PivotPath

3 Strategies for Community Recovery in the New Normal

As the Covid-19 pandemic shook the world and forced businesses and cities into lockdown, local economies took a major hit. Tourism, dining, shopping, and community events came to a rapid halt. Finally, communities are just now beginning to shift into the “new normal”. In an evolving market with countless municipalities opening their communities for residents and visitors alike, what truly makes a community stand out? Community recovery post-pandemic can be tricky. Here are three key strategies to aid in the recovery of both municipalities and consumer communities post-pandemic.

Emphasizing Covid-Safety

While businesses are opening their doors and people are slowly beginning to travel again, continued caution is still recommended. If your town was previously a great spot for tourists, you may reclaim that reputation safely by emphasizing the community’s dedication to public safety. This can be done by continuing to offer outdoor dining options, outdoor or well-ventilated social events, and encouraging folks to practice social distancing and mask-wearing behaviors when appropriate. This will put unvaccinated or high-risk people at ease, increasing the chances they will choose to visit your town over others.

 

Promoting Family-Friendly Activities

After a year and a half of lockdowns, families are eager to get out and make new memories together. Coordinating outdoor events and activities will encourage families to explore your town. You may bring the community park back to life with an outdoor concert series. Perhaps showcase the local lake by offering paddleboard rentals. By offering safe but exciting family-fun activities, the likelihood of adventure-seeking families visiting your town will increase.

Showcasing Dining & Shopping Hot Spots

If dining or shopping is your town’s biggest offering, that’s a great way to get consumer attention. In this “new normal”, people are ready for a change of scenery, so a hip new restaurant or trendy downtown shopping area will be happily received. You may offer dining deals through social media or plan an outdoor downtown event promoted by flyers posted around town. Your communities will thank you!

 

 

[Video] A Survival Guide for Municipalities During COVID-19

The past year has welcomed several unprecedented challenges. Towns and cities are among some of the most vulnerable victims to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite these challenges, there are things you can do to help your community thrive. Continue reading this survival guide to ensure that your municipality is doing everything it can to survive these times.

Survival Tip #1: Be communicative.

Two-way communication involves active engagement and responsiveness. To communicate effectively, it’s essential that you listen to each of your stakeholders. Stakeholders act as various operators, including, but not limited to, residents, tourists, local government officials, local law enforcement, and public safety officials. 

Your stakeholders, and the relationships you build with them, are the backbone of your community. Mutually beneficial relationships are built on trust. When you fail to communicate effectively, you promote dishonesty and inauthenticity, which can destroy the trust of your stakeholders. Therefore, it’s important for your community to effectively communicate with each of its stakeholders to build and maintain trustworthy relationships.

Survival Tip #2: Avoid homogeneity. 

Homogeneity is the belief that everyone is the same. It’s common for individuals to resort to homogeneity when assessing their audience. Your communication efforts are sure to fail when you misinterpret all areas of your audience as one and the same. This mistake is heightened for those who operate communities, as they tend to believe that a shared location means shared values and beliefs.

Demographic information isn’t isolated to geographic location but also includes race, gender, sexual orientation, class, and political identity. You can understand your audience on a larger, more in-depth level by assessing all components of demographic information. By avoiding homogeneity, you can shape your communication efforts to include and gain support from all members of your audience. Your audience’s support can help your community withstand the test of time.

Conduct a S.W.O.T. analysis.

A S.W.O.T. analysis assesses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of an entity. Many mistakenly believe that this kind of analysis is only applicable to businesses, but a S.W.O.T. analysis is beneficial for anyone looking to develop a plan or strategy, including communities. Conducting a S.W.O.T. analysis can help your community grow in ways that it hasn’t considered before.

Strengths and weaknesses are internal, things that you have some control over and can change. If you follow the two previously mentioned tips, you’re sure to have audience communication as a strength. However, it’s important to understand that the presence of strengths doesn’t make your weaknesses disappear.

Opportunities and threats are external. Typically, there’s little to no control of these factors. You can take advantage of opportunities and protect against threats, but you can’t change them. The COVID-19 pandemic is surely a threat for businesses, non-profit organizations, and communities around the world. However, sometimes threats can present us with opportunities. For example, your community can take this time to strengthen its internal operations by addressing other needs that it’s brushed off. 

Reach out for help.

Survival is difficult as is, but when a force as powerful as COVID-19 is acting against you, it can be difficult to even see survival as an option. Don’t let this scare you! By following this survival guide, you can ensure that your municipality is doing everything it can to thrive during these times. PivotPath understands that implementing change isn’t always easy. Contact us for a free consultation today. Our team of innovative creatives can help your community carry out this survival guide.

How Affirmations Can Help Your Business Succeed

Did you know that how you think can influence what you put into action? This is definitely relevant in the business world where thoughts, ideas, and emotions are heavily impactful on how you perceive the value and success of your company. The words that we harness reflect what we think about our marketing strategies and visions for our business. Speaking positive and motivational affirmations to yourself on a daily basis builds a successful business mindset.

