Tag: pandemic

By Jess Wallace for The Examiner

Deciding on an appropriate Mother’s Day gift that is thoughtful and affordable while also saying “Mom, you’re treasured”, is a challenge all of its own in the midst of a global pandemic, declining economy and life in isolation.

Now, more than ever, the importance of sharing in small traditions like Mother’s Day can go a long way towards keeping a sense of normality during a time that couldn’t be further from such a luxury.

Flowers have always been the go-to gift to mark the occasion on the second Sunday in May. In many parts of the world, carnations are regarded as the quintessential Mother’s Day flowers.

With many businesses around the country forced to close their doors due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and others finding creative new ways to stay afloat in uncharted waters, the simple gesture of gift-giving on Mother’s Day suddenly becomes a chance not only to express our appreciation for our mothers, but to throw a lifeline to small businesses around the country.

Gestures speak louder than gifts and the act of making Mom breakfast in bed, hand-made crafts, pampering her or picking up all the jobs around the house she would normally get stuck doing, might be your answer to Mother’s Day in home isolation. Or even something as simple as giving her some much needed “me time”.

Whatever it may look like, as long as it celebrates how much you appreciate your mother, or whoever that mother-figure might be to you, it’s bound to collectively lift the current state of spirits right now.

For a good many of us though, it won’t be possible to give our mothers a hug this Mother’s Day.
Lockdown laws, combined with the simple case of geography, mean digital connection is the only connection right now.

For many this step into the digital space has been a steep learning experience to move into the 21st century. For others it may have meant finding the patience within themselves to teach these technologies without losing their mind and instead remembering that this Mother’s Day, more than ever, is time to stay connected.

Consumer confidence across the globe is plummeting as the coronavirus pandemic spreads, causing businesses to cease trading.

Stringent lockdown and social distancing measures are being enforced and updated daily, which in all likelihood will mean that confidence will deteriorated significantly.

“There’s not much individuals can do about the general economy. But on their personal financial situation, they know how much money they’ve got coming in, how much money they’ve got going out. So they can think about the next 12 months and think if I keep working, interest rates don’t go up, inflation is fine, then we can kind of be OK,” says GfK’s client strategy director Joe Staton.

But, while people aren’t planning to splash out on things like furniture or electrical goods, they are still spending money.

In the UK, spend on “durables” such as tablets, computers, hair clippers and freezers are on the up. GfK data shows revenues here grew 42% year on year in the 12th week of 2020, with online accounting for almost 50% of the market.

“Brands that can offer reassurance of quality and cleanliness, companies that treat their staff well, companies with a holistic approach to wellbeing of customers and staff, this is their time to shine,” Stanton says.

Brands need to think long-term amid the coronavirus pandemic

President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered a 21-day lockdown in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in South Africa. Businesses across the country are closed, wreaking havoc not only on bottom lines but also on marketing efforts.

In order to stay top-of-mind, try implement the following in your marketing:

Consistency
Consistency involves messaging that is not only published at regular intervals, but that is the same across all channels and assets.

Brand recognition – consistent marketing efforts pay off when someone recognises an ad without ever hearing the brand’s name. Brands with distinct brand and marketing consistency are able to benefit from being easily recognised. This can help you build your brand and the trust consumers have in it.

Brand awareness – this is an important reason to create consistent branding and marketing. Customers are significantly more likely to purchase from a brand they recognise for their consistent image and content schedule, so make sure to maintain both with regularity. Your digital and visual content should be uniform so that your audience knows what to look for, and should be posted at similar times so they know when to look. Your visual content should stick to the same colour theme, photo quality and logo placement, and your digital materials should be consistent with that.

Create trust – customers are 71% more likely to purchase from a brand or company that they trust. Much like a friendship, building a reputable image is extremely important to your business. Being trustworthy is a major element in the success of a brand, and establishing that will help to build brand and marketing consistency. Posting your content on a regular basis at similar times, utilising the same platforms for specific purposes, and keeping messaging consistent will help to build trust.

