This week, Boris Johnson made the long awaited announcement that most of us have been waiting for. As of 4th July, pubs, restaurants, hotels, bed and breakfasts, holiday homes, campsites, caravan parks, theatres, museums, galleries, hairdressers and barbers will be reopening.
That means we can finally say goodbye to our lockdown haircuts, and perhaps indulge with a swig of beer in the local for the first time in months... Horah!
While things will not be returning to the status quo, With social distancing measures of 1 metre still in place and many establishments taking bookings to safely reopen under new Government guidance yet to be published, it’s a definite step in the right direction.
But as punters patiently wait for the start of the month, business owners now have the challenge of making sure they are ready to reopen, and as part of this their communication strategies will be more important than ever. Simply posting on social media to announce you are reopening might not necessarily make the cut.
Many regular customers may still have apprehensions of attending places where they feel large groups of people will be gathering. So, what can business owners do to put their customers at ease?
Before reopening a business, owners will be spending time communicating with staff what measures will be in place to ensure their safety. When approaching communications with the public this should be no different and now is the time to really think about how you can maximise this message.
If you have a large following on social media you may want to use those pages as an ongoing dialogue - sharing pictures of new layouts, where handwashing facilities and handsantiser will be available, how staff will be taking orders, and expectations in terms of dress code i.e. face masks.
If you don’t have your own social media pages, it might be worth targeting local community groups or doing a flyer campaign in close proximity to your business.
You may also want to add new information to your website which is clear and concise; guiding customers to channels through which they can get in touch with you if they have any questions.
If you have a repeat client base you may want to think about a targeted email campaign providing this information all in one place, with details about bookings and new opening hours.
Ultimately, now is the time to start communicating with your audiences in order to capture their attention, and of course to demonstrate that their safety is of the highest importance to you and your staff. If customers feel like you care, they will too.
Finally, the team at MK PR and the wider NC Group, if you are preparing to reopen on the 4th good luck. We are looking forward to seeing you and we hope you all come back stronger than ever.