis reaction is to give prompt help to look after life, enhance wellbeing and bolster the confidence of the influenced populace. Such help may extend from giving particular yet restricted guide, for example, helping people with writing to building up semi-lasting settlement in camps and different areas. It likewise may include starting repairs to harmed framework. The concentration in the reaction stage is on meeting the fundamental needs of the general population until more changeless and manageable arrangements can be found. The principle duty to address these necessities and react to a calamity lies with the legislature or governments in whose region the debacle has happened. Likewise, Humanitarian associations are regularly firmly display in this period of the calamity administration cycle, especially in nations where the administration does not have the assets to react enough to the requirements.

Madison Hammond
N/A

A "disaster", thing, is characterized as a disastrous occasion, particularly one happening abruptly and bringing about incredible death toll, harm or hardship, for example, a surge, air ship crash or a business disappointment. "Reaction" is characterized (in this specific circumstance) as: Noun: An answer or answer, http://www.essaystar.co.uk/ as in words or in some activity. The Business Dictionary give a more far reaching definition to "disaster reaction" Aggregate of choices and measures to contain or moderate the impacts of a heartbreaking occasion to keep any further death toll and additionally property, reestablish arrange in its quick repercussions, and re-build up ordinariness through remaking and re-recovery presently. The first and prompt reaction is called crisis reaction.

Solution Provider

This article was written after devastating flooding in my area.  There were "reactions" taking place as well as responses.  This reflects my personal experience at that time.