Restaurants and foodtech brands are using their online channels to emphasise upon the safety protocol that they follow, hoping to keep customers coming back and their businesses running. Sandeep Goyal, chief mentor, Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB) said, “First and foremost it is no laughing matter. So humour, howsoever subtle, is just completely a no-no. Tone and content needs to be informative, positive and optimistic.”
Tech brands and social media giants have stepped in to warn people against misinformation campaigns and open up the flow of conversations in crisis-hit countries. On Twitter’s timeline, for instance, a post reads: “We want to help you access credible information, especially when it comes to public health. We’ve adjusted our search prompt in key countries across the globe to feature authoritative health sources when you search for terms related to novel #coronavirus.
Netflix and Maharashtra government have used humour and visual imagery to get the message across
Google’s Sundar Pichai has used his social media handles to convey his company’s efforts at fighting the crisis. “We want to help businesses and schools impacted by COVID-19 stay connected: starting this week, we’ll roll out free access to our advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities through July 1, 2020 to all G Suite customers globally,” he wrote.
One of the most impacted, the travel and tourism industry, is dealing with a crisis of far bigger proportions than the rest. Not only must they offer a warning and advisory against travel, thereby taking a hit on their business, but they also have to ensure that the crisis does not snap the ties that they have built with their consumers.
Rajesh Magow, group CEO, MakeMyTrip said, “The government’s decision to cancel all visas, with a few exemptions, is timely. It is critical to take account of inflow of persons from 110 affected countries.” While the firm did not quantify the impact on its business, it admitted to a slowdown that would hit the upcoming school holidays season.
Both IndiGo and SpiceJet have (following the DGCA order) said that they would not charge any fees for changing travel dates. At the same time, they are assuring passengers of clean aircraft, trained ground and flight staff and a commitment to battle the crisis at hand.
Some brands are keeping the tone light, Amul’s topical posters focus on cleanliness but in its typical style, with a witty turn of phrase. One said, ‘Better saaf (clean) than sorry!’ Fintech brand Paytm pitched for online transactions, ‘Stay Safe #Paytm Karo’ it said. Food delivery app Zomato asked people to wash their hands before a meal. Its Twitter communique was written in tiny font, so that one had to zoom and read, just as one would easily miss out the ‘tiny germs’ if one didn’t clean up well or follow the requisite guidelines.
Amidst all this hype and rush, Goyal felt that it was important to abstain from putting out information that is unsubstantiated. “Brands either need to be part of a possible solution or maintain a dignified silence,” he said.
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