Blog communicate crisis brand NxT Branding - 1

Why communicate in times of crisis?

In times of economic, political uncertainty or pandemic, one budget that gets hit hard is marketing and communication!

I’ve confirmed this harsh truth throughout my career, whether as an employee or an entrepreneur: communicating in times of crisis is far from obvious (or a priority) for many business leaders.

The impact of economic crises on communication

The numbers don’t lie: a decade ago in France, we experienced a major economic crisis that severely impacted the communication sector. French media saw a staggering and historic drop in advertising revenue (-12.5% compared to the previous year, totaling €2.5 billion in losses).

Rather than just speaking for myself, I advocate for an entire profession considered an expense rather than an investment, often sacrificed due to budget restrictions, even though all indicators show it’s crucial to maintain communication efforts during a crisis!

Let me explain why below.

Do not listen fear

Key reasons to communicate during a crisis

Because you’re not one to follow the crownd

No, you won’t cut your entire communication budget. On the contrary, maintaining your investments allows you to seize visibility points that your competitors are abandoning gradually. Take advantage of the space left by other market players to position yourself!

Because you can get more for less

It’s mathematical and mechanical!

When your communication actions rely on auction systems (like Facebook ads, for example), fewer advertisers bidding on the same keywords will allow you to lower costs. Decreased demand often helps you negotiating lower prices for online or offline ad space (better to sell advertising space at a reduced price than leave it empty!)

Because budget cuts force you to be more efficient

Budget restrictions force you to optimize spending and focus on essentials. This period allows you to clean house, spending less but more effectively. Review all communication actions taken in previous weeks or months to analyze results from recent campaigns. Your goal: focus on actions with the best return on investment to streamline costs.

Because you don’t need to spend a fortune to retain exisiting customers

Another option: boost loyalty among your current customers.
An existing customer is easier to convince than a brand-new prospect (Pareto’s law, the 20/80 rule, and all that). Retention actions are often less costly: segment your audience and offer promotions on products they haven’t yet purchased (if you are positioned as a low cost, mainstream or premium brand)!

Our goal

Maintaining brand presence and trust

Because communicating in a crisis helps you maintain the benefits of previous actions

Overall, advertising effectiveness relies on repetition over time. By cutting marketing and communication investments, you simply interrupt this process: your prospects lose the habit of seeing you in their usual panorama, and gradually, they forget you in favor of those who took advantage of the open field: “Out of sight, out of mind.” While not thinking of you, consumers logically turn to your competitors during the crisis, with no guarantee of returning to your offers once the situation improves. And reversing this trend will be as costly as it is difficult!

Because communicating in a crisis helps you retain already acquired trust

Not stopping communication in a crisis shows your audience that you’re present and not hiding in a cave until it blows over. It’s reassuring. Conversely, paralysis and waiting have never reassured clients and prospects. It scares them, raises questions. And when a prospect questions a company’s solidity, it’s rarely good for business.
Moreover, remember that consumers are expecting your company to take strong positions and seek authenticity. Today, they expect brands to take stands. So occupy the space and position yourself as a confident leader who navigates the storm.

Blog communicate crisis brand NxT Branding - 2

Because it’s time to show what you’re made of

Communicating in a crisis is an opportunity. It allows you to share your viewpoint, display your values during this troubled time.

Now is the time to show who you are, honestly, directly, with impact, responsiveness, and positivity. This doesn’t mean you can’t mention your concerns or fears: after all, you’re human. This will only strengthen the bond with your audience, who will relate to your words and identify with you, creating an even stronger connection.

Because you have the chance to completely overhaul your communication, even your business

Look at the COVID pandemic. We experienced a complex period that lead some companies to rethink their communication, their positioning, or even their business model. After the initial shock, so many companies choose adaptation by implementing new ideas, in order to move forward.

Because communicating during a crisis saves money

Contrary to popular belief, maintaining communication investments constitutes significant savings. Maintaining your current level of visibility during a crisis costs less than making monumental efforts to regain equivalent visibility after a long period of silence. Several studies have shown that companies that halt advertising during a crisis risk accumulating a considerable lag during the economic recovery. This delay can extend up to 5 years after recovery!

According to Millward Brown, restricting communication during a crisis has visible short-term economic effects. However, this initial savings leads to long-term costs as companies spend more to return to their initial market position before halting communication. This additional expense can be up to four times the amount saved by halting communication.

the challenge

Stay visible

Communicating during a crisis isn’t just about maintaining visibility—it’s about strategic positioning and long-term resilience. Whether you choose to maintain, optimize, or even increase your communication budget, staying consistent is key to emerging stronger when conditions improve.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and continue this conversation! Come chat with me in my Instagram DM @nxt_branding and let’s discuss how we can elevate your brand to new heights!

À très vite,