Be memorable – the power of repetition is seen everywhere, from the movies to the classroom. We can all recall jingles we’ve heard on TV a thousand times, and printed logos that appear in digital and print media simply because of the sheer number of times we’ve been exposed to them. If you want your brand to be memorable, make your messaging consistent and frequent. The more often your customers and potential customers see your advertisements and branding, the more consistent and memorable your brand will appear.

Persistence
Persistence – even when you don’t see the results you were hoping for – is critical for business owners working to build their business and brand.

Whether you use a website, permission-based e-mail marketing, social media, newspaper advertising, mobile ads or networking events to market your brand, persistence is key.

Time – rarely do marketing initiatives provide magical, overnight results. A lack of persistence means businesses may jump from one type of marketing strategy to another. It is tempting to do this, but it never allows sufficient time for any one strategy to produce results. It is a waste of time and resources.

Lack of success – often, a lack of success may be because the expectations and time frame are unrealistic and no one has given the strategy the time or the attention it needs to be successful. Putting an advertisement in one or two issues of a newspaper, on social media or in a newsletter, and then “pulling the plug” because you didn’t “see any results”, is an example of this.

Exposure – frequent exposure is usually needed before potential customers even begin to notice an advertisement, let alone consider taking any kind of buying action. This tends to be true for both online and print advertising.

Gimmicks – marketing gimmicks, such as sales, discounts or competitions, may not help if the product or service you are selling is not one that people think they want or need, or if your reputation in the marketplace is lacking.

Clarity

The best strategic plan is only as effective as the material that supports it. Regardless of whether or not your selected channels are newspapers ads, radio spots, television ads, billboards, a website, direct mail, social networking or something else, you are only as good as the material your audience receives. Clarity is of critical importance in this strategy: are you clear about the single message and the desired call to action in your advertising?

Clarity of message – your audience is bombarded with thousands of messages every day. For yours to break through the clutter and have the desired impact, you need to be very clear about what you want to say. What single fact or idea should the audience remember or take away from the material? You should be able to refer to your previously-developed message to help you with this. Are you the fastest, bluest, cheapest or easiest – or the only one that does something, or the first one who did something? What is your unique selling point? Highlight the single most important thing you offer, and you have clarity. Avoid the temptation to try and tell everyone everything.

Clarity of purpose – what action do you want the reader, viewer or listener to take? Should they visit your website, call a number, stop by the store or clip a coupon? Don’t assume that they’ll know what to do or what you want them to do. Ask them; tell them. When you combine a clear message with a clear call to action, you dramatically increase the odds of success. Give your audience a reason to take action and give them an action to take. Clarity leads to success.

Microsoft launches coronavirus tracker

Source: Economic Times

As the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads like wildfire across countries, Microsoft’s Bing team has launched a web portal to track its progress worldwide.

The website provides up-to-date infection statistics for each country. An interactive map allows users to click on the country to see the specific number of cases and related articles from a variety of publishers.

You can view the interactive map here.

According to sources, data is being aggregated from sources like the World Health Organisation (WHO), the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Microsoft announced the website two days after US President Donald Trump said Google had begun working on COVID-19-related portal for US citizens.

Google’s website is being built by Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet focused on healthcare services.

“More than 1 700 engineers are currently working on the site,” Trump said during a press briefing last week.

The tool will triage people who are concerned about their COVID-19 risk into testing sites based on guidance from public health officials and test availability.

Globally, the virus has now affected 216 030 people, and has caused 8 891 deaths.

Beware of these corona-related scams

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) has warned bank clients that cybercriminals are exploiting the current “Coronamania” panic to spread Coronavirus scams.

Coronavirus scams exploit people’s concerns for their health and safety and pressure them into being tricked using social engineering. Social Engineering is manipulative and exploits human vulnerability because criminals know that the weakest link in the information security chain is the human being.

These new scams include spoofed emails offering products such as masks, or fake offerings of vaccines, leading to phishing websites. These emails come from seemingly realistic and reputable companies which manipulate people into clicking on links. Some of these websites prompt the user for personal information which ending up in the hands of cybercriminals.

Cybercriminals are also using SMS Phishing, more commonly known as SMishing, to trick victims into clicking on a link disguised as information on a Coronavirus breakout in their area to steal their credentials. Some of these texts claim to provide free masks or pretend to be companies that have experienced delays in deliveries due to the Coronavirus.

