We’ve always promoted the benefits of a strong digital foundation. But COVID-19 put them front and center. Without the right technology and infrastructure, it’s hard to pivot quickly and keep pivoting as the situation changes.
As soon as the COVID-19 situation intensified in Asia and started spreading globally, we activated our crisis response team. Like many companies, our first priority was and has always been to protect the health and safety of our employees and their families first, as well as our customers, and the communities where we live and work. We made the important decision to start closing offices around the world and support our employees as they quickly shifted to working from home.
Stacy Martinet, VP of marketing strategy and communications, gathered her team to collaborate on crisis management best practices and monitor employee sentiment, to inform our forward-looking response plan. The group consulted daily with our COVID-19 committee and engaged an external agency for real-time market and industry updates. Regular consultation with internal and external stakeholders was critical as key messaging was evolving at a fast rate.
We also reached out to several customers to gain perspective on what was happening in each industry, so we could arm our teams with helpful and relevant information.
We focused our communications strategy around key themes, transparency, clarity and empathy. These themes were not new to meet the moment — they’ve always been a part of Adobe’s culture — but when faced with a global pandemic, it’s really all about that.
As our key messaging was developed, it was cascaded to employees, customers and our community across multiple platforms, engaging Adobe leadership and collaborating with key stakeholders across the company.
We did this by leveraging existing platforms and creating new channels. For employees, we redesigned pages on Inside Adobe, our company-wide intranet, to prioritize COVID-19 updates, launched dedicated Slack channels, and held regular employee meetings and town halls.
To connect our internal efforts with our customers, we launched our Honor Heroes campaign, galvanizing the creative community to create emotional personal tributes to friends and relatives on the frontline. We launched programs to engage our community to #StayInStayInspired, from Adobe Fresco-enabled Coloring books to a partnership with Time for Kids—Draw with Us! to help engage thousands of kids who were schooling from home. And we quickly created a comprehensive COVID-19 section on Adobe.com to ensure our customers had the support and resources they needed to navigate this challenging time.
We also piloted “Digital Emergency Preparedness” theme in a webinar with the American Marketing Association. The response was extremely positive, so we adapted it for the different industries. This, too, was well received because it provided an in-depth view of how others in their industry were responding to COVID. And it engendered a sense of community.
Martinet says having a robust digital foundation gave us the agility to create, personalize, and deliver new messaging as fast as we did, and the ability to monitor and measure sentiment to inform the next steps. But she also credits stakeholder trust, an expert team, great collaboration, and a strong connection to their communities and customers.