We know that marketing and communications is a top concern right now—here, we’ve pulled some basic information on how to implement a communications strategy for restarting your cultural activities while adhering to Washington State public health safety reopening guidelines. This guide is specifically for organizations that have limited communications resources and need a place to start.
Your Communications Goal + Strategy
The goal is to clearly communicate how you are making it safe for your audience to attend your programs and return to your facility. Make sure your messaging is simple, clear, welcoming, and friendly. Be proactive in explaining what you’re doing to keep your staff and visitors healthy; let visitors know what to expect. This will help increase everyone’s confidence in participating in cultural activities again.
Please note: we included these safety measures purely as examples. They are neither required nor comprehensive—add or remove as appropriate for your organization.
“We can’t wait to welcome you back to [organization]! Our top priority is to keep you and our staff healthy and safe. Here’s what your visit will look like when we reopen on [date]:
- All of our staff will be wearing masks and gloves, and we’ll be cleaning surfaces like door handles frequently. They’ll be keeping their distance from you and others, but please wave and say hi!
- We’ll ask you to wear a mask, too. We have plenty of extras on hand in case you don’t have one or forget to bring it.
- The state of WA has asked everyone to maintain 6 ft. of distance when out in public, so we’ve put helpful markers on the floor in front of exhibits so you don’t have to worry about doing mental measuring.
Questions? Concerns? Just let us know! We’re available at [contact info].”
Understanding Your Audience’s Needs
Consider the specific audiences you serve and think about which tools are a fit for reaching them. If you have questions about how you can meet the needs of your audience, the best way to know is to ask! There are many free or affordable survey tools available to help you understand your audience’s needs and concerns. Here are a few we’ve used and like:
- Survey Monkey
- Google Forms
- Instagram Stories poll widget (limited functionality, but extremely simple to use if your organization is on Instagram!)
Recommended Tools + Communications Vehicles
Post to your website
If someone wants to know when you are going to reopen and what your safety policies are, your website will most likely be their first stop. If possible, add a page that is dedicated to your reopen efforts. Link to it directly from your homepage and make it easy to find.
Stay in touch via email updates
If you have an email list, this may be the most effective way to reach your community directly. If you need to reach many people, using an email marketing tool with an opt-out feature and list management capability will be the most effective. There are affordable or free tools available:
Social media gets your message out
Social media is a big place and there’s a lot to know, but you can tailor it to your needs and bandwidth. If your organization is new to social media, we recommend picking either Facebook or Instagram to start out and focusing your efforts there. Here are some basic pointers for creating social media posts:
- Make sure every post has a visual of some kind, even if it’s simple. Text-only posts won’t stand out in a newsfeed.
- Keep your text short and snappy, but always include a link to more information.
- Commit to posting and checking it regularly. You don’t have to post every hour, or even every day! Just make sure you’re keeping people informed and answering any questions. Hootsuite and Sprout Social are both great tools that will let you schedule posts.
Try making a video!
Videos are becoming more and more popular on social media, and they’re easier than ever to make—just pull out your smart phone. Explore things like Instagram Stories and Facebook Live.
- A great start in video could be a step-by-step preview tour of what patrons will encounter when they visit your organization.
- Tip: apps like Clipomatic will add captions to your videos for you, helping make your videos accessible to all.
Need some help with all this?
Stay tuned—we’ll be offering free, virtual workshops with 4Culture Communications staff and community experts. Details coming soon.