What are you telling yourself every day that impacts your decisions?

What are affirmations? 

Affirmations are short, simple, and powerful expressions to evoke positive behavior into our habits, thinking patterns, and environments. When the affirming phrases are being repeated, they automatically depict mental images that are made in the subconscious which in return changes behavior. Hence, practicing affirmations helps strengthen your business mindset to act on your plans effectively and successfully.

For affirmations to be effective, it is important that the phrases have meaning, intention, and are spoken repeatedly multiple times a day. When repeating affirmations for thirty days, it produces a new habit for you to apply to your lifestyle. Understanding the effectiveness of affirmations helps you strengthen your core business values and passions that you are pursuing.

Positive Business Affirmations

  • I succeed with ease. I succeed with grace.
  • My passions enable me to keep moving forward.
  • What I did today is better than yesterday.
  • My thoughts lead me to the success I desire.
  • I love what I do and it shows by serving my customers.
  • My business goals are serving my community well.
  • I am making a difference with my business.
  • I am investing in myself and my business daily.
  • What I offer as a product/service is what people want/need.
  • I am growing to become a better entrepreneur.

How do affirmations help strengthen a business’s values?

First of all, it is vital that small business owners do not lose sight of the values and the truths of their business when building their brand. In other words, ideas and choices should mirror the values of what the business stands for in order to serve customers well. Whatever an entrepreneur chooses to believe about their business, it will stimulate the corresponding action.

In the business world, technology is increasing at an exponential rate. It is imperative that entrepreneurs stick to what they believe about their business to evolve with the digital age. Importantly, entrepreneurs will face hardships and failures in a changing business world. Hence it is vital that they persevere and adapt in any circumstance.

Again, affirmations help entrepreneurs stay above water by reverting to why they began their business in the first place. If you have a solid belief system about your business, you are able to find solutions that will strengthen your business operations. Essentially, affirmations evoke empowering beliefs about who you are and it promotes a vision of your business when facing difficult times.

So, you have a solid understanding of business-related affirmations, how does it build strategy?

Using affirmations effectively helps you steward your values and passions in the right direction for your business. With that in mind, it is important to implement your values when communicating with your customers about a certain product or service. One marketing strategy that benefits from communicating values to customers is through storytelling.

How do you want to connect with your audience in an authentic way?

For businesses to thrive, they need to connect with their audiences and customers. The art of storytelling helps customers resonate with the values that a brand promotes. Affirmations play a key role in effective storytelling because it shows what the business believes by what they put into action.

Why are beliefs important to marketing strategy?

Today, companies such as Nike and Apple succeed at promoting their values to their customers by using a shared belief system that appeals to its target audiences. Customers gravitate towards businesses that carry the same values into their lifestyles. Importantly, marketers and entrepreneurs need to genuinely communicate what they stand for through the marketing channels they use.

As an entrepreneur, whatever you stand and affirm by will greatly influence your beliefs on your business and the types of customers that will gravitate towards your beliefs. Effective storytelling helps a business’s target market understand and connect with the brand at a personal level.

How do affirmations emphasize success and action?

Now that you understand how affirmations tie with building strategy, it is up to you as an entrepreneur to sharpen your personal values and mission for your business. Writing down your affirmations helps beat self-sabotaging and negative thoughts that may be hindering your business’s success. Harnessing positive thinking is vital to move forward and move past obstacles in your business ventures. So, what you think molds your perception of reality.

Positive thinking helps your business to grow and execute your goals.

Here are a few points to consider when sticking to your affirmations.

  • Remember what your values are.
  • Reflect on why your business matters to you and your community.
  • You are in control of how you steward your thoughts.
  • Discipline is essential to affirm your goals. 
  • Your values and beliefs reflect how you will market your product/service.

Words carry so much power by how you operate on a daily basis.

In order for good marketing to continue, it is important that your business/organization stands by what you value and why you are serving those values to their consumers. Also, when obstacles arise businesses need to face them headstrong with their values in place. It is evident that affirming phrases will help keep business owners resilient on the “why” behind their company. Affirmations are a useful tool to build a successful business mindset that produces rewarding benefits for your business. Understanding and most importantly believing that your business is succeeding wins half the battle to keep your business operating. Now, give yourself time to reflect on your business goals and use that reflecting time to speak truths on how you will serve your customers best.

Thalia Rodriguez is a Communications major with a double minor in marketing and professional writing at Grand Canyon University. When she’s not practicing writing, she can be spending time with family and friends, going on hikes, or cooking delicious plant-based dishes. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.

How to be creative in marketing

How Marketing Like an Artist Can Boost Your Creativity

You may have heard it said that business is an art. Marketing professionals are responsible for the creative vision of your company and the communication of that vision. However, for business-minded individuals, creativity doesn’t always come naturally in marketing.

Try thinking like an artist.

There are a variety of ways that artists across all mediums choose to express themselves, but the end goal is always to elicit emotion and drive an audience to action. In the same way, marketing teams must combine creativity and business-sense to reach their target audiences in a meaningful way. The best marketers and business-owners can derive inspiration from these disciplines while crafting a brand and developing a business plan.

