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Corona-virus: A Playbook For Marketing And Communications

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  • The coronavirus outbreak will affect all types of businesses — no organization will be immune to its impact.
  • Marketing and communication teams should take a leading role in supporting their organization’s response.
  • Create flexible response plans and continuously monitor the situation to adapt to changing conditions.

We all know that we should have a plan for what to do in case of an emergency. And yet, we all seem to be taken off guard when an actual emergency arises. Blame human nature but planning for a crisis is often left until there is no time to plan, and then a hurried and chaotic response may make matters worse rather than better.

That’s the situation many companies find themselves in with the outbreak of COVID-19 (the coronavirus). Most companies have just begun thinking about changes they need to make to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers. And with confirmed cases growing by the day, this is an issue of immediate concern.

What role should marketing and communications leaders play in the development of a response? What are the most critical actions to take now? Our hope is that we can help you quickly develop a response plan — and ideally learn something about planning for future crises in the process. Although the report is designed to support a wide variety of crisis types, here are some of the specific actions you should consider taking for the situation we face today:

  • Create a task force. Except in very large companies or those with specific types of risks, most companies do not have a dedicated crisis response team, and many have never created even a bare-bones crisis communications plan. Now is the time to do so. Bring together functional leaders from across your organization to begin identifying and prioritizing issues, with all major functions and regions represented. The senior communications leader is usually at the helm, and in some smaller organizations, the effort may be led by the CEO. Other participants will likely include human resources, legal counsel, operations/facilities, sales and customer service leaders, and various marketing/communications disciplines that are either directly affected or will be involved in delivering information to audiences. Everyone should have a clear understanding of his or her specific responsibilities.
  • Prioritize issues of greatest urgency. Ensuring the safety of employees, customers, and other stakeholders is obviously the priority, and external guidance from public health experts will be important to understand what these issues are. There will be immediate decisions that need to be made about in-person activities: Should we carry on with our planned events schedule? What about internal meetings? Longer-term impacts should also be considered: How will we enable collaboration between remote teams? How will we support employees if their children are kept home from school? Think about how this crisis will affect your industry specifically and what value you can provide as an organization to the greater community. For instance, Cisco is extending free Webex licenses to help companies maintain collaboration capabilities while many employees will be working remotely.
  • Develop a protocol for emergent situations. Obviously, the plan should lay out a set of actions the organization will take immediately, based on what is known today. However, the situation is fluid, and it’s not possible to know with certainty what the situation will look like in a month or six months. That’s why it’s important to have a protocol for addressing new situations as they emerge. How will new aspects of the crisis be identified? How will team members who need to act be notified? How will the severity of the situation be assessed? Who will participate in crafting the response plan and communications? The output of this exercise is not necessarily a list of actions but a detailed process for how new developments will be identified and synthesized into the existing plan.
  • Prepare the communications engine. Providing transparent and ongoing communication is the hallmark of good crisis communications. The communications team needs to analyze the types of communication that will be needed to support a variety of scenarios. One of the most challenging aspects of crisis management is the need to create a wide range of critical content, have it vetted by legal, and pushed out through channels as quickly as possible. Create templates for common types of content and stub content that can be built out as needed. Set up an expedited legal vetting process, and work with digital teams to identify how content will be conveyed through the company’s owned channels (web site, social, communities). Also, prepare spokespeople — from the CEO to the receptionist — with concise answers that can be given without additional approvals or escalation paths.
  • Map communications strategies to audiences. Forrester always recommends starting with an understanding of the audience, and crisis response is no different. Companies that have taken the effort to gather audience insights will have a head start, but for a broader crisis situations, there are almost always additional audiences to consider (e.g., employees and their families, investors and communities, or regions that may fall outside of your normal marketing focus). What is the most important information for the specific audience in question? What is their emotional context? What is the objective of the communication? How should we best deliver it? For regional audiences, what cultural norms do we need to be aware of? Segment the audience in as granular a form as needed to address the specific scenario.
  • Maintain open communications with employees. A large percentage of the workforce will face disruption to their normal routines or even their income. Companies in the information business will find it easier to carry on than companies in manufacturing or services. These companies may need to temporarily suspend operations, which will produce financial hardship. Companies that have already created a strong internal communications ecosystem are better positioned to communicate effectively in the face of disruption. One of the first priorities should be to plan for how communications will flow internally: the channels and cadence that employees can expect, as well as where to go if the normal channels (which may occur in a face-to-face environment) are not available. Also remember that employees are a channel, and if you enable them with content, they can extend the reach of your information and credibility with audiences.
  • Listen, track, and measure audience response. Use monitoring tools to understand how the audience is reacting to the crisis and your brand’s response to it in traditional and social media. Again, the impact will be different across different types of businesses. Understanding what is being said can be the key to containing a negative situation or understanding when the crisis is winding down and business can return to normal. Create a dashboard focused specifically on this issue — with coverage of trending topics, sentiment, impact by geography or channel, and key coverage.