Once criminals have the correct level of confidential information about a victim’s bank account, they can impersonate the victim and transact using the correct credentials but without authority.

“Although some spoofed emails can be difficult to identify, we urge bank clients to think twice before clicking on any link, even if an email looks legitimate. Any suspicious emails should not be opened and are best deleted,” says SABRIC acting CEO, Susan Potgieter.

SABRIC urges bank clients to take note of the following tips to protect themselves:

Phishing and SMishing

  • Do not click on links or icons in unsolicited emails
  • Never reply to these emails. Delete them immediately
  • Do not believe the content of unsolicited emails blindly. If you are concerned about what is being alleged in the email, use your own contact details to contact the sender and confirm
  • Check that you are on the authentic/real site before entering any personal information
  • Do not click on links or icons in unsolicited SMSs
  • Do not reply to these SMSs. Delete them immediately
  • Do not believe the content of unsolicited SMSs blindly. If you are worried about what is alleged, use your own contact details to contact the sender to confirm
  • Regard urgent security alerts, offers or deals as warning signs of a hacking attempt

Covid-19: SA in shutdown

On Sunday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a number of strict measures to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in South Africa.

The highlights of his address are as follows:

  • A National State of Disaster has been declared
  • A travel ban from foreign nationals from high-risk countries will be implemented from Wednesday 18 March
  • SA citizens are advised to refrain from travel to or through high-risk countries. These are currently listed as Iran, China, South Korea, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France, the UK and the USA. This is updated regularly
  • SA citizens returning from high-risk countries will undergo additional testing at ports of entry, and must self-isolate for 14 days
  • All foreign nationals who entered South Africa from high-risk areas must be tested. This applies to those who travelled from mid-February onwards
  • 35 land ports and two seaports will be closed
  • Non-essential travel is prohibited for all spheres of government
  • Gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited. This includes concerts, sport events and celebrations
  • Schools will be closed from 18 March until after the Easter weekend. Creches and universities are expected to follow suit
  • Visits to all correctional facilities have been suspended for the next 30 days
  • All businesses must take measures to intensify hygiene control, and where possible workers are to be asked to work remotely
  • All shopping centres must take measures to intensify hygiene control
  • The capacity of health centres is being increased nationally
  • A national command council has been established, meeting three times a week, chaired by the President
  • Cabinet is working with the private sector to finalise a package of varying fiscal measures to prevent economic collapse

All citizens of South Africa are called upon to do the following:

  • Wash hands with soap or similar for 20 seconds. Do this regularly, especially after going out in public and touching typically dirty surfaces (e.g. hand rails, money, door handles, elevator buttons)
  • Sneeze or cough into the crook of the elbow, or into a tissue which is immediately discarded. Wash hands thereafter
  • Avoid close contact with those who have flu-like symptoms
  • Avoid shaking hands and hugging, and try to keep a one-metre distance from other people in public
  • Avoid spreading fake news. Check all your facts before sharing information
  • Avoid panic-buying, especially of items (e.g. gloves and sanitizers) needed by medically vulnerable populations in society
  • Practice social distancing. This involves staying within the confines of the home and avoiding going into public unless absolutely necessary
  • Quarantining / self-isolating for 14 days is necessary for all those experiencing flu-like symptoms. Seek testing should the following symptoms persist:
    • Fever
    • Dry cough
    • Sore throat
    • Breathing difficulties
  • Limit all forms of travel and social gatherings where possible
  • Where possible, avoid public transport
  • Where possible, work remotely and conduct meetings via digital platforms
  • If you believe you have Covid-19, you can:
    • E-mail the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) on cicc1@dirco.gov.za or cicc2@dirco.gov.za
    • Call DIRCO on 012 351 1754
    • WhatsApp 0600 123 456 and say “Hi”, and then follow the prompts
    • Call the National Coronavirus Hotline on 0800 029 999
    • Phone your GP and ask for advice
    • It is NOT recommended that you go to a medical facility without phoning ahead. This will prevent the spread of the virus, or your exposure to the virus

Follow us on social media: 

               

View our magazine archives: 

                       


My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Top