14 August 2020
A month before New Zealanders went into the first COVID-19 lockdown and early impacts were being felt by businesses, Mango read the global winds of an impending crisis. We acted quickly, advising our clients to get ahead of the challenges through a comprehensive scenario planning process.
Initial workshops were held, the right questions were asked and proactive scenario planning ensured advance preparation to meet stakeholder information needs by message and channel.
As the country moved up and down the alert levels, the implications changed and the need to keep stakeholders informed, educated, reassured and confident remained a key imperative for smart, well-prepared businesses.
Many companies will have taken the learnings from the first lockdown to help cope with the current challenges.
Here, three of Mango’s clients share their experience of this collaborative approach to preparedness planning which stood them in good stead the first time around and undoubtedly will have been critical to the quick response needed for the second raising of alert levels.
Metlifecare operates in a sector which looks after some of our most vulnerable. Advance scenario planning ensured the retirement village operator had industry leading operational measures in place and was able to provide the requisite reassurance and confidence to its residents and their families that they would be safe, secure and supported.
The stringency of these measures meant that when they were faced with a positive COVID-19 case they were not only operationally prepared but also geared up to provide the highest level of information to reassure staff, residents and families.
As each new alert level was detailed, Mango helped Metlifecare adapt and implement regular communications to ensure residents, families and staff understood why they continued to live under ongoing ‘lockdown’ type restrictions.
Leading New Zealand property investment and shopping centre operator Kiwi Property moved quickly to capitalise on the short time frame before alert levels 3 and 4 to implement operational requirements to close shopping centres and communicate necessary information to shoppers, workers, tenants and suppliers.
Ahead of the move back to alert level 2 and the subsequent reopening of shopping centres, research showed New Zealanders were most concerned about the safety of a return to malls.
With that in mind, and along with the operational measures required, Kiwi Property took the market lead. Through print and broadcast media activity they showed that it was ‘safe to shop’ and helped prepare shoppers for what the ‘new’ shopping centre experience would be like.
McDonald’s New Zealand required an agile, multi-faceted approach during the COVID-19 crisis. As part of an integrated agency team, Mango became the mainstays of the company’s daily ERT meeting, ensuring messaging was on point across all outputs.
As the country entered alert level 3, we knew there was plenty for Kiwis to understand about the mammoth reopening task McDonald’s faced from both operational and retail perspectives, nationally and locally. An ‘access all areas’ media exclusive went live the week before the country entered level 3 and began a tsunami of coverage.
To ensure we were talking to specific communities as well as the general public, Mango leveraged franchisees as spokespeople, alongside stories of produce suppliers. The supply chain news meant audiences better understood the impact the reopening had not just on the tummies of Kiwis, but on the economic contribution to some of New Zealand’s small towns.
“Mango provided valuable counsel on our proactive and reactive communications though the COVID-19 crisis. Their close understanding of our business meant they could step in and provide a trusted resource that helped manage a dynamic period of time and drive results that generated significant positive media and customer sentiment,” Simon Kenny, Head of Communications
“Through critical preparation and strategic thinking from Mango, we were well positioned for the communications challenges created by COVID-19 and reach our extensive range of target audiences. As a result of the preparation and proactive engagement, Sylvia Park became the media ‘go to’ in the lead up to alert level 2 and on the day shopping centres reopened,” Campbell Hodgetts, Communications Lead
“Mango’s foresight and proactive initiative meant we were in very good shape as we moved to alert level 3 and then lockdown. Our staff, residents and families were well informed, and we were well prepared for the media issues which arose,” Julie Garlick, General Manager Marketing
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