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May 13, 2020

There's No Playbook for Marketing in This Pandemic

written by

Stina Fausone


Marketing in a pandemic has been challenging for all clients and brands. There's not a playbook to go by since we're all navigating this new world together. What we have seen though, is a larger focus on support and corporate responsibility in the past few weeks. As discussions continue to progress on when it will be safe for normal life to pursue, people are consuming content at an all-time high. That being said, the fascination of the COVID-19 news is starting to wear off. We continue to hear the same terms, see the same messaging, and wonder how other brands are strategically messaging during this time.

This period is not for brands to leverage the current situation, but rather, show how they are doing their part to contribute, how they are giving back to their community and showing others how they can do their part, too. It’s a sensitive subject, one that even if you’re doing the right thing, can easily come across as taking advantage of the situation. What started as a small issue quickly transformed into a serious emergency, and those brands that took a stand early, whether for or against, are still facing messaging challenges.

Regardless, now more than ever in a sea of misinformation, it is also not the time to go silent. People are looking for answers. The correct ones. And if brands and clients can provide those, dependent on what they offer, they can still provide value. The consistent, constant and correct sharing of information has never been more important. No matter the service, both clients and brands can begin to share how they are taking on this new life head-on. From how to use their services or how they’ve adapted to the new climate, to how to ensure the public health—because no matter what, this statement will continue to stand true, we are all in this together. The bigger focus should be on how brands are standing together with their clients and their communities.

A Few Initiatives We've Been Thankful to Be a Part of

From an educational perspective, it’s important to communicate what a brand has been doing to ensure its clients are supported, as well as what it’s doing to continue to support our community as a whole.

Nevada Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is one of the largest departments in Nevada’s state government with more than 5,200 employees statewide which serves as the state’s social safety net. It includes five divisions: Aging and Disability Services, Child and Family Services, Health Care Financing and Policy (Medicaid), Public and Behavioral Health, and Welfare and Supportive Services.

DHHS is dedicated to providing services that help our community in the times it’s needed most. Recently, DHHS asked us to help them launch an information resource to keep Nevada updated on the current and ongoing state of Nevada’s COVID-19 response. Not only was the site needed, but it needed to be live ASAP.

To inform Nevadans statewide, DHHS and the Governor's Office with the help of KPS3, created this website to better share information and resources on the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact within the state.

KPS3 launched the site within a week (live on March 12, 2020), and the response was considerable. With over 376K users, 624K sessions, and 1.2M pageviews (surprisingly with a 52 percent mobile audience), the majority of traffic to the website was direct, not from another website or ad link.

People continue to consistently visit this site for news resources, FAQs, press releases, and information on how Nevada is continuing to prepare the state for this ongoing pandemic and our process for reopening. This site provides an immediate, correct resource and response to what is going on daily across the state, as well as a strong message, “Prepare, Don’t Panic.”

The information on this website provides reassurance for Nevadans looking to find the information they need that keeps themselves, their friends, and their families safe.

Crisis Support Services of Nevada

Crisis Support Services of Nevada, formerly The Crisis Call Center, has been helping people for more than 50 years.

A strong community resource center that provides life-saving services, right now more than 20 percent of the phone calls to their center revolve around the current state of affairs around the pandemic, and they aren’t necessarily about contracting the virus, but more so around the anxiety that comes from losing a job, supporting a family or paying the bills.

Crisis Support Services of Nevada and KPS3 worked together to launch a campaign for all Nevadans—those who are both following stay-at-home orders and self-isolating as many continue to deal with or begin to develop, mental health issues such as anxiety or depression due to the pandemic. The campaign, written for both English and Spanish speakers, aimed to remind Nevadans that although being home, whether by yourself or simply the feeling of isolation, does not mean that you’re alone.

Our main goal was to provide an awareness campaign ensuring folks knew the latest information regarding the Crisis Support Services of Nevada and how to continue to access their services from their homes.

Abuse, addiction, and neglect don’t stop because the world may have seemed to, and there are many people out there unaware of the resources available or may have been under the impression that services were discontinued due to the current state of affairs. Home, But Not Alone, works to show our community that not only services are still accessible, but there are people that are ready to talk and listen at any time, day or night. The Crisis Support Services of Nevada deescalate people from the crisis stage they are in mentally, providing much-needed care, empathy and solutions.

Roundabout Catering

Roundabout Catering’s dedication to providing the community with safe, healthy, and nutritious foods didn’t stop when the pandemic hit.

In fact, they moved at hyper-speed to help the community maintain their nutritional needs, focusing on members who needed it most, like Renown Health. Starting in April, Roundabout’s culinary team took over Renown Regional Medical Center’s cafeteria, serving about 1,600 meals a day for hospital employees and frontline staff. This allowed Renown to shift their cafeteria workers to serving and preparing meals for the potentially increasing number of hospitalized patients. While patients are the priority, the question still remained, how would they take care of and feed the health care professionals on the frontline?

As the community continued to feel the impact of COVID-19, with the help of KPS3, Roundabout shared what they were doing to keep people safe and healthy. The safety and well-being of Roundabout’s customers and staff are their highest priority. Monitoring the coronavirus crisis, following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and state and local government agencies to stay on top of the evolving situation, Roundabout rolled out family meal plans, offered free delivery of meal prep and provided personal chef services. Their partnership with Renown also helped Roundabout continue employing approximately 25 people during a very challenging time for catering and restaurant businesses.


