How to Craft a COVID-19 Message for Your Business

It’s no exaggeration that our world has changed drastically since I last posted. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic and the United States issued a national emergency. If you are anything like me, you are glued to your TV, or laptop, as the updates trickle in minute by minute—event shutterings, flight cancellations, and school closings.

We’ve added new phrases to our vernacular like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve”. These are unprecedented times. And along with that have come a substantial number of messages from companies announcing their pandemic response plan.

I’ve received emails from everything from my credit card company to my local pizzeria. Much of the copy obviously centers around increased handwashing and disinfecting surfaces.

However, as a consumer, who has recently been to several stores during a panic buying spree, that doesn’t do much to quell my anxiety, because the access to soap and disinfecting products in the community is almost non-existent.

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A soap display at a local Target. It’s like we just discovered handwashing.  

That’s why I’ve created a list of COVID-19 copy from companies that I’ve found particularly reassuring, and I’ll break down why.

Before I get into this, understand that the opinions expressed are my own as a nervous consumer and a copywriter. I’m not endorsed by any of these companies.

That being said, let’s get right into it.

1. Allbirds: Allbirds is a certified B Corp that makes shoes out of natural materials.

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Why is this a calming message:

  • They address what is happening to their employees. When pay and benefits aren’t a guarantee during leave in the United States, this message reinforces their values.   
  • They encourage shoppers to purchase online.
  • This line: “[…] so we’ll continue reaching out through our digital channels to try and put a smile on your face or teach you something new while we’re all doing the best we can.” It lets the consumer know what to expect and ends on an upbeat note.

2. Liquid I.V.: Is a wellness brand that produces an electrolyte drink for people living an active lifestyle.

Why this is a positive message:

  • In a time of hoarding and panic-buying, they assure consumers that they anticipated the extra demand.
  • They say they are prepared no matter what happens with the virus.
  • This line: “As a leader in a wellness space, we will remain a voice of calm and poise amid the fear and disruption of the global health crisis.” This stood out like a beacon among the other messages for its authoritative, yet gentle, reassuring tone.
  • They allude to the urgency, but their call to action is to follow the adventure online, not to buy one of their products.

3. Guinness: A brewing company.

Why this is a comforting message:

  • It reminds Guinness patrons of their long history and that we will march again in big parades one day.
  • We are all human and don’t forget to raise each other up.
  • They remind us to thank first responders and stop in bars and pubs (if we can safely do so) that are likely small businesses.  
  • They never once mention the words “coronavirus” or “COVID-19”.
  • This line: “ As for us, we signed a 9,000-year lease on our brewery a while back, we aren’t going anywhere. “

The key messages that these companies hit on are:

  • A comforting tone
  • A reminder that the brand will remain steadfast
  • A gentle push to stay safe and healthy

Now it’s your turn. What kinds of COVID-19 messages have you been getting? Have they been reassuring?


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