Content creation is the cornerstone of effective marketing
What is your company’s story?

Writers

“Creative writer” is a broad term. There are numerous unique literary forms, such as novels, screenplays, and poems. However, diverse as they may seem, all writers have at least two things in common: a knack for storytelling and the ability to create content with a purpose.

Content creation is the cornerstone of effective marketing.

Imagine visiting a company’s Facebook page to find no posts, or receiving an e-mail that’s completely blank. That would tarnish the company’s credibility, right? Thoughtful customers crave engaging content that informs their decisions and provides background on the company’s mission.

Like creative writers, content writers are the minds behind the creative direction of a company. They curate the story of your brand by analyzing your company’s products/services and your typical consumer-base. The real magic happens when the two meet in the middle.

If you adopt a writer’s mindset, you’ll tend to think outside of the box, make bold creative decisions, and deviate from overused practices. Brand strategies that stand out from the rest garner the most attention and excitement. A great example is Masterclass, a collection of professional webinars from celebrities and influencers.

This company is a perfect model for how businesses can take a creative idea and form a brand which provides a unique experience. Not only does it take advantage of people being stuck at home during quarantine, but the advertising makes learning a new skill feel exciting and easy.

Painters

You don’t have to chop off your ear to be a great artist – or graphic designer, for that matter. All it takes is a little creativity and a big vision. If content is like a book, graphics are the illustrations. Graphic design is an integral part of marketing. Like a great painter, it’s important for designers to think about the bigger picture.

It can be easy to feel bogged down by the small details: Which font should I choose for this post? What color-scheme looks best? However, it’s important to remember that the tiny brushstrokes all contribute to the finished product. You should have an overall idea of what you’re aiming for before you begin.

  • How will you make your social media feed, website, emails, and e-books look cohesive?
  • How do you want others to recognize your brand?

Just like modern artists study and emulate the great Renaissance painters, it’s okay for you to take inspiration from other companies and social media pages. Marketing doesn’t occur in a vacuum; current trends and popular demand play a big part. Although, you should check yourself to make sure that you’re only imitating instead of copying.

Leave you audience with an impression that keeps them coming back
What’s the impression you want to leave your audience with?

Actors

Think of your favorite actor or actress: how do they make you feel? How would you react if you met them, or interacted with them on social media? People should be just as excited and loyal about your brand.

Actors are known not only for their work on-screen, but for their charisma and ability to stir up excitement wherever they go. In the same way, a new company needs to charm its way into people’s hearts – and, subsequently, their pocketbooks. Much like actors at an audition, companies must sell themselves and their talent to their customer-base. This is a marketer’s job. It’s important to make a good first impression so that your customers choose you over the competition every time.

When creating a character, actors have to come up with a list of objectives (goals) and tactics (ways to reach those goals). Most businesses also set goals that they aim for. To reach your full potential, what tactics will you employ? What strategic choices will you make to become a brand that everyone can’t stop talking about?

Dancers

When you think of dancers, you probably picture a graceful ballerina or an agile tap-dancer. Regardless of style, all dancers have the gift of flexibility. Flexibility is one of the most integral characteristics your business can have.

To survive in an increasingly competitive workplace, you need the ability to change quickly when your customer-base requires it. It’s also important to remain alert and agile if things change socially. This summer, the COVID-19 outbreak has taken an unprecedented toll on small businesses everywhere. Disasters like these force companies to think outside of the box to keep their doors open and to better prepare for the future.

While dancers work hard to keep themselves in top shape for performances, it’s important that your company stays competitive as well. Competition can be stressful, but if you think of it as an opportunity to improve instead of a hopeless hurdle to overcome, you will only continue to learn and grow.

Marketing takes practice and perseverance
Mastering any art form takes time and dedication

Musicians

Musicians have to practice for many years to master their chosen instrument, whether it’s the guitar, the oboe, or even the voice. When starting out as a business-owner, never get upset with yourself if you make mistakes or stumble along the way. Perseverance is a virtue, and practice makes perfect.

Making mistakes at the start is one of the best ways to learn valuable lessons and grow as a professional.

In marketing, it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who want to see you and the company succeed. Like a successful band or orchestra, every member has a special part to play that benefits the whole. For example, a social media writer can be really good at their job, but the content will only pop if a graphic designer can lend their skills to the content. Every successful business has a strong, dedicated team behind it – it could be two people, or two thousand.

  • If you want help crafting a fresh creative vision for your company, look no further than our team here at PivotPath

Marketing your business can take a whole team and demands a high level of creativity. Though it may seem like an entirely different discipline at first, let the Arts inspire your method of creating content and promoting your company. It can change how you look at certain challenges and even inspire how you want to move forward with your marketing strategy. 

Cammie Conn is a Theatre & Performance Studies major at Kennesaw State University, and she also studies through the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program. When she’s not practicing creative writing, she can be found playing her guitar, reading voraciously, or jamming to her vinyl collection. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.