HOW PENT IS PENT UP DEMAND LIKELY TO BE?
Simon Calder “I currently have lots of dreams but no forward bookings yet”
BBC Radio 4 | You & Yours | 4 January 2021
Like many people even the most respected travel journalists used to travelling frequently currently find themselves grounded at home in the UK, prevented - initially by Tier 4 regulations and now by lockdown - from leaving the country for non-essential reasons and by the growing international ban on travel to/from destinations for anyone without residency credentials or a business need. Add to this the recent complications brought by Brexit, the fast-transmission of the latest Covid variant and the offputting scenes at Dover immediately prior to Christmas - this all makes travelling on holiday as an everyday norm seem a long way off.
However, any reference to pent up demand may never have experienced pent quite like it. We are about to enter a period of at least two to three months that will seem to be very cold, dark and quite gloomy - whatever the weather has in store. Unless we can find something positive to focus on - something to feed our imagination, motivate our senses and provide an incentive for the future - the pathway through Covid is going to become increasingly challenging.
It is, therefore the travel and lifestyle industry’s responsibility to provide the UK with the ingredients required to feed thoughts of escapism and make sure the anticipation we all long to feel as a new experience approaches - always a key part of any travel decision - is built to breaking point. That breaking point will be pent up demand and any past measure of this concept will likely be exceeded in early 2021.
Having mastered social distancing as part of our everyday vocabulary during 2020, we are all fast becoming indoctrinated with the requirements of a vaccination programme in 2021. A very bright light at the end of the very dark tunnel however long that tunnel might be as the intricacies of vaccination implementation are addressed by the NHS, likely supported by the military.
But there is no doubt that the fact that there is some positive news to balance the impact of lockdown and a fast-spreading Covid strain in delivering a potential future solution will help drive pent up demand further than ever before as people start to think (and dream) about their travel priorities for 2021. Capturing that demand will be the goal for all brands and those that are nimble, flexible and forward-thinking will be best placed to capture the hearts and minds of people looking to discover new experiences, travel to desired destinations or even revisit their favourite bolt-holes.
So from a PR perspective now is the time to raise your voice and make sure you are heard in the market, delivering consistent flexible, consumer-focused messages that build a presence and communicate a proposition that cannot be ignored. With competition likely to be fierce it is more important than ever that you act now to develop a creative communications strategy - and if you don’t have a process in place to help you achieve this goal, now is the time to explore a PR partnership with White Tiger. We are primed and ready to help, so get in touch for a conversation.
To get ahead of the curve, at White Tiger we have recently updated our Covid-19 report outlining key impacts and considerations for a 2021 communications strategy based on the state of the nation at the beginning of January 2021. If you would like a copy please email email@example.com.
POSITIVE TIGER NEWS - ARCHERY GB
White Tiger PR is delighted to announce its appointment by Archery GB as retained PR partner for 2021 and beyond, communicating key messages regarding the sport during this Olympic and Paralympic year and developing a new participant and supporter base for this inclusive sporting activity.
UNCERTAIN TIMES DEMAND CERTAIN COMMUNICATIONS
It's imperative during times of uncertainty for businesses to communicate and to communicate clearly and often both internally and externally.
Particularly when there might be bad news - trips, weddings, or flights may have been moved more than once, plans disrupted and lives impacted in a negative way - in these circumstances good communication can provide a lifeline for commercial relationships, creating a sense of reassurance and trust.
That in turn enables organisations to stay resilient and productive during these times of uncertainty. Through careful planning and preparation, early communication (notwithstanding multiple changes in regulations and guidelines) enables businesses to gain credibility. The businesses that keep their customers firmly in the loop in an open and honest way will be those most able to successfully navigate these tricky times, to grow brand trust and loyalty from customers, putting them in a prime position for future business as and when markets return.
It's imperative to reach out to both existing and previous customers - and continue to do so on a regular basis with help and useful information. This is the new normal and people, especially those in self-isolation, will be dreaming of resuming a degree of normality and travelling as soon as they can. They need escapism! For most potential customers TV, radio, and online media will form an even-more vital part of their daily routine. You need to maximise that opportunity
Be flexible in any and all ways possible so you are seen by customers to be adjusting your practices to fit the current environment - much in the same way as individuals have had to adjust their lives to fit the ever-changing COVID environment.