Companies that respond to the current crisis with transparency and compassion will be rewarded by audiences. Companies that fail to rise to the occasion or are late to respond may create uncertainty or damage the confidence they have built. Moreover, use this as an opportunity to flesh out a more complete crisis response plan so that the next time the unexpected comes along, you will be ready.

This post was written by VP, Principal Analyst Julie Ogilvie, and it originally appeared here.

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Perks of renting high-quality storage units in New York City

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Renting a high-quality storage unit can be extremely beneficial for you if you are looking for some extra space for your household belongings or for your business. When you are renting a storage unit it is very important for you to check whether the storage unit is of high-quality. There can be many benefits of renting high quality storage units New York City and this article will cover all such benefits and they are as follows:

  1. Proper and flexible storage space or size:

A high-quality storage unit will always offer you with a storage space which will suit your requirements. You can find high-quality storage units of any size be it small, medium, large, or even larger spaces. You have to choose the size of the storage unit by keeping in mind the quantity of your belongings. 

  1. Security:

High-quality storage units have security cameras so you can be assured that your storage unit will be under 24/7 video surveillance. Besides, modern alarm system, anti-burglary system, and smoke detectors are also installed in high-quality storage units. So, by considering the top notch and tight security system you must choose renting a high-quality storage unit instead of any ordinary storage space. 

  1. Clean space:

You can be assured that your high-quality storage unit will have proper cleanliness and hygiene. If you have sensitive belongings then keeping such belongings in a clean storage space will make sure that they are damage-proof and stain-proof. 

  1. Climate-controlled:

You can store any item in a climate-controlled storage unit but people mostly rent climate-controlled storage units to store sensitive belongings. A climate-controlled storage unit will have high quality ventilation, heat and air condition system, and dehumidifiers. You need to set the temperature and humidity level according to the requirements of your belongings or items. 

How you can find the best high-quality storage unit

In order to find the best high-quality storage unit, you need to follow certain tips and they are as mentioned below:

  1. Look for all the key features:

A high-quality storage unit has many features such as climate-control, high security, flexible space, etc. If the storage unit you are planning to choose has all the mentioned key features then you can be assured that it is of high-quality. 

  1. Browse the internet:

You can take the help of the internet to find reliable and trustworthy self-storage companies. You can also read the company’s customer reviews from their websites to get an idea about how satisfied you can be with their services. 

  1. Ask around:

You can also take recommendations from your acquaintances who have previously taken high-quality storage solutions from self-storage companies.  

Conclusion

Your belongings will be completely safe and secured in a high-quality storage unit. Besides, you will have the required space for storing anything you want. But selecting a trustworthy self-storage company is very important. You have to make sure that the company you will choose focuses on providing great customer service. With these points in mind, identifying the right service providers and renting an appropriate facility will be easier. 

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Improving the efficiency of candidates using the online based assessments

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The online assessment tools are widely in practice nowadays because of the immense benefits which they can provide. Gone are the days when paper and the pencil were required to appear for an exam. The perks of online based assessment are for both candidates as well as for the organizations which are providing that particular assessment. These types of merits availed will depend upon the assessment-based software use and help in reduction of administrative related burdens on the students as well as on the organizations at the time of organizing the exams.

 Some of the most common benefits have been mentioned as follows:

 1. Everything can now happen digitally: There is no longer pencil and paper required for appearing for the exam, but computers and tablets can help in solving the purposes. 

 2. Help in reduction of the burden on the administration: Such systems have significantly reduced the burden of organizing and conducting the exams. Tasks of printing and then circulating the exams are now not required but some scripts are to be followed to appear for an exam. Moreover, this helps in saving a lot of time as well as cost. All the costs related to the logistical aspects are now eliminated with the help of these systems.

 3. The process of marking has become very much easier: With the help of online based assessment tools, the marking process has become very instant and easier. Now the candidates can receive the results instantly. All the systems are automatically scored, and results are also available on immediate basis.

 4. They help in simplifying the workflow: Working online with the help of online based assessment tools, the examining body very easily manages the tasks of creating exams. There will be clear workflow so that all the questions are very well reviewed and approved before adding them to the bank of questions.

 5. The assembly based tools are automated: With the help of online based assessment tools, the whole comprehensive system works through the approved system related to the bankof questions from which papers are to be selected by the students so that they can appear in that particular test. Automated tools help in creating shuffled and random papers so that there are less chances of cheating.

