With every disaster comes opportunity. Last week Hurricane Sandy brought disaster, tragedy and heartache–along with the opportunity to help others while displaying compassion and courage. When people are in need, most feel that others should do something if capable. This applies not just to human beings and communities but also to brands and companies.
People always remember their times of struggle and grief–especially the people (or corporations) that helped them or exploited them. From a public relations standpoint, Walmart and Pepsi have handled this particular crisis well by donating supplies that range from cleaning supplies, cereal and board games to snacks, breakfast bars and soda. Check out a full list of their donations.
Savvy public relations experts know that implementing a corporate response to disasters requires a deft touch so that efforts are seen as being helpful and sincere rather than opportunistic or exploitative. When the victims of Hurricane Sandy were suddenly and violently rendered without food, comfort or shelter, the fact that they received a Gatorade from Pepsi or disinfectant wipes from Walmart could create a strong bond with both the products and brand.