Managing disappointment is now a primary function of travel, lifestyle and leisure PR. We have had to become experts at factoring potential disappointment into communication strategies. Lots of our clients ask how they can best manage this and our advice is always to be open, honest, and transparent and, above all, be human and empathetic and, most importantly, consistent in your messages.
Show your customers through your actions as well as your words that you are determined to put people first. Consumers will undoubtedly remember those brands that went the extra mile - in new and intuitive ways - at a difficult time and when the recovery comes, as it surely will, that’s when you will really reap the benefits of customer loyalty.
MAXIMISE YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT
People are consuming more digital technology across all platforms than ever before with the average adult accessing 5x more information than 50 years ago*.
This creates a huge opportunity for businesses to grow their brand trust with consumers in new and different ways. More than anything, strong strategic PR and marketing campaigns can be supercharged by effective online influencer and digital strategies.
Creating a digital strategy allows companies to deliver against specific objectives, measure strict KPI's, and analyse results thoroughly. Having an in-depth understanding of target audiences and respective responses allows businesses to adjust and create on-point messages, powerful calls to actions, and select appropriate platforms to best communicate your proposition to the different existing and emerging audiences.
White Tiger has always led the way in delivering integrated marketing campaigns for clients creating a holistic communications strategy that interweaves seamless communications online and off. We continue to do so at a time when it's never been more important.
Customer segmentation has always shown that different messaging is often needed for different socio-economic groups. It is now needed to account for the different ways people are responding to the current health crisis - overlaying these sentiments onto the standard socio-economic profile generates some interesting outcomes for many brands.
Motivations to purchase have changed purchasing priorities, permanently in many cases, in a short period of time and new considerations and impact scenarios are required when planning future strategy.
One clear dichotomy is based on personal financial situations. Those who have been financially impacted by the COVID crisis will be price-led and cautious about making any investment where there isn't 100% confidence in recovering funds. On the other hand, the less financially-impacted luxury market is keenly investigating savvy ways to get to their destinations. As a prime example, enquiries into private jet and villa packages in Anguilla went through the roof, especially when the island opened up to long-term visitors with a COVID visa passport.
So our message is, if you're not maximising your digital footprint in new and engaging ways, ensuring that it is working effectively to boost your PR messaging and reach new audiences, speak to White Tiger for an alternative view of how you can make your imprint permanent.
WORK WE ARE PROUD OF
DELIVERING COVERAGE & REVENUE
WORK WE ARE PROUD OF
HOW TO SUPERBOOST PR STRATEGY
White Tiger PR in the News
"Talking to customers, being open, informed, and innovative is key for businesses during the pandemic."
Earlier this year White Tiger Managing Director, Cass Helstrip, was asked by Travel Weekly to
give her thoughts on how best to communicate with customers in a crisis. Read the full article HERE
START A CONVERSATION
Remember, this current hiatus will pass - and when it does there is the growing potential for a significant and extremely fast bounceback, even if the timeframe for this in 2021 remains unclear.
Flexibility will be vital as will the incentive of original new experiences that many have only dreamed of for many months.
Start ongoing conversations now with those most likely to be your future customers - this will pay dividends and prove rewarding, laying the foundations for future recovery as 2021 unfolds.
And be brave and true to your brand, finding new and innovative media and messages to communicate with your different audiences.
We have worked tirelessly during COVID times to ensure our clients have continued to understand the evolving communications issues and are in a position to maximise on any and all opportunities. Although we are always concentrating on what comes next for our clients, some of our coverage - online, broadcast, and in print - deserves attention.
If you're not sure where to start, or how to take your communications strategy forward in this new world, get in touch with White Tiger today for an informal conversation.
If you'd like to receive a copy of our latest report outlining key COVID impacts and considerations for 2021 PR strategy or would like a no-strings conversation about your situation and how we can help, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Cass Helstrip on 07968 255 464.