Forums » COVID-19 Roundtable

Friday Poll: Is Your Area Reopening? How Are Clients Responding?

    • 1384 posts
    May 7, 2020 11:13 PM PDT

    After weeks of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, many states have begun the process of reopening.

    Where is your community at in this process? How are your advertisers responding?

    Looking forward to reading your replies!

    This post was edited by Rebecca Hunt at May 7, 2020 11:18 PM PDT
    • 105 posts
    May 8, 2020 6:49 AM PDT

    In my community, the state allowed businesses to reopen with guidelines. I find many businesses are not doing so just yet. Banks are still appointment or drive-thru only. The pharmacy on my account list is still curbside or drive up window. Insurance agencies are still working from home or by appointment. Even the bar down the street has not re-opened. I'm sort of amazed. Then again, the state has only reopened for a week.

    I am seeing businesses take an attitude of opening slow and easy. There is more optimism now. I wonder why some have not opened or have not attempted a more 'normal' operation. The two things I'm being told are: the governor might have reopened the state too soon and I'm not going to bring people back in to just go back to a shutdown again. The second: with the kids being home schooled, some of my staff just can't come back now.

    At this point, non-essential businesses can reopen, beauty shops, barbers, spas and such can re-open as can movie theaters and restaurants and bars. The 6 foot distancing is required and in most cases mandated by a percentage of occupancy that is typically 25% to 50% (ie: getting my haircut requires an appointment and waiting in my car until called in when the last customer leaves). 

    Many businesses are concerned about image. They do not want to sound very competitive at the moment but rather just talk about what they do and how to do business with them. They're worried about an image of 'kicking a competitor while they're down'. 

    There is a level of Covid-19 burnout. I changed all my copy last week to remove things like 'during this unprecedented time' and 'we're all in this together' because the words have been said by so many so often the audience is desensitized to such phrases. There seems to be resentment of honoring the medial workers. People are saying 'what about that paycheck to paycheck cashier at the grocery store or that delivery worker?'. Folks see these people working because they have no choice but seem to think medical workers 'chose' their career and are most adapted through education to deal with the risks. The person at the grocery store checkout sure doesn't have all the safety gear that nurse or doctor has at their disposal. I find this interesting.

    Overall sales are not back to pre-Covid but there is much less of a doom and gloom outlook. People are at least talking advertising in the future versus not even wanting to talk about marketing their business.

    One of the things I have told clients when the shutdown began was, our station is looking at the long term. We want you around when we get back to normal. We will try to help you in any way we can. It's less about selling advertising and more about doing anything we can to make sure your business is here tomorrow. I told them we're open to ideas and suggestions to help local businesses. I think it is important to work now to get what we can and to invest in our future even if we have to step out of the sales shoes to help folks now.