 6. It provides on-screen marking-based tools: The process of marking the exams has become very much streamlined with the help of these tools. It is highly secure and safe side-by-side standardized.

 7. This is eco-friendly as well as scalable: These exam systems do not require a pen and paper which has helped in reducing the processes of printing and transporting. Hence, this is a very eco-friendly manner. Because of such systems, the bodies which can offer tests to the people who are located at different geographical areas and the location constraint have no regard in the whole process.

 8. Security has been highly increased: With the help of online assessment tools, another benefit availed is the security. All the data related to exams and details of candidates are now stored in the systems in a digital manner. Only those people who are authorized to the system will be granted appropriate based system access. Addition to this, the storage and management of results has become very easy.

 9. It provides a level of flexibility: In the online exams, the best benefit is the convenience and flexibility. This allows the candidates to do the test from a convenient place in the comfort zone of their home and appear for the test. This system is not related withstress and helps to save a lot of time. The candidates now have no need to travel to distant places to appear for a particular exam.

 10. The reporting of assessment: The online based assessment also facilitates quicker reports for the results of candidates. The process of giving the feedback to all the candidates has now become very much easy and this will help to highlight the strong and weak areas of the candidate which require proper attention in the form of learning.

 11. The systems are highly cost-effective: The online system is highly cost-effective because of the reduction of administrative and managing costs. All the activities like creation of exams, delivering them, have now become online which provides cost effectiveness. 

 12. The online based assessment is very well accessible to everyone: At the time of online segments, to access them is now very easy. One can also ask for extra time in case of improvements in a particular area.

 The fees of these kinds of exams with the introduction of these things have also significantly reduced because of the whole reduction in cost. This has reduced the spending on behalf of candidates and provides them with a high level of flexibility. And one can enrol on these platforms and then appear for exams. All these candidates would also have full access to thetest-based tutorials so that they can be familiarized with the whole existing system. The candidates have to follow various standardized practices so that they can appear for the exams. Such systems enable creating better assessments so that all the candidates can be assisted in the best possible manners. All the candidates and customers from these platforms are highly satisfied because of the best procedures which they have. These platforms while planning in the right approach, consult the candidates at every step. They also help in solving the specific and other needs of the candidates.

 The advancement in technology has enabled all the tech-savvy students to transform their modes of learning and has provided comfortable access to the systems and the learning resources. These systems are highly interactive and customizable and can be now accessed in multiple devices. Such platforms also help in publishing the results and sharing the feedback to the parents so that they have proper knowledge of the courses of the children. This also enables the student to submit assignments and projects on time. All these things can be accessed with the help of a single click only.

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The proficiencies that would help you land as a competent animator today

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Animation is one of the most prominent fields today. New innovations are camouflaging the particular field which is making it more and more competitive with the rolling of the time more than ever before. There are constantly new players joining the league and aspirants are finding it challenging to prove their potentials. This is precisely where the importance of certain skills and proficiencies comes into action when it comes to boosting your marketability as an animator. N this article you shall be introduced to the top and most market relevant skills in animation that shall make you a competent professional in today’s saturated industry. 

The best drawing and sketching skills

Drawing and sketching skills are the foremost requirement when it comes to landing as a good animator working for animation companies. You will often notice that individuals who have had a passion for drawing in the past have often chosen animation as a career option. 

Good drawing skills basically provide the base or foundation for animating as you can consider animation to be a form of art only on a digital space with the use of digital tools. Some animators often stick to character designing, carton sketching, light box animation and more. 

The right kind of creativity and imagination 

Well, animators are known to induce life into characters. They thus cannot afford to run out of creativity and imagination. Most of the parts of animation projects are instructed and directed by people but there are times when an animator will need to implement his own creativity. Especially, when you are working for a client, they will just be projecting you with a constructive idea in which you will have to ad flesh and blood to attract the eyes of the audiences and increase brand awareness for your client’s company. 

A media-based academic background

It is not a hard and fast necessity for an animator, but in today’s competitive world, a media education background is important. You will need to be familiar with the latest trends in animation, tools and software and this can only be assured by high-quality training. Before hiring professionals, many companies, looks for a strong educational background other than just his passion and skills. 

Detail-oriented approach to work

So the field of animation is not as simple as it seems like. It comprises of several sections which includes lighting, modelling, texturing and more. A successful animator needs to be efficient with details. What clients and companies often expect is the quality of attention to detail from professionals. They need to add an edge of perfection before they make their work ready for the final submission.

Mentioned above were some of the prominent skills and proficiencies that make an able and competent animator. If you are perusing your career in the same field, it is imperative that you pay slight heed to these aspects. This shall add an edge to your efforts and help you land with a competitive edge. 

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