Regardless of what industry or profession you’re in, now more than ever, the main priority must be the health and safety of your employees. For the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA) health care professionals, this rings true now more than ever.

For those who give 100 percent every day on the front lines of this pandemic, putting out important information regarding the current status of the virus must be done every single day to ensure their safety. To communicate this, KPS3 assisted REMSA with communications to ensure that the public stayed informed on their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) protocols when an ambulance arrives, to what REMSA is doing to help with the health and well-being of their crews.

There are many measures put in place to keep REMSA crews safe. However, a larger concern of REMSA remains: people not calling 911 medical emergencies, fearing they may contract the virus.

Working together, the team has helped inform the community about what precautions REMSA has put in place to alleviate these stressful situations. We have helped ensure the community they will be safe and well cared for, by a staff that is taking the utmost precautions, including a video that outlines when it’s time to call REMSA for care.

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

One of the largest and oldest judicial membership organizations in the nation, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) serves an estimated 30,000 professionals in the juvenile and family justice system. This includes judges, referees, commissioners, court masters and administrators, social and mental health workers, police, and probation officers.

For those involved with juvenile, family, and domestic violence cases, the NCJFCJ provides the resources, knowledge and training to improve the lives of families and children seeking help and justice.

As we all work together to address the health, wellness, and safety of our community, supporting victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault is done through the education and technical assistance provided by the NCJFCJ. NCJFCJ members and judges are able to provide crucial information for both victims and families as they navigate the pandemic, especially those who are enduring the court system and who may be confined to unsafe homes and situations.

Although the pandemic has prevented large gatherings—the court system must go on to address these, and many other issues, that must be heard. It’s both an interesting and sensitive situation, as many judges begin to navigate this new normal for hearings via private and secure virtual calls.

“As a judge, you control the court,” said Judge Egan Walker, Washoe County Second Judicial Court. “Through Zoom, it’s a bit more difficult. Not only do family court judges depend on the testimonies, impact panels and juries for hearings, they also depend on body language and mannerisms throughout.” For many judges, this ‘normal’ has proved a new challenge: human connection. Expressing one’s self and asserting one’s self in court is completely new, now, and ensuring a proper hearing as well as a proper plea, must be handled extremely delicately from both defendant and prosecutor’s perspective to the judge.

To help deal with the stress of the current situation, the NCJFCJ is offering a weekly webinar series called Monday Morning Moments. Anyone is welcome to join in on the sessions by clicking here.

The mindfulness workshops focus on reaffirming the mind-body connection, helping those in these stressful positions to take a moment to engage in self-care and wellness. Not just judges, but many involved in the system right now, need to do their jobs effectively. This can’t be done if those leading the charge are not in a relatively grounded place.

The overall message remains the same across every occupation and community: we are human, we crave meaningful interactions, but ultimately, we will all recover from this together, working as one in all the ways that we can, to continue life as normally as possible.

Greater Nevada Credit Union

Greater Nevada Credit Union (GNCU) is dedicated to ‘'Helping More People Live Greater.' Serving everyone who lives and works in Nevada, GNCU is passionate about its members and their financial security, especially in times of crisis.

As the pandemic evolved, GNCU has worked tirelessly to provide programs for both members and non-members experiencing financial uncertainty. From managing debt and bills to protecting and continuing to grow savings, GNCU is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic alongside the people experiencing the most hardship. Right now, whether you are a current member, business member or a member of our community, Greater Nevada Credit Union, Greater Nevada Mortgage, and Greater Commercial Lending and its subsidiaries have pivoted to offer a wide and inclusive variety of financial resources and assistance, no matter what situation a community member is currently facing.

Through the combined efforts of GNCU and KPS3, the Financial Help Campaign aimed to inform the community of the current and evolving financial programs that are available from GNCU during this time of uncertainty. With new, low-cost short-term loan options, help for existing borrowers, loans for debt consolidation, reducing monthly payments and mortgage relief programs, and getting much-needed assistance on the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) process, community members were given the opportunity to find financial assistance and security in a moment when ambiguity was the only constant.

Not only did KPS3 help to orchestrate campaign videos from each branch discussing the different types of financial options available, but the videos also provided reassurance that immediate and trusted help was only a phone call away.

Through the ‘Live Greater’ campaign, we were also able to elicit the services of a talented local artist. You may have seen this stunning sidewalk chalk art around town. While it is Greater Nevada’s rallying cry, it now has a deeper meaning. It’s a reminder that there is still beauty, there is still art and there is still hope for a better tomorrow. There are 24 hours in every day that you can choose to Live Greater or help someone to do the same.

Throughout each of these projects, KPS3 is continually astounded by the community’s support in local initiatives that are helping our friends and families come together and continue to find joy, even when things seem like they’re moving in the opposite direction. While many of the initiatives we were able to support our community with seemed like uphill battles, we’ve been thrilled by the community’s resilience and strength. As Nevadans, we always seem to pull through, no matter what kind of obstacle we’re facing. This is no different. That’s what makes this place and the people in it so unique.

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