A Guide to Copywriting During a Pandemic

Since COVID-19 began, marketers are either completely revamping their strategies or maintaining their original content with a slight shift in their tone of voice.

We don’t want to go completely off the grid by going radio silent online, but we also don’t want to be insensitive to the current climate. How do we do this? In this guide, we list ways you and your team can adjust your copywriting in order to remain relevant while staying sensitive. 

Sensitivity is key

Whether your language is informational, casual, or punny, your tone of voice may inadvertently come off as too comical in a time where most of your audience is feeling anxious and afraid. While a bit of comic relief is welcome during these times, you must make sure your language is not making light of the current climate. 

Something else to keep in mind is trigger words. Current trigger words to avoid are:

  • Contagious
  • Spread
  • Infectious
  • Viral
  • Gather
  • Event

Most of these words are related to the virus itself, which can also be used in other contexts such as, “infectious laughter.” Something important to note, however, is the words ‘gather’ and ‘event.’ Due to social distancing, many people cannot gather with friends and family. In addition, you do not want to be promoting gatherings nor do you want to be promoting any events because it shows you are not serious about flattening the curve.

Remain credible

There are a few ways to do this, the most important being make sure you are not spreading false rumors. You want all of your resources to be credible, especially if they have to do with COVID-19. The minute you give out false information is the minute you lose credibility and your audience loses trust.

Check your grammar. While this may seem obvious, there are times when grammar mistakes go unnoticed. If this occurs, your credibility is immediately questioned by your audience, and they will turn to a different resource for information.

Do not over promise during times of uncertainty. If you are a restaurant that has shut your doors until the storm passes, do not give a definitive date on when you will open again. Currently, no one knows when the pandemic will seize, and giving your audience false hope would be unfair and defeating. 

Keep updating your offers

The headlines change each and every day. We are faced with a “new normal” at the start of every week. Your offers may change, your hours may change, and you may need to close up shop. You will want to keep your audience informed of these changes. Do not go radio silent if you hear bad news, but instead share the news with your audience and remain hopeful. 

Now is the time to be sensitive to the current situation, remain active with your customers, and let them know you are there for them, and together you will weather this storm.