Mindful PR: How to Foster Compassion and Empathy in Your PR Strategy
Mindful PR is about cultivating compassion and empathy for your customers, stakeholders, and the community you serve. It's about understanding their needs, aspirations, and fears and responding authentically and effectively.
Here are some actionable tips on how PR agencies can instil compassion and empathy in their PR strategies:
Listen actively and empathetically:
Listening is the first step to building compassion and empathy. PR agencies should listen actively and empathetically to their customers, stakeholders, and community. This means paying attention to their concerns, emotions, and values and responding to them to show you understand and care.
Practice transparency and honesty:
Transparency and honesty are essential to building trust and credibility with your customers and stakeholders. PR agencies should be transparent about their processes, strategies, and goals and be honest about their successes and failures. This shows that you value honesty and openness and are willing to learn and adapt.
Put Yourself in Your Customer's Shoes
To truly connect with your customers, it's important to understand their needs, concerns, and challenges. By putting yourself in their shoes and seeing the world from their perspective, you can craft messaging that speaks to their unique experiences and resonates with their emotions.
A perfect example is Airbnb's Response to COVID-19.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and safety concerns led to many cancellations and changes in travel plans. In response, Airbnb created a policy that allowed customers to cancel their reservations without penalty and provided hosts with financial support to help offset the losses. This compassionate response helped build customer trust and loyalty and showed that the company prioritized their safety and well-being.
Show Empathy in Your Messaging
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. By showing empathy in your messaging, you can connect with your customers on a deeper level and show them that you understand and care about their needs.
Take Responsibility for Mistakes
No one is perfect, and mistakes will happen. When they do, it's important to take responsibility and show your customers that you care about their experience. By acknowledging your mistakes and taking steps to make things right, you can build customer trust and loyalty.
Starbucks was one of the first companies to own up to their mistake and take actionable steps to prevent them.
In 2018, Starbucks faced backlash after two black men were arrested in one of their stores. In response, the company closed all its stores for a day to conduct racial bias training for its employees. This action showed a commitment to addressing systemic racism and promoting inclusivity and helped build trust with customers concerned about the company's values.
Be Mindful of Your Language and Tone
The language and tone we use in our PR strategies can significantly impact how our customers, stakeholders, and the community perceive us. PR agencies should be mindful of their words and tone and ensure they are respectful, inclusive, and empathetic. This creates a positive and welcoming environment that fosters compassion and empathy.