Comms agency launches ‘pay what you can’ model for sectors hit by COVID-19

Good Talent Media is offering crisis media services to Melbourne businesses via a ‘pay what you can’ model. The communications agency cited St Basil’s, Ruby Princess, Newmarch House and Cedar Meats as examples of brands which are all now “household names for the worst reasons”, thus confirming the need for reputation management and effective communications in the wake of COVID-19 devastation.

St Basil’s is an aged-care facility in Victoria which is linked to at least 20 COVID-19 deaths and 163 infections, while Newmarch House in Sydney has lost 17 residents. The Ruby Princess cruise ship docked in Sydney on 19 March with positive COVID-19 cases on board, and is now being investigated by a Special Commission for the policies, protocols, communications errors and follow-up efforts which led to the debacle. And Cedar Meats is an abattoir in Victoria linked to a cluster of over 100 COVID-19 cases.

“They’re now household names for the worst reasons and with many industries like aged care and hospitality under intense media scrutiny, crisis communications and reputation management has never been more important,” the new service said.

The agency said it was was inspired by the Maori tradition of koha, which is the idea of reciprocity and gift-giving to support one’s fellow community.

The service kicks off with Good Talent Media’s free hotline, giving businesses access to a consultation with one of the agency’s communications professionals, and any work that follows will be done under the ‘pay what you can’ arrangement.

Director of Good Talent Media, Tony Nicholls, said a crisis communications plan was like the insurance for a car.

“We understand this is a confusing, uncertain and overwhelming time for many organisations. COVID-19 has thrown companies into a whirlwind and we are taking this opportunity to give something back to the community, showing organisations how effective crisis communications can be in reversing negative publicity into trust and confidence,” he said.

“During these unprecedented times, an effective communications strategy can be quite literally ‘make or break’ for companies. Having a crisis communications plan is like having insurance for your brand; you wouldn’t drive a car without insurance, so why risk the reputation of your company?”

The agency’s issues and crisis management services were recently engaged by not-for-profit, Vision Australia.

“The team of qualified media experts have been invaluable in assisting Vision Australia during these unprecedented times,” Vision Australia CEO, Ron Hooton, said.

“The media coverage earned by Good Talent Media has helped the community learn about our achievements, missions and goals while ensuring all external communications align with our core values and beliefs. We recommend the agency for any company hoping to build an effective media strategy.”

Good Talent Media’s crisis media hotline that can be reached on 1300 258 995.

Earlier this week, Good Talent Media hired former AAP journalist Carly Waters.


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